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