Monday, August 22, 2011

what's for dinner, andrea hubbell?

There are pretty food blogs, and there are pretty food blogs. Andrea Hubbell's Bella Eats falls into the second category, living up to its name. Not only does she have a knack for curating recipes, Andrea is a professional photographer and stylist, and her talents shine through every luscious image on her site. Her work would not look out of place in any food magazine, which is one of those things that always amazes me about blogs--that there are so many talented people out there creating amazing things just for their own enjoyment. Andrea's got a way with baked goods (caution: don't click those links if you are hungry), but today she's talking dinner parties, menus and all things entertaining-related. Thanks, Andrea!

1. Name, occupation, and city

Andrea Hubbell, photographer and stylist in Charlottesville, VA, author of Bella Eats

2. When was the last time you threw a dinner party, and who was invited?
 
In May, we planned a fiesta to celebrate two dear friends who were expecting their first child. It was meant to be a backyard party, but rain kept all 24 of us inside and cozy for most of the evening. Carnitas tacos and dulce de leche cupcakes were the big hits on the menu.
3. What is the best menu you've ever made for company?
Christmas dinner 2009. Braised short ribs with pappardelle, roasted red onion halves, carrots from our garden glazed with white wine and sage, brussels sprouts with pancetta, home-made ciabatta. Vanilla pound cake with rum caramel sauce for dessert.

4. What's your preference: wine, beer, cocktails? 
Hmm, depends on the party! Typically wine, although we occasionally start with a special cocktail for the right company.

5. What's your favorite dinner party soundtrack? 
We’re big fans of Pandora, and will usually start a station with Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes, or Neko Case.
6. Some friends are coming over for a last-minute dinner. What do you make?
Grilled pork chops basted with herb butter. Goat cheese and heirloom tomato tart. Mixed greens salad. Berry cobbler for dessert.

7. Do you usually cook everything yourself, or do you have help?
I always take care of the dessert and my husband, Brian, typically cooks the protein. We share responsibility for starters and sides, and try to get as much done ahead of time as possible.

8. Do you ever buy store-bought food, or is everything on your table made from scratch?
Usually everything is home-made from scratch. We do buy high-quality bread and fresh pasta from local shops.

9. What do you like to serve for dessert?
Everything! I love to bake and have a massive sweet tooth, so I take advantage of having others over to experiment on something I wouldn’t make for only Brian and me. If I have time I’ll make a layer cake, and during the right season I’ll make berry and apple pies.
10. If you could invite anyone over for dinner (living or dead), who would it be?
Molly Wizenberg. I have a friend-crush on her...who doesn’t?

[Photo: Andrea Hubbell]

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