Growing up I was completely opposed to having any sort of fruit on my salads (also applied to chicken salad). I didn't understand how the two could possibly mix and be good. I think I was just a die-hard Hidden Valley Ranch girl, and ranch was to salads as maple syrup was to pancakes in my young mind. I'll never forget how horrified I used to be that my cousins liked blueberry syrup on their pancakes. Pretty sure we'd bring our own bottle of Aunt Jemima to their house during the holidays. Sophistication.
This is the first weekend in a long time I have felt like I am starting the week refreshed. It has been full of good food, beautiful weather, good sleeps, and lots of relaxing with friends. I have grocery shopped, put my toys away, done my laundry, and even put away my laundry. Now I am capping it off with this perfect dinner. Especially with Braised Leeks, it is a meal that you just feel great about. It is a non-complicated, quick, flavorful, easy cleanup dinner that is delicious and such a treat. Definitely a staple recipe in my kitchen from here on out!
Leek season! I really like leeks prepared in any way, but I had yet to have a braised version! I am learning that braising is just as easy as roasting, but makes a completely different flavor. With leeks, braising makes them really flavorful, but with the texture of a caramelized onion. Yum. These were a perfect side to Salmon with Grilled Lemon Vinaigrette!
I really jumped the gun on seeing organic tomatoes in the store, getting all excited, and honestly expecting them to taste like tomatoes instead of water. Wellll it made for a sad salad at lunch yesterday, but a delicious side to my dinner last night! There's something about roasting vegetables that makes them 100 times better, but this especially applies to tomatoes in my opinion. Doctor them up with garlic, balsamic, honey, and fresh basil, and they are just perfect. Plus, basil tastes like basil all year round... thank gosh.
This weekend, the easter bunny brought me my very own allergen-free Weber grill! I was so excited, just knowing how many burger buns and beer can chickens get grilled on any grill that I have access to, and how that really wasn't going to work out too well in my favor. So the grill was christened with a hugely successful "shrimp on the barbie" recipe. An allergy-free area really amounts to worry-free, which is worth every penny. Just a girl and her Weber :)
Really this dish is called Kotopoulo Psito Lemonata, which my family has cleverly coined as "Greek Chicken", simply because it is our favorite recipe out of the cookbook that we brought home from a family trip to Mykonos. The Greek's know a thing or two about cooking and lifestyle. The food there is so light and flavorful during the day time, with authentic greek salad, fried cheese, and grilled calamari rings as big as your head, that you order to your table at the beach cantina you claim as yours from 11am - 4pm. Eat a little, swim a little, a beer? Sure. After naps and showers in the early evening, they like to start cocktail hour during the last half hour of the sunset around 9, and sit down to dinner around 10. The food is still light and flavorful, but so comforting, and puts you right to bed. I clearly hated this trip... two glorious weeks of lounging and eating.
There is no better time or place to enjoy an Arnold Palmer than at the beach in the summer. I could not wait that long. BUT, I feel very well prepared for this summers cocktail line-up that will be a hit among the whole family. However it is just in time for a little Masters weekend, afternoon golf watching cocktail.
Even though I made this for normal, daily snacking for this week, my favorite part about this fruit salad is that it would make an incredible boozy brunch salad. But for all normal purposes, adding the honey lime syrup makes everything even more flavorful, fresh, indulgent, and it keeps getting better with each day. Honey and lime are the perfect compliment to this combination of tart and sweet, winter into spring, fruits, and I am excited to try different combinations with each season (vanilla and pears this fall, anyone?)!
I am such a snacker. I think I would eat every meal around a coffee table instead of a kitchen table, and tasting a million appetizers instead of ordering separate dinners, if I could. Also, dips are the best. This is so similar to a baba ganoush, just kicked up a notch. It is so much more fresh with the addition of parsley, and is a little spicy, thanks to a jalapeno!
As I am trying to get more creative with styling food for each post, as well as getting ready for summer and all of the parties that come along with it, I am getting a hankering for some pretty new serving and entertaining items. I have always loved things that are simple, timeless, and can easily mix and match.
The Barefoot Contessa has a classic rule for flower arrangements, and I think that it applies perfectly to entertaining and serveware. Her rule of thumb is: one type of flower and all the colors you want, or one color and all of the types of flowers that you want. Stick with this rule of thumb in all areas of design, and the design will always be a good one. Clearly I hate white as the common thread...
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