Our mouths are watering just looking at Kelsey’s photos from her winning contest entry. This month’s featured variety was our Broccoli, Feta & Toasted Cashew Ravioli paired with a 2011 Cline Vineyards, North Coast Viognier. So without further ado, we’ll let Kelsey tell you rest….
I was so excited to find out I had won the “Wine and Dine on Nella’s Dime” contest, as I had been dying to host a dinner party for all my girlfriends! Slowly but surely each of my friends have been moving to Boston so this contest provided a perfect excuse to finally get everyone together.
The party consisted of a combination of 7 friends, old and new: college friends, study abroad friends, and new people I had met since moving to Boston 2.5 years ago. The prep work for the ravioli and dessert was relatively minimal, as a lot of the ingredients were things lying around the house and all my friends were great in offering to provide pieces of the meal.
Marwa is a whiz with appetizers and got together one of her specialties, Red Pepper Bruschetta with Goat Cheese and Capers. She started off by sauteeing the peppers with a bit of olive oil, toasted up the baguette, and topped each slice with peppers, capers and goat cheese. Once assembled, she popped them under the broiler and voila, we have delicious red pepper bruschetta that everyone LOVED!
After enjoying the bruschetta and sangria it was time to bring out the salad and entrée! We had Annie in charge of the salad, who is famous for her fabulous salads that are sure to delight every guest. She used baby arugula, candied walnuts, dried cranberries, strawberries, and goat cheese and mixed it all with a creamy balsamic vinaigrette. The salad sure went quickly!
For the ravioli, I chose to make a simple Beurre Blanc sauce to go along with the broccoli ravioli, as a relatively healthy variation of Chicken Broccoli Ziti. Along with the sauce, I cooked up some garlic, shallots, and chicken to jazz it up, and finished it all with a squeeze of lemon and fresh basil.
Once the ravioli and salad were ready, we all clambered to get our plates together. Everyone raved about how the delicious entrée and I was delighted to have everyone together having such a great time!
While I do love to cook, baking is really my specialty. I whipped up my famous Lemon Bars, per a few friends’ requests. This recipe has been tweaked over the years and I finally found the perfect combination that delighted everyone. I mixed them up this time and used Meyer lemons rather than standard lemons, and it really kicked the bars up a notch!
After we enjoyed dessert (and every last drop of wine!), it was on to catch up time with all the girls. With everyone’s hectic schedules, finding the time to get together with everyone proves to be very difficult. It was wonderfully refreshing to gather everyone in one place with such amazing food and fantastic company. All in all, the party was a success and everyone left happy and satisfied. Thank you so much to Nella for providing me with the opportunity to host this party for my friends, fun was had by all!
Thank you Kelsey for this fantastic write-up– looks like you had a great time and boy did you make a delicious meal with our Broccoli Ravioli! If you’re looking for this variety, please check out the Where to Find section of our website and visit a farmer’s market or specialty store near you.