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Happiness & Homemade Charcuterie

Homemade pancetta!! It's a success | Tasting Everything


What a fantastic couple of weeks around here!


It’s so fun getting busier and busier as the days get warmer. I’ve done a ton of cool events lately, including some great meals at a couple of wineries, I put together some meals for very exhausted new parents who are so happy and grateful not to have to deal with planning and making dinner for the next week (my services were given as a gift to one awesome couple! Talk about a winner of a present…), I’ve been putting in some hours in the kitchen at one of my favorite restaurants, plus I had the best time planning and preparing a dinner for what might have been the best bachelorette party I’ve ever met! I’ve also packed the raised beds with various types of tomato plants, eggplants, peppers, garlic, and more, and the nasturtiums we planted almost two weeks ago are really starting to take off! On top of that, the pork belly pancetta that I put together before our trip to Mexico has cured perfectly!


Meltingly delicious chipotle chocolate short ribs with polenta and pea shoots


Heavenly strawberry shortcakes with whipped creme fraiche, lavender mint, and saba


Homemade pancetta!! It's a success | Tasting Everything

Life is pretty darn good.



For the bachelorette party, after an exhausting day of wine tasting here in the Napa Valley, these brilliant women had asked me to come to the house they were renting to prepare a meal that they could simply sit back and enjoy without needing to lift a finger. The bride’s sister put so much care into planning a meal that she knew the bride and the whole group would enjoy, but she also wanted lots of Wine Country touches to really make the most of the trip, so we had so much fun working together to make this menu special.

The menu was a great one! We started with a charcuterie board featuring Fatted Calf charcuterie (some of the best charcuterie imaginable) with some cheese from Cowgirl Creamery. She also decided to start with a big, fresh, rustic salad that was packed with local heirloom vegetables, which we decided to dress with a fresh pear and prosecco vinaigrette.


A tiny sample of the amazing selection at Fatted Calf in Napa


After they had some solid food in their system to counteract the effects of the wine, we went on to flatbread with some amazing goat cheese made right in Sonoma, topped with charred plums cooked with rosemary and butter in a chardonnay reduction plus some crispy prosciutto.

For the main course, it turned out that the bride is a big fan of beer can chicken, so we played with that idea and did roast chicken with a Pranqster-bacon jus, plus sides of warm asparagus and charred lemon with arugula and some herb-roasted marble potatoes.

For dessert, the sister of the bride (who is currently obsessed with lavender and also likes fresh lemons in desserts), thought that the group would love a thoroughly soaked tres leches, which I made gently lavender-flavored by infusing the milk mixture with lavender, sprinkling the cake with lavender sugar, and then topping it with a meyer lemon whipped cream and fresh edible flowers.

It was so much fun to work with this group to make a menu that everybody really wound up enjoying. I hope that the rest of their trip was amazing and that the wedding goes perfectly!


The best bachelorettes ever!


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