Friday, June 22, 2012


In twenty-four hours I will find myself on a beach in Manzanillo, Mexico.  Assuming that we have an internet connection, I will try to update a couple of times but obviously, that might be tricky.  The home we are staying in comes with a private chef and you can damn well bet I will be attempting to talk myself into the kitchen in whatever language necessary at least a couple of times.

This is the house we have to ourselves... 9,500 square feet

I'll be under that umbrella if you are looking for me

The amazing view from the patio

Everything that I packed minus the flip-flops

Talk to you from Manzanillo hopefully!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The World's Easiest Fruit Dip, Go-To Turkey Feta Wraps, and Go-To Refrigerator Pasta

I wish I had some fantastic reason as to why I have been AWOL from these parts, but I just don't. While I have been making a few things, they are so terrifically uninspired that I chose not to bore you with them. ((Reasserts vow not to be one of those people who make a fried egg on toast and takes a picture of it. Double reasserts that would never eat a fried egg on toast anyway. Gross.))

Instead, I will give you the World's Easiest Fruit Dip recipe which is so ridiculously simple that it is almost laughable.  I made this for the Elopement Party with a berry salad over the weekend ((strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries)) which looked really pretty, but AGAIN, I failed to take a picture of.

From the gallery opening earlier this year
 What you need:

1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 jar of marshmallow fluff ((yep, you read that right))

What you do:

Bring the cream cheese to room temperature. Using your mixer, beat the living hell out of it until it is light and fluffy.  Using a rubber spatula, add the fluff to the bowl and then mix for about a minute or until it is smooth in consistency.  Done.

For a twist: Add shreds of pineapple to the dip. If you must, use the canned pineapple tidbits, and then sliver them down into tiny pieces, but be sure to drain out as much of the juice as possible so that you don't break down the consistency of the dip. I have also experimented with adding honey to this, but it is really, really, like hurts your face really, sweet. I'm sure there are tons of other modifications, so if you try something, let me know!

As pictured above, I thought I was all artistic and used a mini watermelon to serve it in.  I sliced off the very bottom to make a flat surface, cut it approximately in half, hollowed it out, and then froze it for about an hour so that it would stay intact and help keep the dip cold under the gallery lights. You are quite possibly more artistic than I am ((odds are good)) so you could carve a design into the top or do something fancy. If you do, I want to see a picture and hear about how many stitches you needed.


Other stuff I made this week that I didn't deem blog-worthy but am now writing about anyway...

-My go-to quick lunch of a turkey wrap. Simple. Just microwave a tortilla with several slices of turkey on it under a paper towel for 30 seconds. Top with chopped romaine, caesar dressing, and feta crumbles. I eat this more than anyone really should.

-My go-to quick dinner of refrigerator pasta salad. Some kind of pasta, a little balsamic and olive oil, with basil, tomato and pine nuts.

I warned you it was uninspired!  ((My resolve to not buy groceries prior to departure is a part of this malaise. I'm not sure my refrigerator has been this bare in over a year. It's kind of sad.))


All right, I need to finish another freelance article that is due tonight. Happy First Day of Summer!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tahini Salad Dressing, Creative Party Ideas, and Why Did I Ever Start This 3 Grouping for the Titles?

Today has been spent getting ready for a small post-elopement/wedding reception... They had a really unique idea: a build your own salad for the main course. For the bed, we put together romaine and baby lettuce/radicchio/arugula/spring greens. Then we had 15 or so different toppings so that the guests could make almost anything they wanted: grilled chicken in a mesquite marinade, chili lime grilled shrimp, genoa salami, cheddar, feta, bleu cheese, parmesan, goat cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, black olives, bacon crumbles, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, candied walnuts, asiago cheese croutons, and wonton strips.  For dressings, I made balsamic vinaigrette and a tahini dressing.  Needless to say, I have grated, chopped, and crumbled my face off today.  ((We also did brie with kalamatas, ciabatta bread, a mixed berry salad of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries with a fruit dip, and the caprese salad skewers which I always say I am never making again and then always do.))  Anyway, I think their salad bar idea is a good one. If I can keep my wits about me, I will remember to suggest that in the future.

Tahini salad dressing is a good non-dairy alternative that you can make in about 5 minutes.  ((Seriously, if you are still buying salad dressing, I don't know what to do with you. It is so easy to make, tastes so much better, and isn't full of chemicals and crap.))  What the hell is tahini you say? Tahini is to sesame seeds as peanut butter is to peanuts. That's about the best way I can describe it. You can find it in urban grocery stores or in health food stores, probably by the organics.  Don't be scared, it's delicious. Trader Joe's sells a tahini style dressing under the label "Goddess." No, I don't know why and I'm too lazy to google it at the moment.

Picture from because I am a total fail when it comes to stopping to take pictures when I have multiple projects going and her's is prettier anyway and this is a really long sentence, huh?

What you need:

1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic
1 clove grated ginger
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup olive oil

What to do:

Put everything BUT the oil in a blender or a food processor and pulse until it is smooth and creamy in consistency.  Slowly start adding the olive oil and continue pulsing until it is combined.

This dressing is a little thick.  You can add more water to thin it out if so desired.  As written, this makes about 2 cups and will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for at least a couple of weeks.


I'm going to go put my feet up and do nothing for a while!  Happy Father's Day if that is your kind of thing.