Sunday, July 31, 2011

Perfect Popovers and Perfect Night


Yesterday Sue called and invited us to dinner - and it was a welcome invitation!  Been super busy the last couple of days - with Kristina's wedding gown fitting, invitations, a bridal shower for another bride, etc. etc.

They made these popovers (same ones we had for book club) and this time I was given the recipe!  They seem rather imitating but Steve said they are just a little putzy and not so hard to make (OK Steve, I'm taking your word for it but might be calling you when I try them!!) 

I was also greeted with this fun cocktail called a Flirtini... I'll work on getting this recipe.  He chilled everything in the freezer before making - now that's a way a martini should be made.

Raspberry Vodka

Muddled fresh raspberries

The mixture - not sure yet what is in there

Topped off with some champagne

Cheers!


It was a great night - sitting outside, visiting and enjoying good food and drinks.  Thanks guys!!

Perfect Popovers Serves: 6 Calories: NA Recipe :
America’s Test Kitchen (and Steve Cyr)

Ingredients:
-Vegetable shortening
-3 large eggs
-2cups low-fat milk, heated 110 degrees
-3 tbls unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
-2 cups bread flour -1 tsp salt -1 tsp sugar

 Preparation:
1. Adjust oven to lower-middle rack position and heat to 450. Grease interior of a 6-cup popover pan with shortening then dust lightly with flour. Whisk eggs until light and foamy in medium bowl. Slowly whisk in milk and butter until fully incorporated.
2. Combine flour, salt and sugar in large bowl. Whisk ¾ of milk mixture into flour until no lumps remain, then whisk in remaining milk mixture. Transfer batter to large measuring cup, cover with plastic and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour (batter can also be refrigerated for 1 day – just bring to room temp before proceeding)
3. Whisk batter to recombine then pour evenly in popover pan (batter will not quite reach top of cups) bake until just brown – about 20 minutes. Without opening oven door, decrease oven temp to 300 degrees and bake until they are golden all over- 35-40 minutes longer. Poke a small hole on top of each popover with skewer and continue to bake until deep golden brown – about 10 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack, poke again and let cool 2 minutes. Turn out popovers and serve warm.

Notes:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rain Delay...


I had a plan tonight - work until about 4 then get groceries especially something for dinner.  The sky looked like it was about 9 at night but no rain (yet).  But by the time I walked to the ramp and drove out, it was absolutely coming down in buckets... the kind where you need the wipers on high and it still isn't good enough.  So had to nix the groceries because I just wanted to pull into the garage.

Luckily the magic freezer had something that I could use... some leftover sausage.  So I took these ingredients and turned it into a meal.  Peppers and basil from the garden too!


Prepping and cooking








I even took some string cheese and cut it into pieces - pretty resourceful, right :-)



After the pasta was done, mixed it all together and sprinkled with basil



Dinner is served


John gave it 3.5 stars.

Ironically, about 15 minutes after I got home, the rain completely stopped and the sun came back out!  I really need to get groceries - the magic freezer is running out of stuff to help me!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shrimp Scampi


I'm excited to share this dinner with you - it was one of those nights when I left work (and a Happy Hour with Julie and Jen!) that I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner.  I was pretty sure I had a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer and thought I could maybe grill that and serve with some rice and veggie... kind of like what I did last night minus the chicken.  So got home, found the shrimp, put it in some cold water to start thawing and then visions of sugarplums scampi danced in my head.  A quick google later this is the first recipe that popped up from Simply Recipes.  Luckily I had all the ingredients and prepared this dish.

The ingredients






Time to cook









Dinner is done and served over some angel hair pasta - super fast, super good!



John gave it 4+ stars and even ate the leftovers before it hit the refrigerator!


Shrimp Scampi Recipe
 • Prep time: 10 minutes
• Cook time: 5 minutes If you are using frozen shrimp, defrost them quickly and safely by putting the shrimp in a large bowl of ice water.

Ingredients
• 1 pound large (16-20 count) shrimp that is shelled and deveined
• 2 garlic cloves, slivered
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
 • 3 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
• 1/2 cup white wine
• 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh)

Preparation
1 Heat a sauté pan on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter melts, foams up and subsides, add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté for a minute, or until you see the edges of some of the garlic just beginning to brown.
 2 As soon as the garlic begins to brown, add the shrimp to the pan. Then add the white wine and stir to combine and coat the shrimp with the butter, oil, and wine. Spread the shrimp out in an even layer in the pan. Increase the heat to the highest setting and let the wine boil vigorously for 2-3 minutes.
 3 Turn the shrimp over, or toss them so the cooked sides are mostly facing up, and boil the wine for another minute. Remove from the heat, add the parsley and toss to combine. Add the lemon juice and black pepper. Serve over angel hair pasta Yield: Serves 4.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Detox Dinner

After a weekend of eating many of the foods we love out east (see previous post), I decided that we needed to curb some calories and eat something healthier but still tasty.  This meal was probably under 450 calories and easy to make.  I took chicken breasts, pounded them thin and added some spice to kick it up a notch - flavor without the calories



I also took a zucchini, kinda cubed it up and added a small amount of olive oil, freshly grated pepper and salt



Both the above items were grilled




The chicken was really moist - grilled on each side for about 3 1/2 minutes.
Dinner is done and served with about a cup of rice  (Uncle Ben's 90 second packet).


John said even though the meal was simple, he liked the flavors and gave it 3.5 stars.  Though I have a feeling I will be hungry in about an hour but I WILL resist from snacking!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Road Trip

Five days, over 2300 miles and we are back home. We traveled to NY for my dad's 80th birthday and also managed to throw in a surprise bridal shower for Kristina.  Everything went off without a hitch!  I hope to be back in the kitchen soon but here are a few pictures of what we experienced back east....

Kristina's surprise shower was held at a Tea House


Gotcha - Kristina was very surprised!



This was a delicious chicken salad with a cranberry-orange sauce

Berry Tart

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

Lemon Mousse Cake
Dad and Grandpa turns 80 -hope he doesn't mind his picture is here :-)

I'm thinking he looks pretty good for 80!



In the last hour we were in Endicott, we stopped at 3 food places - Lupo's Char Pit, Custard Corner and Roma's Bakery... so yes, the diet begins tomorrow!

This is a cheeseburger sub - has a delicious oil/vinegar sauce - love it!
The reason we go to Lupo's - spiedies!**
The best fries - served in a paper bag!


I had the baby cup of vanilla custard



Last stop - Roma's then time to hit the road and the 18 hour trip (done in 2 days!)

 I love going back "home" - to visit family and eat!!!!

**Here's tonight's history lesson on spiedies (click here)