Lunch, Al Fresco
One of the many things I love about Italian food is that it looks as good as it tastes. For me, sometimes the process to create that beauty gets a little messy, but the final product is always worth it. Chip loves Italian food as much as I do, so I asked him to join me for a midday meal full of our favorites: creamy Chicken Florentine served on top of Angel Hair Pasta, and as a side, I’m making crispy, fried risotto balls—also known as Arancini.
For dessert, I’m recreating an old favorite: a twist on a classic Affogato. This is traditionally paired with espresso, but for this version, I’m brewing a batch of strong coffee and pouring that over the vanilla ice cream. In the early days of making our magazine, Magnolia Journal, when our team stayed late at the office and needed a quick pick-me-up, we’d make ourselves Affogatos with whatever ice cream we had on hand. This dessert, as simple as it is, always reminds me of those nights together, creating something that meant so much to each of us.
This meal reminds me that a lot of beauty can come from a little mess, and that improvisation and play is part of what makes cooking so fun.
tender, pan-fried chicken coated in a creamy, garlic spinach and white wine sauce
simple angel hair pasta tossed in butter, garlic, and fresh parsley
a flavorful, parmesan rice ball coated in breadcrumbs and fried to perfection—served hot with Jo’s homemade marinara sauce
strong brewed coffee poured over vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with chocolate shavings