I'm not an everyday blogger... If I have something to say...this is where I will say it. You will also find links to my specialized blogs.

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says... 'Oh shit....she's awake!!'

""Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!""
— Unknown

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Menu...The Food...The Recipes

The Menu
Sun-Dried Tomato Dip (Fine Cooking - I think)
Hummus with Mellow Garlic & Cumin (Fine Cooking)
Striped Pesto Dip (allrecipes.com)
Bean, Bacon and Blue Cheese Dip (Cooking Light)

Grilled Soy-Ginger Skirt Steak (Fine Cooking)
Orzo Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Herbs (Bon Appetit - epicurious.com)
Grilled Corn Salad with Lima Beans and Tomatoes (Bon Appetit - epicurious.com)
French Potato Salad with Arugula, Roquefort, and Walnuts (Cook's Illustrated)
Marinated Carrot Salad with Ginger and Sesame Oil (Food & Wine)
Black Beans with Mango, Citrus & Crunchy Jicama (Fine Cooking)

The Recipes
Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
1/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespooons chopped drained bottled roasted red peppers (1 oz)
1/2 cup walnuts (1-3/4 oz) toasted
1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot
1-1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup olive oil

Puree all ingredients except oil in a food processor. With motor running, add oil in a slow stream, blending until incorporated. Season with salt.

Hummus with Mellow Garlic & Cumin
coming soon

Striped Pesto Dip

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 tablespoons pesto
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  1. In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese, sour cream and Parmesan cheese.
  2. In a small clear glass serving dish, spread 1/3 the cream cheese mixture. Top with 2 tablespoons pesto. Repeat layering, ending with a topping of pesto. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve.
Bean, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Dip
Serve with warm pita wedges ot toasted baguette slices.

1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can navy beans, drained
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
3 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (drained)

Place first 7 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Combine bean mixture and remaining ingredients in a small bowl.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups (serving size: 2 tablespoons)

CALORIES 71(33% from fat); FAT 2.6g (sat 1.4g,mono 0.8g,poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 4.4g; CHOLESTEROL 6mg; CALCIUM 49mg; SODIUM 230mg; FIBER 1.9g; IRON 0.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 7.8g

Cooking Light, MARCH 2003

Grilled Soy-Ginger Skirt Steak
One 2-pound skirt steak
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, lime juice, and ginger. Pour over the steak and turn to coat. Let stand for at least 10 minutes.

Orzo Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Herbs

Check out your local farmers' market for the best selection of heirloom tomatoes and use them within a few days.

8 ounces orzo (rice-shaped pasta; about 1 1/4 cups)

2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup sliced pitted oil-cured olives
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain well. Transfer to medium bowl; cool.

Whisk vinegar and lemon juice in small bowl; gradually whisk in oil. Pour dressing over orzo. Mix in remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Stir before serving.)

Makes 6 servings.
Bon Appétit
August 2004

Grilled Corn Salad with Lima Beans and Tomatoes
This salad is dressed with a red pepper and tomato sauce.

3/4 cup (about) olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 large shallot, finely chopped
6 medium ears fresh corn, husked
2 cups frozen baby lima beans
2 bunches watercress, thick stems trimmed, sprigs torn in half
2 cups halved teardrop tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled soft fresh goat cheese
1 cup halved pitted Kalamata olives
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Whisk 1/2 cup oil, vinegar, and shallot in small bowl. Set dressing aside. Brush corn with remaining 1/4 cup oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until tender and beginning to char in spots, turning often, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly. Cut corn from cobs. Transfer to large bowl. Cook lima beans in boiling salted water until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain. Mix lima beans into corn. Mix watercress and tomatoes into corn mixture. Add dressing and toss to coat. Season salad with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese; garnish with olives. Serve, passing roasted pepper sauce.

Makes 8 servings.
Bon Appétit
July 2003

French Potato Salad with Arugula, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts
For best flavor, serve the salad warm, but to make ahead, follow the recipe through step 2, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Before serving, bring the salad to room temperature, then add the rest of the ingredients.

Serves 6 as a side dish
2 pounds small red potatoes (about 2-inch diameter), unpeeled, scrubbed, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons table salt
1 medium clove garlic , peeled and threaded on skewer
1 1/2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup walnuts , toasted and coarsely chopped
4 ounces Roquefort cheese , crumbled
1 bunch arugula , washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)

1. Place potatoes, 6 cups cold tap water, and salt in large saucepan; bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium. Lower skewered garlic into simmering water and partially blanch, about 45 seconds. Immediately run garlic under cold tap water to stop cooking; remove garlic from skewer and set aside. Continue to simmer potatoes, uncovered, until tender but still firm (thin-bladed paring knife can be slipped into and out of center of potato slice with no resistance), about 5 minutes. Drain potatoes, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Arrange hot potatoes close together in single layer on rimmed baking sheet.

2. Press garlic through garlic press or mince by hand. Whisk garlic, reserved potato cooking water, vinegar, mustard, oil, and pepper in small bowl until combined. Drizzle dressing evenly over warm potatoes; let stand 10 minutes.

3. Toss shallot, walnuts, arugula, and Roquefort cheese in small bowl. Transfer potatoes to large serving bowl; add shallot/walnuts/arugula/Roquefort mixture and mix gently with rubber spatula to combine. Serve immediately.

Marinated Carrot Salad with Ginger and Sesame Oil
Laurent Tourondel grew up in France eating his mother's carrot salad. His Asian take is a little different: The sesame oil, fresh ginger and cilantro add vibrancy to sweet, crunchy carrots.
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh carrot juice
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh ginger juice, squeezed from 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the shredded carrots with the garlic, vinegar, 1/2 cup of the cilantro and 1/4 cup of the grapeseed oil. Season the carrots with salt and pepper. Let the carrots stand for 15 minutes; drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, boil the carrot juice over moderate heat until it is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Let the reduced carrot juice cool slightly, then transfer to a bowl. Whisk in the mayonnaise, sesame oil, ginger juice and the remaining 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil. Season the carrot dressing generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the carrot dressing and the remaining 1/2 cup of cilantro to the carrots and toss the salad well. Transfer to a shallow bowl and serve immediately.
Black Beans with Mango, Citrus & Crunchy Jicama
coming soon

We've Been Outdone!

So I picked up the mail this afternoon and Marina (a friend of John's from high school who lives in Germany) had sent us this!

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Who knew that John and I were being outdone by Blonde and Dagwood!
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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Here come the pictures...watch out!

As usual, I left my camera laying around somewhere...so I didn't take any pictures. But my good friend Dan Hursh was on the scene with his camera...here is some of what he captured! For some reason, he took all of them after dark and I can't change the picture size.

Palm Trees, pools, and a Firefly Sunset...it was shaping up to being a GREAT party!
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Harriet and Lillian seem to be having a good time as they pose for the camera!
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Ann's BookCrossing friend Rhonda drove over from New Albany IN (near Louisville)
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Ann's know June since Ann was born (as June likes to remind her)! June was secretly dating Gary 20 years ago...she even called him from our wedding reception!
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Alan and Don relax by the pool!
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The "Tequilla Table"
Oh what I night they will have!
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What is Dewayne (Rhonda's friend) showing Dan and Dave.?
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Rhonda showing off her beer?
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No idea what she is up to here
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Deborah (flew in from Chicago for the party), Steven, and Rhonda
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Relaxing by the ppol
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Dave, Steve, and Dan
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The Firefly Sunset
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Dan is Down. At the end of the night, he seemed to be having trouble maintaining his balance as he tried to take photographs.
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The Day of the Event - On the Roof or Not

Well, leading up to the party was a little touch and go. For a change, I was done cooking by 5pm the day before. That is unheard of. So I thought I would have plenty of time to have everything set up and ready to go. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't cooperating...storms were moving in and we weren't sure we were going to be able to have the party on the roof.

So instead of having everything set up and relaxing, we were as usual scrambling to set up. If you've never been on the roof of the building, all the scrambling really is worth it!

After a little sprinkle and a wind that knocked the vases of flowers that I had on the table, the weather calmed down and it turned into a beaurtiful evening.