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I get a secret thrill from creating the invitations, shopping for decorative accents, and thinking about who to invite.
Nothing is more titillating than planning the menu - unless it's the actual shopping. The suspense of shopping is a treat all its own. Will the price be right, the product fresh and lovely? Or will there need to be last minute substitutions because all the avocados are harder than my thick head?
Preparing the food can seem like a bit of a chore, but when the last plate is garnished and guests are tucking in to a beautiful plate, there is nothing better.
These days, however, I have less time for the DIY treatment. So, I've been looking for ways to save time, enjoy entertaining, and - of course - stay within my budget.
I decided to see what the folks at Fresh Direct could whip up for me on short notice for Father's Day. You might be inspired too.
And you can even order the wine too.
GRILLED FARM-RAISED SALMON $64.99/ea
served with lemon wedges, steamed asparagus and a dill cream sauce
BABY SPINACH & BLUE CHEESE SALAD BOWL $29.99/ea
BUTTER-GLAZED BABY CARROTS $5.99/ea
ALMOST PERFECT MASHED POTATOES $6.99/ea
CHANNING DAUGHTERS ROSATO DI CABERNET FRANC
CROTEAU FARM VINEYARD 2008 750 ml $18.99/ea
This North Fork Long Island vintage is a pale, copper-colored Cabernet Franc-based rosato, crafted with fruit from the Croteau family's dry-farmed vineyard The grapes are grown exclusively for this rosé
Appealing wild-strawberry aromas lead to supple textured berry fruit flavors and a luxuriously soft, lengthy finish.
CLASSIC TRIO CHEESE PLATE $79.99/ea
This platter is made up of Stilton, Ewephoria's sheep's milk gouda, and The Epoisse — a cheese famous for its rich, penetrating aroma and washed in Marc de Bourgogne, a fiery spirit made from the leftover pressings of Burgundy wine grapes. Accompanied by Nairn's oatcakes and a bounty of dried cherries, raisins, dried pears, walnuts, pecans and fresh grapes.
CHOCOLATE LOVERS' PLATTER approx 30 pcs $24.99/ea
Dense fudge brownies, rich double chocolate chunk cookies, creamy white and dark-chocolate chunk cookies, Bruce's chocolate rugelach, Asher's milk chocolate almond bark, Asher's dark chocolate almond bark and Asher's almond-butter crunch, finished with a garnish of fresh, sweet strawberries.
Pair with ALTHEA PROSECCO DI VALDOBBIADENE NV 750ml - $16.99/ea
Grand total: $303.89, plus delivery.
orry but you still have to do the dishes.
The Dalmore 1263 King Alexander III, matured to perfection, is a sublime fusion of malt where the whole is greater than its parts - kind of like Dad.
This whisky is the result of artistry and experimentation by Dalmore master distiller, Richard Paterson, who spent the 70s, 80s and 90s perfecting the fledgling spirit.
Paterson filled French cabernet sauvignon wine barriques, Mediterranean Madeira drums, Matusalem Sherry butts from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, Marsala barrels from Sicily, Port pipes from the Douro and sweet Bourbon barrels from Kentucky to start the artistic process of creating The Dalmore King Alexander III.
Commemorating the Mackenzie Clan founder’s selfless and heroic act of saving King Alexander III in 1263, the resulting whisky is a deep rich, mahogany color with a complex aroma of freshly cut flowers and exotic fruits.
The bold, smooth flavor can be attributed to one element - wood. The six different styles of casks especially selected and meticulously combined to produce this Royal Dram all combine to provide backbone and structure for this elegant whisky.
Aged Oloroso and Madeira provide display the warm flavors of crushed almonds and rich citrus fruits while the heavy Port and Marsala casks add hints of wild berries and fleshy ripe plums. Warm whispers of vanilla and creamy caramel from Bourbon barrels combine perfectly with the sensual elegance of the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Suggested retail for a 750ml bottle of The Dalmore 1263 King Alexander III is $200.
Cheers to Dad.
I don't think I've seen anything shinier and brighter or more fabulously functional than this Solaire Infrared Portable BBQ Grill, SOL-IR17B.
If Dad doesn't love it, you can always re-gift it to me.
At 19 pounds, it's not a featherweight, but it's still pretty portable and comes with a heavy-duty, double strapped carrying case with extra pockets to carry extra one-pound propane refill tanks. The 14,000 BTU infrared burner heats up in three minutes and cooks 50% faster than other grills.
Bring on the kebabs!