A New York Times Potluck

One brand-new Formaggio Kitchen AnnexAmanda Hesser, Jody Adams, Joanne Chang, Barbara Lynch, Ana Sortun, and lots of homemade dishes from New York Times recipes made up my Friday night. Throw in great blogger friends, lots of laughs, and a little bit of bubbly, and you have a night to remember.

Red White Boston and Formaggio Kitchen brought food-lovers, bloggers, and the power elite of the Boston food world together to meet with Amanda Hesser and to celebrate the release of Hesser’s new book, The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century.

RSVP to the event required attendees to choose a dish that has appeared in the New York Times, in Hesser’s book or in a past New York Times cookbook, a task that gave us plenty of options which, in turn, became a little overwhelming for me. Because it is the holiday season, I decided on the     Corn Bread-Sausage Stuffing. Before heading to the event, I spent an afternoon in the kitchen, listening to Christmas music, enjoying the sounds and smells of the holidays as I made my stuffing.

corn muffins Corn Bread Stuffing

I did plan on making my own cornbread, but as I was unexpectedly away earlier in the week , I cheated a little by buying corn muffins. The day before I made the stuffing, I tore the muffins into quarters and left them uncovered so that they would get slightly stale. When it was time to get cookin’ I gathered all of my ingredients. I followed the recipe and actually doubled it for the crowd. The only changes I made were subbing walnuts for pecans and  spicy chicken sausage for pork sausage.

celery, onions, garlic

Corn Bread-Sausage Stuffing

Since the entire recipe is online, I won’t rehash the process here, but I will recommend this dish if you were looking for something with a little zing for your Thanksgiving table. You could always make it vegetarian by crumbling veggie  sausage patties into it!

With a hot pot of stuffing in my arms, I hopped on the train to Central Square where I met Alicia and then Megan to travel to the new Formaggio Kitchen Annex.

After a bit of driving, we arrived at the Annex, sort of tucked away on a side street amongst warehouses and dark parking lots.

The Annex, a spacious room with a huge cheese refrigerator and a massive stock of olives and other gourmet treats, will serve as the space for Formaggio Kitchen’s mail order business and will also host some classes.

Formaggio Kitchen Annex

Formaggio Kitchen

Formaggio Kitchen Annex

Formaggio Kitchen Annex

The Essential New York Times Cookbook

We arrived a little early which gave us a chance to check out the venue, catch up with Justin and Leah, and to meet Amanda Hesser in person before the crowds arrived. Despite her fame and accomplishments in the food-writing world, Amanda could not have been more lovely, gracious, and easy to talk to. Hours later, and after meeting over 50 people, she even remembered our names! It is always nice to find that someone you admire so much is not just talented but also a really nice person.

As the crowd trickled in, the tables lining the Annex walls filled with homemade treats made by attendees. Alicia made a Savory Bread Pudding, and our baker Megan made a Chocolate Pumpkin Layer Cake.

Savory Bread Pudding Chocolate Pumpkin Layer Cake

A table set up with wine, beer, and punch was busy all night long.


fruit punch

Items ranged from a variety of delicious dips to an amazing Moussaka (made by Jody Adams, we spied) to the Eggplant Involtini that we staked out after seeing Barbara Lynch put it on the table.

Blue Cheese Dip, Cucumber-Goat Cheese Dip, Florentine Dip Amanda Hesser potluck

It was a great night of meeting new people like the ladies from Just Add Cheese and catching up favorites like Kathy and Amy from Boston Sports Woman.


After a quick detour to Megan’s house to play with her adorable dog and to toast lots of exciting news with some Prosecco, we all headed to meet Megan’s fiancé at Trina’s Starlite Lounge.


All in all, it was an inspiring night filled with great foodies, food, and friends. For information on upcoming Red White Boston events, check out their website or sign up for their daily wine intel email!

Do you have a favorite classic recipe?

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Tags: Amanda Hesser, cookbooks, Food, New York Times, potluck

  1. Simply Life’s avatar

    wow! what a fun event!


  2. Katie’s avatar

    Wow! I probably would have passed out from excitement. What an event. Your stuffing looks awesome!


  3. Kerstin’s avatar

    What a cool superstar event! Glad you had fun :)


  4. Meesh’s avatar

    Great meeting you too! Fun event :D


  5. Grace’s avatar

    Oh wow! Meeting Amanda Hesser would be so neat. I love cookbooks, and being able to sample so many recipes in one place must have been fun.


  6. Kim’s avatar

    Why am I not surprised there is a wine glass in your hand? Haha.

    Looks like a fun and exciting event to be at. Glad you had a good time. Always fun to meet new people and get out for awhile to cool events like these.

    As for favorite recipe, probably my dad’s spaghetti, chili, or beef stew. Sure part of it comes in a package but it’s something that feels like home every time.


  7. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    That sounds like a fun night! My favorite classic recipe is mac and cheese.


  8. Belinda @zomppa’s avatar

    What a great evening!! Everything looks wonderful.


  9. Michelle’s avatar

    It sounds like it was such a fabulous evening. I can’t wait to see all you ladies tomorrow!


  10. Justin’s avatar

    Great recap, it was an awesome event. Great seeing you there!


  11. Kimmy’s avatar

    Looks like so much fun! I’m DYING to pick up that book :-)


  12. Daisy’s avatar

    Gosh I love red white boston. I knew I was going to be bummed I missed this night, you girls has so much fun. At least I get to see you tomorrow :)


  13. Kocinera’s avatar

    Looks like you had a great time! That cookbook looks awesome, too. I think I’ll have to drop some hints to Santa. :D


  14. Megan’s avatar

    I don’t even want to write a recap now. You’ve covered everything! It really was a wonderful evening, and it was so neat to be at a potluck with Amanda and our local chef celebs.


  15. Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear’s avatar

    Is that dip inside of those peppers? lovely idea and a delicious looking snack and dip plate!


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