Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summer Magic...

End of summer... 

I cannot even describe the excitement building as autumn approaches!

As always, the end of August just makes me all giddy... 

To celebrate this special time,
I believe the best way to truly embrace this moment is to have a 'Simmer Party'.

What's a Simmer Party?
Simply put, Summer & Dinner & the whole 'simmering' down of the season!

My favorite decor is boho/gypsy/romantic.

One must share this lil soiree amidst nature, beneath the starry skies,
with close friends & some good food and wine on hand...

~ Appetizer ~
~ avocado phyllo baskets ~

you'll need about 30 mini phyllo baskets for this one!

2 avocados, 1 mango, 1 tomato, red onion, a lime, olive oil, fresh cilantro, black pepper

slice mango into small cubes, add to bowl
slice avo into cubes, add to mango
chop tomato & add
thinly slice 1/2 of onion & add
chop fresh cilantro & add
ground black pepper

lime juice & 1 tbsp olive oil on top

lightly toss & spoon mix into phyllo baskets!

~ Watermelon Salad ~

extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, hot sauce
seedless watermelon, small red onion
fresh parsley
pitted Moroccan olives

dressing:  whisk 1/2 cup olive oil with 3 tbspn lemon juice, 1 tspn hot sauce, salt & pepper

slice 3 lbs. watermelon 1/4 inch thick, rind removed & arrange on serving dish

top with thinly sliced red onion, chopped parsley, chopped olives, & about a cup of crumbled feta

drizzle with dressing on top & serve!

~ Summer Hummus ~
serve with toasted pita wedges

2 cans drained chick peas (reserve liquid)
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup lemon juice
6 tblspn extra virgin olive oil
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 tspn ginger
1/2 tspn cumin
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
2 finely chopped & seeded plum tomatoes
4 thinly sliced scallions
salt & pepper

food processor:  
beans, reserved liquid, tahini, lemon juice, 1 tblspn oil, garlic, ginger, cumin
puree til smooth

transfer to serving dish
stir in cilantro, tomato & scallions
season with salt & pepper
drizzle 2 tblspns oil on top
garnish with cilantro leaves to make pretty!

~ Baguettes ~

~ Corn Soup with Tomato ~

fresh corn kernels off the cobs
a few cups of cherry tomatoes
few cloves of garlic roughly chopped

the above ingredients to baking sheet
drizzle with a lil olive oil,
salt & pepper

Bake 15 min @ 400 degrees

Meanwhile, on the stove, 
sauté a diced onion in a lil olive oil for a few minutes til tender
add:  jarred roasted red bell peppers, chicken broth (about 6 cups),
paprika, chipotle chili powder, & a lil salt & fresh black pepper

add corn & tomatoes to stock pot
simmer & cover

in bowls, garnish with a few corn kernels, some chopped herbs, & a sprinkle of paprika!

~ Summer Braised Chicken & Vegetables ~

~ chicken thighs ~
seasoning for chicken:
Creole from Emeril, find in the spice section
1.  season the thighs
2. lightly dust thighs in flour
3.  olive oil in a pan, add thighs & 
cook til golden!
4. parsley, sage, rosemary, & thyme 
to add garnish to serving dish 

 ~ asparagus ~
drizzle for asparagus:
juice from 2 lemons
splash white wine vinegar
tspn honey
tblspn dijon mustard
4 tblspn olive oil

~ Pomegranate Sorbet ~

syrup - a cup of sugar, 1/2 cup water, cup of fresh mint leaves
into saucepan, medium heat
bring to boil, reduce heat & simmer for a few min & stir
remove from heat & cool for 20 min, strain

in pitcher, combine:
prepared syrup
a couple cups Pom Wonderful
a cup orange juice

pour mix into ice cream maker & freeze

garnish with fresh mint

~ Cherry Tomatoes filled with Goat Cheese ~

combine goat cheese with a couple tspn milk
add chopped basil & chopped chives
salt & pepper

spoon the herbed goat cheese into a couple dozen cherry tomatoes
tip:  use small melon baller to prep tomatoes

~ The Late Summer Outdoor Evening Party ~

~ magical dinner party ~
acoustic guitar, fairy lights, flowers, leaves,
delicious yet simple food, wine, wonderful friends

Dance in the moonlight!

There is something magical about a warm, summer evening

Be still my gypsy heart!


Evening Magic!

So many incredible things may be accomplished with lights!

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.” 
John KeatsBright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne

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