Tag Archives: entertaining

The Gang’s All Here

8 Aug

Another success!  We had a great mix of folks over to our house yesterday for some amazing food and all around good times.  At times like these, it really pays to be friends with so many foodies/pastry chefs.

Aside from the opportunity to do something nice for people we love, the best reason to have a party is so that the house gets “cleaned.”  By “cleaned,” I mean the area of the house intended to be seen.  So, for those of you who went upstairs or downstairs for any reason, I apologize for whatever you may have seen or stepped in.

Saturday night involved a little stopover at a friend’s BBQ, some tacos, and a final trip to the store.  Then came home to whip up my famous (according to me) caramelized onion dip and a salsa that sounded good in my head: pineapples, cilantro, habanero, etc.  I had been warned about the habanero part, so I decided to save it for last.  I gave the onions a rough chop in the food processor, then went to work on the pineapple.

I tried doing the pineapple in the food processor, also, but it came out… frothy?  Like a pina colada.  Which made me wish I had some rum, not some tortilla chips.  So I decided to chop the rest up with a knife.  Enter some cilantro and red bell pepper and I was ready to approch Mr. H.  Here he is, double-bagged, and then being severed by a masked bandit.
I didn’t have any gloves, and I read something about how the oils on these suckers can burn your skin.  Forget rubbing your eyes!  So I thought I just wouldn’t take any chances and popped some Ziploc baggies on my mits.  And yes, that is my husbands Miller High Life t-shirt.  No, you can’t have it.  Some taste testing was necessary once it was done, and Husband thought it needed jalapeno Tabasco, so we tossed some of that in there, squeezed a little lime, and let it fridge overnight.  It tasted even better the next day, and got pretty good reviews!  Another recipe: invented.  We’re changing lives, people.

The highlights were the cheesecake with blueberry sauce, the blueberry pie still warm from the oven (I know), the guacamole, and the chocolate muffins with peanut butter frosting and sugared bacon.  Frisbees were caught in trees, marshmallows were intended for projectile use only, and a good time was had by me.

The evidence has all been hidden, and since the vacuum is still out of the closet, I may even make today THE DAY that the other floors of the house are introduced to it.  But no promises.  And lastly, may I recommend to you all, if you want to have a Sunday bash, don’t work on Monday.  It’s my new favorite day of the week.



Kitchen Ninja

12 Jul

Yesterday was Day One of my Week of Good Things.  I’m going to be honest with you – I got a lot done.  First things first, I sat out on the back porch with a cup of coffee and read.  No, wait, that wasn’t even the first thing.  First, I MADE the coffee, then I lounged around with it.  Don’t leave, it gets more interesting.

Breakfast tacos were the first menu item yesterday.  Soft shell for him, hard shell for me.  Some scrambled eggs, cheese, and a buffet of taco toppings.  One of the best ideas I’ve had!  Super easy, and having to put it all together each time kept me eating slowly enough that I didn’t do that thing that horses do.

After that mess was cleaned up, I whipped up (with my helper) a breakfast bake that should get us through the week.  Today’s report: the wheat baguette we put in it this time is overwhelming.  No amount of Tillamook cheddar can quiet this bread.

Next, I took the 16 organic lemons that I bought over the weekend at Whole Foods and my life-changing Microplane zester and zested and zested into a gallon jug.  Well, into a funnel that was on top of the gallon jug.  Live and learn.

Then, once I coaxed the big zesty clog down into the jar (I used a chopstick), I poured in a 1.75 of decent vodka and corked it.  This will sit in my pantry for a few weeks until I get around to making some simple syrup to add to the mix.  It’s soooo much better than the stuff you can buy, and so much cheaper!  As soon as it’s done, I can get to the very important and not-to-be-taken-lightly task of inventing a new cocktail.  And yes, I’m wearing purple polka-dotted pants.

Next, I looked at the big bowl of now-naked lemons I had.  Those won’t keep!  So what did I do?  I made lemonade!  This would have been a LOT more fun if I owned a citrus reamer.  What I do own, though, is a set of matching thumbs.  So my thumbs and I got to work squeezing all 16 lemons into a big measuring cup.  3 cups of juice is what made it INTO the cup.  If you’ve ever squeezed 16 lemons with your thumbs, you know that a lot of juice ends up on you, on your work surface, and on the floor.  I recommend getting an audience (husband) for this process, it’s really enjoyable for them (him).

I’m just not convinced that you can dissolve granulated sugar effectively in lemon juice, so I made a simple syrup to sweeten things up.  I didn’t use nearly the proportion that my guideline recipe called for, and I still might have over-sweetened it.  I saved the rest of the syrup so that I’d have a little jar in my fridge, something I’ve been meaning to do for a while.  It’s a taco sauce jar, and even though I cleaned it out really well, the lid still smells like taco sauce.  So here’s hoping my simple syrup doesn’t taste like green chiles.

A short break was taken to go compare prices at the liquor stores in the area (research for our upcoming bbq), and to pick up some herbs that I fully intend to pot very soon.  I didn’t get to it yesterday, and today isn’t looking good either.  But they are by the window in their plastic bags, and I think they’ll be fine for a few days.

When we came back, I embarked on my final project for the day: red curry glazed salmon with bok choy and pineapple slaw.  A-mazing.  Recipes coming soon to a blog near you.  I got them from this month’s Real Simple, they had an article on 3-ingredient recipes.  I didn’t expect the flavors to be so interesting, but it was great!  I think I’ll keep these handy.  Bonus: 3-ingredient meals are cheaper than 17-ingredient meals. Plus I used some of the remaining cilantro to make a neat tequila drink.  Whatever helps me waste less, people.

Dinner is served.