Mixed Bag

by Cate on November 5, 2006

A crazy, busy day, and tomorrow isn’t going to be any better. We had The Neighbors over for dinner tonight, and kept it simple, going with a soup and sandwich theme.

With the exception of making the Greek Salad Bites (from the other night), I went with all new recipes, making Newport Clam Chowder, Garlic Bread Fantastique and Double Chocolate Mocha Trifles. The Neighbor Husband whipped up a batch of Caprese Paninis from a panini cookbook that I had. The end result? The soup was good, but to us, just your average clam chowder soup. No “wow factor.” The garlic bread was delicious, and will definitely be made again; I think the mayonnaise, as odd an ingredient as it might be, is what made the difference. The Caprese Paninis were another keeper, but really, how can you go wrong with fresh basil, mozzarella and tomatoes? Lastly, the trifles. Very pretty presentation-wise, but didn’t doing anything for us, despite the 50+ reviews it got on All Recipes; guess we’re a tough crowd! But it was a good excuse to use my mini-trifle dishes again.

Long time readers may remember that I took over the Well Fed site back in July. Well, we’ve been working behind the scenes on a redesign lately, and it went live today, along with 7 new sites added to our line up (bringing the total to 15 sites in the network). If you haven’t had a chance to visit it recently, GO.

Until tomorrow…

A year ago today…another mixed bag.

Garlic Bread Fantastique
Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes


1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon sage
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 French baguette, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste

Preheat oven to broil. In a medium bowl combine butter, mayonnaise, sage, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Spread mixture evenly on bread and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place bread under broil for 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted.

Newport Clam Chowder
Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes

Serves 8
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 large onions, chopped
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart shucked clams, with liquid
6 (8 ounce) jars clam juice
1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cups half-and-half cream
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill weed

Melt butter in a large kettle or stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until clear. Stir in flour and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 2 to 4 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a separate pot, bring clams and clam juice to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. In a small saucepan, cover peeled potatoes with water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. Slowly pour hot clam stock into butter/flour mixture while stirring constantly. Continue stirring and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add cooked potatoes. Mix in half and half, salt and pepper and chopped dill. Heat through but do not boil.

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