girls' night in
It’s February, and that means one thing: Galentine’s Day. And in the winter just about the only thing we like better than hitting the town with our friends, is getting cozy and staying in with our friends. That’s why this month we have crafted a menu for your next Girls’ Night In (AKA Galentine’s Day — Leslie Knope forever!).
Whether you are into attention-gripping dramas, salacious reality television, or all of the glamorous award shows, there is something out there for everyone to watch. Made complete with a cheese board (what else did you expect?), personal pizzas, homemade caramel popcorn, and sparkling rosé.
We designed this menu to be easily customizable- you can make everything from scratch if that’s your jam, or buy a few pre-made items to make your life easier.
Snacky Cheese Board
This cheese board is especially snacky, which is ideal for your tv/movie night. We made Chrissy Teigen’s delicious onion dip, which was great for dipping pita chips and radishes. The asparagus wrapped in prosciutto is incredibly simple (those 2 simple ingredients, baked at 350 for about 15-20 minutes). For the cheese, we chose blue cheese, goat cheese, aged cheddar, and black pepper Bellavitano. We finished it off with cornichons, olives, prosciutto and spicy salami.
Personal Mini Pizzas
Do we even need to explain why pizza is a great choice for this occasion? We didn’t think so. We bought pizza dough from Trader Joe’s, rolled it out on a floured surface, and cut out individual-sized crusts with a large biscuit cutter. Then we stretched the crusts a little more until they were 4-5 inches in diameter. You can always be a superstar and make your own pizza dough, but we were tired from eating an entire cheeseboard.
Go ahead and bake the small crusts at 450° for 5-10 minutes, until they are solid crusts but still pale. You can do this before your guests arrive.
Set out all of your toppings so everyone can build their own pizza. Once assembled, put the pizzas back in the oven long enough to get the crust golden brown and the cheese all melty and gooey- about 8-10 minutes.
The toppings we included were: marinara sauce, pesto, shredded mozzarella, ricotta, pepperoni, prosciutto, arugula and basil.
salted caramel popcorn
We’ve made this salted caramel popcorn a few times, and it is always quickly devoured. Like instantly. Blink and you’ll miss it.
First, decide what kind of popcorn you are going to use. If you use microwave popcorn, plain will probably work best. We make popcorn the old school way: with regular kernels in a pot on the stove. It is cheaper, very simple, and you don’t have to worry about whatever funky chemicals they put in microwave popcorn.
Get a pot with a lid. Heat it on medium-high. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil - we used coconut oil. Then add 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels. Stir them all around to get coated in the oil. In a couple of minutes, the kernels will be popping like crazy. Once the popping calms down, remove pot from heat, and transfer popcorn to a large bowl.
*Before adding all of your kernels, you can do a trial run and only put in a couple of kernels at first.
And now for the best part:
the Salted Caramel
We got this recipe from Live Well Bake Often, and did not change a thing. Our only note is to be sure to add the cream verrrry slowly while you whisk. One of the batches we tried didn’t turn out well because we were too hasty with adding the cream.
After the caramel has cooled, drizzle it over your popcorn. Initially, it is pretty sticky, but if you let it sit out for a bit, the caramel will harden up. Or you could just eat the popcorn with a spoon, which we may or may not have done in a fit of impatience.
Because this night is all about quality time with friends, we decided to keep it simple with artisan chocolate bars for dessert. We suggest going to your local specialty foods market or Whole Foods. Some of our favorite brands are Theo and Mast.
Red, white, still, sparkling- there is no place for discrimination on Galentine’s Day. Our group of friends is really into natural wine, so we love a good Pét-Nat. The specific wine we had was Moussamoussettes.
If you are really in the mood to make cocktails, try our grapefruit gin spritz!