Monday, August 30, 2010

sunday night supper

There were three of us for dinner last night, and I made it simple. I chopped, after seeding, a mix of heirloom tomatoes, perfectly ripe and juicy. I added a mix of chives, basil, parsley and mint, some finely chopped garlic, the zest of a couple of lemons and a good amount of lemon olive oil. Salt and pepper. I cooked ziti and added to the drained pasta some lovely, fresh mozzarella. After a few minutes I combined it with the tomato mixture and served the dish at room temperature with some crusty bread. To start, a salad of red crisphead lettuce dressed with a terrific faux Catalina dresssing, and tossed with grilled peach slices and chevre. Perfect summer eating.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

weeknight dinner for family and friends

Six of us for dinner after a busy day, so I kept it simple. I'd previously made some conserves to be served with cheeses at a friend's wedding, so, with wine before our dinner I put out a platter of three cheeses, each accompanied by its own conserve. Manchego with quince, a buttery brie with a peach conserve and Krema Kase with a mixed dried fruit condiment. It was suggested that we forego dinner and just demolish the cheese platter. But, I'd prepared some orzo, tossed while hot with olive oil and lemon juice in equal amounts. Then I tossed in a couple of handfulls each of fresh dill and parsley, roughly chopped sweet red pepper and cucumber along with sliced scallions. I left this on the counter to come to room temperature while I roasted, at 400 degrees for seven minutes, some large shrimp. I tossed the shrimp with the orzo, added more lemon, and this, along with some Roma beans in a light and fresh tomato sauce and hot garlic bread completed dinner. A chilled Sauvignon Blanc was perfect, and refreshing. Apple cake with caramel glaze, and we were happily sated.

Friday, August 13, 2010

houseguests for the weekend

Two close friends arrived for the weekend, what a treat! Breakfast the next morning was a bowl of mixed berries, a plate of plump green figs, that most sensual of fruits and walnut scones - accompanied of course by tall cups of strong coffee. And lots of catching-up conversation. The temperature had reached 96 by lunchtime so a light selection of mezzes seemed appealing. Stuffed grape leaves topped with fat wedges of lemon, olives, cherry tomatoes harvested just minutes before lunch, cucumber sticks, feta cheese, hummus and pita crisps topped with zaatar. Perfect on a hot day. We chose a movie over dinner and stopped for a bite after.

For breakfast the next morning I put out a plate of ripe melon and some sliced mango served with lime wedges. Warm zucchini bread and toasted country bread with homemade preserves - and the newspaper. My daughter joined us for dinner and grilled the chicken for us. I'd marinated the breasts in lemon zest and juice, roasted garlic, olive oil and rosemary, which grows outside the kitchen door. With this I served a saute of squash, corn, tomatoes and peppers, seasoned with fresh thyme. A green salad to begin, and grilled bread lavished with herb butter. Decadent and so good. We were sated, so the blueberry pie remained uncut - until breakfast the next morning! It was a happy weekend!!!