Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Childrens' Menu

The following menu is great for a graduation or First Communion~
Menu 1
Brie and Mango Quesadillas
Confetti Bites
Fruit Kebobs
Asian Noodle Salad
Split BBQ ribs
Menu 2
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Roast Beef, Red Pepper, Spinach and Feta Sandwiches
Tomato, Goat Cheese and Basil Sandwiches
Baked Beans
Grilled Peaches with Blue Cheese and Lavender Honey
Tossed Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Menu 3
Mini burgers: Turkey Maple, Beef with/without cheddar and a pickle
Orzo Pasta Salad
Minted Sugar Fruit Salad with sliced green Grapes, Blackberries and Sliced Pineapple
That's a definite YUM!

Friday, April 16, 2010

little toasts

There is a difference between a bruschetta and crostini-
Bruschette is a crusty slice of bread/roll that has been grilled or baked. A crostini is an unbaked slice of bread/roll.
Here is a picture of my fresh Fig and Prosciutto Bruschetta.
Crostinis just haven't made it in here!

Baby Shower

The client supplied the decor. The menu:
Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
Chicken Tea Sandwiches
Cheddar and Chutney Tea sandwiches
Eggs Salad Tea Sandwiches
Scones -
Clotted Cream
Applesauce Cake
Lemon Tea Loaf
Mini Pink Cupcakes
Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Monday, April 12, 2010


Can HE cook!!! And take pics! parker, you're a genius. I'm so glad I'm your Mother! I have to share what you made. I might not have all the correct words, but it's skewered Pork with a molasse/mustard reduction AND Bacon Horseradish mashed potatoes. For Dessert, he made grilled peaches with molasses. I think the photo of the peaches is quite interesting!

Menu week

With our 5 boys, dinner was always a painful task; not enough time; ordering out was too $$$ so I started planning dinners for the boys. I recently found them so here is one week's menu:
Cheeseburger Pie
Creamed Spinach
Large bowl of strawberries

Skewered BBQ chicken Strips
Chunky mashed potatoes
Peanut Butter stuffed celery

Ravioli casserole
Hot buttered corn
Baked Italian bread
Orange cup filled with fruit and a simple syrup

Thursday night has always been a 'must go' nite.

Friday was always pizza night and still is.

Chicken Shepherd Pie
Celery/carrot sticks
Lime fluff- made with gelatin, whipped cream, pineapple and marshmallows

Turkey ( good for leftovers for the coming week)
French Fries

Imperial Hotel Sweet Cheese Dumplings

From my "Have to Try" file, I finally decided to try these dumplings last night. I'm partial to the Imperial Hotel in Vienna, Austria and after last night, with what I learned about making these, I really need to perfect them.
Source: Chef Stefan Hierzer
serves 4
Strawberry Puree
1 c fresh strawberries, hulled
1/4 c confectioners sugar

2 T unsalted butter
1 c dried breadcrumbs
1/4 c granulated sugar

2 c fresh bread crumbs
1 1/4 c Farmer's cheese ( may substitute ricotta; big pointer to be read at end of recipe!)
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp orange zest
1 vanilla bean
1 egg
pinch of salt
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 c rum
2 oz bittersweet chocolate
12 - 16 blueberries
4 strawberries, halved
4 mint leaves
confectioner's sugar for dusting

Make puree: Combine strawberries and confectioners sugar in a food processor and puree. Then push mixture through a sieve and set aside.
Make coating: Milt butter in medium saute pan and stir in breadcrumbs and sugar. Saute until golden and crispy. Set aside in a bowl/plate.
Dumplings: In a large bowl, mix the bread cubes, cheese and zests. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the tiny seeds into the mixture discard the pod ( or put pod in granulated sugar to make vanilla sugar). With a wooden spoon, stir in the egg, salt and sugar. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Bring large pot of water to boil and add 1/2 c rum. Form the dumplings into 2 inch balls and drop into boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. REmove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
* I used ricotta since I have so much ricotta here. But you really have to get the moisture out of the ricotta. Otherwise you'll get this:
To serve: Melt chocolate and either use a pastry bag or a small plastic bag and snip a tiny hole in one corner. Pipe a design on each dessert plate. Fill the design with the strawberry puree. Roll the dumplings in the coating mixture and place two or three dumplings on each plate. Garnish each plate with a few blueberries and split strawberry and a few raspberries and top with a mint leaf. Sprinkle dumplings with confectioners sugar. You'll see that I skipped a few garnishing steps!

OMG this looks so good! I found this Smitten Kitchen and it's adapted from Saveur.
Shakshuka [Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce]
Adapted from Saveur

Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup olive oil
5 Anaheim chiles or 3 jalapeƱos, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (I was nervous and only used 2 Anaheims; I would go for 3 or 4 next time for a more moderate but still gentle kick)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
Kosher salt, to taste
6 eggs
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Warm pitas, for serving

Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.

Put tomatoes and their liquid into a medium bowl and crush with your hands. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.

Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with pitas, for dipping.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Strawberry Menu

Derby Day has been a favorite time for me as I went to college in Bardstown, Kentucky. years later when I was married, I started having theme dinners and one of my favorites has always been a strawberry themed dinner. It is more of a challenge because strawberries typically are found only in salads and dessert. And beverages! My Derby Day dinner will carry through on a red theme in the other course but it does start with a Strawberry Daiquiri.
The rest of the menu looks like this:
Dates filled with chorizo, wrapped with bacon and baked till crispy
Strawberry Loaf with honey butter
Rice Pilaf with Pimento
Grilled Sirloin Steak
Arugula and Strawberry Salad
Chocolate Crepes with Strawberries and cream filling


I think these are interesting- maybe I'm just slow but to me, these are a new trend! But I have missesd blogging- been teachng so much.

What do you get when you cross a strawberry and a pineapple? A pineberry, of course.
This designer fruit -- a hybrid that looks like a white strawberry with red seeds, but which allegedly smells and tastes like a pineapple -- will be sold in 45 Waitrose supermarkets across the U.K. for the next five weeks while they're in season, ABC News reported.

About seven years ago the pineberry was taken from its native South America and grown commercially in glasshouses by the dutch, ABC reported. Like strawberries, they're green until they ripen, but instead of turning a deep, juicy red.
Seen on KitchenDaily blog.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

The day after EASTER


The chives, the mint, the Magnolias- everything is blooming weeks ahead of schedule and no one wants to give this up!
I wish I had taken picture of the foods I made for Easter Dinner. Being from Wisconsin, we used to always do Easter Dinner. But when I moved to Illinois, I was surprised to find out EVERYONE ( ok, the majority) do brunch. My husband and I often did brunch with the relatives if we were in town. When on Spring breaks with the boys, we always did brunch so we could get to the beach. So when we had brunch, I never knew what we were suppose to do the rest of the day....So yesterday we had dinner. Such a beautiful day~ Mass, then bloodies with good friends and a quick scamper home to fling open the doors/windows to let the warm breezes come in, get the boys to help clean the bathrooms, vacuum and finish up the dinner. I often used these family dinners to try out new recipes so I can them tweek them or make the adjustments. I made this gelatin recipe which I found on the Myrecipes. com site. I would definitely make changes- they were pretty on the table and beckoned one to check them out but they were really too stiff
I also made a puree of cauliflower ( so Atkins! ) and served a grilled, marinated lamb. We also had a side of potato patties, topped with chimichurra and goat cheese. A tossed salad with homemade French dressing and a multi seed dinner rolls made with Rhodes frozen rolls. Um! And the dessert my sister made, OMG! Now that was something to see and share. She made a chocolate torte with fresh strawberries.our water glasses had fresh cucumber slices- such a refreshing change!