Jul 14 2010

Papaya Milkshake

So, I finally found a papaya and waited several days for it to ripen.  This evening while the buttercup squash was baking I decided to make my milkshake.  This is my new favorite summer dessert, well in this case, before dinner dessert drink.

All I did was add the fruit of one very ripe papaya and the juice of one lime to my vita mix (or blender) and some really good vanilla bean ice cream.  My husband made Alton Brown’s Serious Vanilla Ice Cream.  So I added several scoops of that luscious ice cream and blended it until it was smooth and creamy.  Pour into chilled glasses and that’s it!  I will definitely be making this again soon!!

Jul 11 2010

Baby, Schnauzers

Yesterday was a really fun day. We were heading down to take our mini schnauzer Wolfie to the Hereford Country Club for Pets for his grooming appointment.  This is also the kennel where we adopted him on December 31, 2009.

Before heading to his appointment we were fortunate enough to be able to visit our friends Sam and Jenny to meet their adorable new baby boy.  We are looking forward to seeing baby Joey again soon.

We headed to the groomers and dropped Wolfie off for a couple hours of expert treatment.  When we came back after some lunch and food shopping at the nearby Wegman’s we were excited to see four silly black and silver mini schnauzer puppies romping around in the lawn area of the kennel.  They were a hoot and it was so hard to tear ourselves and Wolfie away from them and head for home.

Jul 9 2010

My Veg Gardens

Here's how my veggie gardens are looking this week.

Jul 7 2010

4th of July Anniversary Dinner Outing

I got married on the 4th of July in 1998.  We chose this day mostly because we didn’t have much time to plan our wedding, it was a holiday weekend which meant more family could attend and mind you we are not overly patriotic but we thought fireworks on our anniversary every year would be nice.

You might think we’re odd but we don’t give each other mushy cards (okay I occasionally cave and do this, nothing store bought though, promise) or even gifts on our anniversary, instead we began a tradition of always going out for a (hopefully) fabulous meal.  This year was no exception.

We went to The Columbus Inn, it recently reopened and we decided to give it a try, risky as we knew it could be.  We were hopeful but cautiously so.

I never give myself enough time to get ready, especially when it involves dressing up, which we rarely do.  I had bought a dress last year that I thought was so cool because it could be worn 47 different ways, okay maybe 7.  So of course this was the first time I was going to wear it and I couldn’t figure out one way to wear it, let alone 7.  But in the last three minutes before we had to leave I was able to finagle it in such a way that I thought looked pretty good, and luckily, husband agreed.

We arrived to find it was valet parking, not very common in our usual outings but nice.  We walked in to find a cool wine room and recently renovated dining area.

The waiter was helpful and informative.  He told us a little about the menu and we took our time perusing the various courses, wines, cocktails and other offerings.  We were impressed and looking forward to our meal and felt we had found a good place to celebrate.

We put in our order: we started with the roasted marrow bones with gremolata, I ordered the loin of lamb, chef’s choice of medium rare, with mustard spaetzle and grilled romaine.  My husband went for the milk-fed veal, also medium rare, with blue foot mushroom and sweetbread ragout, and carrot salad.

When our appetizer of roasted marrow bone arrived we were pleased to see a new preparation, instead of the typical rounds of bone surrounding the marrow, this one was a long bone, about 8 inches sliced in half.  This made getting to the marrow all too easy and we found ourselves fighting over the savory, buttery filling. We have had this before, I’ve made it at home but it’s not a dish we make often as it is not easy to find the bones where we live.  Our local butcher does not sell them so we must go to Philly when we have a craving.  Anyway, as we were enjoying our roasted marrow bone the restaurant manager came to our table to see how we liked it.  She was very impressed that we ordered it and told us we were her favorite table of the evening.  We were surprised by that and then our waiter came by to say how we had impressed his manager.  Who knew?

Our entrees were also very delicious and we were oohing and awing and sharing bites from each others plates.  For dessert we shared a wonderful olive oil cake, garnished with fresh blueberries, tapioca, lavender and pistachios.  My husband ordered the french pressed coffee, Michicha Sundried, an Ethiopian coffee and I had a cocktail to end the meal.  It was just lovely and a great way to celebrate our anniversary.  I’m sure we will go back soon.

Jul 5 2010

Grilled Pizzas & Peach Prosecco Sangria

Squash Blossoms

I had the perfect plan, I was going to make a papaya milkshake to sip on while I sat down to write this post.  The little produce market up the street I sometimes shop at didn’t have papaya, major bummer…  But, I won’t let that stop me from writing.

Let me tell you how good those grilled pizzas came out, the ones I made Saturday night.  I collected a bunch of squash blossoms, since the squash patch is overflowing.  I decided to stuff each blossom with a fresh basil and ricotta cheese mixture, well seasoned.   Okay, I cheated on the dough to save a little time, Trader Joe’s works in a pinch.  I crushed some fresh garlic into some really good EVOO, slathered the dough with it and then placed the plump, ricotta filled blossoms on top along with lots of marinated mozzarella slices.  The other pizza was good too, though not as exciting, a slather of red sauce, thin slices of sopressata, lots of fresh basil leaves and a generous amount of marinated mozzarella slices.  Onto the grill they went, and fantastic!

The peach Prosecco sangria even came out well but I still prefer the traditional red sangria myself.  To the Prosecco I added about a 1/3 cup of peach schnapps and four sliced peaches, I had yellow but next time would definitely choose white peaches.  Let that chill in the fridge for several hours.  You can add sugar but I didn’t think it needed it.

BTW, I am not very good at following recipes nor do I write things down that I make, so hopefully this blog is going to help me with the second part at least.  I look at cooking as experimentation, I see recipes as a starting point for me to build from and make it my own.

I did not take the time to photograph the pizzas, but I know I’ll be making them both again soon and there will be another opportunity 🙂

Jul 3 2010

So, I started a blog…

So, I’ve decided to start a blog, it was actually a suggestion by my husband today as we were eating our lunch of Mexican take-out.  I’m not sure where this is going to take me but I’m ready for this adventure.  I may blog about food I’m eating, cooking or thinking about.  But then I may blog about my garden; rants and raves about plants I’m testing out or want to obtain.  Of course there’s always my 9 month old mini schnauzer, Wolfie.  Then again it may be random bobs and bits that are taking seed in my brain.  No promises here, I’m just another girl with a blog but maybe you’ll find it interesting.

Well, I wonder how that peach Prosecco sangria I have chilling in the fridge turned out.  I am hopeful it will go well with the grilled pizza.  I’m off to brainstorm about toppings.  Cheers!