Each page in the book was more opulent than the next!
Last Friday, we hosted our first French Night, attended by family members and a friend (who had just gotten back from fashion week in Paris.)
Guests were greeted with a glass of champagne and full caviar service (I mean, if you're going to do Decasse, you have to go all out).
I created an Edith Piaf station on my Pandora radio to set the mood.
Here's the menu...I tried my best to recreate French penmanship, but I found it very challenging!
We had a tri-color salad composed of micro-basil, baby tomatoes and endive.
Next, was the very exotic but delicious fruit and vegetable cassoulet. This was one of the most labor-intensive dishes I've ever prepared - 6 hours in total!! First I had to wash and clean all of the veggies and fruit: turnips, baby artichokes, carrots, grapes.....then prepare the chestnuts! Then brown the grapes in a butter sauce until they caramelized, then cook it all down for a very long time, til everything was tender. To assemble the stew, I sliced paper thin slices of granny smith apples and placed them at the bottom of the bowel, then the stew on top. The combination of fruits and vegetable gave it so much texture!
Of course we had baguettes (in France they place the bread not on a bread plate, but on the tablecloth...my kids loved that fun fact.)
My husband prepared the chicken, roasted with purple potatoes from the farmer's market.
And for dessert, a homemade almond paste and strawberry tart dusted in powdered sugar! I love that the stems remain on for a rustic look.
We busted out our fancy plates (that hardly ever get used) and made a real French night out of it...5 1/2 + hours of eating, drinking and relaxing.
The only thing missing was the absinthe.......