9/24/2017

Sunday Harvest/Dinner

Pin It

Blackened Shrimp

Cucumber Chive Salad
Tomato Basil Salad
Creamy Egg Salad
Rustic Toast Points

Peach Cobbler

I don't have a Sunday recipe to share, but I do have a couple of pictures.  It's been 90+ degrees here the past few days and my peach tree has been loving it! And so have I! We spent the morning, with the help from neighbors, harvesting our peach tree in our potager.  I know...peaches in Illinois?? This  variety, Reliance, was cultivated from The University of Minnesota. It can withstand our brutal cold winters.  It's perfect for canning, freezing, and making peach cobbler for dessert tonight😋🍑.





9/13/2017

Portillo's Chopped Salad

Pin It


A little over four weeks ago, I dropped off my first born child, Jack, to The University of Missouri. Man, oh man, was that ever tough.  I told my husband that it was a good thing that he was there because I would've had to stay in a hotel in Columbia for a week just to compose myself before driving home.  I think I lost 5 pounds in tears alone😭.  But on the bright side, the move-in went well, he was happy and excited, and I was going to see him in three weeks!!

So last weekend, my husband and I drove back down to Columbia to see our first SEC football game, Missouri Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks.  Woohoo! Actually, it was just an excuse to hug him one more time😉.  It was so much fun!!  Friday we took him out for Shakespeare's Pizza with his roommate and a friend. Their Panda Pepper pizza is the bomb!  Saturday we saw SEC Nation show live with Tim Tebow, then my husband and I headed over to Glenn's Café for some fried oysters and bloodies that were made with Absolut Peppar vodka. Yummy!  Then we walked and walked and walked some more.  Next, we met up with Jack again and my husband's cousin who was the former SID (sports information director) for the Gamecocks and then we might have had a few beers (Jack had a coke) while we were catching up on our lives.  Later that day we walked down Stadium Blvd. and watched South Carolina beat Mizzou 31-13.  Minus the score for the Mizzou fans, it was a beautiful day!  

But before we headed back down to Columbia, I asked Jack if there was anything he would like me to bring from home.  It was also his birthday weekend, so he most certainly asked for a batch of my cupcakes, but he also requested Italian beef and gravy from that quickly expanding American restaurant chain serving up Chicago-style foods, a.k.a Portillo's. You got it, babe! Since then, I have had Portillo's on my mind, but the weather has been unusually warm for me to sink my teeth into an Italian Beef. So I pulled out an old recipe for the Portillo's Chopped Salad to satisfy my craving.

This salad is a meal!  Pasta✓ Chicken✓ Bacon✓ Veggies✓ Greens✓ Cheese✓ Seriously, what more could you want?  Well, maybe a super yummy sweet Italian vinaigrette to bring it all together 😋.  Like most salads, it is also very versatile.  In my version, I marinate the chicken breast in some of the vinaigrette, then I grill the chicken for a nice charred flavor.  However,  you can simply sauté the chicken or you can leave it out all together and serve it as a side salad for a large crowd.  I also use Radicchio instead of red cabbage because I like the bitter taste of it with the sweet dressing.  You can also add as much or as little of the tomatoes and the pungent blue cheese to your liking.  Whatever your variation turns out to be, I guarantee it will be good.  This salad also keeps pretty well.  It was easy to pack for school/work lunches and it was very nice to come home to on my lunch break this week.


Back to the weekend...on Sunday, we took Jack out one more time for breakfast at The Broadway Diner.  I don't think it has ever taken me that long to eat breakfast.  I just didn't want the weekend to end and leave my baby.  He wanted to walk back to his dorm room, so we said good-bye in the parking lot and...yes, I cried again 😢.  But it wasn't as bad as the first time.  You see, I get to see him again in two and a half weeks!!  Doin' my happy dance! This is one of the few times I am more than happy to travel more than 8 hours for soccer games in Kansas City because we will drive right through Columbia and have dinner with our boy!

7/19/2017

Antipasto Pasta Salad

Pin It


So yeah...I kind of vanished from the food blogging radar once again.  I'll spare you the details of a nasty fall that I had at the end of May. It left me pretty banged up and bruised from my knees down. And by bruised, I mean a severe bone contusion in my right knee that left me immobile for a couple weeks until I had to push through the pain and gimp around The University of Missouri on crutches for Jack's freshman orientation.  Less than two weeks later, I was hobbling around the streets of Nashville to visit Vanderbilt University for Emma.  Since then,  I've been home, resting and recovering as much as I can before I have to leave for another road trip tomorrow.  Mabelle's U13 soccer team won their Midwest Regional soccer tournament and we are off to Indianapolis to watch them compete for The National Cup⚽️🏆. Woohoo! So as you can read, it has been a painful, but proud two months of not blogging.  Ok, that was a couple of details😉.

On to the food...pasta salad.  It's the quintessential summer bowl of goodness that can be made in advance to feed a large crowd all at once or to feed a busy family in shifts because everyone is constantly coming and going.  I swear one these days I am going to have revolving doors installed in the front and back of the house! Like most pasta salad recipes, the ingredients are flexible.  For instance, the original recipe called for 8-ounces each of sopressata and hot capicola (actually they called for salami, but we prefer hot capicola), however I only use 4-ounces of each because I think that is enough cured meat flavor.  I also dial back on the sharp provolone, but then toss in some fresh mozzarella pearls because my family loves that creamy texture. I even add quartered artichoke hearts and a little oregano to bulk up the finished product and flavor.  But the one step in the recipe that is definitely a keeper and really makes it stand out is when the mushrooms are sautéed in part of the vinaigrette.  They become tender and deeply marinated in those antipasto flavors.  Having said that, "Make it for you, make it your own."  Happy cooking!

5/21/2017

Sunday Dinner

Pin It

Shrimp Cocktail

White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Mousse with Raspberries


I needed a relatively easy-one-pot-main-dish Sunday dinner tonight.  You see, I am in a huge undertaking of transforming my garage and cooking for my son's high school graduation BBQ party that is being held next Sunday!  And by cooking, I am talking about 45 pounds of Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork, several quarts of Western Carolina Sauce and Mustard Sauce,  a massive amount of Stove-Top Baked Beans, and a bucket load of Classic Creamy Coleslaw for the main event.  Then there are the appetizers-- veggies and Ranch Dressing, Pimento Cheese, Sweet Onion Cheddar Spread And I can't leave out the sweet ending of 6 dozen of my super-duper awesome cupcakes (that's a whole 'nother story that some of you may or may not know about)!  I won't mention the yard work, house cleaning, decorating and Memorial Day soccer tournament.  I just collapsed on my laptop thinking about it.  So yeah, back to the easy Sunday dinner.  

Shrimp cocktail-- cooked tail-on shrimp and jazzed up ketchup. Easy peasy, right? Well, it can be if you buy the shrimp already cooked, but I like to take it one step further and cook the shrimp in a court bouillon (a.k.a fancy word for flavored water).  Taking that little extra step really adds a depth of flavor to the shrimp and the bonus is that it can be done the night before.  The sauce can also be made a week in advance.  That's perfect for me tonight!  

Apparently there is a BBQ theme going on this time of year or me😂!

5/10/2017

Quick Beef and Barley Soup

Pin It


My son and I were huddled up in my big comfy chair the other night watching Netflix when I  turned to him and asked the daily question..."Any dinner druthers for tomorrow night?"  Usually I get a smart response like--"Food" from him 🙄.  But this time he quickly responded, "Beef and barley soup would be nice."  Me--🤔

Normally, I would serve this soup in late October when the skies are grey and the air temperature is cool and crisp.  Well, guess what...the skies have been grey and the air temperature has been cool and crisp lately; not to mention the rain.  So it was the perfect time to pull out this recipe.  It's easy and I know everyone LOVES it!

The original recipe called for chicken broth--???, this is a beef soup, so I like to use a mixture of mainly beef broth and a little chicken broth.  I also add garlic because everything is better with garlic.  I use a slurry of a bit more chicken broth and cornstarch at the end of cooking to give the soup a little body.  Then I finish the soup with Worcestershire sauce for a deeper flavor, and red wine vinegar and fresh parsley to give it a bright and fresh taste.
  
Serve it with some warm baked Brown Soda Bread, and this is a soup you will enjoy all year long.

5/07/2017

Sunday Dinner

Pin It


(I really need to retake a picture of my roast chicken)



This is one of those Sunday's that I do not have a new recipe to share.  In fact, I have shared each and everyone of the recipes on our dinner menu tonight.  The menu is a variation of one of our favorite Sunday meals; chicken, potatoes, and a green salad.  The only thing that changes seasonally is the appetizer and dessert.  Although I don't have a new recipe to share, I do have something quite beautiful to share that I captured with my camera just a little bit ago.

My next door neighbor texted me that there was a Robin's nest in the peach tree in my fruit and vegetable garden.  I called to my children, grabbed my camera and flew up the stairs to my son's bedroom window.  We spotted the nest immediately and waited for to see if Momma bird came. Moments later, the most beautiful thing happened--a momma feeding her babies ❤️. Happy Spring Sunday!



5/05/2017

Cinco de Mayo Eats

Pin It

I apologize for the last minute round-up of Cinco de Mayo fare, but I think it is safe to say that many of you might need some last minute ideas, will be celebrating through out the weekend, or need some recipe inspirations to use up the leftovers.  All those good eats can be found below!

To Start Your Day (or the next morning😉)
To Start Your Evening


A Few Snacks and Condiments








Soups and Salad





The Main Event


(I can't find the picture so, just click on the link above to see the post)







Complimentary Sides
Homemade Flour Tortillas







5/04/2017

Piña Colada Cake

Pin It


Can't get to a tropical beach for an island getaway and a glass of the popular drink made with frozen pineapple, pineapple juice, coconut, cream, and rum?  Then... MAKE THIS CAKE! I already know how good this cake tastes, but boy oh boy, is the picture making me drool as I type and it's bringing back fond memories of taking that first bite this past Sunday (cue the ocean breeze).  However, you are going to probably take one look at the recipe and say, "Nope, not happening."  It is a long recipe that requires serval parts and steps, but I guarantee that It comes together fairly easily.

The filling is a cooked combination of pureed pineapple and rum (the alcohol is cooked out) that is thickened with cornstarch.  It can be made up to a day ahead (easy prep work).  The cake itself is a simple yellow cake that is made in a rather unconventional way.  Instead of creaming the butter and sugar first, the butter, sugar, and flour are blended together before adding the wet ingredients.  The frosting is a traditional confectioners' sugar buttercream flavored with a little more coconut.  The assembled cake is garnished with toasted coconut and thin slices of pineapple (that I did dry on paper towels so they would slide around on the top of the cake and make the frosting wet).


I just have one warning before you read the recipe.  There is a copious amount of butter in the cake and the frosting!  But, you are only eating a sliver or a slice (ok maybe two).  Just try not to think about it, don't tell you guests, and wait to feel the island breeze when you take that first bite.

Now, if upon reading the recipe and you still don't want to tackle it, here are some other tasty sweets for your Cinco de Mayo Fiesta!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...