AHHHH! It's been too long since a #foodie post! Totally my fault for not having more time at home with glorious cooking moments to share with friends and with you all.
I have been on the go VERY consistently the last several weeks and last night I was the FIRST night that I have been home with time for a great grocery run (@traderjoes - of course).
A glimpse of the finished product, as posted by my dear friend, +Amy D Jones. I was lucky to have her in town from D.C. to visit for the evening and we both agreed that our friendship is complete now that I have served and she has enjoyed a meal in my home!
I found the most perfect cantaloupe and just had to make one of my favorite Italian appetizers to kick off the evening - Proscuitto & Melon with Mozzarella!!! YUMMMMY! So easy, fresh, light, and summery! A wonderful way to start the passing of some tid-bit plates and conversations around the kitchen!
My friend Amy was in attendance of course, and our mutual friend, Tiffany Thompson - a wonderful singer, songwriter and a creative and beautiful person joined as well. My newest friend, Audrey came by after work! We actually work together at NASH and she always starts my day with smiles! My roommate, India was also at home and our spicy little dogs, Ginger & Paprika added some very spirited and lively entertainment to our evening.
One of my favorite items at Trader Joe's these days is from the Butcher Shop: "Burgundy Pepper Lamb Tips." SO delicious and easy to make. You just need a grill or a pan - I use my Emeril by All-Clad Stainless Steel Pan with a little bit of olive oil on LOW-MED heat until medium-rare. Trust me, you DO NOT want to overcook Lamb! EVER.
One of the best flavors to compliment lamb is mint. Often you will see grilled lamb chops served with a mint jelly or paste. I was in the mood to make a salad because it's the middle of summer and though I wanted a great rich protein, I wasn't in the mood for a heavy meal.
When I make a salad I want several beautiful flavors combined... With mint in mind, I chose mixed baby kale as the greens base and added a little bit of crunch with some slivered almonds. I finely chopped 1/3 of a large red onion, a bunch of mint, and added 1 cup of fresh blueberries. I wanted a cheese that would be tart and soft, so I chose my favorite Trader Joe's FETA in Brine made with sheep's milk. I dressed the total combination with a lemon olive oil and the platinum balsamic vinegar from TJ's.
Amy brought a Malbec for dinner, but I wanted to try a new cocktail to start the evening - bourbon, lemon, rosemary combo w/ ginger ale.
In a shaker combine the following -
2 sprigs of rosemary (pull apart)
Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
1 tsp of brown sugar
1 oz of bourbon
Pour over ice & top w/ ginger ale. Garnish w/ rosemary.
I had a peach crumble or cobbler on the brain, but
pipe peaches were non existent at Trader Joe's and I didn't have time to make a pie crust / forgot to buy one at the store... sooooo.... I made up a recipe! Just eyeball it, ladies & gents! It was amazing!
I used my small Emeril All-Clad pan and added :
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 pink lady apple chopped
1/4 cup water
2-3 tbsp brown sugar
2 pats of salted butter
Let that simmer for 12-15 minutes until reduction begins and then I added low-fat granola from TJ's on top of the fruit mixture and allowed it to cook in like oats.
Top with vanilla ice cream and for fun - add a splash of Tennessee Whipping Cream. You've got a bangin' cobbler!
To you and your next friend & foodie filled evening... Bon Appétit!!!