SELF-PANDERING

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When planning a dinner menu, our instinct is to anticipate guests’ likes and dislikes. Mr. Alpenglow can play that game, but it quickly grows tiresome. “Will Luisa enjoy grilled sardines with pickled fennel?” Pandering to others is a sign of youthful folly. Pandering to yourself is far better and wiser. The question, “What would be most appealing to me?” dictates each step of the meal. BAM BANG BOOM. The menu just rolls out, plump and juicy:

Classic Whiskey Sours
flavored with luxardo cherries

Chopped Chicken Liver Crostini
finished with reduced port and brandy 

Kale and Blood Orange Salad
smoked paprika croutons, toasted pumpkin seeds, honey

Lemon-Brined Fried Chicken
crispy yukon gold potatoes, chimichurri 

Homemade Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
salted pistachio shortbread crumbs, whipped cream

Salted Pistachio Shortbread 

2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup salted pistachios chopped
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Combine the butter, sugar, and flour. Add the pistachios. Roll out the dough into one or two logs. Freeze until firm. Cut into 1/4 inch slices and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown. Let cool.

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