Friday, September 26, 2014

TK dinner ~ September 2014

Little sign written by our 9 year old before she left on her date for the evening.

And then people started arriving and we started serving.
First up were these little bites of Phyllo filled with goat cheese, herbs and fresh strawberries.
Confession - these made an appearance because I had leftover cheese mixture from the mushrooms (below) AND,  since I was already making a GIANT mess with Phyllo dough (Good God what a mess) I decided I might as well make those cute little cups - and then fill them with stuff. (that all makes sense right?)
Next out went roasted mushrooms served with the same goat cheese concoction garnished with fresh chives. 

Carrot soup with curry and coconut milk and the cutest little carrot curls.

Then Plum, Radicchio salad with a lemon mustard vinaigrette 
(Is it just me? Every time I use the word vinaigrette I have to google how to spell it? .....sigh.....)

Main course for the evening was good ol' fashioned steak and potatoes.

Flank steak with a spicy Chimichurri sauce and thin slices of red onion.

Steak was served with Roasted potatoes done with cumin, coriander, caraway seeds and cinnamon.

And a little plate of fresh radishes and baby turnips served with more chimichurri sauce.

Finally it is time for dessert!

Lemon meringue Phyllo plates.
These were served with brownie bites (I had a friend attending who demanded something chocolate - I will refrain from naming her here on the world wide web) 
And spiced molasses cookies.

Thank YOU to elizabeth d photography for some of the photos above!

Until next time!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

watermelon gazpacho

One of the appetizers at the August TK dinner event was this Watermelon Gazpacho. I know, You're thinking "appetizer"? But those cups are actually pretty small so these servings are not nearly as large as the photo suggests.
What can I tell you about this? I think this is one of those love it or hate it dishes. I loved it. Totally refreshing and using an 'in-season' fruit that I had grabbed at the Farmers Market the day prior. Also, it's Gazpacho! NO cooking! A bit of chopping and then it all goes into the food processor.
This was Easy. It was filling. I was happy to serve it.

Husband and daughter thought it was weird. What can ya do...


Gazpacho -

1 lb seedless watermelon - rind removed - coarsely chopped
1 large tomato -seeds removed - coarsely chopped
1 cucumber - coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno - seeds removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Crema and assembly -

1/4 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup Feta cheese - crumbled
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups watermelon - cubed
1 cup cucumber - cubed
olive oil


Chop that tomato up and let it sit in a colander over a bowl for about a half hour.
You want as much as possible of the liquid to drain out otherwise your soup is going to be super runny (you might be fine with this - I was not)

Puree the watermelon, tomato, cucumber, jalapeno, oil, and vinegar to desired consistency.
Transfer all this to a large bowl.
Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
Cover and refrigerate.
(I made this a day ahead of time and it was perfect)

For the Crema,

Make sure you toast those almonds.
Spread them out on a baking sheet and toast at 350 for about 7 minutes.
Remove and set aside.
Mash the Feta cheese into the sour cream until almost smooth.
Whisk in the milk.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


Divide the cubed watermelon and cucumber into each serving dish.
Pour the Gazpacho over the top of the cubed items.
Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil.
Divide the Crema over the top of the oil.
Add the toasted almonds.
Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
Serve immediately.

Friday, September 19, 2014

chicken with kalamata olives & bacon

I should probably call this post "how to quickly (and relatively inexpensively) feed twenty five people". The last TK dinner was the largest group we've had yet. Bodies everywhere! 
It was awesome. 
I think I've mentioned before having twenty plus people in our house is not a rare occurrence, it's the sit-down dinner part that got a bit tricky. I served the chicken on a bed of orzo pasta in these big family style platters and just let everyone have at it.
So much easier.


about 4 pounds of chicken thighs (or swap out some of the thighs for a few breasts if needed)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped thyme + few extra sprigs
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary + few extra sprigs
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
10 garlic cloves - peeled
3 slices good peppered bacon
1 cup dry white wine (I used a Pinot Griogio)
2 handfuls kalamata olives (no need to rinse)


oven to 450

Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick stuff

Rub all the pieces of chicken with the olive oil.

Lay the pieces - skin side Down -  in a single layer on the rimmed baking sheet.
Generously sprinkle the Thyme, Rosemary, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes all over the chicken.
Flip the pieces over so they are now skin side up.
Repeat the sprinkling process and use up all the herbs and pepper flakes.
Add the herb sprigs around the chicken as well.
Add a few turns of salt and pepper.
Scatter the garlic cloves and bacon pieces all over the chicken.

Into the oven for about 20 minutes.

Carefully pull out the tray and shelf and add the white wine and olives to the tray.

Back into the oven another 15 or 20 minutes.

Check the temperature.

Remove from the oven, cover, let stand 10 - 15 minutes.

Grab some big serving spoons and serve it up!