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Tuesday, February 4, 2014


As difficult as it is, because of the proximity to Christmas and New Year, and the fact that my husband never wants for anything - I still always like to organize something special for my husbands birthday.
On occasion, a home cooked dinner, where he is able to do nothing but relax and visit with friends, and sometimes a night or two out of town.
This year we decided to go up to Bentonville for the night - close enough that we didn't spend all our time traveling, but far enough away that it felt like a get-away!
We booked a room at the 21C on the Bentonville square, and started with cocktails at the Hive - mine had a hint of lavender, my husbands was infused with house made jalapeño syrup.
We nibbled on hummus with aleppo pepper and strolled along the ground floor perusing the array of art work, that changes periodically, and was different from the last time we were there.
Walking to the other side of the square, we enjoyed sitting at the bar at Tavola (where a friend had recently caught a glimpse of Tom Cruise).

The bar at Tavola 
I indulged in a glass of sparkling rose wine, and we shared fried olives stuffed with gorgonzola and mascarpone, and peppadews stuffed with goat cheese and shrimp.

The peppadews stuffed with goat cheese and shrimp at Tavola
Then on to the least friendly bar/bartender of the evening at the Tusk and Trotter, although barely served with a smile, their award winning Peach Whiskey Manhattan was still delicious.

The Peach Whiskey Manhattan at Tusk and Trotter
The Tusk and Trotter
We ended the evening at The Pressroom, delighting in their Crostini topped with sunflower seed pesto, celery, chèvre, avocado and arugula.

The Crostini at the Pressroom
The next morning I was thrilled to be able to walk across the road for brunch at Crepes Paulette,  heavenly, fabulous and an absolutely adorable setting - and I was thrilled that it was warm enough to sit outside and enjoy their deliciousness, along with my husbands company, on the last day of the year.

Usually I am an absolute recipe follower, but we are snowed in right now, and I had to make do with what I had. There was only a little mascarpone left in the container, so I based the portions on that - plus, the kids were having playdates and there were lunches to be organized and cookies to be made, so I didn't take the time for exact measurements.


heaped tablespoon of gorgonzola
large spoonful of mascarpone
8 large green olives (remove the pimento or jalapeño or whatever they are stuffed with)
1 egg white, whisked

Heat oven to 400F.
Mix the gorgonzola and mascarpone, stuff into the olive cavity. Dip the olives into the egg white, then roll in breadcrumbs. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are crisp and golden.

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