But then, there's my friend, Melanie. She is a wiz at creating something out of nothing, and planning a party in a snap. She is the queen of special touches and making everyone feel welcome. I love being on the receiving end of her creativity (and cooking).
Last Sunday, our husbands went for a late afternoon hike together with another friend of theirs. I got a text from Melanie that morning asking if I wanted to have a date with her while the guys were out. She suggested watching Julie & Julia and cooking one of the dishes from the movie together. Brilliant! Three of the foods that Julie Powell (played by Amy Adams) cooks in the movie that absolutely send me are: the pan-fried bruschetta, Ghirardelli chocolate pie, and Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon. Naturally, I chose the bruschetta (fastest turn-around time from prep to eating). Big tomatoey goodness loaded with basil and garlic. Mel prepared a kale salad using ingredients from her garden, while I made an oven-baked version of the famous antipasto. We had fun rubbing each piece of bread with garlic cloves and piling them high with topping. Paired with a pink moscato, it was the perfect meal for girls night in.
The thing that made this night complete was when Melanie answered her front door wearing a house dress, apron and pearls, and said with great Julia Child flair, "Helloooooooo!"
We have the best friends.