Recipe Review

by Cate on August 15, 2006

I almost forgot one of the most important elements of last night’s dinner party … the cocktail! I went with a new recipe this time, Nantucket Lemonade. Simple to make and tasty, it went down nice and easy. With the addition of cranberry juice (see recipe below), it has a teensy bit of healthy properties to boot. ;) The other new recipes from last night are included below as well.

Speaking of new recipes, I ended up making a total of 20 new recipes in July. Not as much as usual, but the Summer heat gets in the way of too much cooking. There some clear standouts (Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps, for example) and only 2 real duds. All the recipes I’ve made through June have now been loaded into the Recipes section of my website, including PDFs of each recipe for all but two sections, which makes it super-easy to print whatever you need. You’re sure to discover a new favorite for your table.

Anyone catch the season finale of Hell’s Kitchen? I’m glad Heather won. She was a clear stand-out from the beginning. Now what are we going to watch on Monday nights? Interested in trying out for the next season of Hell’s Kitchen? You can join the casting call here. I love Gordon Ramsay. He’s opening a new restaurant in New York City this Fall and is poised to unleash his high standard of perfectionism on the stiff NYC competition; I don’t think he has anything to worry about.

Until tomorrow…

A year ago today … imports!

July Recipe Recap
Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps
Garden Tomato and Basil Pesto Pizza
Espresso Brownies
Spinach Pesto Pasta
Beat the Heat Summer Pasta
Lemony Orzo Salad
Cheaters Stuffed Artichokes
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Super Stuffed French Bread Pizza Rustica
Coconut Lime Bars
Bacon Bit Burgers with Smoked Gouda and Steak House Smothered Onions
Caribbean Salsa Bites
Oven Baked Chicken Wings
Mexican Monkey Cake
Mamu’s Baked Chicken
Sun Dried Tomato and Feta Dip
12 Eggs in a Pan
Blue Cheese Coleslaw
White Chocolate Squares
Spring Tortellini Salad

Nantucket Lemonade
Recipe courtesy of iVillage

Punch bowl and glasses
5 cups lemonade, homemade or good-quality purchased
2 cups cranberry juice
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 cups vodka
2 cups chilled ginger ale
4 cups ice cubes
Frozen cranberries and lemon slices for garnish

Combine the lemonade, cranberry juice, lime juice and vodka in the punch bowl and mix well. Just before serving, slowly pour in the ginger ale. Add the ice cubes. Garnish with the frozen cranberries and lemon slices and serve immediately.

Notes: For non-alcoholic Nantucket Lemonade, substitute 2 cups additional ginger ale and 1 cup additional cranberry juice for the vodka. For a picnic or harbor cruise, mix the punch directly in a small insulated cooler for instant and easy transportability.

Basil-Turkey Mini Focaccia Sandwiches
Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker

1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated pizza crust
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 contained (6.5 oz) herb-and-garlic spreadable cheese, softened (I used Boursin)
2 medium plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 package fresh basil leaves, stems removed
1/2 lb. thinly sliced smoked turkey (from deli)

Heat oven to 400F. Grease large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll pizza crust dough, press into 12×8-inch rectangle on cookie sheet. With end of handle of wood spoon, press indentations in top, about 1 inch apart. Brush dough with oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.

Bake 10-13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 30 minutes, and cut into half horizontally. Spread cut side of bottom of focaccia with spreadable cheese. Top with single layer of tomatoes and basil. Layer turkey evenly over basil. Place top of focaccia, cut side down, over turkey; press down. Pierce through all layers with toothpicks, placing them every 1-1/2 inches over focaccia. With long serrated knife, cut between toothpicks into squares. 40 mini sandwiches.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

wheresmymind August 15, 2006 at 1:30 pm

I heart Hell’s Kitchen, but the crop of chefs this season stunk. Heather was the best of a bad lot.


Sara August 15, 2006 at 7:04 pm

Ramsay is a bit too abrasive for me. I see enough of men posturing and yelling all day, I don’t need it in my off time too.
Love the focaccia sandwiches! They sound super.


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