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creating a dish for the new dish

I recently purchased this cool “entertaining set” and have been itching to use it. My first thought was that I’d make my “world famous” cucumber martinis for one side and a chilled gazpacho for the other – as a Friday night happy hour for Dave and myslef. But Fridays kept filling up with other things.  Opportunity knocked last Sunday when my dad came over for dinner and Connor came home for the weekend.

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September 28, 2012   3 Comments

summer fresh pasta

After driving by literally hundreds of farms and thousands of acres of corn fields in Minnesota and Wisconsin, during our vacation to the North Woods, I’ve had corn on my mind.  I took dozens of photos of as many of the charming farms and barns as I could, as we sped by in our rental car.  We even came upon a flock of wild turkey on the side of the road.  I made Dave turn the car around so I could get a picture.  They took flight just as I clicked the shutter.  That, and more barn pictures are at the end of this post.

The first meal I made when we returned home was this pasta with shrimp and fresh corn off the cob.

Even though the pasta is in a cream sauce, it is still lite and perfect for a summer supper. Instead of clam juice, I used some lobster stock I had in the freezer (the continuation of my perpetual freezer clean-out!) and wow, did it make a delicious sauce! And that is the reason my sauce is a little darker than yours will be if you use clam juice.

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July 23, 2012   2 Comments

abbondanza

My cup runneth over… my three tomato plants are producing between one and two dozen tomatoes each and every day.  It’s hard to keep up!

We are eating tomatoes at just about every meal, every day; under a poached egg on an English muffin for breakfast, on sandwiches for lunch, and mixed into something or another for dinner.  This pasta dish was especially popular with my guys.

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May 25, 2012   No Comments

summer’s super soup

Dave does not like cold soup. Something about it just seems wrong to him. Seriously?!  I mean, it’s gazpacho, what’s not to like?!

  1. First off, it’s soup, for goodness sake. Soup = Love!
  2. It’s full of tomatoes. Tomatoes = Yum!
  3. It’s over 100 degrees outside: Cold Refreshing Soup = Smart!
  4. It’s called gazpacho = Fantastic word to say, especially if you say it in your sexiest Antonio Banderas voice!

Obviously, I love gazpacho!

I made it for the last class of my series and brought home a container of leftovers.  At dinner the next night, I made a bowl for myself and said to Dave, “I’m having gazpacho, would you like a bowl?”

“No, thanks”, he replied.  I went about putting together our plates and as I was doing so, he suddenly noticed that there was shrimp topping my soup. “Oh, I’ve changed my mind, I’ll have a bowl”, he said.

Really? All it takes is a couple  little shrimp for you to change your bad attitude over cold soup?  He ate the entire bowlful. Whatever, men are exasperating!

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May 19, 2012   2 Comments

be mine

On Valentine’s Day evening, Dave walked into the house with two huge bouquets of flowers for me and I made seafood pasta for him. Although dinner was delicious, I think I got the better end of that exchange. The meal is long over and there have been four more dinners since then, but my beautiful flowers are still bringing me the reminder of being loved. <3

Note: To make the rose napkins above; Open a large cloth napkin. Fold in half diagonally. Beginning at the long end, roll into a rope. Then start at one end of the rope and roll into a spiral. Secure with a paper clip if needed and “garnish” with real rose leaves. I swiped the ones I used from my neighbor’s yard! She loves me, so it’s OK.

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February 19, 2012   No Comments

thanks Jenny!

This quick, easy, and delish recipe comes from my Illinois BFF, Jennifer.  My girl knows how to throw together a fabulous dinner like no one else! With three busy sons, who run her ragged, she is the master. Love you, Jenni-Jen! xoxo

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February 10, 2012   3 Comments

clambake

Along with the “stars” of the night… the actual lobsters, the clambake was the main course of the lobster bake evening.  The lobsters can be cooked right along with the whole “bake” but I, for one, don’t have a pot big enough to hold everything. As a result, the lobsters were boiled separately.

Since I wasn’t sure of any of the guests’ dietary restrictions, instead of the kielbasa I would generally use, I found a fabulous spicy chicken and spinach sausage at Costco and used that.  I also separated out the corn and served it next to some potatoes on the buffet, just because this time it fit better that way. But for that added pop of color, I would usually leave the corn in the “bake” as I have pictured above.

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January 24, 2012   2 Comments

avocado and shrimp

This rich and colorful salsa comes together quickly. It is important to seed the tomatoes, otherwise the salsa will be watery. To seed, simply cut each tomato in half and squeeze out the seeds and juices, then dice.

I served this salsa, along with Cheddar Cheese Button Crackers, Mini Crab Cake BLT’s, Crudités Garden Bowl with hummus, and Elote’s De Lujo Margaritas on Friday night for a Stella & Dot jewelry party I hosted for my friend and neighbor, Amy (Amy of the famous Amy’s Taco Soup).

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November 20, 2011   No Comments

napa and radicchio

I am just getting around to using up the remaining radicchio and Napa cabbage from this post. And I’ll be using a favorite dressing that I’ve already told you about as well, so use the link in the ingredient list for the dressing recipe. I used a portion of the greens already for fish tacos and I’ll share that recipe in a few days. Not much more to say, time is short, so I am just happy to get dinner on the table and have time to post the recipe and keep the streak alive… 71 and counting.

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September 1, 2011   No Comments

spicy, smokey, creamy….

Here is the final appetizer that I’ll be making this Friday on the “Oscars” edition on Valley Dish. Hope you’ll tune in at 3:30 on channel 12.

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February 20, 2011   4 Comments