Arkansas Attorney General Party

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November 17, 2009

When cousin Benton Smith asked Jackie and I to host another fundraiser for Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, we gladly said yes. We hosted one in 2006 in our home but this one was to be held around the corner at Martin and Kara's fabulous home. We had a few more hosts for this party at Martin and Kara's which we needed. Their home was built in 1901, complete in 1903 and was restored in 2005-2007 featuring new porches, new roof, geothermal heating/cooling system, new kitchen, 4 new baths, new landscaping and the list goes on as they add new projects each year to the property.

It was a great party that was blessed with lots of wonderful dishes from the hosts. Kara made her infamous Onion Dip, it smelled so good baking in the oven, and was a hit. She also made a Pumpkin Roll featuring cream cheese, it was a perfect sweet for the season. Alexis, also known as a fab cook, brought her cheese ring with strawberry preserves and Ritz crackers. I brought a Chickpea Tapenade that was filled with citrus, cilantro, cumin and roasted peppers. The bomb of the evening was Jerre Fisher's "heavenly shrimp" and chicken salad. I am currently trying to get my paws on those recipes, four phone calls so far, but plan to share them. Jerre was awesome, bringing strawberries and cilantro to decorate and "pull together" the food table. Notice the cilantro on the tapenade...and her centerpiece with matching vases and flowers was a really sleek touch.

It was really great meeting Dustin's new wife, Bobbi. They are a splendid couple with three children, two of them are eight year old children like Chloe. Chloe played for hours with Dustin's daughter Emma Grace at Tom B's (Benton and Alexis' son) birthday party a few years ago. Chloe is a child that will warm up to new friends and pick up where she leaves off the next time they get together.

Now to the food at last night's party....

Chick-pea Tapenade (from Fresh, Lake Austin Spa cookbook)

3 T. olive oil
1/2 C. sliced onion
1 small red pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced or use 1-2oz. jar diced pimento, drained. I used a jarred red pepper
2 C. cooked chick-peas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained, 2 cans here
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 green olives, pitted
6 kalamata olives, pitted, my favorite olive in all the world
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced, I was glad that I still have these fresh from the garden
Grated zest and juice of an orange, lime and lemon, I didn't have the orange
2 T. chopped fresh parsley, I didn't have this
2 T. chopped cilantro, I used 4 T.
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. salt

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, plaice the remaining oil and the rest of the ingredients into a food processor, I use a blender. Pulse to coarsely chop the mixture. Transfer tapenade to a serving dish and serve with baked pita chips and vegetable sticks. I did the pitas and Melba toast rounds.

This was great, fresh and hearty...fabulous!!!

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