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A Meal Fit for Foodie Friends

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I spent this past weekend with some friends at a beautiful property in Calistoga, drinking (too much) wine, playing Boys vs. Girls celebrity, and eating delicious homemade food. We split up the meals over the weekend, and I was in charge of dinner on Saturday night. With one vegetarian, two marathoners, a culinary school grad, and three slightly drunk men – all of whom are foodies – I had quite the meal to prepare. Fortunately, I was able to come up with something that pleased everyone!

Luckily, the sun came out for us all weekend.

Luckily, the sun came out for us all weekend.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms 

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 TB dried oregano
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 portobello mushrooms

Combine first 6 ingredients and whisk together until combined. Pour over mushrooms in a sealed container or ziploc bag and refrigerate for 2 hours. Grill over medium-high heat for 4 minutes on each side. 

Grilled Dijon Peppercorn Flank Steak (serves 8)

  • 2/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarsely crushed black peppercorns
  • 3-4 lbs flank steak

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Coat the steaks with the marinade, then transfer to a sealed ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature one hour before grilling. Grill over high heat for 5 minutes on each side. Let sit for 15 minutes, then slice against the grain and transfer to a serving platter.


Rosemary Potatoes (serves 8)

  • 6 medium yellow potatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 TB chopped rosemary
  • 1 TB chopped thyme
  • kosher salt and ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Toss potatoes with olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Spread in a single, even layer on a baking sheet (you will need two sheets) and bake for 25 minutes, tossing half way through.


Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad (serves 8)

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 TB Dijon mustard
  • 1 TB chopped shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 1/2 tsp
  • 2 large bunches of kale, chopped
  • 8 oz shaved Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino
  • 2 avocados, diced

Whisk together lemon juice, mustard, shallots, garlic, pepper and salt. Let sit for about an hour to let the flavors meld together. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a nonstick pan over a medium-low flame. Add almonds and sauté until toasted, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and wrap in tin foil to keep warm. Add the remaining oil to the lemon-Dijon mixture and whisk until combined into a smooth dressing. In a large salad bowl, combine kale, Brussels sprouts, almonds, Pecorino and avocados. Toss with dressing and serve.


These dishes went great together, and the overall meal had a very clean, warm feel to it. After a toast with sparkling Rosé (naturally), we served a 2006 Napa Cab and a 2008 Super Tuscan blend. Both were big, powerful wines that paired well with the herbaceous flavors. And best of all, I made all my hungry friends very happy!

About Kelsey

Kelsey is a food and wine lover residing in Napa, California, where she does marketing for a boutique wine collective. She previously lived in San Francisco for over six years, where her blogging journey began. She loves to cook seasonal meals and experiment with new wine pairings. She has been drinking and learning about wine with her father since she was 14, and cooking in the kitchen with her mother since she was 6. Both of her parents taught her well about seasoning and flavors, and she continues to learn more with every meal that is made.

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