Monday Munchies: Desserts & Wine

This weekend was packed with traveling, visiting friends, and tons of good food! I’m excited to give you a peek at my trek around north Georgia.

On Friday night, I met up with some friends in Decatur to celebrate my dear friend Kelsey’s birthday. We went to see Carolina Story, a folky couple with beautiful lyrics and melodies, at Eddie’s Attic (if you’ve never been, it’s a great venue! It’s a listening room, meaning they’re serious about keeping the conversation down while the musicians are playing. And it’s a very cozy and intimate setting – loved it!). We munched on bruschetta and nachos as we listened and were wow’ed by Carolina Story’s incredible performance. And we got to meet up with them at the end, which is always fun to hear the heart of those you’re listening to!

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We finished the evening off by stopping at Brick Store Pub for a late dinner. I’m a huge fan of fish and chips, and their version was most excellent! Definitely glad I got to visit!

After a late night of talking and catching up with friends, I headed back with Kelsey to her place in Athens where she was throwing a shower for our friend and bride-to-be, Bridgett. Kelsey has done her share of wedding and event planning, and it was a real treat to help her prepare for this classy event. She had selected several varieties of wine and we created desserts that would pair nicely with them.

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Kelsey had created a few chalkboard items for Bridgett’s future home, so the food labels were written on black cardstock to tie together the theme. Kelsey and her roommates also have a lot of beautiful white and jadite servingware in their kitchen, so everything flowed nicely. I was particularly a fan of the little turquoise vases with succulents inside of them!

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1. We made chocolate chip espresso cookies and Ghiradelli brownies to pair with Purple Cowboy’s Tenacious Red. The cookies are a recipe from a local friend who does a variation on this recipe. When we were making these, it was all I could do to keep from eating all of the dough! The espresso taste isn’t super strong, so even those who aren’t fans of coffee will love them! And of course, you can never go wrong with Ghiradelli brownies. So. Good.

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2. We made homemade sweetened whipped cream to go with these tasty fruits, paired with champagne (I was a little eager with this picture and forgot to wait until the champagne was taken out of the fridge!). I had never whipped my own cream before, but we used this guide from Real Simple and it worked like a charm. Keep in mind that when whipping, you want your cream to be as cold as possible. When the kitchen started getting warm, I put the bowl I was whipping cream in into a bowl of ice, which helped speed up the process.

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3. Remember that blueberry-strawberry pie I shared with you last week from Mississippi Kitchen? Well, when Kelsey asked me to bring something along the lines of a fruit tart, I thought this would be a great alternative . . . Except that when I went to the store, I couldn’t find any good blueberries! It was a tragedy, for sure. But, instead of a pint of blueberries I got a 6-oz package of raspberries and a 6-oz package of blackberries. This resulted in a very red pie, and with my heart cut-outs on top, I think everything tied together nicely. This was paired with a rose wine (spago argento), and both were quite nice.

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4. I saved the most intriguing and unique recipe for last. Kelsey had bought a Shiraz, which is not typically a dessert wine.Β However, when she searched for a good pairing, she came across a Yahoo Answer suggesting pairing it with Apple Thyme Cake. Apparently this recipe is taken from the Wine Spectator magazine, and let me tell you, it is perfect. I’m more of a blush/white wine fan, but the pairing was so good I was completely okay with the Shiraz! I don’t necessarily know if I’d have this cake without the wine – the cornmeal and thyme give this a more savory flavor. It’s topped with unsweetened whipped cream (again, we whipped it ourselves, yay!), and we had fun adding some apple slices and thyme for garnish.

The dessert and wine table was a big hit, and I totally recommend this to anyone looking for a fun ladies’ night gathering. Classy and delicious – gotta love it!

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