summer food…a feast for the eyes

Lately, I haven’t had much time to invest in blogging. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been eating, obviously. Here are a few of my food memories from summer. And because pictures say more than my words can, here goes. … Continue reading

steak with onion blue cheese sauce

As I’ve said before, recipes speak to foodies.  And so do photos.  When I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman’s blog (the most ridiculously popular and tasty cooking blog ever), I set out my steaks to thaw and gathered the goods for making the sauce.

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The sauce may not be a thing of beauty in the pan, but when that flavor hits your tastebuds, it’s beautiful.  These few simple ingredients combine to make a silky smooth and intensely rich sauce that would also do well on a grilled or roasted chicken.  Although this shouldn’t be made ahead of time, it’s very simple and quick, easily made while chatting in the kitchen with dinner guests.  Beware of overcooking or the sauce may become pasty and sticky.

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Grilled Rib-eye Steak with Onion-Blue Cheese Sauce

from Pioneer Woman

  • 2 ribeye steaks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 very large yellow onion, sliced
  • 3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  1. Salt and pepper both sides of the steaks. Grill in 2 tablespoons butter until medium rare. [I used a propane grill instead of a grill pan.]
  2. Saute onions in 4 tablespoons butter over high heat.
  3. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until dark and caramelized.
  4. Reduce heat to simmer and pour in cream. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until reduced by half.
  5. Stir in blue cheese until melted.
  6. Serve steaks on generous portion of sauce.

french s’mores

As a back-to-school treat last week, I decided the kids would love to gather round the campfire (otherwise known as the propane grill) and make s’mores. They love toasting marshmallows.

But I just wasn’t excited about an ordinary graham cracker with sticky goo and slightly melted Hershey chocolate—again. We’ve kind of worn out the s’more thing this summer. So I had to dress it up, French style. I pulled chopped hazelnuts from the freezer, toasted them, then grabbed the Nutella from the pantry (a foodie staple) and fired up the grill. Here’s what we got:

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And I even had some converts along the way:

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Look at O’s intense devotion to her French s’more!

Now that’s amour.

clean-out-the-fridge pizza

A couple months back, I posted about grilled pizza. We love it and are constantly trying new toppings. After Gourmet Night, I had some leftover filling from preparing the entree, so after ignoring it in the fridge for a couple of days, we did this:

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The oohs and ahhs from the dinner table confirmed my suspicion: perfection. The Italian fontina cheese, salami, breadcrumbs, fresh parsley, and olive oil softened into an incredibly aromatic and inviting topping. For the other half, I drizzled olive oil over leftover mozzeralla and tomatoes. This combo satisfied all the foodies and cleaned out my refrigerator. The moral of the story: anything’s possible with a ball of dough.

For more great tips, click over to Works-For-Me-Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

no-repeat gourmet night

Being a foodie household, we have a few foodie friends. And when the foodie friends get together, you can bet we eat well.

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A few years ago, friends invited us to their summer dinner party. That tradition morphed into a semi-annual Gourmet Night. We usually pick a date and theme (last Fall it was “Tapas”), delegate the courses (appetizers, entrée, desserts, sides, etc.), then eat ourselves silly. This year, we came up with No-Repeat Gourmet Night. Translation: make something you’ve never made before. And instead of running screaming from the unknown, these dear friends dove head first into their projects. Here’s the menu:

Starters:

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Entrée and Sides

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Desserts

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That last photo is a real teaser, isn’t it? My darling daughter made that (I helped with the glaze). Stay tuned for a cheesecake post in the near future.

To see more cooking action from Gourmet Night, click over to Jennifer’s site. For more tips, check out Works-For-Me-Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

birthday week continues: the dinner

My brother and I cook for each other to celebrate our birthdays. And it’s always delicious. But this year, he and my sis-in-law outdid themselves. Not only was the meal tasty, the colors were incredible.

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Roasted vegetables

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Grilled watermelon with arugula and feta

Grilled pork tenderloin with spicy mole rub

Grilled pork tenderloin with spicy mole rub

Deviled eggs with fresh parsley

Deviled eggs with fresh parsley

Barefoot Contessa chocolate cake with espresso ganache

Barefoot Contessa chocolate cake with espresso ganache

Shiny happy people!

Happy hungry people ready to eat!

Enough said.

Grilled Watermelon Salad

adapted from Recipe Girl

  • 1 small seedless watermelon, cut into 8 slices (about 5 lbs.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 cups arugula, washed
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  1. Preheat grill.
  2. Brush watermelon slices with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill watermelon 1-2 minutes on each side.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss arugula with vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  4. To assemble, sprinkle each grilled watermelon slice with feta cheese. Top with arugula mixture.
  5. Serves 8.

Deviled Eggs with Fresh Parsley

from foodie plus 4

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika for garnish
  1. Gently boil eggs for 15 minutes. Drain, rinse, and cover with cold water. Set aside or refrigerate to cool.
  2. Crack and roll eggs on a paper towel to loosen the shells. Peel off the shells and rinse with cold water.
  3. Cut eggs in half lengthwise and pop yolks into a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mash completely with a fork (can be blended in a food processor if you like a smoother filling).
  4. Spoon in the filling and garnish with a sprinkle of sweet paprika. Chill until served. Makes 16 eggs.

Chocolate Ganache Cake (click for recipe)

from Barefoot Contessa Parties

grill anxiety disorder and grilled sesame-teriyaki chicken

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Grill Anxiety Disorder – I have it. It’s a sporadic case that only attacks me when I’m grilling fish or chicken. (Just ask my cousin’s husband – I interrogated him before letting him grill our chicken. He won’t ever let me forget it. But I’m not sorry – you can never be too careful.) In my defense, I have mastered all other things grilled (steaks, pizza, even peaches). But these two make me nervous – maybe it comes from a childhood where our burgers were big baseballs of meat that were brown on the outside and mooing on the inside? Who knows.

But the only way to conquer a fear is to face it. (Note about above photo: Notice that one chicken thigh that’s partially hidden under the legs – the one that’s black? I ate that one – just to be safe.)

Every month, Taste & Create has a brilliant event. Foodie bloggers are paired, then have a few weeks to cook and post about a recipe found on their partner’s blog. This is my first time joining in the fun, and my partner is Natalie from What’s for Supper?

There are many yummy recipes on Natalie’s site, but I knew I wanted to make a main dish. With the weather finally sunny up here in CT, I adapted this Sesame-Teriyaki Chicken for the grill. It was delicious – ALL of the little foodies and foodie husband loved it, so I’m glad I doubled the recipe. I added a bit more ginger and red pepper to give the chicken an extra kick and served it with sauteed sugar snap peas and warm bread.

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Sesame-Teriyaki Chicken

adapted from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed with a garlic press or minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds skinless chicken thighs (I also used drumsticks)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  1. Combine the soy sauce, sugar, sherry, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and add the chicken. Seal the bag and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator, turning once, for 1 hour or up to 4 hours.
  3. Heat the grill to medium high (about 425ºF). Brush the grill with some oil to prevent sticking (I use tongs and a wadded paper towel dipped in canola oil).
  4. Place chicken on the grill skin side down. Turn grill down to medium, and cook undisturbed for 8-10 minutes. Flip chicken over and cook for another 8-10 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads approximately 170ºF.
  5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.