Image from The Jason Wu Blog.
Let's take a fashion detour for a moment. I've talked about my love for the charming and talented Jason Wu and his dreamy dresses before. Last month, I came across a post on his fun blog about how truffles (!) inspired the design of one of the amazing looks from his Spring 2011 collection.
Images from The Jason Wu Blog.
"Having lunch at Crudus in Paris, Jason was taken aback by the beauty of his truffle pasta dish and quickly snapped a photo. This photo soon sparked his creation of a cream chiffon truffle skirt with navy hand-painted edge." Read more here. Isn't it fantastic how inspiration can strike anywhere if you keep your eyes open?
Image from D'Artagnan.com
Anyway, back to Saturday's dinner. Thanks to this...
Image from Barefoot Contessa
...and this, I was able to pull it off. Truffles were the inspiration. It didn't turn out as drop-dead-beautiful as Mr. Wu's delicious skirt, but I think it did the trick of making my friends feel like we were celebrating having them in our home. The words "Martha Stewart" were uttered. Ha! Not even close, but I'm glad I had them fooled.
Image from The Food Network
We keep white and black truffle butter from D'Artagnan stockpiled in our freezer--it's the key ingredient to an elegant-but-easy dinner. The Tagliarelle with Truffle Butter recipe from Back to Basics is decadent but effortless. Pair it with some black truffle-buttered filet of beef--adapted from the Truffled Beef Sandwiches recipe in the same book--and some roasted carrots (the sweetness of the carrots contrasts with the earthiness of the truffles). For dessert, I threw together the French Apple Tart (also from Back to Basics) substituting Grand Marnier for Calavdos and using frozen puff pastry for the crust. Easy!
The meal is so rich that you don't want to do too much for appetizers. I just gathered some simple nibbles inspired by the bar snacks we loved during apperitivo hour on our trip Tuscany--olives, salumi, good potato chips, percorino cheese, etc.
Add some fall colors from the flower shop down the street and some candle light...
Done. Easy! It often seems that we don't have time to share a meal with friends, but I think sometimes we make it too complicated. The simplest things usually taste the best, don't you think?
On another note, for my blue and white loving friends, you have to check out this post from Habitually Chic --that Roberto Cavalli dress! And a few of you have asked if there are any more London posts coming. Yes! I just want to savor them, so am staggering them out a bit. Stay tuned. Finally, thanks so much to my friend Amy for posting about I Dream Of on her blog -- she has a birthday this week and looks awfully cute in a tiara. Happy Birthday, Amy!