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This was an almost silent week in the Knavis Knitchen.  Monday was Robin’s birthday and a work event for me.  We celebrated with Delfina Pizza take out and an arugula salad.  Tuesday was leftovers for me and a work event for Robin.  Wednesday was the opposite.  We had plans for Crispy Black Bean Tacos on Thursday but it was Taco Day at school.  I couldn’t do it.  Dinner out.  That quickly we got to the first silent week in the Knitchen.  I am off to Annie’s house to cook for her tomorrow night and then will get a plan for the following week.  No plan, no Knitchen.

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It all went wrong in the Knitchen yesterday.  No, I don’t blame Mikey for the whiffle ball to the head.  No, I don’t blame too many of Jer’s amazing pulled-pork sandwiches.  I don’t know what to blame.  Dinner simply went wrong.  Last week I purchased black-eyed peas because they were on sale at Whole Foods.  They should always be on sale.  They are gross.  Okay, I am sure there is a way they are good, but Robin does not eat pork and every “good” recipe had pork.  I gave up.  Simply quit dinner.  Got take out and watched Annie Hall.  Oh well.

The Knavisknitchen went on an extended trip to see all of our family over Christmas.  Don’t worry, the cooking did not stop!  We cooked pasta, pizza, and steak in Phoenix followed by more pizza in Maine.  It was so great to see our families.

Inspired by an amazing dinner at Locanda, recipes from Mario Batali’s cookbooks, and a conversation with our friend Taylor Black, we decided to go on with an Italian menu.

I saw a reference to the Ikea Tekla Dish Cloth on a design blog and these classic red striped dish towels felt Italian became our napkins.  The red stripe was repeated on the menu and seating cards.

Yes, seating cards.  With 27 people seated for dinner in three separate rooms, we wanted everyone to have a chance to mingle.  After each course we changed seats.  Robin and Erin puzzled over the seating and Joe chimed in best he could.

Solstizio d’Inverno 2011

Antipasti
Insalata Caprese Invernale (Winter Caprese Salad)
Olive con Pomodoro (Warmed Olives in Tomato Sauce)
Pizza Bianca con Cavolfiore (Pizza Bianca with Cauliflower)

Insalata

Aden/Meredith
Rucola, Mirtillo Rosso, e Pecorino (Arugula, Cranberries and Pecorino)

Main
Tre Polpette sulla Pasta al Forno (Three Meatballs and Baked Pasta)
o
Melanzane della Nonna (Grandmother’s Eggplant)

Dolce
Crostata di Mele (Apple Pie)
o
Rustica Torta di Pere (Rustic Pear Torte)
o
Amaretto e Cioccolato (Chocalate Mouse)