Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Grove Park Inn Thanksgiving Buffet

Rather than cook on the mountain, we drove into Asheville and had the luxury of attending a Thanksgiving Buffet at a very special spot! The Grove Park Inn is absolutely incredible, from it's wonderful location high on a mountain overlooking Asheville to its amazing gardens and stone facade. I love historic hotels, they provide a glimpse into the "people side" of our great history.

The Buffet had amazing food, and so festively presented. I hope you will look through the Video, if it makes you hungry, try the recipe below. I am not sure it is the same but it tasted similar. This Cheese Log was voted the favorite by the Ladies, the Guys were mixed on a fav but all agreed the Corn Pudding was to die for (I had it for my dessert!)

If you go during this time, please allow time for what looked like a time honored tradition, hanging out in the lobby. This lobby is not any lobby, from it's massive hearth and rugged stone walls, it begs you to linger. We had a Bloody Mary and joined the festivities watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, it was a wonderful mix of young and old, all thankful to be sitting in this great place with family and friends.

Pecan and Cranberry Cheese Log

8 ounces cream cheese, softened (1 cup)

4 ounces blue cheese (1/2 cup)

2 ounces crumbled feta cheese, optional (about 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries (about 1 3/8 ounces)

About 3/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans

By hand or in a food processor, thoroughly combine cream cheese, blue cheese and feta, if using. Mix in cranberries by hand. Spoon cheese mixture onto plastic wrap; using the plastic wrap, form into a log about 8-inches long. Refrigerate until firm, then wrap in foil and freeze.

To serve: Unwrap from foil and defrost slightly in the refrigerator. Roll the log in the pecans and place on serving platter. Allow about 30 minutes for the cheese to warm to spreadable consistency before serving with crackers or crostini.

Wine pairing: Cream cheese mellows the salty, pungent bite of blue cheese. Add dried cranberries and Merlot becomes a logical pairing partner.

Makes 1 cheese log (about 8 inches by 2 1/2 inches)

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