Sunday, June 13
Last week was the very busy last week of school, among other things. I only made one thing on my menu plan, mostly because we never made it to the grocery store! What in the world did we eat? I know we ate out twice, but what happened the rest of those days? It’s a mystery! This will actually be the subject of a reader-requested post coming up this week…so save any comments on this subject until then!
- Tri-Tip Roast (recipe to come, if I what I do ends up being good, that is!), corn on the cob and caprese salad
- Asian Spinach Salad
- Santa Fe Salad
- Kaiserschmarren (recipe to come)
- Eat out
- Orange Chicken, rice and veggie (this recipe is a staple in our family’s dinner repertoire, thanks to Grammy McCarthy…it’s a real winner, if you haven’t tried it yet)
Please share your menu for the week! Thank you!!
Friday, June 11
In addition to all of the amazing desserts at my little party for my friends, I had some pretty fun recipes to work with as well. As I mentioned in the original party post, Calphalon and Williams-Sonoma gave me two beautiful non-stick skillets and Michael Symon’s debut cookbook, Live to Eat. I used a few of Michael Symon’s recipes for the party after happily tasting them at a technique class at Williams-Sonoma.
For an appetizer I served Grilled Crostini with Goat Cheese and ‘wichcraft Tomato Relish, a recipe from Williams-Sonoma. These were SO easy to make and delicious. The ‘wichcraft Tomato Relish went very nicely with the goat cheese and was a big hit!
For the main dish, I served Michael Symon’s Pork Tenderloin with Heirloom Tomato Salad alongside Grilled Radicchio with Orange and Balsamic. Fancy schmancy, right? They were actually pretty straightforward recipes but still made me feel all gourmet and stuff.
So, there you have it. You have virtually experienced the entire party. Thanks for joining us!
Pork Tenderloin with Heirloom Tomato Salad
From Michael Symon
- 3 tsp coriander seed (I just tossed in some ground coriander)
- 3/4 tsp cumin seed, toasted (I just tossed in some ground cumin)
- Zest and juice of 6 limes
- 9 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 tsp. salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 shallots, minced
- 1 1/2 C chicken stock (which I forgot when I made this – still came out, but I recommend using it!)
- 3/4 C red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil
Heirloom Tomato Salad
- 9 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces (whoah – I didn’t use that many…would taste good, but now that I’m typing this out I realize I TOTALLY didn’t read the recipe carefully when I made it!)
- 6 C watercress
- 3/4 C mint leaves
- 3/4 C toasted almonds
Cut pork int 1 1/2 – 2 inch thick medallions. Whisk together coriander, cumin, lime zest and juice, olive oil, salt, garlic and shallot. Pour over pork and marinate for 2 hours (no longer).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Preheat a Calphalon Unison Grill pan with Sear Nonstick over medium heat, remove pork from marinad, reserving marinade. Sear pork for 3 minutes per side. When pork is seared, transfer pan to preheated oven for 3 minutes.
(If you don’t have a grill pan, feel free to sear in a regular griddle. And if your griddle can’t go in the oven, just transfer to a cookie sheet to bake the meat for 3 minutes. I actually used the regular griddle so that when I reduced my sauce later it would be easy to whisk. You don’t get those grill marks, but it tastes the same.)
Remove pan from the oven and place the pork on a platter. Add marinade, stock, vinegar and honey to pan and bring to a simmer, reducing by 1/3. Whisk in 1 1/2 C olive oil. Mix tomatoes and watercress, mint and almonds. Toss warm dressing over tomato salad and serve with the pork.
Grilled Crostini with Goat Cheese and ‘wichcraft Tomato Relish
- 1 baguette, sliced int 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- 1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 oz goat cheese, at room temperature
- 1 jar (8.8 oz) ‘wichcraft Tomato Relish
- 1/4 C fresh basil leaves
Lightly brush both sides of the baguette slices with olive oil. Preheat a Calphalon Unison Grill pan with Sear Nonstick over medium heat. Working in batches, place the baguette slices in the pan and cook until light golden brown and toasted on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. (If you don’t have a grill pan, you can bake in a 400 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, until nice and crispy.)
Transfer to a serving platter. Spread about 3 teaspoons of goat cheese on each crostini and top with ‘wichcraft Tomato Relish. Sprinkle with basil and serve. Makes about 24 crostini.
I’m so bummed. I totally forgot to photograph this recipe! And it was beautiful! Oh well. You can kind of see it in that bowl next to the small bouquet of pink roses.
Grilled Radicchio with Orange & Balsamic
From Michael Symon
- 6 heads of radicchio, quartered through the core (I think I used only 3 heads)
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- Grated zest and juice of 3 oranges
Drizzle the radicchio with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Preheat Calphalon Unison Grill pan with Sear Nonstick over medium-high heat. (I actually did use the grill pan for this recipe…but you could use a regular griddle, too.)
Place the radicchio in the pan and cook for 2 minutes per side.
Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle the radicchio with salt and pepper. Whisk together olive oil, balsamic, orange zest and juice together and drizzle over radicchio.
Once the radicchio were grilled, I salt and peppered them as directed, but then I cut out the hard piece of core near at the bottom and then sliced the radicchio. I then put the radicchio into a bowl and drizzled with the oil dressing.
Thursday, June 10
For my party last week, I made this concoction, which I’ve decided to name the “Lots o’ Grains Salad.”
It’s a rice-like dish that you can serve hot or less hot, i.e. mine sat out for a little while before the party started and still tasted great. It’s super easy and I thought a nice compliment to a summery meal, and a great side dish for the pork tenderloin (recipe tomorrow).
Lots o’ Grains Salad
From Jane Maynard, This Week for Dinner
- Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joe’s (if you don’t have a TJ’s, here are the grains so you can replicate: Israeli Style Couscous, Orzo, Baby Garbanzo Beans and Red Quinoa)
- Brown Rice Medley from Trader Joe’s (if you don’t have TJ’s, here are the grains: Long Grain Brown Rice, Black Barley, Daikon Radish Seeds)
- Olive Oil
- 2 shallots, diced
- Chopped parsley, to taste
- Fresh grated parmesan cheese to taste (prob. ~ 1/2 C)
Cook all grains according to package directions. While grains are cooking, sauté shallots in oil over medium heat until soft and translucent (use a large 12-inch skillet with higher sides or a large saucepan). Add cooked grains to shallots, then stir in the parsley and parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and serve!
Wednesday, June 9
Last Saturday I threw a little party for my friends. It all started when I received a PR blast from Calphalon and Williams-Sonoma. They were wrangling up food bloggers to throw parties on June 5 all across the country. They provided me with two of their new pans, a few little goodies and $100. I decided this was a good excuse to do something for a small group of close friends who deserved a fun afternoon out with the girls.
The party ended up being lovely for so many reasons. The weather was perfect, time spent with friends was so lovely, and the food was fabulous!
Normally parties are a chore for me, I’m not really the party-throwing type. But I had a blast doing this party! I was able to wrangle up some of my own contacts to really step things up. Sure, a Calphalon spoon was nice to give to my friends, but they deserved more. We ended up with some amazing food, and goodie bags that I was bursting at the seams to give to my friends. I wish I could have invited all of you, but my patio just isn’t big enough!
So…on to the fun stuff! Tomorrow and Thursday I’ll share the recipes from the party with you, but today it’s all about the goods.
Cambria Cove was amazing. They sent a cake from Elegant Cheese Cakes, filled with three layers of delicious cheese cake. Elegant Cheese Cakes is based in Half Moon Bay and the cake gets shipped to you. Can you believe this cake gets shipped in the mail? It’s a miracle!
Cambria Cove also sent a giant box of Norman Love chocolates, which are not only completely gorgeous but also really fun and tasty to eat.
A few words about the cheese platter while we’re here. Alouette sent their Extra Creamy Brie, which was very tasty with a thin, mild-flavored casing. I also bought some Honey Goat Cheese from Trader Joe’s (there in the back)…it’s my new favorite cheese.
Now for the gift bags.
What could be in there? I can’t wait to show you!
Dillon Rogers was AMAZING and gave everyone a triple wrap bracelet. I have a few things from Dillon Rogers, including my own triple wrap bracelet and this lovely necklace. Everyone loved their bracelets.
P.S. Dillon Rogers is offering a special discount for all of you! Use the code DINNER to receive 20% off the entire website! I suggest you get shopping! I honestly, truly love their stuff and am so happy to be able to help get the word out about this great company.
Cambria Cove also stepped up and gave each guest one of these beautiful Voluspa candles and this Cherub Collage journal. The Cambria Cove signature gift box is almost gift enough on it’s own! But of course the things inside are just lovely.
I emailed my dear friend Ree, The Pioneer Woman herself, to see if she could swing some cookbooks. She did, because she’s awesome like that. And she even signed them. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…Ree Drummond is hands down the best lady. LOVE HER. Okay, my daily Ree worshipping is done.
Scharffen Berger sent each person one of their folios….mmmmmm….
Phew. Are you tired yet? Seriously…it was SO FUN giving everyone all these lovely things. Thank you to all the companies who shared so generously!
Like I mentioned, the original idea for the party came from Calphalon. They sent me the Unison Non-Stick Griddle & Grill Pan set (which I am actually loving, by the way) and Michael Symon’s debut cookbook Live to Cook, which is where I got several of my recipes for the party. I will definitely share recipes during the rest of this week, including my own rice and grain concoction that ended up being sooo yummy.
Tuesday, June 8
My friend Anna has chickens. Seven chickens to be exact. In her backyard, right here in Suburbia, U.S.A. I love it. I think she’s cool for doing it. Her kids love it. Yesterday when I stopped by her house, she gave me a half dozen fresh eggs. When I say fresh, I mean FRESH. As in, I-saw-her-take-eggs-out-of-the-chicken-coop fresh.
These are officially the freshest eggs I’ve ever eaten. The girls and I made scrambled eggs for dinner last night and they were delicious. We made cookies, too, and I only have 1 egg left! (That 1 egg, by the way, is sitting on my counter. Why? Because it can and I love it.)
Here’s another shot of the eggs in all their dirty, fresh-out-of-the chicken glory. Aren’t they beautiful? I want chickens. Wait, what’s gotten into me? A few fresh eggs and I’ve completely lost my mind!
Anna agrees, these are the ‘orangest’ yolks we’ve ever seen.
Sunday, June 6
Summer is almost upon us…I simply can’t believe it’s the last week of school and there are beach towels hanging out to dry on my patio furniture. Where does the time go?!
Since it’s starting to heat up around here, I’m thinking salads and sandwiches this week.
- Chicken Salad Sandwiches
- Asian Spinach Salad
- Santa Fe Salad
- Baked French Toast
- Eat out
- Orange Chicken and rice
I’ve got my menu up…now it’s time for you to do the same! Can’t wait to see what you’re eating this week!
Friday, June 4
Today I was going to post my pastry chef friend Faye’s recipe for her beautiful nut tart…but then I decided to give you something a little easier, it is Friday after all. How about some barbecue chicken that doesn’t require a grill and decent weather? Sounds good to me!
I really wanted Barbecue Chicken on Memorial Day, but we currently don’t have a grill (a situation we will remedy before we get too far into summer!). I ended up using the oven with success! The chicken came out great, nice and juicy. I know, I know, it’s not from the grill…but it’s certainly a good, easy alternative. The key to cooking it just right (i.e. not drying the dickens out of your chicken!) is using a thermometer…be sure to read about that at the end of the recipe.
Oven Barbecue Chicken
– Chicken pieces (I used 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts this time around)
- Canola Oil
- Barbecue Sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Salt the outside of the chicken. Sear chicken until browned. Transfer to a cookie sheet/roasting pan/baking pan/whatever you’ve got! Brush with barbecue sauce. Bake in oven until chicken reaches 165 degrees, brushing on a second layer of sauce about halfway through baking time. Total baking time was about 1 hour.
Here is the key to this recipe: use your thermometer! I have an electric Pyrex thermometer with a probe attached to a long wire. I can keep the probe in the meat throughout cooking and set the thermometer to beep at me when the meat reaches 165 degrees. I put the thermometer in the smallest chicken breast. It beeped, I removed that piece of chicken from the oven and then put the thermometer in the middle-sized chicken breast…five minutes later it beeped and I took that piece of chicken out. Then I put the thermometer in the third, largest chicken breast and it took another 5 minutes to finish. All three pieces came out nice and juicy…I was SO glad I used this technique.