Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Menu for a New Decade

Our friend Robin had a birthday this weekend; today, in fact.  And it's a big one.  I'll let her tell you exactly which big one it is, but I'll just say I keep telling her my 40s have been awesome so far.

In honor of Robin's birthday, Brad and I hosted a wine dinner.  We had a great time working side-by-side in the kitchen prepping, cooking and serving, and I learned that I can take a not-all-that-fuzzy photograph after seventeen glasses of wine if I concentrate real hard.

Seriously, you try it.  It's not easy, folks.

Robin is from North Carolina, and lived in California and Wyoming before landing here in Denver.  She wanted a menu that would represent these various regions and she also had her heart set on fresh chestnut pappradelle, which she'd had on a trip to Milan.  Oh, how we love a challenge!

Robin provided us her menu inspirations, and Brad brought it to life.  I played the tambourine.  Not really; I don't even know how to play the tambourine.  And I actually did more than just the baking for this menu.

For the wine, Robin gave us access to her off-site wine storage lockers.  Trusting, isn't she?  The lockers are packed floor to ceiling with wine she's collected over the years.  I think she told us there are about 96 cases in there.  Or maybe 960 cases.  Anyway, there's a shitload of wine in those two lockers.  And fortunately for us, Robin hasn't really labeled any of it.  It was like being on an archaeological dig, but a lot more fun.  We even came across a bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider in there.  Boy was she glad we found that for her!

Robin’s 40th Birthday Dinner
July 16, 2011

Salmon Cups / Caramelized Scallops on Melted Leeks / BBQ Sliders on Cornbread
2001 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs
2010 Lancaster Estate Sauvignon Blanc
2003 Acorn Syrah

First Course
Shrimp and Grits
2007 Fontaine-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet

Second Course
Chicken Vol-au-Vent
2009 Arietta On the White Keys

Third Course
House Made Chestnut Pappardelle with Duck Confit and Wild Mushroom Ragu
2002 DePonte Cellars Pinot Noir

Fourth Course
Buffalo Tenderloin with Gorgonzola Butter
Fresh Green Beans
2000 Chappellet Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Lemon Sabayon-Pine Nut Tart with Honeyed Mascarpone Cream
1998 Vin Santo del Chianti

I'll write more about each of the menu items in future posts because there's no way either you or I have time to get into it all today.  Until then, I'll just say Bradleen's Kitchen kicked some serious culinary butt with this meal.


  1. Boy, did I enjoy reading this today. Never knew you were so funny, Kathleen. Is Chelsea rubbing off on you? Or is it Brad? Whomever or whatever the reason, keep it up! It's fun! ;) Di

  2. Thanks, Di, glad you enjoyed it! Little bit of Chelsea, little bit of Brad; stir to incorporate and bake until done. :)