Archives for posts with tag: food

Orzo Salad

Here’s one that I developed in college. This was a cry for something fresh and healthy… after eating cheese-steaks and mozzarella fries at 1:00 am for the umpteenth night in a row. Plus, if I made it in college you know it has to (a) be pretty inexpensive and (b) pretty easy. I suggest you try it. It remains¬†a hit in and out of college dorms.

ūüôā

1 and 1.5 cups of orzo cooked and cooled

1/2 red onion chopped in a small dice

1 seedless cucumber

1 large red bell pepper

1 cup of feta cheese

three count of extra-virgin olive oil

3-4 teaspoons of red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

mix together, chill in fridge

P.S. I love the taste of vinegar, and are a little¬†very heavy-handed with it. I suggest adding a little, tasting, then adding a little more if needed. That way you aren’t burning off your taste buds by adding too much.

P.P.S. Try pairing this with a fresh piece of fish or chicken kabob; or eat the whole bowl by yourself for lunch.

Advertisements

As promised, here are a few of the pictures from the Mother’s Day Tea Party. I must say we had a great time!

The FOOD:

This was probably the easiest party I have ever thrown. I put down my pride, and decided to purchase some pre-made items rather than cook¬†everything. Although, there wasn’t even that much to cook in the first place. Since the fare at a tea party is usually light and with minimal ingredients, I definitely recommend using a specialty store to purchase the food and not your typical grocery store.

*

Menu

shrimp cocktail

fried goat cheese 

tea sandwiches

scones

*

Tea Sandwiches

Chicken Salad- Simply add chicken salad to white bread. I actually cheated and used store-bought chicken salad. If you are going to take this route, please make sure it is a good quality chicken salad.

Cucumber Veg- Spread a good layer of vegetable cream cheese on two sides of rye bread. Add on thinly sliced cucumber.

Cucumber with Herb Cheese- Chop up some fresh mint and add to store-bought regular cream cheese. Spread a thin layer of the herb cheese on one side of pumpernickel bread. Add soft butter to the other side of the bread. Layer on thinly sliced cucumbers. This was the overall favorite of the day.

Tips: Freeze the bread before you assemble the sandwiches. Once assembled cut off all crust. Slice into four triangular bite size pieces.

Fried Goat Cheese

Slice goat cheese about 1/2 inch thick. Coat in flour, egg, and panko bread crumbs… much like you would make ¬†a chicken cutlet. Once the goat cheese pieces are all coated, place on a plate and in the fridge for up to an hour. Right before serving heat olive oil in a large saut√© pan. Once the oil is hot, fry the goat cheese- about 2 minutes on each side. Place on top of a salad of fancy greens dressed with a simple vinaigrette. For this salad I whisked together extra-virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and salt to taste.

The details.

The main focus of the table was the three tired cake stand which held most of the food. I also use this (once clean) as a jewelery stand. I had purchased vintage plates and vintage tea cups from a local consignment store. This kept cost down and style up! A spare pink sheet was a perfect fit for a table-cloth. I tied the points of the sheet into big knots which made a cleaner look. Table runner, votive holders, and turquoise vases were all things I had around the house. I also used small votive holders to hold the cocktail sauce and lemons for the shrimp.

The tea cups were a gift for each guest. I filled them with leftover paper grass from Easter and a variety of teas. 

Two old milk bottles were used to hold water and iced tea. Just to go a step further, I filled heart-shaped ice cube trays (on sale after Valentine’s day) with raspberries. This brought the iced tea to a whole new level!¬†

It’s funny how people seem to recreate the same menu year after year for holidays. At least that is the case in my family. Don’t get me wrong, I always look forward to my grandmother’s garlic mashed potatoes that are oh-so-good to be true, but for the most part there are the other side dishes that are just ‘ehh’ that are probably the only thing about your holiday that hasn’t been updated.

So here are a few ideas to replace your so 20 years ago side dishes with something a little more exciting!

I’m hungry already!

ASPARAGUS WITH PROSCIUTTO CHIPS

3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto

2 small bunches ( about 1 3/4 lbs) asparagus, trimmed

1 tablespoon of extra- virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Heat oven to 350. Place prosciutto in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until crisped, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain again and pat dry.

Cut asparagus into 2-inch pieces. Transfer to a bowl. Add the oil, salt, and pepper and toss. Break the prosciutto into pieces and sprinkle over the asparagus.

BROCCOLI AND GRUYERE GRATIN

2 large bunches of broccoli, roughly chopped

4 tablespoons of butter (1/2 stick)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups whole milk

2 cups grated Gruyere (8 ounces)

kosher salt and black pepper

Heat oven to 375f. Fill a large saucepan with 1/2 inch of water. Bring to a simmer. Add broccoli, cover, and steam until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes; transfer to a large bowl.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes (do not let it darken). Whisk in the milk and simmer unitl slightly thickened, 3 to f minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Toss with broccoli.

Transfer broccoli mixture to a shallow 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheese. Bake until bubbling and golden brown, 35-40 minutes. Let it sit 10 minutes before serving.

POTATO SALAD WITH GRAINY MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE

3 pounds potatoes (such as Yukon Gold), peeled and cut into 1inch cubes

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons of coarse-grain mustard

1 small bunch fresh tarragon, roughly chopped

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup basic vinaigrette

Place the potatoes and salt in a medium pot and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a serving dish.

Whisk together the vinaigrette and mustard in a small bowl. Pour half the mixture over the hot potatoes, toss, and let stand for 1 hour. Just before serving, drizzle the remaining vinaigrette mixture over the potatoes, add the tarragon and pepper, and toss.

SPRING PEA SALAD

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn

1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped

1 small shallot, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 pound green peas, blanched (if fresh) or thawed (if frozen)

1/2 cup (4 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

In a medium bowl, combine the mint, capers, shallot, zest, oil, salt, and pepper.

add the peas and goat cheese and toss gently. Serve at room temperature.

Thank you Realsimple.com for these delicious recipes!! ūüôā

This has been one of my spring/summer goto’s for about 8 years. I actually cooked this for my old boyfriend in high school. Such an awkward¬†experience. But the food was good!

Since there are so few ingredients, I suggest to go fresh! It will make all the difference.

Ingredients

1/2 lb of elbows (or any small pasta)

4 fresh vine tomatoes, chopped

1 lb fresh mozzarella, chopped or ripped

a medium bunch of fresh basil, torn

extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

How To

Bring large pot of water to boil and add a handful of salt. Add in pasta and cook until al dente

While pasta is cooking heat oil (about 2 tablespoons) in a large saute pan. Add in tomatoes and cook for about 3 minutes until tomatoes are somewhat soft. Add in mozzarella and basil. Cook another minute or so. Once pasta is finished in to sauce mixture. Serve with a little extra cheese and torn fresh basil.

This recipe serves about 3. My husband and myself finished it, although we each had about 3 bowls full. You can easily double it up however, it isn’t the best left-over.