Spoiled Rotten. That’s the words that best describe me after my recent excursion to Ninety Acres at Natirar. Before I carry myself back and away with the dining experience, I’ll let you know how I ended there. Natirar is a sprawling 500 acre property and estate in Peapack, NJ that houses a cooking school, farm, meetings and event space, and a fine dining restaurant, Ninety Acres. The property is the embodiment of countryside elegance. The restaurant is reserved for luxurious nights out with an expensive menu, extensive wine list, and elaborate farm to table fare. Previous to my most recent visit I had visited the restaurant one other time for a special birthday dinner date with my now husband. However; our friends know us all too well and more than one of our wedding guests thought to give us a gift card to this estate to use to enjoy the finer foods in life. We’ve managed to make it six whole months without finding the time to make a reservation. But, we had an empty weekend and we finally ceased the opportunity.
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The New Year is almost here and what better time to start fresh?! Part of me is sad that I no longer have the excuse of Christmas celebrations to stuff myself and indulge in gluttonous activities. However; the other half of me is excited to get back on track with my daily eating and exercising routines. I am going to resolve to be a little more conscious of what I am cooking throughout the week. Last year, leading up to the wedding I had become a pro at this activity. Unfortunately, I let the post-wedding bliss get to my head and my stomach a little too much this fall!
I’m keeping the holiday preparations theme going with another crowd pleasing recipe. In my family, the holidays are all about appetizers! On Christmas Eve we do an entire meal of just appetizers with our extended family. Essentially its one large cocktail hour with Christmas cookies to follow! Every year we have our standard recipes that must ALWAYS be present for it to be a Somers (My maiden name) holiday. While my mom’s cranberry meatballs and my uncle’s spicy calamari marinara never leave the list, I try to come up with inventive new ones each year to tack on to the menu. This year I’ll be bringing my stuffed mushrooms that I shared a few weeks back and today recipe, prosciutto and blue cheese wrapped pears.
Last month I scooted back down to Charlotte for a weekend to visit my bestie. I have a feeling it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship with the Queen City (As Charlotte is often referred to). For those of you looking to travel there, just check back every few months to find more reviews and travel tips. And for those of you reading from the Charlotte area looking for great spots to try out, I’m happy to share your city! If you missed out on my big foodie find from my September trip, here it is (Midwood Smoke House).
I’ve been doing a variety of meal delivery services in the past few months (More to come on these in another post). I originally ordered them because I got a great deal on the first week’s subscription and it took the brainwork out of cooking for half of the week. While the convenience is still a major contributing factor for why I continue, one of the other many benefits is cooking inspiration. I have have learned more about cooking techniques with specific ingredients. I have used recipe components in other ways that I thought to in the past. I have also worked on some recipes with ingredients I haven’t used at all in the past. Today’s recipe stems from one of those experiences.