Our friends are hosting a few parties to celebrate America's Cup held in San Francisco. They have an apartment on Russian Hill with a panoramic view of San Francisco that cannot be beat. From their living room they have a prime view of the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge to the west. The views sweep across the bay and city and then end with a view of the Oakland-Bay Bridge. As many times as I've been here, it still takes my breath away. In my opinion, the prettiest view of the prettiest city in the world. City views, ocean views, bay views and mountain views, all in one glance. I'm not kidding, breathtaking. Rene and Brian love to share their home and host many parties in the city. As if the vistas are not enough, the food and hospitality at their house is always unmatched.
|Top challenger Emirates Team New Zealand battles defending Oracle Team USA in front of Alcatraz Island.|
|Oracle Team USA easily wins the race this day.|
|From another window, a view of the bay bridge.|
|The Golden Gate Bridge.|
|Harvest Tomato and Onion Tart with Spinach Quiche.|
|Vintage wine tastings from Belle Epoque, Rene and Brian's small winery south of the city.|
|Dessert is served in the living room.|
I have to admit to being totally ignorant when it comes to yacht racing, but when it turned out that America's Cup was going to be held in San Francisco, I (along with most everyone I know) suddenly got yacht racing fever.
For Saturday's races, Rene and Brian invited about 20 people over for lunch. Drinks were in the kitchen, a fun tasting of different vintages of their own wines they produce in a small private vineyard south of the city. Lunch was served buffet style. Before we arrived Rene set out the food that didn't require refrigeration; fruit, nuts and vegetables. When the hot food was set out, it was time for everyone to fill their plate. Rene chose recipes that could be made in advance and cooked at the last minute. The quiche pastry and the filling was made the day before then filled and baked right before the guests arrived. The same with the rumaki and the crab dip. Both were assembled the day before and heated up at lunch time. Feeding 20 people takes careful planning, so cooking and prepping ahead of time really pays off. Rene pulled it off beautifully and was able to spend most of her time with her guests and very little time in the kitchen. When the hosts give the impression that giving a party is just about the easiest thing they can do, then they have done a very good job of pulling off a perfect party. They have certainly put a lot of work into it, but the guests are ignorant of it all.
Dessert was cookies. Rene said if someone offered to bring something she suggested cookies. Now about cookies, American's love cookies. A cookie buffet is about the best kind of dessert buffet I could ever think up. Or possibly a pie buffet. We do like our pies too. When I think of an American dessert I think of a cookie or a piece of pie. But for America's Cup, it's a cookie buffet for sure.
Cheese and Crackers
Assorted Fruits and Vegetables
Crab Dip with Toast Points
My husband kept on going back to the table for these delicious Curried Nuts. Rene found the recipe in the newspaper. I will definitely be making these. I'm also posting this on my recipe blog.