Sunday, August 5, 2012

Savvy City Farmer Delights Guests

THE SHED  aka    "Shop the Shed"   Is this not darling?

Lots of newly finished goodies awaiting our purchase.

Entering Joy's home into the "summer kitchen", a glass of  ice water, chilled by frozen fruit! Oh my goodness!

I just loved this!

Summer kitchen's coffee station

Such a clever idea - freezing the fruit for "ice cubes".  So beautiful.

Our menu for the the evening

The rustic table awaits our enjoyment.

Fresh salsa for the Summer Corn Cakes

Goat Cheese with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

My favorite - Roasted Red Grapes with olive oil, thyme and coarse salt on Ricotta and Baguette Slices
Darling efficient kitchen

Love the cabinet door.

Joy's comfy room for watching tv and hanging out.

Office now located in the dining room- so cleverly done.

Dining room now in old living room- love that map as a table topper.

Comfy sofa

Joy's office in former dining room- perfect use of a formerly little used space.

Herbal tussie mussies from Angela's garden ( Joy's daughter aka"the Parisienne Farmgirl") given to us as parting gifts.

The evening was destined to be  magical . After all, after a blazing hot day of 90 degree plus weather, a thunderstorm moved through the area and plunged the temperature to 75 degrees, just as we were driving to Joy's home.   Upon entering the back of the  1800's farmhouse home, in a charming garden sat this little magical shed with a tin roof - we just sighed. We were excited to "shop the shed" with newly acquired  and finished treasures that Joy had gathered for us.  All of  the Romancing the Home girls and friends found several things that they could not live without in the charming little shed. The cooler weather made it possible for us to enjoy our unhurried time browsing Joy's collections.  After gathering our own little stashes into piles, we were invited into Joy's home and entered through her "summer kitchen", an enclosed porch outfitted with coffee and beverage stations and decorated in the charming French Nordic style.  As some of the girls had never seen her home before, little squeals of delight and "OMG" were heard from several mouths.  We were invited to enjoy our choice of grapefruit margaritas, white and red wine or just the simple beautiful water with fruit.  Entering the kitchen with our cocktails,  an amazing table of delectable appetizers lay before us.  My favorite was the Roasted Grapes on the Ricotta and Baguette Slices. (Recipe to follow). An interesting, wonderful meld of olive oil and thyme on the grapes was absolutely divine - a real keeper of a recipe.  While Joy prepared fresh Summer Corn Cakes, we enjoyed wandering her living and dining spaces and were enchanted by her talent of unique and ispired design.   Some of the girls sat on the front porch and enjoying the view of the street filled with homes built in the 1800's in the quaint little midwestern town of East Dundee.   Finishing  with a yummy dessert , Neiman Marcus cake,  a sweet vanilla cake bottom with a crunchy cream cheese topping( another new recipe for me - google it!),  we loaded our cars and headed back home. As we left, Angela (Joy's daughter) handed us little herbal tussie mussies for our own kitchens- we were all touched by the  sweet gesture .  You know you have been inspired by an evening when the entire conversation on the hour's ride back home is about all the treats and inspirational ideas from Joy's home.   Thank you Joy- we loved it!
Roasted Red Grapes on Ricotta and Baguette Slices
Toss red seedless grapes with olive oil, fresh thyme and coarse salt to taste.  Roast in a 450 degree oven until the grapes burst open,  about 12 minutes.  Meanwhile, slice a baguette on the diagonal into slices about 1/2 inch thick.  Brush with olive oil and toast on one side until light brown. ( do not get too crispy as you want the slice a little soft - easier to bite).  Spread with the best quality ricotta cheese you can find. Dollop the grape mixture  on top!  Enjoy this divine little treat.


savvycityfarmer said...

Now I'm speechless ... oh and pinning away here!!
Such a perfect evening ... and you captured it beautifully!
Some of those kitchen shots are my favorite!!

I didn't want the magic to end. I am blessed to have you in my life!

Emily said... lovely!! I am so glad you posted the recipe for the appetizer...yummy! I often serve wine chilled with fruit in the Summer...the fruit looks so much better than ice cubes and becomes a treat at the end of the drink...I call it might 1 min. sangria! :) Happy Monday!

Mary said...

Oh I could poke around there for hours! I adore the shed! Your menu sounds perfectly delicious~ I must try the roasted grapes on ricotta!

Sopa Azul said...

Hi from Spain, new follower here! Found your blog via Angela, and very glad I did! Good luck.

Mary Palumbo Collings said...

Looks like a fabulous time... Love your blog by the way, just beautiful.

Lynne said...

I love Joy. She's amazing, and so is her daughter, Angela. You have painted a lovely portrait of her soiree!
Susan...your blog is today's gift!
I am your newest follower!

Unknown said...

debbiebrennan said this is wonderful. I will try this recipe this weekend. love your blog Susan, You are inspirational!