Saturday, December 31, 2016

Moroccan Champagne Cocktail - Caity


Well here we are, New Years Eve 2016! I'll spare you my recollection of all the things that happened to me this year (Brendan and I got married! Sorry, couldn't help myself!) and instead wish everyone a happy New Year and nothing but the best in 2017! 

Brendan and I are heading out to a fancy steak dinner tonight then home for some cocktails/mocktails and Settlers of Catan (ya, we're awesome) and Panna Cotta. I'm going to make a few of these Moroccan Champagne Cocktails because 1) they're easy 2) the orange and amaretto combine to make your cocktail taste like a sparkly winters evening 3) they're really good. If you happen to have these ingredients on hand, I encourage you to try this cocktail tonight! If not, make it a must NEXT YEAR (get it!?! It's New Years Eve!). This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks Melia Marden's "Modern Mediterranean". 

Happy New Years! Don't forget your Ozoni (Japanese New Year's Soup) tomorrow! 

Makes 1 Cocktail

One year ago: Boeuf Bourguignon 
Three years ago: Earl Grey Tea Cookies
Four years ago:  Panna CottaOzoni

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sweet Corn and Poblano Chowder - Caity


Brendan and I caught Rick Bayless Fever on Brendan's first trip to Chicago nearly two years ago. We visited his restaurant Xoco for lunch and ordered the Carnitas Caldo and a Choriqueso torta. I drool, even now, as I think about that meal! Unfortunately we haven't been back to Chicago since then. But last month we did find ourselves in the Chicago O'Hare Airport where conveniently Rick Bayless does have a restaurant. I ordered this Corn and Poblano Chowder to take on the plane and it was amazing! So amazing that even the men sitting on either side of me asked what I was eating and where they could get some. I was happy to find the recipe online even before the plane took off because I knew I needed to have this soup again soon. 

This Sweet Corn and Poblano Chowder makes a light meal or a great first course or you could dress it up with a couple grilled shrimp, scallops or chicken. 

Serves 4-6


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

End of Summer Ratatouille - Caity





The end of summer seems to have happened over the last week or two. It has brought cooler temperatures (thank god) and earlier evenings. The swimming pool doesn't open til 4 PM on weekdays (pffffff) and there are about a million "back to school" photos flooding my Facebook. Part of me is always sad that summer really is over and the other part of me is so excited for the fall!

 For the last several years, I've cooked an "End of Summer Ratatouille" to celebrate the end-of-summer produce while enjoying the fact that it's not too hot to turn on the stove. This tradition began for me, three years ago in Portland when my mom came to visit Brendan and I in late August. I was working nightshift at the time and I picked my mom up at the airport after work in the morning, went home and slept while she entertained herself. I woke up that evening to go to work and my wonderful mother had cleaned our house, picked our garden and packed me a gourmet lunch of Summer Zucchini Noodle Salad and Ratatouille served over Goat Cheese and Truffle Oil Polenta. Since then it has been an August/September staple in our house! 

If you aren't familiar with Ratatouille, it is a silky French stewed vegetable dish, usually served with dinner. It can have a reputation as rather fussy to make which is why I like this particular recipe which comes from The Kitchn. It doesn't involve any vegetable peeling. The peels go into the stew with all the rest. More fiber, less effort and extra delicious!  Serve as a side dish to chicken or fish, or as a main course over cous cous or polenta (my favorite way to make the polenta is with goat cheese and truffle oil stirred in at the end). 

Makes 8 to 10 servings (this recipe can be cut in half if you don't need so many servings!)


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Erin's Pasta Salad - Cathy



We haven't posted much lately on our blog, I'm afraid.  Not that this is an unusual thing for me, despite my best intentions but we've been especially busy for the last oh...year or so, planning a pretty big event in our family.


It was a stunningly beautiful and touching ceremony, and the most wonderful day and evening full of so many friends and family.  And now Caity is Mrs. Garlinghouse!
Well, we're finally catching our breath and now it's the dog days of summer...the time of year when I come in from picking the garden and lie down on the kitchen floor next to our dog to try to cool off.  I wonder if that's why they call it that? IT'S SO HOT!! I know it's that way in a lot of places all across the country.

If you're looking for a nice cool salad to serve this weekend, this is a longtime favorite of ours.  The original recipe came from our friend, Cindy Taylor Voss who is a wonderful cook.  We've always just called it Cindy's pasta salad, and it was an ever-popular staple at any of the get-togethers we had.  A few years ago I asked Erin to make it for a big family party, and she started going through my cupboards and fridge, adding a lot of things to the original recipe (look away Taylor boys!) and we were thrilled with the results.  We have been making it that way ever since, and so it has become Erin's pasta salad.

I can't recommend this salad highly enough; it is always devoured and in the off-chance you have some leftover it holds pretty well the next day.  Though we very rarely use any bottled salad dressing or mixes for things, this calls for Good Seasons Italian dressing mix--I'm not sure how to replace it, and anyway, why mess with success?

One thing about this recipe is that there are no exact measurements for the veggies.  I tried to put approximate amounts, but just add them to your taste and be generous. The more there are, the more colorful and tasty!


Serves 8-10
        
Five Years Ago: Kevin's Italian Beef, Porch Swing, Pan Con Tomate, Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad
Four Years Ago: Basil Saketini, Rice, Bean and Many Veggie Gratin
Three Years Ago: Quick and Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam, Zucchini and Haloumi Fritters, Grilled Cornbread Panzanella
Two Years Ago: Grilled Zucchini and Hummus Pizzas, Campfire Breakfast Burritos, Gina's Mom's Tart, Watermelon Popsicles
One Year Ago: Grilled Fava Beans, Grilled Tomato, Corn and Red Onion Salad, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad with Chipotle-Lime Dressing