Last night I had the pleasure of hosting a dinner for 10 people who are colleagues as well as new friends at the non-profit agency where I am now supervising the professional counseling services in Palm Desert. Catholic Charities is the organization I began working for in July, and we have a great team! The idea for this dinner was an opportunity to brainstorm possibilities for expanding services, networking, and using the strengths and energy of this group to help more people in our area. Our mission is to "provide help and create hope" through a variety of programs and services, 80% of them at no cost to families. Last year, Catholic Charities San Bernadino/Riverside provided vital social services to over 43,000 people. We provide professional counseling to families, couples and individuals, parenting and anger management groups, school counseling, emergency assistance, disaster relief, food and clothing distribution, help with immigration issues, and many more services. The needs are great and resources are available. It is exciting and energizing to be a part of getting people the help they need. My dinner guests were directors, administrators, therapists, program coordinators, marketing/PR experts, and even our CEO for Catholic Charities in San Bernadino-Riverside Counties was present.
Now, let's get to the FOOD!
We began with homemade taralli, mini-caprese, olives and cheese with honey and prosecco.
We were at two tables in the backyard. The appetizer course was a Sicilian fig stuffed with gorgonzola-pecan spread and drizzled with honey, sformato in a pool of pesto with shaved grand padano, and melon with prosciutto.
The "primo piatto" was crab lasagna. I forgot to take a photo, but you can see me making them here. We drank Pinot Grigio with the pasta.
We had refreshing lemon shells stuffed with honey-thyme-sorbet to cleanse our palates.
Our salad was spinach, fennel, red onion, and oranges with an orange vinegarette.
The entree was a pork roast stuffed with figs and gorgonzola with a port wine reduction. (I'll blog the step-by-step how to do it tomorrow.) Side dishes were cheesy sage polenta, and honey glazed carrots along with a Lamole Chianti Classico.
Fig-port reduction sauce:
Dessert! We found a little room left for this "All About Caramel Cake" with Salted Butter Gelato.
Here are my very happy and full guests!