Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 3rd Stuffed Pork loin

Hi Followers! Sorry we haven't been posting weekly, life has been a bit crazy (good crazy) for Christie. We do hope to be on track soon. Enjoy the following, we sure did.

Cocktail- Lemontini
I used a a bit of lemon curd with vodka and lemon juice. A nice fit for our next course

Appetizer - Zucchini ribbon Salad
Instead of the feta cheese we choose Parmesan which was also used in the pork stuffing. The dressing was so easy, olive oil, lemon and garlic. So delicious, it was a perfect complement to arugula and zucchini

Entree- Roasted Pork Loin Stuffed with Spinach and Prosciutto
The pork was done to perfection. For the sides we choose lightly breaded baked cauliflower and couldn't resist mashed potato's to go with the delicious gravy

 Desert Baked in-the-apple pies
OMG when I found these on Pinterest I couldn't wait to make them because they were so cute! I used a melon baller to clean out the apple which made it easy. Whats so nice about these is you can make them to your guest's taste, some sweeter than others because they are individual. Mine I used maple syrup. Delicious!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

September 29, 2013 - Steak and Figs

Hello, CS followers!  Happy to be back and put up a couple posts for you!  We found the most incredible recipe on Stew Leonard's website for a Strip Steak with roasted figs, and once those steaks went on sale, we knew it was a blog worthy meal!  Enjoy!

Cocktail - Fig & Gin Martini

You know us - add a sugared rim, and we're good to go!  Tart, delicious... a perfect start to the meal!

Appetizer - Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions and Figs

Ok, these pictures don't do it justice - but these baby Bries were the size of a quarter!  We then created our own fig-onion "jam" by sauteeing and reducing with wine and sugar and wrapped it all in puff pastry!  Delicious!  A perfect party appetizer... absolutely guaranteed to be a hit since they are perfect individual portions!

Appetizer Wine - 2010 Smith & Son Pinot Noir

Entree - Strip Steak with Roasted Figs

The recipe links don't work from this website, so just go to the Stew's website, look for recipes and you'll find it!  We paired it with roasted broccoli and made a potato gratin out of thinly sliced potatoes in muffin tins.  (Okay, those didn't turn out pretty, but they tasted good!)  The goat cheese on the steak paired with the sweet figs and savory caramelized onions.... OUT OF THIS WORLD!

Entree Wine - 2010 Bramere Malbec

Dessert - Fig Armagnac Souffle with Pistachio Creme Anglaise

Oh my gosh.  Divine.  The pistachio sauce was amazing and the souffle was light and flavorful and another great addition to our souffle collection!

Overall.... a fantastic meal to start the cold weather season!  Next post.. we had a fantastic guest over who picked her two ingredients - coconut and capers!

Next Week - Coconut and Capers

Saturday, September 7, 2013

John's Birthday Dinner - Game Night

Hello CS followers! This posting is a bit late but worth the wait. Sunday's dinner was for John's birthday and he wanted game meat, white chocolate and hazelnuts. We also added some other of his favorite flavors too. We out did ourselves on this dinner, every bite was fabulous

Cocktail-Suffering Bastard

Bourbon and Gin, who would think!  And with a name like Suffering Bastard we just had to try it. When tasting it your can't really figure out the ingredients, the gin becomes just a hint of a taste. It was really good and quite refreshing.

Appetizer - Gourmet Grilled Sausages
Venison Sausage w/ Blueberries and Merlot Wine
Wild Boar Sausage w/ Cranberries and Apple
Pheasant Sausage w/ Hazelnuts and Congnac Wine

So surprisingly good. I'm not a fan of sausages, but these were so different. The flavors... amazing, 
especially the pheasant which was the favorite. If your looking for specially meat this site has everything

We did add a few side sauces for dipping. Another favorite of Johns is rum raisin so we made a fun sauce, a little sweet but worked.
  • 1/4 cup raisins soaked in rum,1 tablespoon butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons water,1 teaspoon dark rum. Melt butter in small saucepan. Stir in sugar and water cook untill it's a thick syrup then add raisins. It's that easy and it would be great over a desert too.

Appetizer Wine

This  was a nice wine to go with the many flavors of the sausages, it had hints of cherry and  red plums, complex and a nice round finish.

Entree -EntrĂ©e:  Venison Loin w/ Spaetzle and Lingonberry Cognac Sauce

WOW! Christie and I knocked this out of the park. The Venison was done to perfection rare/medium and we were lucky enough to find frozen Lingonberrys at the local Scandinavian store, they're tart and juicy little gems, so glad we didn't have to settle with just the jam. The sauce was on the light side with tons of flavor which complemented the venison. And the chestnuts, yummm. Finishing up the dish was grilled asparagus which still had a little crunch and another favorite is the Spaetzle

Entree - Wine
This  was a gorgeous mid-weight wine that flows with the essence of red fruit, spices, herbs and tobacco. At first glance, this is deceptively medium-bodied, ethereal wine, but with air the wine gains volume and its inner sweetness emerges. The finish is long, sweet and refined. 

Desert - Hazelnut Torte with White Chocolate Whip Cream

YumYumYum, Every plate was clean. This was a traditional hazelnut torte, I did add white chocolate to the creamy center and then replaced the marzipan with fresh whip cream and melted white chocolate.

Another success.  John was very pleased with his dinner and Christie and I were delighted on how well everything came out. We'll be doing anther Venison night soon, with our friend Chef Glenn

Thanks for following us

Monday, September 2, 2013

August 25, 2013 Paella night

Hello, It's another hot weekend and we wanted to do something that wouldn't heat up the kitchen to much, so we decided to call up a few friends and make Paella. 

Cocktail - Honeydew Melontini

I love my juicer! This was so refreshing and delicious. 2 parts Honeydew Melon, 1 part Vodka, 1/2 part Midori liquor and 1 part sparkling water 

Appetizer - Vichyssoise

Superb! We'll make this more often, cold soups are so nice in the summer, it was smooth and not to rich. Give it plenty of time in your fridge to cool. If you can make it the day before it's even better

Spanish Sangria

Our guest brought this yummy beverage, the only thing she changed was added more peaches and omitted the raspberries. This went perfect with the entree

Entree - Paella

Delicious! having so many different kinds on sea food in one pot made the taste buds happy. We substituted our large saute pan and made a tin foil lid in place of a paella pan and it worked perfectly. If your using regular large peeled shrimp you can add them in for the last 5-8 minutes. This recipe feeds 4-6 people ( if you have 6 add a little more shell fish). The best part about this dish is that it's made in one pan so it's easy clean up

Desert - Brazo-de-gitano

A little dry but the flavor was good. The only thing we did differently was brushed the cake with a little rum  before we layered the rum whip cream. 

There you have it, another delicious meal with friends. Next week is John's birthday dinner....Game meat 


Mango, Avocado and Lobster

Hello Followers! Since Christie's computer is having issues, we've decided I would help out and do a few postings. My nephew Curtis turned 16 and he picked this delicious tropical theme.

Cocktail- Watermelon Mango Mojito

We made 2 batches, one with rum and the other we replaced the rum with Poland Mojito flavored water, both were equally delicious and we did also add Mango before muddling

Appetizer- Mango, Avocado and Shrimp Maki Rolls
and Crispy Edamame

The first couple of times I made Maki rolls, they looked a bit sad, but once you get the hang of it, they are so easy to make. Just be sure to add a lot of ingredients and not press to hard when rolling.

These were so good, but next time I would make sure the edamame was dry, ours was a bit wet from thawing out.

Black n Gold Sake

Full-bodied with hints of honeydew, papaya, anise and roasted nuts. Well balanced, finishes long and smooth

Dinner- Tropical Fruit, Avacado and Lobster Salad and Couscous

What a hit! the only thing we changed was substituting the shrimp for Lobster and thanks to Stew Leonards for $3.99 a pound Lobsters

Desert- Crepes

What's fun about crepes is you can add anything to them and we sure did. Not only did we have mango, pineapple and raspberry crepes but the birthday boy also wanted bacon and fresh ground peanut butter, don't knock it till you try it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 18, 2013 - Pistachios & Lychees

Okay, followers, I have a major apology to make.  First off, I realize that we have completely failed at our blogging duties this summer.  My first excuse is that my computer is about to die, and for some reason, it takes me 2 hours to do one blog post because it has some weird virus where it does not do capital letters and moves at the pace of a snail.  Secondly, I have totally embraced my new relationship and therefore have totally slacked on my cooking duties to spend my summers drinking vino on the deck and being all "in love."  However - he is Italian, and can cook, so I've picked up some pointers for future recipes.  With that being said, here was our most recent meal.

Cocktail - Lychee Martini

Vodka, lychee juice (from the can), and a little soda water.  Perfection!  A lychee is an Asian fruit that kind of looks like a peeled grape but is spectacularly sweet and delicious!  Buy the can, give it a shot, I promise you will not be disappointed!

Appetizer - Shrimp, Mango, and Avocado Salad with Sweet Chili Vinaigrette

Flavor explosion!  Most people think of Sriracha sauce when they think chili sauce.  (You know that bottle with the rooster on it.)  Sweet chili sauce is amazing.  No heat and fabulous flavor.  (I highly recommend even with grilled chicken.)  You can find it in the Asian aisle, sometimes even the Indian aisle.  Beautiful complement to the avocado and the mango - you will not regret making this!

Appetizer Wine - Nobilis Vinho Verde

This Portuguese white wine is such a fabulous summer wine!  It's aromatic and engaging with a slight effervescence and a fresh flavor.  (And under $5/bottle... give this a try!)

Entree - Pistachio Crusted Pork with Plum Sauce and Fried Leeks

First off, in case you are wondering what fried leeks taste like - they taste like onion strings - how have we not made these before??  Secondly, doesn't a pork tenderloin medallion look like a filet mignon?  Cooked to perfection, this was one of our best meals yet!  The pistachio crust is amazing and the plum sauce is not too sweet and the perfect topping for the bed of couscous we put it on.  You absolutely must try this dish, even if you're not accustomed to "exotic" flavors - this will change your mind!

Entree Wine - 2010 Monte Velho

We continue the meal with a Portuguese red which was equally as delicious as our first wine!  This super dark red opens with a smoky oak and black raspberry aroma.  On the palate, it is medium bodied, balanced, and smooth.  It has rich flavors of ripe fruit berries.  Fantastic. 

Dessert - Lychee and Coconut Sorbet with Mango and Lime

Putting that ice cream maker to good use!  This was divine!  The flavors were incredible and it was so refreshing!  Once again, if you haven't explored lychees, you must give this a shot!

So there you go, a fabulous Asian inspired meal that is out of this world!  Next week is a special meal - it's time for John's birthday dinner.  And what did he ask for this year?  Wild game.  You got it - wild game.  This is going to be epic!

Next Week - John's Birthday

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 21, 2013 - Vodka & Butterfingers

Yes, you read that correctly.  It was Jennifer's nephew, Nick's, 21st birthday, and that was what he requested.  Can you really make a meal centered around vodka and a candy bar?  Who are you kidding?  Us?  Of course we can!

Cocktail - Butterscotch Amaretto Martini

Vodka (obviously), butterscotch schnapps, amaretto, seltzer.  Lovely!  Nice and rich cocktail that wasn't too sweet.  And yes, there's a Butterfinger dropped in there!

Appetizer - Steak Bites with Bloody Mary Dipping Sauce

And what's the most common ingredient in a Bloody Mary?  You got it!  Vodka!  These were really tasty - the sauce reminded us of a cocktail sauce for shrimp because of the horseradish in it.  It was great with the steak and I'm sure would be great with other items.

Entree - Penne alla Vodka

You didn't really thing we'd make a vodka themed meal without my absolute favorite dish in the world, did you??  I found this recipe from a friend, and I must say its pretty delicious!  We followed it to a T and it was fabulous.  I do have to advise - follow the recipe!  I really feel that the sauteeing the pasta in butter, then adding the parmesan, then the sauce is somehow the secret to its success!

Entree Wine - 2009 Numanthia Termes

This Spanish red was vibrant and fruity with a great deep cherry color.  It had fresh fruity notes intertwined with a little tobacco and spice but was smooth on the palate with a clean finish.  A very nice red.

Dessert - Butterfinger Cheesecake Bites with a Butterfinger Martini

Yup.  Uh huh.  We made a cheesecake out of Butterfingers! And a dessert martini that tasted exactly like Butterfinger as well!  We followed the above recipe except replacing the candy bar type and then crushed candy bar around for presentation.  we followed the martini recipe exactly and served in shot glasses.  Fantastic dessert!  Fantastic cocktail!

So overall, a successful 21st birthday that had fun flavors and great company!  Happy birthday, Nick!  See you all next time.

Friday, July 19, 2013

July 14, 2014 - Pasta with Seafood

Good Morning, CS followers.  I apologize for the massive delay between posts.  It's totally my fault, too, but my schedule has just been hectic.  So here's a late post for you and if you check our other blog, I'll be posting another pasta recipe I attempted from a few days ago...  Anyways... you'll start to see a more Italian influence in some of our dishes and the main reason is because there may be a certain Italian man who I've been spending some time with.  (Italy, not Jersey Shore Italian, thank you very much.)  So he's been cooking a lot for me (spoiled girl) and in exchange, I've been trying my hand at some classic Italian dishes as well.  (FYI - my lasagna the other week, while delicious, was very American.)  Soooo... the other Sunday, we had John and Jenn over and he cooked!  Very basic, no appetizers or anything fancy, but a delicious meal!

Entree - Fettucine with Fresh Seafood

Fettucine.  Check.  Claims, mussels, lobsters cooked in a broth of fresh cherry tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, white wine.  Check.  Mix together, top with parsley.  Done.  Soooo simple!  But soooo delicious!  It really does depend on the freshness of your ingredients.  We added some grilled asparagus on the side, a little ciabatta bread and made a delicious dinner!

Entree Wine - D'Autrefois Rose de Pinot Noir

Made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes, this chilled rose was perfection on the side of the pasta.  Normally, we would have chosen the chardonnay route, but this wine was delicious!  There were fresh strawberry and cherry aromas with a pleasant acidity for good balance.  If you're still unsure about Rose wines, give this one a shot!

Dessert - Fresh Fruit and Gelato

Doesn't the fruit plate look beautiful?  Ok, let's move to the good stuff!!  If you've ever spent any time on this blog, you know that we pretty much die for salted caramel anything.  This gelato is INSANE!  First off, we've had the coconut one and that was delicious and the sea salt was the smoothest, creamiest, most flavorful ice cream I've ever had.  (My family has also had some of their other flavors and swears by them.)  So while this is not a paid advertisement, I'm hoping Talenti will hear my praise and send me cases of anything and everything!

So there was a quick blog post for you - sorry for the lack of fancy meals and creative cocktails.  It's summer, after all.  This coming weekend is special, though.  We've having Jennifer's nephew over for his 21st birthday!  And that means he got to pick the ingredients.  So what ingredients would you expect from a 21 year old??  Vodka and butterfingers, baby!

Next Week - Vodka and Butterfingers

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

June 30, 2013 - Chimmichurri

Good Morning, CS followers.  First and foremost - yes... we skipped last week.  For the first time in the history of this blog, we missed a week.  So I would like to apologize for that.  Summer has come (and if you're in the Northeast, it has been a disgusting, humid, and rainy start so far) and our schedules are a little out of whack.  So during this summer, you may see our posts on random days - perhaps a Monday we will cook or a Thursday... just bear with us.  We still promise to bring you fantastic meals!

So obviously all the stores have their fantastic 4th of July sales going on.  However, we are kind of sick of filet mignon and lobster.  (Really?!  Us?!)  So they also had skirt steak on sale and we figured to try out the classic South American chimmichurri sauce and create a lovely and light meal around that... enjoy!

Cocktail - Classic Mojito

You can never go wrong with mint, rum, and soda water!  Refreshing and delicious!

Appetizer - Stone Fruit Gazpacho with Scallops

Mmm hmm.  Summer staple right here!!!  A gazpacho made of fruit and it was delicious.  Big note, though.... we did not add any extra EVOO to the mix - the recipe asks for a cup.  (A cup?  Really??)  This was light, fresh, and had fantastic flavor!  An easy lunch for a girls' afternoon!  You must give it a shot!

Appetizer Wine - 2012 Conte Fini Valdadige Pinot Grigio

This Pinot Grigio is going to blow your mind.  Usually, Pinots are known to be very light and very basic - kind of the beginner's drinking wine.  This is almost like the training wheels to chardonnay.  It is dry and crisp with lively fruit flavors and almond undertones but has a nice hint of butter and oak on the finish.  Definitely a must try if you're still getting to learn your wines!

Entree - Skirt Steak with Chimmichurri

So we used skirt steak instead of flank steak, but delicious!  Upon initial smell of the sauce, you're thinking "wow, that's a lot of cilantro and garlic" but once its on the spiced steak - it's perfect!  A very nice, earthy flavor with a good mouth of spices and herbs!  What a fun way to jazz up a steak!

Side Dish - Grilled Corn Salad

What a perfect little side dish!  And so flexible!  We grilled up the corn, added tomatoes, scallions, romaine, and a can of Mexican corn (has the peppers in it.)  Perfect!  Another great lunch-type dish.

Final Plate

Entree Wine - 2005 Beronia Reserva Rioja

With 91 points and being one of Wine Spectators Top 100 Wines of 2010, you know that you can't go wrong with this wine.  (Especially being priced under $20!)  This sleek red has currant, licorice, and leather on the nose with bursting berries and orange peel with light but firm tannins.  An amazing drinking red and a perfect pairing to the steak!

Dessert - Watermelon Mint Ice Cream

Guess what new toy Jennifer got!  An ice cream maker!!!  Obviously the above doesn't quite look like ice cream, but it was taking too long and we were hungry - so it's more of a sorbet.  Delicious!  Like a mojito in your mouth!  We can't wait to experiment with this machine.

So there you go - a fantastic Argentinean inspired meal that is sure to please everyone!

Next Week - TBD