Sunday, June 8, 2008

Summersault into Summer - June 2008

Diva: Mariah

Drinks: Aven and Mariah
For a refreshing summer cooler, put 4 cups of watermelon chunks (no seeds), 1 cup of ice, and the juice of half a lime into a blender. Blend until smooth.

Individual Bengal Spice Decaffeinated Sun Teas

Appetizer: Tamara
Oregano Pesto

¼ c pine nuts, toasted
2 c fresh oregano, firmly packed
1/3 c fresh parsley
14 garlic cloves (yes, really. Fourteen)
¼ c white wine
1 slice roasted or fresh red bell pepper
Pinch sea salt
½ - 1 c olive oil

In a blender or food processor, combine pine nuts, basil, parsley, garlic, wine, bell pepper and salt with ½ cup olive oil. Blend. Keep blending and adding olive oil until pesto has reached its desired consistency.

Pesto Torte
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 c, or 2 sticks butter (yes, 2 sticks!!) softened
1 small jar oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
10 oz. container refrigerated pesto
½ c grated Parmesan cheese

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until well blended. Mix pesto and cheese in small bowl. Line two 8 oz. custard cups with plastic wrap. Divide cream cheese mixture into four parts. Spoon 1/4 of cream cheese mixture into each custard cup.

Sprinkle each with 1/4 of the tomatoes. Spread 1/4 of the pesto mixture over tomatoes. Repeat layers until all the mixtures are used.

Fold plastic wrap over each torte, sealing well. Chill overnight until firm. Unmold, remove plastic wrap, and serve with crusty French bread slices or sturdy crackers. Serves 8 to 10

Bread Stix Dough
1 ½ c warm water
2 T olive oil
2 tsp salt
4 ¼ c flour
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp yeast
(I added dried oregano)

Use dough cycle on your bread machine.

Salad: Ashley
Grilled Peaches over arugula with goat cheese and prosciutto

¼ c balsamic vinegar
3 T honey
3 peaches, pitted and each cut into 6 wedges
cooking spray or olive oil
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
dash of kosher salt
10 c arugula
2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
2 T crumbled goat cheese

Bring vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over med-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer until vinegar is reduced to 2 T (about 2 minutes). remove from heat; stir in honey. Cool to room temperature.

Fry prosciutto in a small amount of olive oil until crisp. Let drain on paper bag or towel. Crumble.

Prepare grill to high heat. Place peach wedges on grill rack coated with cooking spray or olive oil; grill 30 seconds on each side or until desired grill marks appear but peaches are still firm. Remove from grill; set aside.

Combine oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add arugula, tossing to coat. Top with peach wedges, goat cheese and prosciutto.

Drizzle balsamic syrup over the top and toss together.

Soup: Aven
Corn Chowder

½ sweet onion
olive oil/butter
2-3 tsp basil
2-3 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1-2 shots Tabasco
salt and pepper
5 ears of corn
3 medium potatoes
1 red bell pepper
4 carrots
¼ c sour cream
½ c milk
1-2 c water

Dice and boil potatoes, set aside. Brown onion in oil or butter with spices and Tabasco. Add corn, pepper and carrots and sauté until soft. Add potatoes and puree half of soup. Add water, milk and sour cream, simmer 15-30 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley or chives.

Side Dish: Lovina

Two-corn Polenta with Tomatoes, Basil and Cheese

2 tsp olive oil
2 c chopped onion (2 medium)
4 c fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 c fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 c instant dry polenta
½ c (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 c chopped tomato
½ c chopped fresh basil

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in broth, corn, and garlic; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Slowly add polenta, stirring with a whisk until polenta is thick (about 5 minutes). Add cheese, stirring to melt. Stir in salt and pepper. Remove from heat; sprinkle with tomato and basil. Serve immediately.

Entrée: Sara
Summer Fajitas

1 lb Chicken, Quorn or Tofu marinated in the following:
2 T Lime Juice, Olive or Vegetable oil
1 T: Oregano, Paprika, Cumin
1 tsp: Chili powder, Salt, Red Pepper Flakes
¼ c of finely chopped cilantro

Marinate meat for 2 hours
Marinate Tofu overnight
Marinate Quorn cutlets 20 minute

Sauté protein until mostly cooked and add:

1 c Red, Green, and/or yellow peppers
mushrooms 1/2ed or 1/4ed
½ c Onion

I served it lettuce wrap style on red leaf lettuce with fat free sour cream and chopped avocado.

Dessert: Stacey
Buttermilk Pound Cake

3 c cake flour
6 eggs
1 lb. butter, softened
1 lb. sugar (2 ½ c)
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
***serve with fresh berries and whipped cream

Sift the flour, soda, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Stir in salt and sugar. Next add butter--I use my KitchenAid at this point. Add the eggs, whole. Slowly add buttermilk then the vanilla. After it is thoroughly stirred, turn the mixer up to medium for a few minutes, then up to high for 1 minute. If the mixture seems too thick add just a touch more buttermilk.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a standard tube cake pan. Pour cake batter in, and bake for about 1 hour and 10 mins. Avoid opening the oven door too much as this will cause the cake to collapse. Test with a toothpick. Allow cake to cool for 20 mins. in the pan, then gently remove.

WildCard: Dorothy Yellin

1 c butter
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
2 c flour
¼ tsp salt
1/3 c sour cream
½ c sugar
1 T ground cinnamon
1 c finely chopped walnuts
½ c finely chopped raisins
1 c fruit jam or preserves (apricot, strawberry, raspberry)

Cut the butter and cream cheese into small pieces. In the food processor, pulse together the flour, salt, butter, cream cheese, and sour cream until crumbly. Shape the mixture into 4 equal disks. Wrap each disk and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, walnuts and raisins. Set aside.

Lightly flour a work surface area and roll each disk into a 9-inch round, keeping the other disks chilled until you’re ready to roll them. Spread each circle of dough with a light layer of the jam. Divide the sugar/nut filling among the disks, and press lightly into the jam. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut each round into 12 wedges or triangles. Roll the wedges from the wide end to the narrow end, so you end up with a point on the outside of the cookie. Place on the prepared baking sheets with the point side down.

Bake in the center rack of the oven fro 22 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool on wire racks. Store in airtight containers. They also freeze very well for up to 2 months.

Lottery: Mariah and Sara

Spices for Summer Fajitas included! All you Divas need to add are the protein and the veggies, the oil, and the lime juice, some heat and your foodie love!

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