Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pineapple Mojito

This is the last hurrah of summer.  Finally, cooler temperatures have arrived.  Just as soon as we get done drinking this mojito we will say good bye to summer.  Drink up!

Pineapple Mojito
Makes 1 drink

1/2 lime, quartered into wedges
6 chunks of fresh pineapple
5 mint leaves, plus 1 sprig for garnish
1 ounce simple syrup
Splash of club soda
2 ounces good quality rum
Crushed Ice 

Put the lime, pineapple and mint in a highball glass and muddle with the back of a spoon or muddler.  Add the rum, simple syrup, and club soda, stir vigorously.  Fill the glass with crushed ice and stir again.

Garnish with a pineapple wedge, lime and a sprig of mint.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Photo Submitted by Ken Bowie

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Prosciutto, Fresh Fig, and Manchego Sandwiches

Autumn has arrived and for many of us the weather remains warm with the possibility of still enjoying the bounty of the late summer's harvest.

Prosciutto and fresh figs are a traditional Italian flavor combination.  Here, along with Manchego cheese and jam they create a sweet and savory sandwich.

This is a light fresh sandwich that can be easily served up as an entree in less than 20 minutes.

Prosciutto, Fresh Fig, and Manchego Sandwiches
Makes 4 sandwiches
Recipe from Cooking Light

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
8 (3/4 ounce) slices Italian bread, toasted
1 cup baby arugula
2 ounces very thin slices prosciutto
2 ounces Manchego cheese, shaved (note: Manchego is a Spanish cheese similar to pecorino Romano which you can substitute).
8 fresh figs, cut into thin slices
2 tablespoons fig jam

1.  Spread 1 teaspoon mustard over 4 bread slices.  Arrange 1/4 cup arugula over each bread slice.  Divide prosciutto evenly over bread slices; top evenly with cheese and fig slices.  Spread 1-1/2 teaspoons jam over remaining 4 bread slices.  Top each serving with 1 bread slice, jam side down.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Joel's Famous Bagel French Toast

Joel is back!  He has once again agreed to gracefully indulge my blog with one of his family favorite recipes.  He has a unique way of sharing himself and his life, in a style that he can call all his own.  His home is filled with women.  A beautiful wife, and two beautiful identical pre-teen twin daughters, who no doubt keep him on his toes.

If you missed Joel's first guest post you can catch-up by clicking the link below.

A typical "WFD" (What's for Dinner?) conversation at the Greene House on any given evening goes something like this (excerpt from a recent email):

"Last night, I decided I wanted waffles with sliced strawberries for dinner.  Ran it by the family.  Jackie says, I'd prefer pancakes.  Haley says yes to pancakes, but wants them with banana in them.  Lindsay says I prefer waffles, but I'll go with pancakes if we can make them with banana and chocolate chip.  So, that's what "we"ended up with after I decided that I wanted waffles.  I don't like living in a democratic household."

This makes a really good weeknight meal.  My home life during the week is chaotic at best, getting a meal on the table that is fast and tasty is sometimes almost impossible. I plan on serving this up for dinner (Note: In fact, I am trying to figure as I am typing, if I have enough bagels in the refrigerator to serve up this dish tonight before soccer.)

Without further delay, here is Joel's infamous Bagel French Toast recipe.

Joel's Famous Bagel French Toast Recipe

This is a simple variation on an old classic, and very simple to make. Instead of regular bread, use bagels for your french toast. The tougher texture makes for a chewier and more tasty bite.  My girls only like plain bagels, but I prefer sesame myself (Oooh, mental note, next time try raisin bagels).

Tear your favorite bagels into small bite size pieces and throw them in a large mixing bowl.  This makes it easier to make sure that they brown evenly on all sides when cooking.

Mix one egg per bagel into a mixing bowl with a little bit of milk, a little vanilla, and cinnamon to taste.

Pour mixture over the bagels slowly, stirring the bagel bites as you pour to make sure that they all get coated evenly.

Put on griddle about 5 minutes or so, tossing them frequently so that they brown, but don't burn (although I prefer the burnt pieces as they do get crispy).

That's it.  Simple.  And it always get raves.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Krista Bjorn of Rambling Tart

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Everyday is Saturday

St. Mark's is a sleepy coastal fishing town located about 20 miles south of Tallahassee.  We have friends who have for years commuted to Tallahassee that have recently retired.  No more commutes, and everyday is Saturday.  They are beginning a new phase in their lives filled with excitement and anticipation.  We are excited for them too.

We recently enjoyed a meal with them on their beautiful patio.  I imagine that all their meals will be enjoyed this way.

It's no secret that the Knapp's like cocktails.  Our friends prepared a Pink Salty dog which is ideal for this coastal setting and the ambience of this summer evening.

Pink Salty Dog
Serves 1
Recipe from Martha Stewart and prepared by Becki Watson

Coarse salt for rim of glass
Grapefruit slice, for garnish
1/3 cup freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons vodka
1 tablespoon Campari liqueur, or grenadine
1 to 1/2 cup of ice cubes

Place salt in a saucer.  Moisten the rim of the glass with a grapefruit slice.  Dip rim in salt.  Combine juice and vodka with Campari or grenadine in the jar of a blender; with the motor running, add ice until fully incorporated and slushy.  Pour into prepared glass.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Best-Ever Caramel Cake

This cake is amazing.  The cake layers are easy to prepare and came out perfect. The frosting well it takes a bit more work but, oh so worth it.  While making the frosting, which was more similar to making a candy caramel, I forgot to remove the candy thermometer cap, which explains why it took almost 40 minutes for my thermometer to reach 235 degrees, and why my caramel frosting was not quite as thick as expected. However, it did not matter this was a sinfully delicious cake.

This is a beautiful cake to make for a special occasion or Sunday Supper.

Revelatory Caramel Cake
Recipe from Chef Ann Cashion 

For the cake

1 cup whole milk
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups sifted cake flour
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup heavy cream

For the icing

3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


For the cake
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degree.  Butter three 8-inch cake pans; line the bottoms with parchment paper.  Butter the parchment and flour the pans, tapping out the excess.

2.  Make the cake: In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the milk with the egg whites and vanilla extract.  In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add the butter and the remaining 3/4 cup milk.  Beat at low speed until blended, then beat at medium speed until smooth, 1 minute.  Beat in the egg white mixture in 3 batches.

3.  In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream until soft peaks form.  Stir one-third of the whipped cream into the batter, then fold in the rest.  Divide the batter between the pans and smooth the tops.  Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.  let the cakes cool on a rack for 10 minutes.  Unmold the cakes and peel off the parchment.  Invert the cakes and let cool completely.

4. Make the icing:  In a saucepan, stir 2-1/2 cups of the sugar with the corn syrup and milk.  Cook over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Keep warm.

5. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a deep, heavy saucepan.  Cook the sugar over moderate heat, swirling occasionally, until an amber caramel forms.  Carefully pour the the warm milk mixture over the caramel.  Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the caramel dissolves.  Stop stirring and cook until the caramel dissolves.  Stop stirring and cook until caramel registers 235 degrees on a candy thermometer.  remove from the heat.  Stir in the butter, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of the heavy cream.  Strain the caramel into the bowl of a standing mixer.  Let cool for 15 minutes.

6.  Beat the caramel at medium speed, gradually adding the remaining 1/4 cup cream, until creamy, about 15 minutes.

7.  Set 1 cake layer on a plate.  Pour enough icing over the layer to cover the top.  Top with a second cake layer and cover it with icing.  Add the final cake layer and pour the rest of the icing over the top of the cake, letting it run down the sides.  Working quickly, use an offset spatula to spread the icing gently around the cake.  Let the cake stand for 2 hours to set the icing before serving.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

A Cuban market -Photo submitted by Rachel Cotterill

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Welcome to Sunday Supper- Mushroom Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy

It's Sunday, friends and family are making their way to the house to enjoy Sunday Supper.  If you have been following this blog, you will know that Sunday Suppers is a way that we celebrate our friends and family, by coming together, having a great time, and enjoying a meal together. A meal that everyone participates in preparing and serving.

The weather is still hot so we remain indoors.  I am hoping that soon we will be able to carry the table and chairs to the patio to enjoy our meals outside.

Come join us for dinner!

There is always plenty for everyone

This was amazing.  If you have not had a classic meatloaf in awhile, welcome it back to your table.

Mushroom Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy
Serves 6-8
Recipe from Mid-atlantic Restaurant


For the gravy:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 pounds crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
1-1/2 cups chopped celery
1-1/4 cups chopped shallots
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 cup dry red wine
6 cups low-salt beef broth
2 tablespoons(1/4 stick) butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/4 cup whipping cream

For the meatloaf:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; 2-3 large)
8 ounces thinly sliced crimini (baby bella) mushrooms (about 3 cups).
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1/2 cup crushed crackers (such as Ritz)
2 pounds ground beef 
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms, onion, celery, shallots, garlic, and thyme.  Saute until vegetables are soft, about 18 minutes.  Add wine and boil until reduced to a glaze, about 5 minutes.  Add broth.  Boil until mixture is reduced to 4 cups, about 25 minutes.

Blend butter and flour in small bowl to smooth paste.  Whisk cream and flour paste into gravy.  Simmer until thick, stirring often, about 5 minutes.  Season gravy with salt and pepper.  Do ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead.  Cool, cover and chill.  Rewarm before using.

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add leeks, mushrooms, and garlic.  Saute until soft, about 10 minutes; scrape into processor.  Add mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.  Blend until coarsely chopped; transfer to large bowl and cool.

Mix eggs and cracker crumbs into vegetables, then beef and cream.  Transfer to 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.  Bake meatloaf until thermometer inserted into center registers 160F, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours.  Let meatloaf rest 15 minutes; turn onto platter.  Serve with gravy.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Grilled Eggplant and Manchego Cheese Salad with Balsamic-Black Pepper Glaze

If you like to fire up your grill on summer evenings, this would be a wonderful salad course or a meaty tasting vegetarian entree with its creamy cheese and rich balsamic glaze. 

Grilled Eggplant and Manchego Cheese Salad with Balsamic-Black Pepper Glaze
Serves 4
Recipe from Bobby Flay

2 cups balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 medium eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices (You will need 12 equal slices)
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 (1/4-inch thick) slices manchego cheese
16 fresh basil leaves, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

1.  Pour the balsamic vinegar into a medium saucepan and boil over high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 to 12 minutes.  Stir in the honey and coarsely ground black pepper and transfer to a bowl.  The glaze can be made 1 day in advance, covered, and refrigerated.  Bring to room temperature before using.

2.  Heat your grill to high.

3.  Brush both sides of the eggplant with the  oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place the eggplant on the grill and grill until golden brown and slightly charred, about 4 minutes.  Turn over and continue grilling until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes longer.  Keep the grill on.

4.  Transfer 8 slices of the eggplant to a flat surface, top each slice with a slice of cheese and 2 basil leaves, and season with salt and pepper.  Stack the eggplant slices to make four 2-layer stacks and top with the remaining 4 eggplant slices.

5.  Carefully, return the stacks to the grill and grill for 2 minutes, or until the cheese is slightly melted.  Remove the stacks to a large dinner plate, drizzle with the balsamic-black pepper glaze, and garnish with chopped basil.



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Andy Wallack-

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Grilled Zucchini with Fresh Dill Vinaigrette

Squashes are perfect for the grill.  In the Summer, when squashes like zucchini seem to provide an endless bounty, it is more reason to take your squash to the grill.  Squashes really come alive when they are grilled.

Don't forget to dress the zucchini with the vinaigrette while they are still hot so the flavors really have a chance to seep into the flesh of the squash.

Grilled Zucchini with Fresh Dill Vinaigrette
Serves 4
Recipe from Bobby Flay

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise

1.  Heat your grill to high.

2.  Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, mustard, 3 tablespoons of the dill, and salt and pepper to taste in a blender and blend until smooth.  With the motor running, slowly add 1/2 cup of the oil and blend until emulsified.

3.  Brush the zucchini with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill until lightly golden brown on all sides and just cooked through, about 8 minutes.

4.  Remove from the grill and cut each quarter in half crosswise.  Place on a platter and immediately drizzle with the vinaigrette.  Garnish with the remaining tablespoon dill.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Raspberry-Rose Gin Rickey

This is a refreshing cocktail that would be perfect to shake-up your party, and get your weekend off to a good start with friends and family. 

A Gin Rickey is a mixture of gin, lime juice and club soda.  This Gin Rickey is brought to a new level with the addition of crushed raspberries and rose water.

Raspberry-Rose Gin Rickey
Serves 4
Recipe from Bon Appetit

3 cups fresh raspberries
1 cup good quality gin 
Note:  Hendrick's gin works really well  
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon (scant) rose water
3 cups crushed ice

Mix first 5 ingredients in bowl.  Let stand 1 hour at room temperature, occasionally stirring and crushing some of the berries.

Place 3/4 cup ice in each of 4 glasses.  Top each with 3/4 cup raspberry mixture.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday