Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dinner Party

A couple of weeks ago I had my four of my best girlfriends over for dinner.... We were celebrating the approaching birthday of one, another's adorable baby who is now 3 months old, and the other two were visiting from not-too-far-away, but still too far to see them all the time.

I love when the girls come over for dinner. It gives me an excuse to pull out as many wedding gifts as possible, and make everything a little fancy because you KNOW the girls will enjoy it, whereas the boys could really care less.

I found this adorable birch centerpiece to put a vase of flowers in, and I pulled out my linen table runner, and my multi-colored clothes napkins and set to cooking.

To start we had some cheese & crackers and some delicious lamb chops in a cranberry chutney with port (recipe here). Sounds heavy, but it was just a bite, and they were SO good. Of course there was red wine - ooh, and another wedding gift, this fabulous pitcher from C+B filled with lemony water.

We tried not to fill up too much - as dinner included the following:

- Brusell sprouts with smoked uncured bacon that I splurged on at whole foods.
- Food & Wine's Creamy Polenta with a Wild Mushroom Ragu - made with marscapone, yum, it only called for 1 tbsp, but we added more.
- Petite filets (another splurge from whole foods) that I marinated in red wine, evoo, garlic & salt & pepper, then cooked on the grill
- GF Rosemary & Thyme Against the Grain baguette, toasted (also regular baguette, as I am the only one GF)


There was dessert too, but I didn't take any pics! I'm so bad with remembering to take pictures.

The company, food & wine were all perfection. I love girls nights.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

turkey day is tomorrow...

I have been so busy at work I haven't had time to blog about the fabulous girls dinner party last weekend and the amazing meal we made, or the yummy shepherd's pie I made the other night, but I will! Later this weekend ;)

I'll try to take some pics during our Thanksgiving feast as we have some delicious GF items we will be making --- I'm sure you all do too!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Quick & Easy Chicken Soup

My husband has been sick a couple times this fall already (knock on wood, NOT ME!) and he loves when I make him this chicken soup. I change it up everytime based on what I feel like adding, or what's in my house, etc.

My local grocer sells these rotisserie chickens for $3.99 which is such a fab deal - and I usually put most in the soup, and then can save the rest for whatever (sandwiches, chicken salad, etc)

Here's how I do my soup:

One swirl of EVOO in a large pot, then throw in cut up carrots, celery, onion. Let those soften for a bit, then throw in a can of no salt added tomatoes diced or crushed, whatever you like. Then add in chicken stock, crushed red pepper (husband loves spice, and even more when he's sick), parsnips, fresh thyme, crushed black pepper, a spoonful of Dijon mustard (I know, weird right? but a good addition!) I then let this boil & cook for a while till the parsnips are soft. Then I shred the chicken off the bone & throw that in, and sometimes throw in some cannellini beans, or a little GF pasta, or some rice -- whatever you feel like! I love that about soup! Just be sure if you're adding rice or pasta to have more liquid than you would think to add.

Then serve! I usually sprinkle a little parm or pecorino on top. Perfect for a cold dreary night, which is exactly what we're getting tonight in the northeast!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

New GF product obsession: Canyon Bakehouse

OK everyone. I found a FANTASTIC new gluten free product at Whole Foods last week.

I was walking through and happened to go by the regular bread section and saw the words "Gluten Free" looking at me on the shelves. Not in the freezer, but out in the open. I hadn't heard of this product - and had to try it. I grabbed Canyon Bakehouse's GF San Juan 7-grain bread and their GF Rosemary and Thyme Focaccia.

I am already on my second loaf of the 7-grain bread. It's amazing.

Now -- I've been a huge Udi's fan for a while -- and I definitely still love it. But what I love about this bread is that it has whole grains, is thick and spongy like I remember read bread feeling, and it tastes absolutely amazing.

I've noticed recently that my Udi's has been a bit dry and crumbly. Just look at this toast:

My husband actually made me an egg sandwich this morning for breakfast and I had to ask him if he was SURE that this was my gluten free toast and not his - for real!

I was actually a little hesitant because I don't usually like bean flours -- I have WANTED to like bean flour because I know that are more nutritious, but I've always thought they gave a weird soapy taste - but not here!

I also bought the Rosemary Thyme Focaccia which is sooooo yummy. I had it as toast, and actually I ate some leftover meatsauce from last week with hunks of this bread. My husband also loved it and was mad I was hoarding it without sharing (haha), here's a not great pic of it from my phone as a snack at my desk:

Anyway - I'm obviously a fan! I would LOVE IT if they would reach out and let me host a giveaway so I can let some of you try this product! Especially if there is not a Whole Foods near you - although, you can order online, here.

Next on my list is to try there White Bread, Cinnamon Raisin, Hamburger Buns! Basically, all of their products.

OH -- the prices weren't bad... Online in the store 1 loaf is $4.99 -- I believe I bought it in the store for about $5.29 -- so comparable to Udi's.... Also - here is a quick side by side of the nutritional facts for Udis vs Canyon Bake house:

Click on graphic to read at full size