Friday, November 16, 2012

Open House Party

I have a fair amount of cooking to do in the next month or so.  I am thankful for the work and excited to try out a few new recipes!

Yesterday I provided food for Rob and his partners in their financial advisory firm.  They recently renovated and opened a new office and were having an open house for their clients.  I kept things pretty simple as we decided to keep the budget low. 

Three of the recipes were ones I'd found on pinterest, which is coincidental because Marg and Shay have started a pinterest recipe challenge! 

(If you're interested in any of the recipes, simply click on the highlighted name.)  

These shrimp and spanish chorizo bites were a new recipe (found on pinterest).  Marinated in sherry, red wine vinegar and spices, I grilled them instead of sauteing.  They were muy delicioso.  (I have no idea if this is a correct Spanish translation for "very delicious"!)

I'd found and made these tortellini skewers last year around this time.  For some reason, people love food on a stick and this doesn't disappoint!  

I didn't find this recipe on pinterest - but these are courtesy of the lovely Ina Garten.  Super easy and totally satisfying.  If you're looking for the perfect ending to a meal or party, these decadent dark chocolate truffles are the perfect bite. 

Lastly, these white chocolate truffles were also a find on pinterest.  I've started adding lemon zest into the mixture, but otherwise I follow the recipe as written.  Creamy, lemony and smooth, these are utterly addictive. 

I also made (but didn't photograph) baked spinach and artichoke dip with veggies, spicy molasses cookies, and shortbread.

I prepared a little bit each day this week, so when yesterday rolled around, my oven needed a good cleaning.  I decided to clean it while I worked in the kitchen.  Remind me never to do that again!  It was hot and smelly in my little kitchen.  Thankfully no one rang the doorbell yesterday morning, because this is what they would have seen! :)

Skinny jeans, high boots, a tank top and an apron.  Not so cute.  But way cuter than the spandex shorts I wore the day before! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Honorable Mentions

I've been cooking and taking some pictures with my camera, but nothing that I've made has really been worthy of a blog post.  Some of the things we've enjoyed have been delicious and some things have been a massive bust.

Tonight we enjoyed two favorites: smoky mountain chicken and roasted cauliflower

This focaccia was a bust.  I made it for Josh's soccer banquet and the recipe totally needed more salt.  It tasted fine with loads of butter, but what doesn't? 

I had made a large serving of mashed potatoes for the big storm and decided to serve it with chili (kind of a variation on a baked potato topped with chili).   Rob really liked it and I thought it was okay.  For some reason, I think the baked potato version has better flavor.

We enjoyed this pizza before trick-or-treating last week and while it was delicious, little about it was noteworthy.  One mention: Rob's brother husband gifted me with some dried poblanos to use and they were the perfect addition to a homemade pizza.  Just the right amount of zip. 

Speaking of trick-or-treating.....

I was hoping to have a picture of the cousins/neighbors in their costumes, but Malachi wasn't quite ready and neither is the baby-to-be-born.  Maybe next year! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Comforting Lunch

After two days of actual sun, we're back to grey skies here in southcentral Pennsylvania.  It's the day after the 2012 presidential election and I need some comforting. 

Enter this soup.  Is there anything more comforting than soup?  (actually, I'd have to go with sunlight, but work with me).  No one ever said that lentil soup was attractive, but I sure love it.  I could eat beans (or legumes) every day and never tire of them.  Typically I make my lentil soup with a ham bone, but I improvised today with some sliced ham sauteed in my pan with the veggies. 

Lentil Soup
1 medium carrot, chopped finely
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
2 T olive oil
2 cups fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups dried lentils (rinsed and sorted)
3 cups prepared chicken stock (or one ham bone and 3 cups water)

1.  Saute oil, carrot, onion, over medium heat for 2 minutes.  Add garlic and saute an additional minute.
2.  Add spinach and lentils and saute for 2 minutes.
3.  Add liquid, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes until lentils are tender. 
4.  Taste, and add seasoning as needed (my soup was perfect because of the prepared stock)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Secret.

I say this with a bit of tongue-in-cheek sensitivity.  I certainly don't purport to have the secret to a perfect marriage.  Anyone who knows Rob or I realizes that with the marriage of two first-borns, things are very intense.  We're either getting along great or not at all.  I personally love the extreme nature of our relationship.  It definitely alleviates boredom.  And, anyone who knows me realizes that sometimes I can be a little, well let's say, moody.  What I have in my arsenal, though, is powerful.

I can take simple ingredients and create something so delicious that he'll fall in love with me all over again. click here for the recipe to a happy husband (or happy anyone, for that matter)