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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Brought to you courtesy of.........



The Red, White and Blue........


With less than a week left to pull together a gathering to usher in the summer, I thought I might share with you a few menu items I am considering for the big HELLO SUMMER/MEMORIAL DAY Weekend festivities and I'd like to ask you for your help s well!

Please help me decide which of these ideas and recipes I should try out.
If you haven't figured it out by now.....I am into recipes and menus and entertaining and feeding people. I truly treasure the moments when I can share this part of myself with the people I love. I can't change the economy, I can't stop the wars and I can't take away the pain and suffering in the world. But, I can feed and nourish the hearts and souls and bodies of those around me. And, give them a good time to remember.....

Cocktail Time!
Sometimes I like to do a signature cocktail to introduce my guests to something, to create an ambiance, to initiate a theme or just to make things a little more focused and less hectic. Other times, I do like the "open bar" type of offering.

Tom Collins?
Margaritas?
Mojitos?
Wine and beer?
Whatever they want?

Appetizer Time!
When I entertain guests, I believe in appetizers. It's a very integral part of the experience as far as I am concerned. As an added bonus--appetizers go perfect with cocktails! There's nothing finer than a before dinner cocktail and a few nibbles with my guests! It makes me happy and I'm hopeful it makes them happy. I know there's lots of people who disagree with me. That's okay. Personally, I consider entertaining an event--no matter how big or how small the group is--they are in my home, I want them to enjoy themselves! A little foodie foreplay is the best way to insure that...

Tray of roasted veggies/antipasti platter of excellent cheeses and quality Italian meats? Chips and salsa?

Strawberry and Brie Bruschetta
I have to be honest....I'm having a bit of a love affair with brie and fruit recipes lately....
  • 12 slices French bread
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) wedge Brie cheese, sliced
  • 2 pints strawberries, washed, stemmed, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vinaigrette

Preparation:

Spread the French bread with the butter and lightly toast. Remove from toaster and arrange cheese slices on the bread. Return to toaster oven.

When the cheese is melted, remove from toaster oven and arrange strawberry slices on the cheese. Drizzle each piece with the raspberry vinaigrette and serve immediately.


Drunken Watermelon Appetizer

Doesn't this just scream "HELLO SUMMER?"?

1/2 cup lime or lemon juice

1 tsp. tequila

2 Tbsp. honey

1/2 tsp. salt

dash white pepper

1/8 tsp. tabasco sauce

4 lbs. watermelon, cut into cubes and seeded

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients except watermelon in small bowl and stir to dissolve honey. Taste for seasoning, cover, and chill for 1-2 hours to blend flavors.

To serve, dip watermelon in juice mixture, then sprinkle with cheese and eat. Serves 10-12




The Salad Course
I'm known for my salads. Because I usually bring along one of my lettuce salad concoctions wherever I go, I try to offer something a bit different when entertaining at home.

Artichoke Salad
I found this recipe on someone's blog. Shame on me for not giving this blogger credit. But, when I lifted it a few weeks ago, I was so excited about the prospect of eating it that I scurried away....as if someone was going to catch me!

1-2 packages of thawed artichoke hearts - sliced thin
3 celery ribs - sliced thin
1/2 fennel bulb - again sliced thin
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano - you determine the amount
Salt and pepper to taste
a fistful of chopped (fresh) Italian parsley

Dressing:
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon


Dried Fig, Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad
Here's another recipe that I happened upon on either a website or blog. Again, I have to send out a huge apology for not knowing who to give the credit to! I was attracted to this recipe because I love arugula (if you don't love arugula, you might not want to try this one!)

  • 1/4 cup walnuts
    1 1/2 sprigs rosemary, stems discarded
    1 tablespoon honey
    2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon water 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon pepper
    4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
    6 ounces arugula
    6 white dried figs, stems removed
    4-6 tablespoons goat cheese
    Toast walnuts on a baking sheet in the oven at 300 degrees until they are just fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. In a food processor, or metal bowl, combine rosemary, honey, vinegar, water, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly blend in the oil. Combine arugula, figs and walnuts in a salad bowl. Give the dressing a final whisk and toss with salad and goat cheese.

    The Main Course
    Since this is a summer kick-off, it's only right that we grill something. With that thought in mind, I'm thinking about shish-kabobs. So many shish-kabobs.....so little time to decide!
    What's your favorite grilled food-on-a-stick recipe? SEND THEM NOW!!!

    The Sides
    This part of the meal has been decided....

    Grilled Corn on the Cobb with assorted flavored butters

    Grilled polenta with sweet Potato and corn relish


    The Dessert Course
    Here's an idea that I went ga-ga over when I saw it in June's Southern Living Magazine.....

    In a wine glass.....fill 1/4 of the way with Prosecco
    Place a purchased frozen fruit bar (with the stick facing out of the glass) into the glass
    Serve


    So, tell me....
    What should I serve in Judiland?
    Your vote matters to me!!!
    And, I can't wait to get your bestest and most secretest grilled shish-kabob recipes!



    In the spirit of community and celebration.......



    1 comment:

    Jody V said...

    Here's my vote!

    Artichoke salad all the way! Drunken watermelon appetizer was a close second!

    Cocktail time - I'm serving Brazilian Sangria! Let us know what you're making!

    Brazilian Sangria

    Chianti (you can use any red wine)
    Add 1 cup each per bottle of wine:
    triple sec
    cacha├ža
    2 cup cranberry juice
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1 sliced lime, lemon, orange, pear and apple

    Mix together and chill. Then enjoy!!