Sunday Dinner

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 Antipasto Mushrooms

Cannoli Tart

I'm not that thrilled about heading down south on I-65 again tomorrow morning (it's such a blah stretch of road). But, I am super excited to get my boots to Nashville for a couple of days! Scotty McCreery at the Grand Ole Opry-- here I comeđŸ€ !!

Since I am busy packing (not to mention taking pictures and blogging today), I needed a Sunday dinner menu that could be mostly made in advance.  I've already shared the recipes for Spuma di Tonno, Sunday Sugo, and the Country Bread (links are above).  Like the glazed carrots, I have lost count how many times I have had marinated Antipasto Mushrooms on an "Italian" menu.  So, it's time they, too, have their own little page in my recipe cachĂ© (and I've never made the tart before).

It might seem odd that the mushrooms are boiled for a few minutes, but this ensures that they are  cooked to retain their moisture before marinating in a bath of savory flavors like, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, shallot, thyme and oregano.  Kick up the flavor with a dash of crushed red pepper and...đŸ’„flavor explosion!  But don't relegate these mushrooms to the usual antipasto platter.  You can use them in salads, sliced in a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich, topped on a juicy burger, or just a little something extra on the side-- which is how we are enjoying them tonight.  Happy Sunday!


B-52 Cake

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I'm posting again!  But be warned because I'm headed to Cincinnati tomorrow for a weekend soccer tournament. So Sunday Dinner this week...will be a no show.  These days, if I'm not working, I'm visiting colleges or on the soccer fields somewhere in the Midwest.  And I thought blogging was going to be easier when my children were older.  Not!

I knew what a B-52 bomber was and I even knew of the band.  But a cake??  Had to do a little homework on that one.  Turns out there was a bartender that created a cocktail with these flavors after his favorite band (that iconic band whose name comes from the beehive hairdo that resembled the nose of said aircraft).  I don't know his reasoning behind layering KahlĂșa, Irish Cream, and Grand Marnier, but let's just say he hit it on the nose!  And the cake??  It's the BOMB!  Ok, I'll stop with the puns and let you enjoy the recipe.  

*Note- the alcohol in the recipe is cooked out.  If you don't keep these liqueurs around, just pick up a few mini bottles at the store.


Sunday Dinner

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Glazed Carrots

I've been absent for quite sometime, but the last three Sundays I have felt like a Phoenix rising from the ashes--cue the dramatic visual of regeneration! Since then, I have shared recipes for a savory salad, briny pickles, and now...a bowl or carrots??  I know, I know. I promise that the sugar is coming soon. But glazed carrots have made an appearance on countless Sunday menus and it is high time time for them to make their debut.  

These carrots are simple to prepare and can be made a couple of hours in advance and held at room temperature before reheating and serving.  Feel free to change up the herbs or seasoning according to your taste.  I love to use fresh thyme, but a fresh sprig of rosemary is an excellent essence when the carrots are served with roast pork or beef.  They are a sweet and tender companion to just about main dish.


Sunday Dinner

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Smoked Pimento Cheese with Bacon

Nashville-Style Hot Fried Chicken
Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

Lemonade Pound Cake

I have had fried chicken on the brain for quite sometime now.  And with a road trip to "the home of country music" right around the corner for a little culture, good eats and maybe a college tour of Vanderbilt University (I can't believe I'm getting ready to send my first born off to college this fall and my middle child to college next year đŸ˜©), I thought it would be fun to put a Tennessee twist on my go-to southern fried chicken recipe.  If there is something you need to know about that spicy, Nashville-style chicken, you serve it on a thick slice of white bread with...pickles.  

This recipe for pickles could not be any easier. You can make it well in advance (like a month in advance) and you don't have to mess with any canning or preserving.  They are briny, crunchy, and have just the right amount of sweetness.  Our favorite way to enjoy them is with a slice of aged white cheddar on top of a buttery cracker, but tonight...they are hanging out with the cluck and I couldn't be more excited!

*Note--Make sure you use the right variety of cucumber to achieve the best results.  This recipe calls for Kirby or pickling cucumbers.  They are smaller in size with fewer seeds than a traditional cucumber or English hothouse cucumber.

Homemade Refrigerator Pickles
makes about 1 quart

2 cups white distilled vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried dill 
5-6 kirby cucumbers, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, and dill in a large jar or container.  Place a lid tightly on the jar and shake vigorously until the sugar and salt have dissolved.  Add the sliced cucumber, pressing them tightly into the jar.  Place the lid on the jar, shake it well, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for at least 1 month.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Fresh Everyday, by Sara Foster

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