DC is a pretty over-scheduled town. I am as guilty as the next with every weekend jam packed with plans, usually with several groups of friends at a time. However, every once and a while it’s nice to be able to sit down and just spend time one on one. It had been way too long since I had some quality time with my friend Ali so I had her over for a happy hour for two. By hosting at home you can really hear each other and not have to worry about hovering waiters or people trying to get your stools at the bar. We got together on a Friday night so I wasn’t going to have time to cook anything. This is what I like to call an assembled menu, where you just have to pick the best products, display them nicely and dive in!
First thing is first – wine. I picked a white and a red so we had options. You don’t need to be a wine expert to pick a good bottle. Easiest way is to pick your own house wine (feel free to steal mine from that post!) and have them on hand. Here since I bought a French baguette and French tarts I picked a nice Bordeaux and a light French white to compliment the spread. I wanted to have a little more than just a cheese board for this happy hour because there was a lot of gossip to catch up on – just wine plus cheese usually makes for a terrible next morning! I got a nice chunk of aged English cheddar and paired it with wheat biscuits, fig jam, sliced apples and green grapes.
I simply cannot ignore my love of goat cheese so I crumbled it up and put it in lovely, tender endive leaves. Drizzled with honey and sprinkled with crushed pink peppercorns these are the perfect one bite. Endive leaves is a nice way to keep your carbs in check and they make a lovely presentation.
Since I was saving calories with the endive I decided to grab a mini baguette and serve it with high quality olive oil for dipping. Don’t get too precious here – I just tore the baguette in half and then Ali and I could rip off what we wanted and dip away. To round out the selection I got some green marinated olives, peppadews and marcona almonds.
I always like to add a little something special to make my guests feel really pampered and these tiny adorable fruit tarts are just the ticket. I got these from Whole Foods but check your local bakery and grab what looks good. This was a great way to cap off the week and connect with my dear friend – I have included a shopping list below to make it even easier for you to have a little happy hour for two. Cheers!
Happy Hour For Two
- 1 bottle red wine and 1 bottle white wine
- large piece of cheddar or other hard cheese
- granny smith apples, thinly sliced
- large bunch of grapes
- crackers (I love these Bretons or Carr’s Water Crackers)
- fruit jam to pair with cheese (my fave is this fig jam)
- bread and olive oil for dipping
- 1 head of endive
- 2 to 3 ounces goat cheese
- honey and pepper (I used pink peppercorns but regular ground pepper is fine)
- olives and pickled peppers like Peppadews
- nuts – I used Spanish marcona almonds
- 2 single serve desserts like these fruit tarts
- some flowers for the table