Sunday, May 24, 2009

Brian and Kim's Wedding--Food Recap

Brian and Kim met at a barbecue here at my house four years ago this August. They got married yesterday in a lovely ceremony, followed by a fabulous reception. There's lots to tell, but this is just the food aspect.

Their wedding featured something pretty cool, a cake table. In lieu of a wedding cake, Kim designed a table for specialty cakes from a local RI bakery. Brian cut and sanded all of the blocks that they used to raise the cakes, and they borrowed cake stands from family and friends. Pretty neat!

Here's a picture to show that the bride and groom actually got to eat! That's so rare at your own wedding, with all of the meeting and greeting going on!

Congrats again to Brian and Kim!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Did you ever notice that salad always tastes better in a restaurant? I've always said that if I could get it to be as fresh at home as say, Ruby Tuesday's salad bar, I would eat a lot more of it!

It's just Will and me for dinner tonight while Daddy works late. So I made us little cheeseburgers and frozen sweet potato fries. I had also bought a bag of coleslaw mix (just cabbage and carrots) and made the dressing according to the recipe on the bag. It was so fresh, I wanted more! Not at all wet and slimy like it can be when you buy it pre-made in the deli section of the supermarket. I'd definitely do that again.

We have been trying to be good and eat more salad with dinner. I used to be predominately a blue cheese dressing kind of girl, but lately I really like balsamic vineagrette and honey mustard. I'm also curious to sometime try to make my own dressing, I've heard that they're better-tasting than commercial brand.

Does anyone have any homemade dressing recipes that they'd like to share?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Flavors of Summer

One of my favorite summer things: a scoop of cookies n cream ice cream over a sliced banana. there anything better??

Marshmallows roasted over our outdoor fireplace and then squooshed into s'mores.

Grilled barbecue chicken. Sliced peaches. A tall glass of cold iced tea and kicking back after a long, hot day. Chicken caesar salad for dinner because it's too hot to cook. Oh yeah, that's the stuff!

Summer's not here just yet, but what are your favorites?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Here They Come....

I checked the garden last week, and of course the zucchini plants are sprouting. Those suckers could grow in sand, I swear!! I was a little disappointed that nothing else seemed to be coming up. Then Brian kindly showed me where the cucumbers are coming up, they're hiding in the weeds! I'm going to train the cucumber to grow on a trellis, in order to make some room. The sugarmelon appears to be doing nothing, but I refuse to be sad about it.

I also got some herb plants from my parents for Mother's Day, so today I put the mediterranean oregano and rosemary in containers. I also went a little crazy and planted some carrots, and I think I have a little room left over. The package of carrot seeds said that they're so easy to grow, they'll grow anywhere. My rocky little garden is going to put them to the test! We bought four (four!) different kinds of tomato plants, and I got them in the ground today as well. There's grape tomatoes, romas, "Big Boys" and "Early Girls." Oh Boy!

In case you couldn't tell, I'm loving having my own garden.....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Feeling Devilish

I am posting this because I know that a lot of people like Deviled Eggs. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. I've just never been a fan, hard-boiled eggs are on a short list of things that I just don't like. (Along with hummus, lamb, mint and lima beans.) So I make these mostly for Brian, who really likes them. He also likes egg salad, which I wouldn't eat even if my life depended on it! When I make egg salad, I call it "A Labor of Love." :)

These are really simple, and a good summery food for a cookout or a picnic. Be sure to keep them cold though, and not leave them out too long.

Start off with hard-boiled eggs, salt and pepper, a little chili powder, onion powder, mustard and mayonnaise. I really don't measure ingredients here, I just kind of throw them in a bowl until it looks good. (figuratively, not literally.) And you can make as many as you want. I had five eggs to use up, so it'll make ten deviled eggs. (I once made eight DOZEN deviled eggs for a potluck, I don't suggest doing that!!)

Crack the shells on the eggs by rolling them around on a cutting board. Then cut the egg in half, and scoop the yolks out and put the yolk in a bowl.

Add mayonnaise, mustard, chili powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to the yolks. Like I said, I don't measure. But try not to put a whole LOT of mayo in there, or the mixture will be gooshy.

Scoop the yolk mixture back into the egg halves. Sprinkle the halves with a little parsley for a punch of color. Then cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Voila!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Makin' Kabobs

We have an overabundance of kabob skewers in our house. Wooden, metal.....we have a plethora. So I soaked some long wooden ones (to keep them from catching fire during the grilling process) and we had a Chicken Kabob Night recently. They're really easy, and they can use up all that produce just sitting in the fridge. The chicken was marinated in italian dressing, and I chopped up baby red potatoes, green and yellow peppers and zucchini. The only thing I'd do differently is to parboil the potatoes first, just a little bit. They were really hard to skewer!

We love kabobs around here. Steak, pork, even shrimp and scallop! Alton Brown has an entire episode of "Good Eats" dedicated to kabob-making and someday I want to try to make his dessert kabobs! I'm sure that Brian will be on board with this. :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Kristen's Taco Dip

This taco dip is the recipe of Kristen, my soon-to-be SIL's sister. She made it for Kim's bachelorette party last week at my house. It's awesome! There wasn't any left when the party was over. I made it for a get-together last night that I didn't end up making it to, so I hope it holds for Mother's Day tomorrow! And Tostitos Scoops=best corn chip EVER!!

"Taco" Dip:
2 8oz packages of Philadelphia cream cheese (she likes to use use the 1/3 fat ones)
1 8oz jar of salsa
romaine lettuce (about 2 cups)
1 large red pepper
1 ½ medium to large tomatoes (I use tomato on the vine)
1 8oz package of shredded cheese (I use Sorrento Reduced Fat Mexican 4 cheese blend)

Ok, so here's how you make it. Leave the cream cheese outside of the fridge about ½ hr to get a little softer. Spread evenly on the bottom of the dish you're using with the back of a metal spoon. Put the whole jar of salsa on top and spread evenly. I chop up enough romaine lettuce to cover the salsa. You don't have to chop it up but it's harder to grab with the chips. Chop up red pepper into small pieces and sprinkle on top of the lettuce. Same thing with the tomato, chop and sprinkle. Last but not least, sprinkle cheese to cover the whole dish. If you choose to, you can put a little bit of sliced scallions on the cheese for color and flavor, but I didn't the night of the party. Now you can enjoy this wonderful dip with Tostitos Scoops!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Asian Chicken Burger Mess

Last night, we attempted an "Asian Chicken Burger" recipe. I immediately was drawn to it because the burger is topped with peanut sauce. And WE ALL KNOW how I feel about peanut sauce!!

The recipe called for putting 2 chicken breasts and five other ingredients (of which I can't remember) in a food processor. Well, my food processor is pretty small. Instead, I bought ground chicken, figuring that the end result is pretty much the same thing. Wrong!! The end result would not form into patties, it just slid off Brian's hands and gooshed in the bowl. It's already late, is there any way to salvage this?? Breadcrumbs!! I added a hearty pile of breadcrumbs to the bowl and Brian turned the mushy mix into four lovely patties for the grill. They held up during cooking, and made a pretty decent sandwich. Hooray!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Garden Expansion

I spent part of last Sunday planting this year's garden, and I'm so excited! So far, I have zucchini, cucumber, green peppers and....sugar melons! The grocery store called them "personal melons" and I think that's ridiculous. They're little baby watermelons, I couldn't resist them. I plan on adding 2 or 3 tomato plants to the mix, as well as an herb garden. However, after reviewing my space, I don't think I'm going to have room for that. So I am going to try to grow fennel, basil, oregano and parsley in containers. I haven't bought the containers yet, because I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for. But I have a vision!