I saw this somewhere on the interwebs and died laughing. Here’s to hilarious housewives!
For Pink Sangria start with a lovely glass!
Add several blueberries, strawberry slices, and apple chunks.
Pour a little peach sparkling cider over the fruit (Archer Farms has a great version). Also pour a little cranberry juice.
Add a little triple sec, a little blackberry brandy, a good squeeze of lime and lemon juice.
Thursday night we invited our dear friends Erick and Kelly over for dinner. They are charming and fun, and we always have a blast when we get together. Last time they were over I made my brother’s recipe for Ginger Crusted Chicken. It was a hit, so I needed to outdo myself this time.
I hit the produce mother-lode at my mom’s house. She, for some, reason stocked up on fresh vegetables before leaving for vacation, so she loaded me up with a ton of goodies on Wednesday night before she left town.
I had a great selection of ingredients to work with! Oh how I love fresh vegetables! I ended up with several pickling cucumbers, 3 bell peppers, 3 roma tomatoes, a whole carton of baby bella mushrooms, 3 leeks, some spinach, romaine lettuce, and a partridge in a pear tree.
The nice thing about having a professional chef for a brother is that anytime I need to impress friends I can call him up and he’s always game for a recipe challenge. (Not that the perfectly stocked pantry I possessed was much of a challenge!) Together we decided on a Chicken saute’ with Mushrooms, leeks, and red pepper in a white wine, lemon, butter sauce over linguine. I also served a fresh summer salad of peppers, cucumber and tomato on the side.
No one was home so I invited Billie Holiday over, poured a glass of wine, and started chopping my vegetables. This is one of the best most cathartic parts of my day. Nothing but me and my food. It is a glorious moment to be kinetic with everything I’m about to devour! It is so very human.
“It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.” -Julia Child
For the salad I chopped the pickling cucumbers, orange bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, and tomatoes into uniform pieces. I added about 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar, a little olive oil, minced garlic, salt & pepper, and a bit of sugar to cut the acidity of the vinegar. Put them in the fridge for at least an hour and this will sort of pickle the salad. It is really delicious!
For the main dish I cubed 4 chicken breasts and sauteed with a bit of olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. 4 breasts are really too much for 4 people so I set a little bit aside and stored in the fridge to use in a chicken salad for lunch another day.
Once your chicken is cooked through add one diced red bell pepper, LOTS of sliced mushrooms, and 2 sliced leeks.
Also add about a cup of white wine, salt & pepper, garlic, lots of lemon juice, and about 3 Tbsp of butter. Let this cook down for a good 30min-1 hour. After it has cooked down add about 2/3 cup of milk and let is reduce a little. You want it to be all stewy and amazing.
When it is ready it will like like this… —->
Prepare your linguine, drain, and then pour all this stewy goodness right over the pasta and stir.
Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Since all the big kids had wine and lime-a-ritas… as a special little treat I made Kelly a Pregnancy Cocktail. She is having a little girl in September :) The cocktail consisted of strawberries and blueberries dropped into a champagne flute. A little cranberry juice, peach sparkling cider, and lime juice. She loved it!
Today I decided to clean out my closet and I came across these adorable bright happy yellow wedges that I picked up second-hand at Plato’s Closet about a year ago. I couldn’t remember why I never wore them anymore… until I put them on. I noticed that they were slipping off my feet when I walked in them. When I looked closely I saw that the elastic in the sling-back had stretched out completely and made the shoes too big. Immediately I thought, “I can totally fix this!” So I did. Hopefully this will help you to save perfectly good shoes from being tossed!
I started by using a seam ripper and scissors to cut off the stretched out pieces. Just don’t cut the actual leather on the shoe.
The next part was tricky as I tried to finagle the straps into the sewing machine. Definitely remove the arm of the machine if you can, and just work and wiggle the shoe until you can position both pieces of the strap under the foot. This will take some time and working with your specific machine. I also recommend lifting and lowering the foot to help keep the straps in place.
You’ll want to measure the straps on your foot to make sure it is both tight enough to stay on, and loose enough that you can slide into the shoes without unbuckling (as you will now no longer be able to buckle them with this permanent solution.) Stitch the two pieces together by using the manual knob. Don’t use the automatic pedal because it will move too quickly and you need to work slowly to keep the pieces in place as you stitch.
When you are finished, snip off any excess thread and enjoy your new pair of shoes!
Every year after the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival (I can say that now since its two years running!) I feel rejuvenated, replenished, and inspired. It must be the leisurely pace at which only Georgians can move. The city of Atlanta is rustic and charming and reminds me of who I want to be.
Last year my appetite for greatness was satiated when I joined the cast of season two on Food, Drinks, and Rock n’ Roll starring my brother Chef Nathan Lippy. I loved each week getting to taste and try new flavour combinations and communicate with the foodie fans who loyally watched the show.
After the season ended I ended up in a food lull until early this year when I finally did what I’d been telling myself I’d do for years… I started a blog! It was a big step for me because it meant I believed I had something important to say, something perhaps someone else would want to hear [read]. I’ve so loved these last few months of sharing my ideas, inspiration, and obsessions with you. So I decided it was time to take this little blog thing to the next level.
As with most things utterly profound, the next part of this story begins on a Tuesday- last tuesday. 7 days ago. It is my belief that all great things begin on Tuesdays.
One week ago today I decided to open a Twitter account.
I began following foodies, and chefs whom I admired. I followed wine people, cake people, beer people and bourbon people. I read silly ancedotes, and excellent recipe ideas. I joined #foodiechats and met tons of other bloggers, foodies, and chefs! I clicked on link after link until suddenly this huge world was opening before my eyes! There are people, just like me, who love food, and write about it. Where have you been all my life? Then this miraculous thing happened. People began to follow MOI! One hundred and sixty three people who did not know me last week, now know me and have access to each and every glorious word I write! At the same time my world opened up, I realized that the world is actually quite small after all.
I know it must sound like I’ve been in a hole for the past 5 years, but I had no idea Twitter could be so cool!
So to all my new friends, I’m so excited to do this blogging thing with you. I have this feeling that something big is going to happen here, at these keys. Something big indeed.
Last night Adam and I took a stab at making tostadas! I thought they were just really neat individually topped nachos. I’ve spoken of the amazing ones served at Palm Pavillion on Clearwater Beach. Adam had them at Tijuana Flats and said they called them Tostadas. I always thought tostadas were larger like a mexican pizza but apparently it is quite common to serve them chip style. So we did!
I knew I was going to have some pulled chicken as a base topping. So I simmered some chicken breasts in stock, then pulled the chicken (which, by the way, is a TOTAL pain in the neck. Anyone have any tips on how to make that process less annoying?) I returned the pulled chicken to the pan and added a little more stock, a packet of taco seasoning, lots of lime juice and a bit of garlic salt. Simmer for a few minutes until all the flavours marry.
I get a bit overwhelmed (in a good way) when I consider a dish like this one, because there are so many options! I start going topping crazy and want to put everything on them! As we perused the aisle at Tar-jay I found myself in the bean aisle, which is always a good place to be.
I stumbled upon Black Refried Beans. Wholly Guacamole! What!? I’m sorry if this sounds incredibly dense but I had NEVER heard of black refried beans. I knew immediately that I had to try it. Well let me tell you it was a delight. They were slightly thicker than regular refried beans, but velvety and delicious! The color is a lovely deep purple and looked much prettier on my tostadas than the brown mush I usually use. It was also better because I often like to put black beans and corn on my nachos and everything falls off as soon as you pick up the chip. I was able to get the same great black bean flavor and something to stick the corn to. I was very pleasantly surprised.
The second thing we stumbled across last night was simply marvelous. Budweiser is now selling a product called Lime-a-rita. Adam cleverly commented that most ‘ritas DO have lime, I suppose they could have thought a little harder about that name. I digress. I’ve seen this new thing with mixing corona and margaritas and have been waiting for someone to cash in on the concept. Well Budweiser did and MY oh MY was it delicious! It is slightly carbonated, not too sweet, and perfectly limey (and I don’t mean British).
It was only $10.99 for a 12 pack which is a good price. I can’t wait to try another one! I have to pace myself, or else invite a friend to come help me. You coming over?
I’ve mentioned before that I live dangerously close to Target (properly pronounced Tar-jay). The intoxicating blend of slightly ambient lighting and bright colors draw me in like a moth to a flame. The prices are excellent and the quality is quite good. Their newer lines of home decor are lovely, and lucky for me, easily hacked! The newest line Privet House is charming but a bit higher priced so my creative juices immediately started scheming on how I could make a good fake.
I’ve been looking lately for some additional throw pillows for my sofa and Privet had a lovely coral damask that would match perfectly with the Amy Butler Pattern I already had. At a price point of $25 each for throw pillows I decided to pass.
As I wandered a bit further down the aisle I came across these lovely cloth napkins which were double sided and looked like the perfect cover for the pillows I was imagining in my mind.
At the super affordable price of $3.99 each I said “yes please!” A quick stop by michaels for some polyester batting ($3.oo after my 40% off coupon) and I was ready to go!
Start by ironing the napkins flat, then unstitch about 6-7 inches of the seam starting at the tag.
Be sure to remove any little bits of thread after you unstitch.
Stuff your pillow with about 10-12 ounces of batting (depending on how firm you want your pillow to be.
Stitch the opening as close to the edge as you can, making sure to lock with a backstitch.
The final result will be a lovely little double side pillow and it only took about 5 minutes, and they only cost about $5.50 each. Aren’t they cute?
This past weekend my mother and I attended the second annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. Last year my brother, Chef Nathan Lippy, was a headliner and we had so much fun that we just had to double back. It was a weekend full of southern goodness, great cooking tips and charming company. My next several posts will be about different aspects of the weekend including some reviews of local Atlanta restaurants we visited while in town…
For now I will give you a visual snack of some of our highlights.
We started off the weekend with a toast of Champagne and Bourbon. It was dee-licious!
The view of midtown Atlanta from our room at the Loew’s was amazing!
The weekend centered around southern dishes, organic and sustainable produce and amazing flavors! These greens were picked on the morning we ate them. The fresh flavor was incredible.
The feel of the festival and midtown Atlanta was rustic and lively. I loved the upscale flavors and down home look of the whole weekend.
We enjoyed a Pig Out BBQ at JCTs downtown. It was right on this old country railroad track which totally reminds me of the movie Fried Green Tomatoes.
The decor was rustic and lovely.
One of the highlights of the weekend were the tasting tents.
Here are three of my favourite dishes of the weekend.
BBQ Taco and grilled corn from Jim&Nick’s with a Pineapple/Habenero Patron Margarita.
La Bonne Vie Cheeses had an amazing treat of Goat cheese, cinnamon, pecans and dried cranberries. Mmmm soo sweet and tasty.
The best class by far was with the Van Aken Family.
Chefs Norman, Justin and Janet showed us an amazing Mojo grilled Red Snapper recipe. It was the most delicious thing I tasted all weekend.
As far as drinks go the two highlights for me were…
The Madeira wine tasting. OMG if you’ve never tasted Madeira, you simple MUST! It is one of the most fantastic flavours I’ve ever experienced.
The best cocktail by far was at the Cocktail Showdown. I had Cucumber Gin with Elderflower and Cucumber infused Simple Syrup and an Elderberry garnish. Mmm. So fresh and light.
All in all it was a fantastic weekend. Can’t wait for next year!
Do you often ruin meals for no apparent reason?
Do you find yourself scrambling to find a decent side dish that isn’t in a can?
Do you want to impress your friends, spouse or even just yourself?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions I can help.
Here is how you can make the easiest roasted potatoes of all time. They are delicious, gorgeous and saying “tarragon” makes you sound ultra fancy. Do this…
Cut small red potatoes in half, then slice. Come on! You don’t even have to peel the potatoes!
Throw all your slices in a large mixing bowl then add salt, pepper, garlic powder, a few teaspoons of tarragon (or more! by all means) then drizzle with olive oil and toss.
Pour the potatoes onto a silpat lined baking sheet and even out your potatoes so none of them are on top of each other.
Bake on 375 for 20 minutes, or until desired crispness.
To make them more like chips- bake at 275 for 45 minutes.
That’s all folks! Serve them with something amazing like this savory burger with goat cheese and whole grain mustard. You’re sure to dazzle!
I once told you that I would share the bizarre and glorious love affair I have with cheese. The suspense ends here. I have a serious attachment to that which was formerly milk. It just makes me feel good. Sometimes, I confess, if I’m feeling blue I eat a cube of cheese and my woes just melt away. I won’t even get started on the intoxicating ecstasy that occurs when you add wine to the mix, we wouldn’t want things to get R-rated now would we?
So recently when was looking for a good cheese counter in the Tampa Bay area, I couldn’t settle for anything less than excellent. Whole Foods is pretty good, as is Fresh Market, and Publix Greenwise.
But, when I stumbled upon Nature’s Food Patch on Cleveland and was very pleasantly surprised. They had a great selection and a wonderful Fromager who was a total Cheese-head and was even more obsessed yours truly!
She turned me on to a couple really yummy treats, a cheese magazine called Culture (ha!) and this amazing Fig Jam. It was divine paired with the Guinness Cheddar I picked up.
Now I’ll get to the true purpose of this post. Whenever I have a wine and cheese party, or sometimes a good tuesdaynight cheese plate, I like to make these adorable little markers.
Here is what you’ll need:
Hot Glue Gun
Some little wooden squares from your local craft store.
Wooden Skewers from the craft store, dollar store or supermarket.
Add a little glue to the skewer…
Then glue the wooden piece on and hold for about 5 seconds.
The results are simple and whimsical.