Tuesday, April 17, 2012

from dinner for 12 to dinner for 60

I'm not sure where I first had this salad. I definitely didn't invent it. But this salad is my "go to" for something different with big flavors. I recently prepared it for a dinner party of 12 and also for a supper party of 60. It is always a big hit.

Spinach Beet Salad
 baby spinach
thinly sliced red onion
fresh orange segments
roasted beets
crumbled goat cheese
toasted walnuts
homemade orange vinagrette

Start by trimming the beets, not peeling them, and toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast them in a covered dish for 1 hour at 375º. After they come out of the oven, leave them covered for another 20 minutes or so until they are cool enough to peel. The peeling should come off easily with a paper towel. Thinly slice into half moons and set aside.

Zest oranges and set aside zest before this step... Segment your oranges. I like to peel them with a knife and then go through each segment. Here's a helpful video. Save zest & juice for dressing.

for the dressing... Put the zest & orange juice into a blender with 2 tbsp of dijon mustard, 3 tbsp honey, 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar, salt & pepper. Stream in 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Combine all ingredients and drizzle with your yummy homemade dressing.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

first birthday

My dear friend's little angel turned one this week. I volunteered to make the invitations and the cupcakes as my gift. The little flags on the cupcakes turned out so cute! The birthday boy wasn't as thrilled as we had hoped. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

garden party

Recently, I was asked to cater an event at a beautiful home here in Nashville. The gardens were simply gorgeous and I was so happy to get a tour and be a party of this fabulous event! Here is a sampling of the bites that I prepared for this lovely afternoon soiree...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

caramel fudge ball

When I was little, my grandfather was a member of the Belle Meade Country Club. My mother used to take all 6 of us - my sister and our 4 cousins - and drop us off at the club. We would swim all day and play tennis and charge stuff to granddaddy's account. My absolute favorite thing to get was a caramel fudge ball. It is rich and creamy vanilla ice cream, rolled in a ball, coated with crumbled chocolate cookies and smothered in caramel sauce. They were about the size of your fist, and just seemed like the most wonderful ball of heaven to all of us children. Now that I am all grown up, I often make these for my fiancé and his son. They love them just as much as I did! For his birthday this year, I decided to go crazy and make a gigantic one as his cake. Needless to say, it was a big hit!

spaghetti squash

Yesterday morning on the Today Show they had a segment on fall vegetables. They were saying that you can stretch spaghetti by adding spaghetti squash. Use half noodles, half squash and cut your calories and carbs in half. I just so happened to have one of these bad boys in my fridge so I thought I'd give this a try. So yummy! The squash noodles add a little bite to the dish. It was way better than I thought it would be. Next time I may go all squash and no noodles. You just never know - I'm pretty crazy like that! Just cut your squash in half, scoop out the seeds, roast it in the oven at 375º for and hour, then scoop out the noodly flesh and add it to your favorite pasta recipe.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

what a peach!

What a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Franklin, Tenn! I can't believe in the middle of August the temperature was in the low 80's all afternoon. Ahhhh. My sweet husband-to-be decided to pull out the grill and smoke some ribs. I went to the farmer's market and got purple hull peas, fresh squash, okra and peaches. He wanted to prepare it all and, if I do say so myself, I have trained him well. It was wonderful. He even made us a dessert of caramelized peaches and vanilla bean ice cream. Such summery goodness.