We have had friends over for dinner a couple of times this month - a peaceful respite from the whirlwind of activity. It has been wonderful to spend time together, to just be able to sit and visit, to enjoy fabulous company, and simple food.
WHITE BEAN DIP
1 can white beans
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh sage
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Drain the beans, reserving about 1/4 cup of the liquid.
Puree all of the ingredients together in a food processor, adding more liquid if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve at room temperature with warm crusty bread.
VANILLA CHAMPAGNE CAKE
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup champagne
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup canola oil
5 cold eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350F.
Grease and flour a bundt pan, set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
Stir together champagne and sour cream.
In a large mixing bowl beat sugar, melted butter and oil with an electric mixer until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla extract. Beat for 3 to 5 minutes or until thicker and lighter in color.
Add one third of the flour mixture, mix on low just until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add half the wine mixture, beat just until combined. Repeat with one third of the flour mixture, the remaining wine mixture, and remaining flour mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Turn out on rack, cool completely. Drizzle with champagne glaze.
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of champagne. Stir in additional champagne, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach drizzling consistency.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorites, 2012 Cookbook
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