Sunday, September 15, 2013

5-Course Italian Tasty Dinner

Last night I had a wonderful night. I was hired to provide a 5-course tasting dinner for four self-proclaimed "foodies". I was excited to provide a creative meal for a small group, it allows me to really take care in my plating and presentation which is one of my favorite parts of small dinner parties. I truly love making my food look as beautiful as it tastes, a skill I have been told is an offshoot of my artsy abilities. The dinner was a birthday celebration and the group couldn't have been more laid back and appreciative of their special night in. They were truly a pleasure to work for and I hope I will see them again in the future.

So here are a few photos of the event last night. They will shortly be up on my website.
Making Risotto

Creamy Mushroom and Pecorino Risotto

Plating the fish course

Pan Seared Halibut, Purple Potato Puree, Local Vegetable Succotash

Lamb Chops, Eggplant Caponata, Whipped Feta, Fried Shallots

Dark Chocolate and Orange Filled Bignets, Chocolate Sauce

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Dinner Party Prep

Our air conditioner broke yesterday. This wouldn't be such a bad thing if we didn't live in South Carolina. It is now 88 degrees inside and mounting, because I also happen to cook all day for a living. Even our dogs have fled to bathroom tiles to get cool....can you say, domesticated?!

I've been prepping all day for a dinner party I have booked for tonight. Here's the menu:

Mini Charcuterie Plate: 
warm mozzarella, tartufo salumi, EVOO and crusty baguette
Creamy Mushroom Pecorino Risotto
Pan Seared Mahi Mahi, Farmers market Succotash, Purple Cauliflower Puree
Herb Crusted Lamb Chops, Eggplant Capponata, Whipped Feta
Dark Chocolate and Orange Bignets

Sounds fabulous right?! I think so...although I am biased because I am the chef. The dinner isn't until 8:30pm so I have all day to prep and enjoy this lovely fall heat wave I have brewing in the house. Matt is coming with me tonight to be my sous chef and server, which will make it a lot of fun. I am so glad he enjoys doing things like that with me because it means we don't have to spend our Saturday night apart. Hope it goes well!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Broccoli Pesto


This recipe came to me after trying out and successfully making a Lemon Kale Pesto. I started thinking about different veggies I could hide in a delicious sauce. This sauce came out so good that I just had to share it. You would never guess that this pesto is packing with nutritious broccoli. I don't have kids, but I bet this would be a perfect way to get them to eat their veggies!

Broccoli Pesto
3 heads of broccoli, blanched and cooled in an ice bath, then drained
1 clove garlic
2 bunched of fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup parmiggiano reggiano
1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor, slowly add the olive oil until the sauce comes together. Serve tossed with pasta

End of Summer Chopped Salad

For lunch today I made an end of summer salad for my husband and I. This salad is perfect for these hot afternoons, packing a lot of flavor and freshness into every bite.It is super simple. Anyone can throw this together in 10 minutes and really impress your roommate, significant other, or dinner guest.
serves 2
1 grilled chicken breast, cubed
1 avocado, cubed
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 small red or orange bell pepper, diced
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
6 starberries, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
 juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Toss everything together and enjoy!