Monday, July 26, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
We had the best time catching up, sipping our wine and prepping dinner. I have missed whipping up kitchen magic with this girl just like we did nearly every night in our cozy little apartment home together for two and a half years. This pasta dish we enjoyed together was so easy and simple. Now is the time to get fresh peppers and who doesn't love pasta swimming in creamy dreamy goat cheese? This recipe comes from Mario Batali and calls for Orchiette but Ashley made it with bowties and it was delicious! Ashley cracked open a bottle of wine that was surprisingly sweet for a red zinfandel but it was so tasty and we drank every last drop! Definitely one of the most random wine labels we had ever seen. As soon as we find out what it was, I will post it immediately- DELICOIOUS! Side note on this wine- for all of you cork collectors, don't expect this funky label to come with a crazy cork...it's completely plain! To go with our dinner, I popped over to Trader Joe's and picked up ingredients for a salad inspired by my favorite Charlotte restaurant. The arugula, kalamata olives and feta tossed with lemon, olive oil, cracked pepper and salt was the perfect accompaniment to this delicious dish. In my excitement with eating, I forgot to snap a picture but I have posted Nina and Ashley masterpieces before so you should have no doubt that what was on our plates was as delectable as it looked!
Orchiette with Sweet Peppers & Goat Cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound orecchiette
- 4 ounces goat cheese
To make the peperonata: In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add the red and yellow peppers and sauté over high heat for 4 minutes until browned at the edges and softened. Add the sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the peppers are tender. Adjust the seasonings and set aside to cool. Place pepper mixture into a food processor and finely chop. With the motor running, drizzle in oil until you've reached a smooth consistency. Transfer mixture into a large bowl. Cook the pasta until tender yet al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the pasta well and add to the sweet pepper puree. Add goat cheese to the pasta and toss for about 2 minutes and then pour into a warm serving bowl.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Pre-wedding celebrations are in full gear for the soon to be Moore's and it seems as though there is a festive morsel to look forward to each day from now until September 4th! I have yet to post about my wonderful girls bridal shower. Some dear family friends threw a fantastic "Stock the Bar" themed party for us this past weekend and we could not have had more fun. I am trying to track down pictures of the food because the spread was amazing and looked like something out of Food & Wine magazine. A local restaurant and catering company, Carpe Diem, wow-ed everyone's tastebuds witht he ecclectic mix of flavors. Dainty fresh summer rolls were served with a spicy asian inspired sauce alongside wonderfully flavorful beef and pineapple skewers! Roasted chicken breasts were coated in a pesto like marinade and a mixed greens salad featured fresh corn tomatoes and blue cheese with a perfect vinaigrette! The corn fritters were the talk of the night and I am mad that i didn't eat more than two! I am still dreaming about that food and the delicious strawberries and cream cake that MM and I got to cut in preparation for the big day!
We are so blessed to have so much love surrounding us during this blissful time in our lives!
Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
- 1 lb. orzo pasta
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 1 small red onion
- Handful of flat leaf parsley
- Several fresh basil leaves
- A few sprigs of fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup crumbled, low fat feta cheese
- 2 lemons
- 1/3 cup estra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
Boil orzo and cook until al dente. Once cooked, strain and run cold water over so that it does not continue cooking. Once orzo is cold, transfer to a large bowl suitable for mixing. Chop all three peppers and the red onion into small pieces. Chop up the parsley, basil and oregano. Once the fresh ingredients are chopped, drop them into the bowl with the orzo pasta. To mix the "dressing", squeeze the juice from two whole lemons and combine with 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and whisk until emulsified. Pour mixture over orzo and mix together with love. Once the dressing is fully incorporated, lightly toss in the feta. I only used 1/3 of a cup and I truly believe the small amount of feta is what makes it so delicate. This recipe is best served cold so stick in the fridge until you are ready to eat.
I love orzo because, as Meghan says, it's basically "guilt free" pasta and can be paired with anything! When MM and I enjoyed this as part of our very first meal in our Midwest kitchen, we had it with roasted tilapia and a mixed greens salad. I repeated this recipe for my family on the Fourth of July. We dined al fresco and accompanied the orzo with grilled citrus chicken (saving the Nina created marinade recipe for another post), corn on the cob and watermelon. Orzo can also act as a one dish meal. This recipe would be fantastic with a piece of grilled chicken breast cut into strips atop the orzo and voila!