Happy Weekend All and a busy one it is! As some of you know and others don’t, I work at Annie’s, quite possibly the COOLEST organic food company ever. But, I might be a bit biased ;) Each year I get the chance to be our party plan and host our company wide Holiday Party.
This year the part was held at Frazier Winery. You might remember when I visited Frazier last year. This is probably my favorite winery in Napa because it is locally owned by one of the nicest families you will ever meet. Oh and it doesn’t hurt that their wine is pretty amazing too (even non-red wine drinkers LOVE it!)
The food was PHENOMENAL! I tried to stay true to our values when I selected our caterer so I really wanted someone who could bring delicious Organic, Local, SEASONAL and Sustainable eats. Chef Garrett Adair did such an AWESOME job working with me for two months on the food that I made sure I tried it all! I LOVE that he actually is just as crazy about being good to the earth as we all are. If only I could hire him to cook for me as my private chef, personal chef and caterer um, like every day, I seriously would! A girl can dream, right 🙂
Holiday party #1 was a HUGE success as I hinted at yesterday. But, not just because of the cool caves and delicious catering, but, because I did well with my eating goals too. I was able to enjoy everything I wanted, feel like I was on plan and left feeling satisfied, not stuffed.
I didn’t have time to eat before we left, so my eats for the day started out at the party. Since I have no clue on points+ values, I am not even going to estimate…..It may be right, it may be wrong, but, I feel like I kept everything in moderation which is what counts most in my book.
When you opened the big cave doors, you are in the “lobby” of the caves. I took pictures with the lights on, before we let candles be the ONLY light in the caves.
We had 2 olive trees decorated with holiday lights and candle pathways all along the walls.
The Chef built a Champagne Fountain. True story ~ I actually tried to “rent” a champagne fountain BEFORE he told me that he builds it ~ oops.
This is the point when my camera died 🙁 So all my pictures were taken with my phone and stole from my co-workers.
I totally want to do a champagne fountain at like every event now – It’s so cool! You pour the champagne at the top and it flows down to fill all the glasses.
This is the actual tasting room you taste in when you visit the Frazier Winery. We left it open during the cocktail party so people could wander about.
The Chef had 3 passed appetizers…I am not sure I can pick a favorite though because I LOVED them all. I had 1 of each.
Butternut Squash Pureed Soup Shots with Spiced Parmesan Wheels & Pomegranate Aerials– You could totally taste the fresh herbs in the soup…delicious!
Turkey & Cranberry Mascarpone cheese Sandwiches – LOVE!!! They had blueberries on top!
Spiced Rum Cake with Caramel Apple Balls ~ You know it’s a good party when they serve dessert as part of the appetizers 🙂
This is the walk way you take down the caves on your way to the tables…..here it is lit.
Then, dimmed when we only used candles to light the way. It looks so much better in person.
Frazier let us do a “wine tasting” at lunch…all wines were paired to match the foods being served.
The cave is actually 65 feet under ground. My favorite part is the rock wall in the back and the acoustics where you can hear everyone talking at the table in the front from the back 😀
We turned off the lights and let candles light the entire meal. My camera on my phone makes it look a lot darker than it was. We had hundreds of candles and chandelier candles everywhere.
The menus I made up…
The flowers that Frazier had on the tables for us were BEAUTIFUL.
Our first course was an AMAZING Winter Squash Salad…..it was so tender I even ate the rind like Kath does….there if a first for everything LOL. I also think I just might LOVE pancetta as much if not more than real bacon. Marisa I totally ate and LOVED the stinky cheese too ~ be proud! 🙂
Warm Winter Squash, Pancetta & Goat Cheese Salad ~ Winter squash roasted with fresh herbs on a bed of pancetta & balsamic sautéed chard, finished with Chevre goat cheese and local Sonoma Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I also had a slice of the seedy bread to help with the 2 glasses of wine I drank…
Stone ground mustard organic chicken breast with collard greens ~ sage, parsley, thyme sourdough bread pudding, chardonnay sautéed collard greens, stone ground honey mustard demi glace and a persimmon chip
I picked the chicken ~ OMG! I am not a bread pudding person at all, but, it was delicious….buttery, parmesan, herby, melt in your mouth good. I quite possibly could’ve eaten an entire plate of just that! The persimmon chip is on top!
I made sure my other two co-workers picked the other two entrees so we could all share. I had 2/3’s of my chicken and one bite of each of there’s.
Red Wine & Sage Flank Steak ~ sage, parsley, thyme sourdough bread pudding,crispy sage roasted rutabaga and a brown sugar, beef brandy demi-glace with a persimmon chip.
Wild Mushroom and Acorn Squash with Gastrique ~ Herb and caramelized onion and mushroom stuffed squash served with a pomegranate red wine and balsamic gastrique, sautéed chard.
I WISH I ordered this after one bite, but, I wouldn’t have wanted to give up that bread pudding though LOL.
I had planned on eating only a bite or two of dessert, but, honestly it was SO GOOD, I just HAD to have it all :D The chocolate was so smooth and creamy like a truffle, but, the chips on the top gave is a nice crunchy texture along with the smooth vanilla cream and caramel……..MMMMM!
Cardinal Sin Dark Chocolate Torte with Vanilla custard sauce and caramel
We had enough prizes that everyone received one. I won a $50 gift card to Hurley’s Restaurant!
We gave Trinchero Winery Annie’s Mac & Cheese for their holiday party and they hooked us up with a bottle of wine for EACH PERSON. 😀
Then, we gave all everyone an Annie’s Chico bag on their way out the door ~ Like I said, I LOVE Annie’s!!!
Good good, good times, good friends…..The only picture I took of me with the President on the left and the Chef on the right. I am pretty sure they are going to work together to come up with an awesome new product….Annie’s ~ Vegan Mac & Cheese anyone??
The Husband decided I shouldn’t cook so we headed out to Mary’s Pizza Shack for Dinner. Since lunch was heavier, I went on the lighter side.
Mary’s Salad with House Italian
Seriously ~ THE PERFECT day in my book 🙂 Holiday party # 2 won’t be as jazzy, but, it will be just as fun.
Off to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family~ I LOVE them!!!
See you all tomorrow for more fun my Holiday party #2 recap!