Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Effortless Entertaining: Fresh, In Season Nibbles

Throwing a party and want an effortless (or almost effortless), unforgettable spread of food? Visit your local farmer's market.
MCM: Home Maid
For me, my market is the Mission Community Market (MCM), just a few blocks away every Thursday from 4 to 8pm. And, with the exception of our main course, all of the food from Gates' birthday party came from MCM vendors.
Gates' First Birthday: Family and Friends
With Gates' birthday falling during Passover, our spread needed to be Passover friendly. If you're not familiar with Passover foods, the biggest thing to know is that flour is out, and for Ashkenazi Jews, beans and anything made with them. As soy is in almost everything, for example soy lecithin is in most chocolate, it means you need to get creative. My solution was to head to the Mission Community Market and pull a spread together from the vendor's offerings. While we didn't have a cake for the celebration no one left the table hungry.
Gates' First Birthday: The Spread
Here's what we ate:
  • Feta cheese from Achadinha Cheese Company.
  • Artichoke and Olive Spread from Home Maid Ravioli Company.
  • Corned Beef from Jablow's Meats. Jablow's Meats starts with organic, pasture raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free meat. The corned beef is not rubbed or smoked, rather the brined brisket is slow-braised in a mixture of Guinness and plenty of aromatic vegetables and spices and allowed to cool overnight before being thinly sliced. While Guiness-braised corned beef is not Passover-friendly for everyone, it's only available for St. Patrick's Day, so after a taste I couldn't pass it up at the farmer's market.
  • Strawberries from Yerena Farms.
NOTE: The Passover-friendly meatloaf and smashed potatoes (pictured above), the main entree for our meal, didn't come from MCM. Tune in tomorrow for the recipe.
MCM: Yerena Farms
Where do you go for effortless party spreads?
Bon Appetit!
Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life. Effortless Entertaining is a monthly series, published the third Wednesday of each month, with tips for planning an experience and recipes for stress-free (or minimal stress) cooking so that you’ll spend more time with guests and less time in the kitchen.