Friday, April 30, 2010

Taste of Italy April 29, 2010

Last night Carol and I attended this and had a wonderful time. We were able to get a table on the upstairs patio and it was a beautiful evening (first rule of wine tastings at HEB.. get a table first and then guard it with your life!)

Savoring the World Series

This "walk around" style allows you to taste foods and wine from one of our favorite countries - Italy! Both the Head Wino and Chef have outdone themselves with this one. Martin has new wines in from Italy and Chef Curtis has come up with a phenomenal menu.

The menu is:
  • Antipaso – Mortadella, Salami, Prosciutto with Tomato Confit; Marinated Olives, & Grilled Bread
  • Tomato Salad with Fresh Mozzarella, Basil Seeds & Basil
  • Heirloom Tomato Soup with Parmesan Crackers, Basil Oil, & Lemon Yogurt
  • Seared Salmon with a Leek Risotto & Grilled Lemon Butter
  • Beef Short Rib Canelloni with Bolognese & Basil
  • Cheeses from Italy with Nuts, Dried Fruits, Honey & Ciabatta
  • Traditional Italian Rice Pudding
  • Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Syrup & Malted Whipped Cream
  • Biscotti & Amaretti
  • Pana Cotta

The wines are (may vary depending on availability):

  • Riondo Prosecco
  • Tiamo Pinot Grigio Veneto
  • Farnese Trebbianno d'Abbruzo
  • Bastianich Rosato Venezia
  • Palma Arc Salici Salentine
  • Primaterra Primitivo Sicilia
  • Tenuta di Montecucco Canaiolo Maremma
  • Il Santo Baroncini Tuscany

Monday, April 26, 2010

Salmon and berries (but not at the same time)

I went through my "to be cooked" files and found Salmon with Hoisin, Orange and Bok Choy. It is from Bon Appetit magazine and the first recipe I have made from the magazine. This recipe was so easy and so good! And I think very versatile as you could probably also use spinach rather than bok choy. And who does not love the ease of a foil packet?? I used parsley rather than cilantro but otherwise followed the recipe as is.

With summer here, I want to make desserts with fresh fruit. I found Very Berry Pie through the Tasty Kitchen blog. It was delicious! I used a pre-made pie crust and was happy I did. The "stars" of the recipe are the crumble top and the fruit and I did not even notice the bottom crust. There are no fresh cherries yet, and I could not find frozen ones, so I used strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. I also ended up using half fresh and half frozen fruit (I had frozen blueberries from last year's picking) and you could not tell at all.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 2010

This month's gathering was at Tonya's. I was not there (so sad!) but I wanted to post what the group cooked ! We are all getting older and our memories sometimes fail us....

Main Dish: North African Meatballs

Side Dish:

Couscous with Dried Dates

1 cup water
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped dried dates
1 cup quick-cooking couscous
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring the water, stock, and oil to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the dates followed by the couscous. Cover the pan tightly with a lid, remove from the heat, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Mary = appetizer

Carol = salad

Teresa = bread and wine

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring is in the air...

I am trying to be more seasonal in the desserts I am making now, so I pulled out all my recipes with fresh fruits and berries (peaches, blackberries, blue berries and strawberries).

This Free-form strawberry Cheesecake was super easy, tasty and refreshing. I had never used the ready-to-eat cheesecake filling and it was very good!

I also made these White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies. I only baked a few and froze the rest of the dough for anytime, fresh from the oven cookies! They are very good and with the oatmeal and pecans, I think some what healthy!