Sunday, April 30, 2006

Tasting Menu

Latest tasting dinner I prepared at home while Mom & Dad were in town...

Prosciutto wrapped arugula with balsamic vinaigrette and shaved romano cheese...

Antipasto Trio (from left to right) Spicy Indian Samosa, Tomato Bruschetta, Canape Cup with Green Olives and Goat Cheese

Handmade Spinach-Ricotta Ravioli with Creamy Tomato Bisque

Coconut Lime Sorbet served on an icy star.

Asian Entree: Homemade Pork Dumplings, Vegetarian Spring Roll, Crispy Noodles and Snow Peas

Fruit Taco - almond lace "taco" filled with vanilla whipped cream, fresh berries, and raspberry coulis

I normally wouldn't put up a photo of myself, but Mom took this and I just noticed all the dishes behind me - those are just SOME of the dishes we used over the course of the dinner service.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Lemon biscotti with toasted pignoli

Lemon Biscotti with toasted Pignoli

Mom & Dad are arriving in Columbia late tonight and in case they need a snack when they get here I decided to make some biscotti. We all know Rebecca is the biscotti master, but I figured I'd give it a try anyway. (MOM & DAD - if you are reading this you are getting a sneak peak, but you SHOULD BE PACKING!)

I bought some pine nuts the last time I was at the Fresh Market (not really knowing what I was going to do with them), so I went searching for a recipe. After reading a few I found one on the Delicious Days website. My recipe below is based on what I found there...

Pignoli Biscotti

2/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 2 Lemons
2 cups plus 2 T flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Place nuts in a shallow pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool.

In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, lemon juice and zest. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the creamed mixture, mixing until blended. Fold in nuts.

Divide dough in half. On a greased and floured baking sheet pat out into two logs about 1/2 inch high, 1 1/2 inches wide and 14 inches long, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake in the middle of a preheated 325 degree oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer from the baking sheet to a rack. Let cool for 5 minutes. Place on a cutting board. With a serrated knife slice diagonally at a 45 degree angle about 1/2 inches thick. Lay slices flat on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 10 minutes longer, turning over once, to dry slightly. Let cool on a rack. Store in a covered container.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Cuvaison Chardonnay

2002 Cuvaison Napa Valley Chardonnay ($24)

Cuvaison Winery
4550 Silverado Trail North
Calistoga, Napa Valley, CA 94515

Our Tasting Notes: We opened this bottle on a very hot South Carolina day. It was close to 90 degrees and although we normally would have turned to a Sav Blanc, we decided to chill a bottle of Cuvaison Chardonnay that had been in the “cellar” for a while.

It has a beautiful yellow-gold color and the initial aroma showed a good amount of fruit - pear, apple, & melon – which were apparent on the palate as well. It has just enough oak to give it that buttery texture and creamy finish that Craig and I both love about some California Chardonnays. Although I think it could definitely be paired with food, it made for a great sipping wine (and I think I personally would prefer it that way)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Spicy Turkey Ranch Wrap

Tossed together and put into a flour wrap...
chopped deli turkey, american cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, red onion, ranch dressing, and cayenne pepper sauce.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ravioli + Deep Fryer = Good

For kicks I threw one of my homemade spinach and ricotta ravioli in the deep fryer. YUM!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sun Tea

This past weekend we had freakish hot weather - four days in the 90s. To help keep us cool Craig made some sun tea.

A combination of regular tetley tea, green tea, and some lemon balm leaves from the herb garden.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


We just finished eating and while the guys crash on the couch watching baseball I thought I would post some pics of our dinner...

Arugula Salad

Antipasto Trio: spinach & ricotta ravioli, stuffed zucchini and a crispy sausage cup.

Hazelnut Crusted Lamb Ready for the Grill

Entree plated & paired with a bottle of Cuvaison from Ed & Rebecca

Craig did a great job grilling the lamb!

Vanilla Bundt Cake with Buttercream Icing (don't make fun, I'm not a pastry chef)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Dutch Chocolate Cookies

For some strange reason I started thinking about the chocolate cookies we used to get at Shoprite. No clue if they were Shoprite Brand or what (Mom would know) - but they were great, especially dunked in milk.

Anyways, that lead me to looking for a recipe to make something similar. I happened upon the
Culinary in the Desert and his recipe for Chocolate Snaps. THANK YOU JOE!

Here is my take on them. The texture was slightly different than the Shoprite ones, but the taste was right on.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Move over Starbucks

Last year Craig and I started talking about attempting to roast our own coffee, so the last time Mom & Dad went to Hawaii they were kind enough to bring us back some raw/green kona coffee beans.

Well this weekend we finally decided to give it a try. There are a few different methods of home roasting, but we thought the easiest would be to use the gas grill. We started by creating a makeshift colander...

Then a single layer of beans went onto a very hot grill.

Filly was more than happy to keep us company on the deck - doesn't she look so excited :)

I won't bore you with all the details, but a short time later they had roasted to an awesome medium to dark brown color.

We brewed up our first batch this morning. For our first attempt I think it came really good. Nice flavor and not bitter at all! (In case you were wondering the swirl below is NOT photoshopped in)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I read this list this morning on one of the many food blogs I frequent (Tea & Cookies). This is pretty much what Craig has dealt with since I started the Eating-In website...

  • A full 80% of the photos in your computer files are of food.
  • Your fridge and freezer is stuffed with ingredients you’re wanting to try and use.
  • You have a stack of cookbooks by your bed. (in my case it's all the wonderful food magazines family members have subscribed me to! Thanks guys, I LOVE them!!)
  • You check your blog comments before checking your own email every morning.
  • You have two kinds of balsamic vinegar and four kinds of salt.
  • You try to make dinner early so you can take pictures of it in natural light.
  • Your friends love coming over for dinner, but most of your conversations revolve around food, cooking, and obscure types of mushrooms.
  • You’re corresponding with people all over the world that you’ve never met and yet they feel like kindred spirits.
  • You’re beginning to have a personal relationship with your butcher/baker/wine merchant.
  • You can’t eat a restaurant meal without wondering how it was prepared.
  • You get a little worried when a favorite food blog is not updated for a while—has something happened to them? You hope it’s not serious.
  • You laugh at yourself often, because you realize it’s a little obsessive, but you’re having too much fun to really care much.
  • You’re well fed and very happy.