April in my mind means two things: 1. Spring. 2. Home projects. We won’t discuss this first one…the second one is very exciting to me. By mid March ideas begin swirling around in my head of what needs to be done, what I want done, and what has to happen to convince Mike that it all needs to be done. Consequently mid March is typically when Mike begins to hide money from me.
Like every couple you have to prioritize your home improvement projects. When we moved in we focused a lot of effort on the rooms that were most lived in. The bedrooms were a slight after thought. Then I realized since our master was on the first floor it really is an extension of those living areas so I wanted to focus a lot of effort there. L was also seriously ready for a true big boy room so – let the vintage, online, antique, and hardware store shopping begin!
When it comes to the design process Mike has a fair amount of ideas. I pretend to listen but in my mind all I hear is ‘french country bed & breakfast’ so after a little while he backs off and lets me do my thing. Very kind and appreciated. With the room about 87% complete (chandelier went up tonight!) it’s time to have one of Mike’s favorite dinners to thank him for letting me do my thing and to celebrate the feeling the new room gives both of us. Very peaceful. Going along with the ‘theme’ of the room what better way to serve dinner than on a beautiful platter (thank you Kelly!) and eat a picnic in the room.
With an antipasto platter there really isn’t a recipe. I used to find preparing the platter rather overwhelming. I would go to the Italian speciality store and stare at the abundance of amazing cheese and meats and feel myself starting to sweat. I don’t do well with endless options so I decided to set some antipasto platter rules for myself. I found they produce a rather beautiful presentation.
Rule #1: Stick to two good cheeses. One of those, in my mind, should be a parmesan.
Rule #2: Stick to two good meats. One of those, in my mind, should be prosciutto. An imported one. Like great boots, this is no time to go domestic.
Rule #3: COLOR! This can be done in a variety of ways. I opt for 1 raw vegetable, typically radishes, since they are pretty. Then I roast two other vegetables in a 425 degree oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper for about 20 minutes. I lean towards brussel sprouts (I’m obsessed) and carrots as I love the sweetness that comes out in them from roasting. It cuts the salt of the meats and cheeses well.
Rule #4: A rocking bruschetta. Homemade is great. So is picking up a good container from your favorite Italian deli.
Rule #5: An antipasto platter would not be complete without some form of carbs. I prefer toasted baguettes with a drizzle of olive oil on them.
I like to serve the platter room temperature aside from the bruschetta which I like to keep very chilled. A good bottle of wine is also a must.
Picnic is optional.