cooking for two:
Easy Appetizers for a Winter Party!
Hosting a dinner party during the winter can have its fair share of challenges. Sourcing fresh and seasonal ingredients, at the top of that list. So we teamed up with All-Clad and R’el Dade and Marcus Lloyd of This Is The Place I Was Telling You About, to drum up easy appetizers, which you can whip up in no time. Enter two delicious recipes, sourced from the season’s best, loaded with flavor, and fit for a winter fete!
produced & styled by   Anna Kocharian
photography by  Michael Wiltbank
product by  All-Clad
talent:  R’el Dade and Marcus Lloyd
of This Is The Place I Was Telling You About


What do you love most about cooking together?

We are always creating and collaborating with each other – and when that extends to the kitchen, while we make something delicious to eat, it’s just a lot of fun.

What is one dish you always make when hosting a dinner party?

R’el: I have this strawberry cake recipe that I’m currently obsessed with! I’ve made it a couple of times now and it’s been a hit, so that’s my new go-to. Marcus is always crafting cocktails!

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What do you love most about cooking together?

Marcus: I’m sure the first dish I cooked for her was a quick eggs and bacon breakfast but I remember the first thoughtful dish was a crab cake Benedict that still stands the test of time!

R’el: It’s true, it really does! We’ve been dating for awhile now so I can’t quite remember, but I would say that it had to be a chicken dish. I experimented with chicken a lot back in the day.

My go-to dish/drink to make when guests are coming in an hour is..?

Marcus: My go-to drink when I have guests over is always a spicy margarita or an Old Fashioned. I always have Mezcal or Bourbon in stock, and I love introducing people to my favorites.

Butternut Squash Soup Shooters
  • 1 3-pound butternut squash, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup white onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup shallots, chopped
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the butternut squash halves face-down.
  2. Roast for 45 minutes or until the squash is soft to the touch.
  3. Once the squash has cooked, set it aside to cool for about 15 minutes, and gently peel off the skin. Spoon the roasted squash into a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or soup pot and add in the onions, shallots, garlic, and sage leaves. Saute for about 4-6 minutes.
  5. Add in the squash mixture and stock, and bring to a slow boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. After removing the mixture from the heat, allow it to cool. Then, working in batches, move through a food processor, adding in the nutmeg and thyme leaves.
  7. Once thoroughly processed, return to the saucepan and simmer before serving.
Mushroom Tartines
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup shallots, thinly sliced
  • ½ pound Chanterelles
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • goat cheese, for spreading
  • balsamic vinegar, to garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a heavy bottom skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the shallots and garlic, and saute until browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Gently stir in the mushrooms, and cook over medium high heat. Add in the sprigs of thyme and stir.
  3. Layer the bread slices with the goat cheese cheese and spoon the mushroom mixture on top.
  4. Garnish with balsamic vinegar, lightly salt and pepper, and serve.
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