Sunday, January 31, 2010

Emily's Aps from Girls Weekend

First, a reminder of how warm and tropical we were just last weekend...

Beaching it

Underwater camera fun

Now for the eats! I could eat appetizers for every meal of the day. Pick, pick, pick, yum! An awesome idea for Girls Weekend. Here's my pair:

Roasted Eggplant Spread (Barefoot Contessa recipe)

1 medium eggplant
2 red bell peppers, seeded
1 red onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup chopped parsley (my own addition)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking. Cool slightly. Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the tomato paste & parsley, and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve with plain crackers or pita chips. Hearty & healthy!


Red pepper & cream cheese spread

1 block room temperature cream cheese (Sadly, this recipe works best with the full-fat version)
1/2 jar red pepper jelly (Stonewall Kitchen or Harry & David's work well)

Mix together until creamy and voila! Serve with plain crackers.

Can't wait to see some baby pictures posted here!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Girls Trip Recipes from Kathy

Asian Noodle Salad

Prep Time: 30 Minutes Cook Time: 10 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 6

1 package Linguine Noodles, Cooked, Rinsed, And Cooled
½ heads Sliced Napa Cabbage, Or More To Taste
½ heads Sliced Purple Cabbage, Or More To Taste
½ bags Baby Spinach, Or More To Taste
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Thinly Sliced
1 bag Bean Sprouts (also Called Mung Bean Sprouts)
Chopped Cilantro, Up To 1 Bunch, To Taste
3 whole Scallions, Sliced
3 whole Cucumbers Peeled And Sliced
1 can (about 10 Oz.) Whole Cashews, Lightly Toasted In Skillet
1 whole Lime, Juiced
8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons (up To 3 Tablespoons) Sesame Oil
⅓ cups Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped
2 cloves Garlic Chopped
2 whole Hot Peppers Or Jalapeno's, Chopped
Chopped Cilantro
Preparation Instructions
Mix salad ingredients together. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on a platter.

Note: dressing keeps for up to three days before serving, without cilantro.


Olive Cheese Bread
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 25 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 12

1 loaf French Bread
6 ounces, weight Pimiento-stuffed Green Olives
6 ounces, weight Black Olives
2 stalks Green Onions (scallions)
1 stick Butter, Room Temperature
½ cups Mayonnaise
¾ pounds Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
Preparation Instructions
Roughly chop both black olives and pimiento-stuffed green olives. Slice green onions into thin pieces.

Combine butter, mayonnaise, cheese, olives and green onions in a mixing bowl. Stir together until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture onto French bread that has been sliced lengthwise. Bake at 325ºF for 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning.

Mixture can also be refrigerated (up to two days) and used as a dip. Great with crackers.

Pico de Gallo and Guacamole

Prep Time: 30 Minutes Cook Time: Difficulty: Easy Servings: 8

5 whole Plum (roma) Tomatoes
½ whole Large (or 1 Small) Onion
3 whole Jalapeno Peppers
Lime Juice
Salt To Taste
3 whole Avacados
Pico De Gallo
Lime Juice
Salt To Taste
Preparation Instructions
Pico de Gallo:
Chop jalapenos, tomatoes and onions into a very small dice. (Leave seeds in your jalapenos for a hotter pico). Adjust amount of jalapenos to your preferred temperature. Next, chop up a nice-sized bunch of cilantro. Just remove and discard the long leafless stems before chopping. No need to remove the leaves from the stems completely. Place all of these ingredients together in a bowl and give it a good stir.

Squeeze the juice of half of one lime into the bowl. Add salt to taste and stir again.

Start with buttery-soft avocados. Halve them lengthwise and remove the pits. Next, with a spoon scrape the “meat” out onto a large plate. Next, with the bottom of a clean cup (or with a fork) mash the avocados, making sure to leave it relatively chunky. Add just a couple of shakes of salt to taste. Next, add a generous helping of Pico de Gallo. Fold together. Lastly squeeze the juice of half of a lime over the top. Give it one last stir.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Appetizer Recipes

Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip:
8 ounces cream cheese - softened
10 ounces chopped spinach - thawed and squeezed of excess water
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts - drained well
1/2 cup green onion, tops only - divided
1/2 Parmesan cheese - divided
1 cup mozzarella - divided
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic - minced

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F and set aside 1/4 cup green onion, 1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
2. Blend together remaining ingredients and pour into an 8x8 greased baking dish. (I blended all the ingredients except the artichokes well, and then pulsed the artichokes into the rest in the Cuisinart.)
3. Top with the onions and cheese that have been set aside and bake for 20 minutes until bubbling and cheese is melted.
4. Serve hot with crackers.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 (4 ounce) jar roasted red peppers (or roast 2 red peppers yourself)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini (found in the ethnic aisle at your local grocery store)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon gound cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional topper)

Blend all ingredients and enjoy!
(I left the cayenne pepper out and it was still delicious! But add if you want the added heat.)

Bon Appetite!!!
All my love, Steph

Girls FL trip app recipe

So sadly the annual girls trip is over, but as a nice reward we now have baby Rex! Congrats to you Jenny and Greg!

We planned to post the recipes from all the appetizers that were made over the weekend. Here are mine:

Stuffed Mushrooms:
Works best if you have a Trader Joes to go to.
Get one package of the stuffing portobello mushrooms, one package of the roasted artichoke and parmesean dip (both from TJ's). Fill mushrooms with dip. Top with bacon bits (not at TJ's). Bake at 350 until brown and runny, approx. 1/2 hour.

French baguette
Roma tomatoes
Sun dried tomatoes (us about 1/3 amount as the roma's)
Any kind of white cheese, approx. 4 oz/1Cup
EVOO (enough to flavor the tomatoes but not too runny)
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Dice all tomatoes. Mix in bowl with EVOO and balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put on slices of baguette. Top with small amount of cheese. Bake at 400 until cheese is a little brown. Very precise recipe! Can't screw it up.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Check out our photo session with Todd Nichols here:
and here: