Browsing: Food Celebrations

Guest Blogger: Sis #3 & Spring Part 1

June14

Summer must be on the way because my friends have started to once again assemble on the K’s deck for delicious food and drink.  Last year’s monthly themes were various countries, but the kick off Happy Hour for 2010 was based on the theme of Spring.  What could be better.  The cocktails were light and refreshing, the fruit and veggies fresh and tasty.  Here are the recipes.

Spring Fever Cocktail
1-1/2 parts vodka
1/2 part Tuaca (vanilla & citrus liquor)
1 part mango juice concentrate
2-1/2 part lime juice (used limeade)
1-1/2 part  sprite
1 mango sliced
1 mango slice for garnish
 
Add all ingredients to pitcher and stir. Pour into a glass filled with ice.  Garnish with mango slice.

Fresh Fruit With Starry Strawberry Cream
Strawberry cream:
3/4  cup  sliced strawberries
1/2  cup  vanilla low-fat yogurt
1  tablespoon  1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1  teaspoon  fresh lemon juice1/2  teaspoon  powdered sugar

Place ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Cover and chill. Serve with fresh fruit

Kath’s quote:   The strawberry: “Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did.”-Dr William Butler, 17th century 

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

June8

I cleaned out my spice cupboard last night-yea!  I came across the Dean & Deluca  Jerk Rub that was given to us as a wedding favour.  We have friends who wed in Jamaica but assembled friends for a lovely brunch at The Gates upon their return.  Perhaps you know that my mind is like a long winding spaghetti noodle…..the discover prompted me to remember that I had been recently sent this delicious recipe by Granny’s Poultry.  Our plan is to try it the next sunny barbecue day.

2 kgs Chicken legs, back attached

2 T of olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

2-4 hot chili peppers chopped

2 bay leaves

3 bunches green onions., chopped

1 T ginger, chopped

1/4 c dark rum

2 T fresh limes juice

2 t salt

1 1/2 t ground allspice

2 t fresh thyme

Add all ingredients except chicken to a food processor and pulse until just finely chopped.  Prick the chicken pieces with the point of a knife and then rub with jerk marinade. *Skin may be removed first.  Cover and refrigerate for 4 -24 hours. Cook slowly over medium heat on the oiled grill of a barbecue for 45 minutes, turning once after 20 minutes. Chicken is done when the juices run clear or internal temperature reaches 170°F or 80°C.

For an extra hot marinate use Habanera or Scotch Bonnet chilies. For a milder version use Jalapeno chilies.

Recipe courtesy Chef Jason Wortzman of Granny’s Poultry.

Kath’s quote “Eating highly seasoned food is unhealthful, because it stimulates too much &  provokes the appetite too much.” -Catharine E. Beecher (1846)

Segovia-Part 1

June3

The dining style of grazing has always been part of our life from the little tastes that D & I would treat ourselves to when he was a hospitality student in Toronto,  to the beach picnics that we have had annually to celebrate our wedding anniversary, to the love that my family has of dim sum, cocktail parties and little plates served in front of the TV for the Superbowl and Academy Awards.  We love mini tastes of a variety of well-prepared food.  And so the stage was set when Joel, the server with so much charm, tried to explain to us that dining at Segovia was going to be different and unique.  In reality, we have desperately waited the arrival of a little plates restaurant  since our cherished Lux Sole and Tap and Grill both closed.

My office had been next door as we watched with interest as half brick walls were hammered down and new rooms and kitchen equipment was moved in.  I was so impressed that they maintained the original integrity of the old home and yet added elements of bleached drift wood hanging from the ceiling and very ambient lighting.  So many of my foodie friends beat me to the punch and have been enjoying Segovia since it opened this past winter.  When Daughter #1 and Neice #2 enjoyed a birthday dinner there recently, they declared that it would become my new favourite restaurant.

It was the only place that I wanted to go when we chatted about celebrating my upcoming birthday.  Was it worth the wait?  OMGoodness-yes.  But I guess you’ll have to wait for another time to hear the delicious details and see the photos.  Will it be worth your wait? OMGoodness –yes.


Segovia Tapas Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Kath’s quote: “Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”- Francois Minot

Layer Cake

June2

No its not what you are thinking.  I was recently gifted with a bottle of Italian Zinfandel called Layer Cake.  The giver indicated that he thought it was a perfect wine gift for a “foodie” like me.  Now of course I want to surround his offering with the perfect food pairings because for me it is not the wine that stands alone but the way the drink complements the food. 

 The fruit for Layer Cake Primitivo aka Zinfandel comes from head-trained old vines and is harvested in early September.  This is truly remarkable plant material in very old vineyards; some dating to Roman times. The soils in Manduria are red iron-rich clays with large calcareous rocks, shells and coral from ancient sea beds.  We’re talking ancient, gnarled baskets hugging the ground and rocks around them, ancient chariots buried underneath, lost civilization stuff.
 

DNA analysis shows Primitivo is genetically identical to Zinfandel.

The wine tastes of a balance of elegance and power; inky black fruit, spice and white pepper, jammy black cherries, plums, blackberry fruit, truffles, tar, and espresso. Warm and rich in the mouth with a creamy texture; the ripe fruit is well supported by the deep structure of the wine. Sit back and travel through time…Relax on a hot summer evening, the fountain in the background, church-bells in the distance.
 
100% Pure Old Vine Primitivo from Salento, the “Heel of the Boot” of Italy; specifically the area of Manduria.

Kath’s quote: ” He told me the soil in which the vines lived were a layer cake. He said, the wine, if properly made, was like a great layer cake, fruit, mocha, chocolate, and hints of spice — and rich, always rich.  ‘Never pass up a good Layer Cake,’ he would say.- A TRIBUTE TO JAYSON WOODBRIDGE

Unfair!

June1

The unusual cry upon tasting one of Sister #2’s appetizers was “That’s simply unfair!” (as the exclaimer reached for another one).

We were assembled for a cocktail party in my honour.  These had also been the hit at the recent cocktail party for my Mom.  The person making the pronouncement is my oldest friend (meaning for the most years) and a well known restaurateur in Winnipeg.  If they pass his taste test-they are perfection.  I’m guessing he found them hard to resist.

Asparagus and Parmesan Rolls

1/2 of a Pastry Sheet package  (1 sheet), thawed
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
12 spears asparagus  (about 1/2 pound), trimmed, cooked and drained
1 egg, beaten

Directions

Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir the cream cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, black pepper and garlic powder in a medium bowl until the mixture is smooth.

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12 x 9-inch rectangle. With the short side facing you, cut the rectangle in half lengthwise.

Spread about 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture on each rectangle to within 2 inches of the edge.  Divide the asparagus between the pastry rectangles.  Fold the long sides of the pastry over the filling and press to seal.  Place the rolls, seam-side down, onto a baking sheet.  Tuck the ends under to seal.  Brush the rolls with the egg.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown. Cool the rolls on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Serve warm.

Kath’s quote:  “One word, in this place, respecting asparagus. The young shoots of this plant, boiled, are the most unexceptionable form of greens with which I am acquainted.” –William Andrus Alcott (1846)


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