Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lemonates Patates (Lemon Potatoes) #GreekSummer blog tour + giveaway

Lemonates Patates (Lemon Potatoes) #GreekSummer blog tour + cookbook giveaway from @girlichef
I have a bucket list. It's extremely long. I can think of fewer places that I don't want to visit, than ones that I do. High on that list is Greece. Stark white houses on a hilly landscape against a brilliant blue ocean backdrop. Or the colorful homes jammed into a rocky outcropping. And the food. OOOOHHHHH, THE FOOD!

Well, until I can physically set foot on one its numerous islands, I will have to live vicariously through photographs, books, and best of all food and cookbooks.

Today, the tour stops here on a virtual trip to Greece with Debbie Matenopoulos, via her recently released cookbook, It's All Greek to Me. If you're like me, you'll probably recognize Debbie from shows like The View, The Insider, and Entertainment Tonight (or one of her many others), but what I didn't know was that she comes from a Greek family that instilled in her "a passion for bringing friends, family, and even strangers together over the dinner table for meals made with love". Otherwise termed "philoxenia".

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Barbecue Ribs (simple and tender) #SundaySupper

Barbecue Ribs #recipe by @girlichef
One thing that just screams summer in our house is ribs. Come to think of it, the screaming may actually just be my family in the background emphasizing how long it's been since the last time I made ribs. For some reason, I seem to put off making ribs. I don't know why, because whether you know it or not, ribs are actually ridiculously easy to make. Because all it really takes is a good, flavorful rub, some (hands-off) time in the oven, and quick lacquering on a smoky grill.

That's seriously it. I mean, obviously you can go further. But the recipe I'm sharing today produces tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs that are packed with the smoky, barbecue flavor of summer.

I think the greatest thing about these ribs is the advance baking. You can make a ton of slabs up in advance if you're throwing a bbq party, and then glaze and turn them all pretty and sticky in mere moments once everybody gets hungry.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Panmarino (Italian Rosemary Bread) - Bread Baking Babes

Panmarino (Italian Rosemary Bread) by @girlichef
It's the 16th, and you know what that means - Bread Baking Babes time! Cathy from Bread Experience is our BBBabe kitchen of the month, and her bread choice was influenced by her Tuscany state-of-mind (after spending time there recently). Can you blame her? Not me. I don't think I'd get it off the brain for years. It's been my numero uno destination spot for as long as I can remember. Her choice: Panmarino, or Italian Rosemary Bread.

Described as a bread that's fragrant with rosemary, with a crust that "sparkled with diamonds", I couldn't wait to pull mine from the oven. It's a fairly simple recipe. Aside from the Biga* that needs to sit for at least 14 hours before you make the bread, it comes together quickly, as well.

The original recipe makes 4 one-pound loaves. That's actually not too much, as I bet neighbors and family and friends would readily welcome one into their kitchen (or you could freeze a couple). But I decided to halve the recipe the first time around.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Orlando Here I Come! #fwcon

Palm Trees Outside Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando Florida
In a few short days I'll be in Orlando, ready for a weekend filled with amazing food, wine, friends old and new, time spent in a stellar resort, palm trees, and lots and lots of learnin'! Yes, I'm making a list and check it fifty times twice in anticipation of the second annual Food and Wine Conference!

I may be a bit biased since last year's Food and Wine Conference was my first-ever blogging conference...and the fact that it was started by the amazing Isabel Laessig, founder of something near and dear to me, the Sunday Supper Movement. Plus, I get to spend an entire weekend with so many of my Sunday Supper family members - some of whom I met in person last year, all of whom I already feel close to since we spend so much (virtual) time together already.

Margaritas on a hot and humid summer evening may also play into my excitement.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Grilled Brie with Tropical Fruit Compote #SundaySupper

Grilled Brie with Tropical Fruit Compote by @girlichef
Funny how you take some things for granted. Take for instance a grill. I grew up in a household that trucked a grill in and out of the garage year round, though especially during the summertime. It wasn't usually anything fancy - burgers, dogs, brats, chicken breasts, the occasional steak. But to this day, the smell of mesquite clinging to the air transports me right back to my 10-year-old self.

It wasn't just us. My grandparent's actually have a grill cemented right in to a concrete slab off of their patio. If we dropped by an aunt or uncle's house for a visit, charcoal levels were immediately checked. Heck, we even packed food fit for the grill into our cooler when we went camping since all of the campsites had  grills built-in.

Neighbors invited you over for cook-outs. The smell of sizzling meat drifted down the street and snaked through your windows, instantly making the decision of what to have for dinner an easy one: something on the grill. Heck, when I moved into my first apartment, my little grill was camped out on my porch.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tequila Sunrise Ice Pops

Tequila Sunrise Ice Pops by @girlichef
So. It's hot and it's humid. The kids are slurping on popsicles like they're going out of style. All you really want to do is kick back with a cocktail in one hand and an icy popsicle of your own in the other. But that means both hands are full. Free up one hand for heroics by combining that cocktail and that ice pop.  Yes, I'm talking about a frozen cocktail on a stick. A Tequila Sunrise Ice Pop to end all ice pops!

I kid you not, these babies are DELICIOUS! They literally taste like your cocktail jumped out of your glass and into a neat little frozen parcel. Come visit me and grab the Tequila Sunrise Ice Pops Recipe over at Food Fanatic, where I'm kicking back and taking advantage of the heat today!

p.s. - these ice pops were also picked up by The Huffington Post - Tequila Sunrise Ice Pops: The Best use of Tequila in the History of Ever! Aw yeah.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cold Peanut Noodles #SundaySupper

Cold Peanut Noodles | www.girlichef.com
It's about that time of year again. The time when just the thought of how hot it is makes you start to sweat. Days are spent splashing in the pool, lounging on the beach, playing in the hose, manning the grill, and sprawling out in front of the air conditioner vents. Kitchens are often dashed into and out of as quickly as possible. Anything to beat the heat.

Yes, during the dog days of summer, it's important to have a bunch of recipes under your belt that are good served cold. Sure, they may require a bit of time in the kitchen - but it's minimal. Get in there, cook up a quick dish or two, then throw it into the fridge for later. You know, so you can go run through the sprinkler to cool back off.

These noodles are technically a side dish that goes great at a picnic, barbecue, potluck, or any summer dinner. But I'm not going to deny eating them as a meal, too. Heck, if you have some leftover chicken, shred it up and toss it in. I bet shrimp, or maybe even some chunks of pork, would be good, too.