3 oz. Pinot Noir
½ T sugar
½ oz. apple juice
Dash of lemon juice
Dash of grapefruit juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker full of ice, shake vigorously, and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with skewered, frozen red grapes offset by slices of green apple.
Wedding Cake Martini
1 ½ oz. Amaretto (Disaronno)
½ oz. Vodka, vanilla
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker full of ice, shake vigorously, and strain into a martini glass.
Phyllo Wrapped Asparagus
4 sheets of phyllo dough thawed
1 c dairy free cream cheese mixed with fresh chives (chopped)
1 bunch of fresh asparagus
½ c vegan butter
fresh parsley (for garnish)
Pre-heat the oven to 375. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the phyllo sheets, doubled up slice the phyllo sheets into 4ths then again into 3in x 3in squares take the asparagus and wrapped into the dough from one corner to the next, creating a triangular shape brush each wrap with the vegan butter and sprinkle with the panko breadcrumbs bake for 20-25 minutes (or until the breadcrumbs have browned) chop the parsley and sprinkle on top for garnish and serve
Arugula and Mixed Greens with Strawberry Vinaigrette and Cheddar Crisps
8oz cheddar cheese
¼ c all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
¾ tsp ground red pepper (optional)
24 strawberries, hulled
6 T extra-virgin olive oil
6 T balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp chopped fresh lemon thyme
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground pepper
8 c arugula
8 c mixed baby greens
2 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced
1 green onion, finely chopped
To make the crisps: Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or use a Silpat. Cut the cheese into ½ inch cubes. In a small bowl, beat the egg with 2 tbs cold water. In another bowl, combine the flour, red pepper, if using, and salt. Working in batches, toss the cheese in the flour, then in the egg and again in the flour. Bake for 15 minutes or until brown.
To make the salad: Put 20 strawberries in a food processor and process until pureed. You should have a little more than a cup. Slice the remaining strawberries and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the strawberry puree, oil, vinegar, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add honey or sugar to sweeten if necessary. Divide greens evenly among plates, drizzle with the vinaigrette and top with the green onion, sliced avocado, sliced strawberries and cheddar crisps. (Serves 12)
(Adapted from Simply Organic by Jesse Ziff Cool)
Avgolemono Soup (Greek Egg-Lemon Soup)
2 c milk
2 T cornstarch
6 egg yolks, beaten
2 quarts vegetable stock
½ c aborio rice
¼ c butter
½ c fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
1 lemon, rind of, grated
salt and pepper
Stir the milk and cornstarch together and beat in the egg yolks. Set aside.
Bring the stock to boil in a 4-quart soup pot and add the rice. Cook, covered, until the rice is puffy and tender, about 25 min. Remove the soup from heat, add milk and egg mixture, stirring carefully. Continue to cook for a moment until all thickens. Remove from the heat again and add the butter, chopped parsley, lemon juice, and finely grated lemon peel.
(Adapted from Recipezaar.com)
Side Dish: Sara
Spinach and Artichoke Twice Baked Potatoes
1 very large Idaho baking potato
2 c chopped baby spinach (heaping)
2-3 artichokes from a can, stem removed and chopped fine
1 shallot chopped
1 clove of garlic grated
salt and pepper to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes
¼ c + 1 T of Greek Yogurt
⅓ c Grated Swiss Cheese + extra for sprinkling
Olive oil for sautéing
Bake the Idaho potato till it is done and soft in the middle. You can do this however you bake potatoes (please say not via microwave). Cut the potato in half and allow to cool.
In a skillet, heat olive oil (about ½ T) over medium heat. Add in shallot and start to sauté. When the shallot starts getting a bit soft then add in the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and grated garlic. Combine and sauté for about another minute watching the garlic to make sure it doesn’t burn. Add in the spinach and artichokes, sauté until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Scoop out the inside of each half of the potato and add to a medium sized mixing bowl. Make sure to not scoop out the entire inside but leave about a quarter inch or so border so that the potato will hold together. Mash the insides of the potato in the mixing bowl till it’s smooth. Add in the yogurt and the spinach and artichoke mixture. Stir till combined then add in the ⅓ c of grated Swiss cheese.
Scoop mixture back into the potato halves, distribute equally between each half. The potatoes will be stuffed and over-flowing, this is what you want.
At this point you can heat them up and serve or cover and refrigerate until you’re ready for them.
Right before pulling them out of the oven upon reheating, sprinkle with remaining swiss cheese allowing it to melt. Serve immediately and enjoy! (Serves 2)
Triple-Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
6 medium chicken breasts--trim and cut slit in thicker end
1 c ricotta cheese
1 c shredded gouda cheese
⅔ c shredded parmesan cheese
3 T fresh basil, chopped
2 T fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
2 T olive oil salt and pepper
½ c white wine
Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts. Combine cheeses, basil, oregano, lemon-pepper seasoning and a little salt and pepper in a bowl. Stuff about 1/3 of a cup of stuffing in chicken breasts.
Place the chicken in a baking dish. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 mins. until chicken is no longer pink. Pour wine over the chicken and bake for the last five minutes. (Serves 6)
(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook)
Southern Red Velvet Cake
Vegetable oil for the pans
2 ½ c all-purpose flour
1 ½ c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 ½ c vegetable oil
1 c buttermilk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 T red food coloring (1 ounce)
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
Crushed pecans, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour 3 (9 by 1 1/2-inch round) cake pans.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
Using a standing mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.
Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the oven evenly spaced apart. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. One at a time, invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely.
Frost the cake. Place 1 layer, rounded-side down, in the middle of a rotating cake stand. Using a palette knife or offset spatula spread some of the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. (Spread enough frosting to make a 1/4 to 1/2-inch layer.) Carefully set another layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat. Top with the remaining layer and cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Sprinkle the top with the pecans.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
4 c sifted confectioners' sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and butter on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.)
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the vanilla, raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using. May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Yield: enough to frost a 3 layer (9-inch) cake
(From the foodnetwork.com, Sara Moulton)