Welcome to One Little Corner of the World. I share with you new recipes, some family recipes, and the antics of my kids. Enjoy reading!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dinner by the Pool

Today we are having our neighbors over for dinner and one of the final swims in our pool. We are serving grilled wings, cheddar biscuits, salad, and corn on the cob. My neighbor is bringing dessert – Hubby is hoping for apple pie. She had brought us one when they moved in and Hubby was hooked on apple pie. That is funny to me, because he usually doesn’t like dessert.

I love the wings we are making. We started working on them a few years ago, after going to Fast Eddie’s in Alton, IL. We didn’t copy their wings, but we made our own version of them. Since we start them in the oven, the wings turn out tender and juicy, because they aren’t cooked too long on the grill. We use Emeril’s seasoning – here is the recipe to make it at home. It adds a punch and great flavor without offending those who might not like their food too spicy.

What a lovely evening. Sitting by the pool, feeling the breeze, watching the kids play in and out of the pool; great time. I truly enjoy hanging out with my friends and cooking a good simple meal.

For the corn I decided to keep the husks on. I put Emeril’s Essence and melted butter on the corn and grilled it. When the corn was cooked I garnished with parmesan cheese. The corn was wonderful. The seasoning and the grilling was a nice change from the regular boiled corn. I did something like this a couple of years ago – it worked well then too.

Fresh grilled corn

10 ears of corn

1 stick butter – unsalted

2 tablespoons Emeril’s Essence

Soak corn in cold water for 30 minutes. Remove silk from corn but keep husks on. Peel down and use husks as a handle. Brush with melted butter and Essense – melt butter and stir in Essense. Place corn on edge of grill with husks off the corn. Cook until corn is done – about 10 minutes, turning every couple of minutes.

Hubby and I were proud of ourselves – we managed to get dinner on the table when we said we would. It has to be a first. Eating outside while it is still light outside. What a concept. Communication works wonders. We actually talked about what time we wanted to eat. We need to try that again.

On another note, even though we were all home as a family this past Friday, I didn’t cook too much. I made boneless wings that I ordered from Schwann’s and macaroni and cheese from a box – how bad am I? We like the wings as a quick dinner at home – beats ordering in sometimes.

talk to you soon!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Memphis - Food and Fun!

The entire family went to Memphis this past weekend. We took the boys with us for the first time, and the boys had a blast. The weekend was very hot, so we had to watch the outdoor activities. We got to Memphis in time for dinner – first stop A and R BBQ. The boys rated it a ten! I had their smoked wings, my oldest had a side of ribs – we helped him a bit – and my youngest had a shoulder sandwich. Hubby ate a pork plate. I have to say that people in Memphis are some of the nicest people I have ever met.

We went to Memphis on the 33d anniversary of Elvis' death. We didn't go to Graceland this time. We decided to let Graceland be a place for those who truly loved him - meaning it was way too crowded to take the boys there, or go there ourselves. We will take the boys there some day.
We stayed at the Peabody – my favorite hotel in the world. We also had a front row seat for the duck parade. The boys thought the ducks were cool. Their palace on the skyway has just been remodeled – they have really nice digs now.
The Peabody makes all their desserts in house – we had to try some for the boys. My oldest picked out the Peabody duck – it is filled with luscious chocolate. Eating it was like finding a hidden treasure.

We also ate at Central BBQ, a place recommended to us by some friends. They were packed! Hubby ate brisket, which I loved. I had the pork, and the boys both had pork sandwiches. We couldn’t decide which BBQ place we liked better – we will have to go back.
Tired of BBQ, we decided to try a Mexican restaurant one night – soooo good. I don’t think I have had such good Mexican food as I did at Rio Loco, right down the street from the Peabody. I am going to mimic their bean and beef dip. I had shrimp in a cheese sauce, not fattening at all – not! The server was so nice to my kids. I just love it when restaurant staff is nice to the kids. It drives me nuts when they are ignored because they aren’t the ones who are paying.

We went to the Pink Palace, a museum that was once the almost mansion of the guy who started the Piggly Wiggly supermarkets. They have a replica of the first self serve grocery store. While Hubby and I were looking at all the products that might have been in there, we found – or I should say – he found Shinola shoe polish. Now I do know the difference between shit and shinola!
On our last night we went to a Memphis Redbird’s game. We didn’t make it all the way through; it went 16 innings. We stayed until the 11th inning and then went to dinner. My oldest loved the game, and my youngest, for the first time, enjoyed almost the entire game. The last time we went to a baseball game, he wanted to go home after the second inning. Made for a long night for me.
Going to a game in Memphis, to me, is more fun than going to a Cardinal’s game. There are fewer people, it is more relaxed, and I just like it better. I don’t know why, I just do.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cookbook Confession

I have to make a confession. There are three things I am addicted to: purses, shoes, and cookbooks. I swore a couple of months ago that I wouldn’t buy anymore cookbooks for a while. That worked great…..until today. Today I bought “From Elvis’ Kitchen to Yours,” and Bon Appétit, Y’all. I am in love with both of them. There is so much interesting information in the Bon Appétit cookbook. I actually started reading some of it to my husband – don’t know just how interested he was in it, but oh well.

Ok, here is a tidbit – grass fed beef used to be considered “tough and inferior.” Not today.

Pork is so popular in the south because it didn’t take up any extra farm land – they were happy in the pen or hanging out in the woods.

I just love reading cookbooks, and I can see myself quite easily reading this cookbook cover to cover. The Elvis book on the other hand – he died on August 16, 1977 you know – has stories, quotes, and lots of pictures along with some great recipes from his life. It is an interesting look at something of his – something that can be easily shared.

I remember when he died. I was little and was visiting my grandparents in Ohio – my grandma is still here – 99 years old. Anyway, we were eating dinner and listening to the radio, because there was a tornado warning. I was all for going to the storm shelter – yes the house actually had a storm shelter – but my grandpa was all for eating dinner; one didn’t’ run to the storm shelter unless the tornado was on its way.. Who has an appetite when there is a tornado not five miles away? Not me! Anyway, I remember clearly the radio announcer interrupting the tornado warning to tell us that Elvis had died. Great I am probably going to join him because the tornado is very close and I am eating dinner and listening to a DJ talk about Elvis.

Just wanted to share my latest cookbook purchases with you. Hopefully I will be able to cook something soon for you!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Family and Summer

Things have been hectic this summer. Not only did we go to North Carolina, I took the boys to Ohio to see my grandma – she is 99 this year. Look for her on the Today show birthdays in January. I just got a letter from her today - she is remarkable. I am so blessed to have family; more blessed that my kids get to know one of the most important people in my life.

That was a fun weekend. I got to show my boys where I grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I also got to show them were I went to school and I tried to show them the “Big House” – University of Michigan Stadium, but it was locked up tight as a drum.

While in Ohio, we were fortunate enough to be able to spend some time with my aunt, her husband, my dad and stepmom, and my stepbrother and his family. I enjoyed seeing their kids as I don’t get to very often. It was great catching up with my sister-in-law. She is a great person and fun to be around.

We have one more trip to make this summer. We are taking the boys to Memphis to show them our favorite hang outs there. I have posted about Memphis before; we love to visit. I have to say though, that Beale Street isn’t going to be the same with the kids.

My oldest played baseball and is now playing football. I think he really enjoys football – it has a lot of action for him. His first game today was played in the grass after we got two inches of rain. He got a little wet, but he scored two touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass. Not bad for my guy.

I took a judging class with the St. Louis BBQ Society and am not able to judge BBQ contests sanctioned by the STL Society. It was an interesting class; many people there were from judging teams and were trying to get tips to help them with their next contest. We got to try some BBQ – some good, some intentionally bad. It was a tasty lesson – an added bonus to the class.

I hope, after I get on a schedule again, to be able to post more often. I can’t believe how much I didn’t cook this summer. We just weren’t home or if we were, we ate very simple food and tried to not eat too much. Hopefully back to normal in a few days!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bobby Flay Dinnner by the Pool with Friends

Bobby Flay was the theme for this summer’s group cooking dinner. Man, was it good!!! This group that gets together is a group of foodies; four couples and their kids. The couples include two brothers from one family and a brother and sister from another family. We love food and love to talk about food, and other things every once in a while. Everyone came to our house; the kids swam in the pool – except for the newest members, a set of cute, cute twin boys.

I think the general comments from the group were that this was the best meal we have cooked together as a group. We cooked recipes from Julia Child - see previous post and did a Mexican themed meal - didn't post about that one. Maybe it was hanging out outside, I don't know, but the food was fabulous! Thanks to Bobby Flay for creating such wonderful recipes!

It was a perfect night, not too hot. The pool was perfect for the kids – I don’t know how many adults got in….I think we were all pretty busy talking, cooking, and drinking. The order might change depending on which person one is talking about.

The menu was chosen from Bobby Flay’s recipes. We found all the recipes on the Columbia Crest Website. I submitted a proposal that didn’t get accepted, but that didn’t stop us. We had two appetizers, two salads, two entrees, and two desserts. Most of the recipes were written very well. One I chose, however, had some issues. The dressing for the Nicoise Salad called for honey, but didn’t explain how or where it went into the recipe. The directions for the salad said to add the onions that weren’t on the shopping list or the list of ingredients in the recipe. Small mistakes, but ones I thought one wouldn’t find on an approved website.

We started with Dungeness Crab Cakes and Tomato Bread with Prosciutto. The bread was great! Mild in flavor, and a great start to our meal. The combination of the prosciutto and tomato was awesome. Prosciutto is one of my favorite foods.

The crab cakes were a nice contrast – mild too, but the sauces added a flavorful punch to the dish. My favorite sauce was the basil aioli – mayo and basil, two of my favorite ingredients. The other sauce for the crab cakes was Black Olive – Roasted Red Pepper Relish – a little bit more punch than the aioli.

We chose two very different salads. The first, Grilled Summer Squash Salad, was light and flavorful. Served over bread, it was the perfect salad for this summer. The ingredients were all at their peak of freshness – it’s what’s in the gardens right now. The vinaigrette brought out the freshness of the flavors- all around great dish. I was thinking today that the leftovers would make a great pasta sauce.

The Nicoise Salad, the second salad, was as different from the first salad as one could get. Using green beans, tomatoes, potatoes and shrimp, the different textures really “made” the salad. The crunch of the beans, I think played well against the grilled tomatoes. The shrimp was a great added bonus to the salad. The vinaigrette, made with an anchovy base, was very flavorful. I have some left and plan on making a salad with that as the dressing.

We had two entrees – one steak and one lamb. When I told my oldest about the lamb, he said, “There better be enough lamb to feed this boy!” My oldest loves lamb – oh heck, he loves all meat. The grilled lamb chops were served with a balsamic honey glaze and a mint pesto. Eating that reminded me of my childhood. We ate lamb burgers with mint jelly at least once a week. It was a nice walk down memory lane. My oldest loved the lamb, as did I. It was tender, and the mint pesto was a nice compliment to the honey and balsamic glaze.

The other entrée, Black Crusted Grilled Pepper Steaks, were made with NY Strips. Served with a mint chimichurri, the steaks were tender and very flavorful. The chimichurri had a bit of kick to it – there were grilled Serrano chiles to give it that kick; however, the honey calmed it down.

For the final course, we had two desserts.

Both desserts used fresh fruit in season. Roasted Peach Melba was a light refreshing dessert to end the day. The Riesling syrup was awesome! I love being able to eat foods that are in season. The peaches were bought at a roadside stand – what can get better!

Our beverage of choice for the night was sangria, made with mint, strawberries, champagne and some other liquor. It was smooth. We also had some wine from the Biltmore Estate. I love their wines and head there every few years to stock up.

The other dessert was Rum Buttered Glazed Grilled Pineapple. I love pineapple, so this was up my alley. The pineapple was topped with a vanilla mascarpone and blueberries. Light and flavorful, this was also a great end to a great meal.

I love these dinners. It is a great time with good friends. Having the kids at this meal was fun too. They all tried different foods, liked some, not others, but at least they tried. It is so important to gather with friends and family and celebrate nothing in particular. Being together is what is important. Till next time, happy eating!