Strawberry Mango Sorbet

I know it doesn't look like much in the too big bowl, but that simple scoop of heaven was a perfect way to end a very full but great weekend.
First off, Mr. Foodie and I had our engagement "photo shoot" by the A-maz-ing, Shawna Herring.  I just love her and her work. The pictures are Hot! and fun at the same time.  We had a great time and can't wait to see our upcoming wedding in print.

Next up, my mother and grandmother came in town for a quick visit.  Well, actually it was for my mother's birthday and I wanted to cook her dinner. I suggested she come over to my house. Unfortunately it's not just down the street as I'd love, it's a 4 1/2 hour drive.  But my mom being my mom (and I being the only child) said she would love to.

I served this and this was dessert (per her request).  I really kind of had my own "staplehouse" thing going on with my grandmother, a couple of cousins, my girlfriend and her son all added to the mix.  Things weren't as fluid as "staplehouse" but that's okay when it's just family and friends.  All in all, everything turned out lovely and the food was enjoyed by all. Most importantly, the birthday girl was full and happy.   

Then add a book club meeting (this was our book for the month, an excellent read) and a tennis match (won 6-2, 6-3) to the weekend, and the only way to end it was delving into a nice bowl of sorbet on a not so hot summer evening.
Family gone, house clean and strawberry mango sorbet.  Too bad summer nights are winding down.  Time to savor every last minute.



I am so excited to be able to share my most recent experience with you.  Not only because the fiance' and I were finally granted two of the very limited seats available for the experience but because after following this semi-elusive dinner club for over a year, it was so worth the wait, effort and disappointments of the "Sold Out" dinners of the past.
Ryan (the chef) and Jen (his loving, supportive and equally talented partner) are the amazing husband and wife duo who started hosting bimonthly dinners at their home.  The dinner parties are actually a preview of their soon to open restaurant, Staplehouse.  The dinners are aptly named Prelude to Staplehouse, where Ryan can sample dishes to add to his menu while getting immediate feedback from diners.

Ryan and Jen have this down to a science.  They provide such a welcoming atmosphere, you really feel like you're at your neighbors house for dinner and it'd be no problem to come back the next evening for another meal. Please and Thank You! 

There's a lovely welcoming reception 1/2 hour before dinner is served where we were greeted with a glass or wine or beer.  Everyone is chatting, getting to know one another, getting to learn more about Ryan and Jen and the upcoming Staplehouse.  Then we're ushered into the dinning room where there are six seats at the dinning room table and four at the bar (for those who would like to watch the chef work his magic in the open kitchen).  Jen is the ultimate hostess and server, as she always served the women first.  And Ryan is the passionate chef who described each course with the most descriptive and appetizing words before we literally started to dig in with our "ooohhhhss" and "aaahhhhss", giving repetative compliments to the chef.
(No pics of the food, too busy eating, but check their blog as they have recaps of the dinners, complete with pictures)

Ryan describes the food and ambiance as "casual fine dining".  Sign me up, whatever it is.
The food was spectacular. Starting with then king crab salad (would have never thought crab and apple would be a great combination, but it was) and the A-MAZ-ING burrata (which Ryan described as luscious, which it was) and tomatoes.  I could eat the buratta everyday, all day and not feel guilty about it one bit.  Then there was the clam and chorizo "stew", the duck which was delicious and tender, ending with orange creme or root beer floats. The floats took me right back to childhood just in time to go home and pass out in the fetal position from the fantastic meal.
(The group of lucky diners and our hostesses chef Ryan, bottom left and Jen peeking her little head from behind)

Now I could go on and on about this meal but if you live in the Atlanta area, let me tell you how you could be a lucky guest.

They host approximately 2 dinners a month which are only announced through a posting on their website, usually posted a few days before the dinner. There are only 10 seats available for each dinner and when that post goes up, the dinners sell out very quickly, within 10 minutes or less.  Literally, if you are not on your computer/email/google reader (my way to follow them) when the announcement is made, you can pretty much count on having to wait until the next dinner. 

The process is exciting and nerve racking at the same time.  But like I said earlier, the experience is worth it.  Excellent food, great company, a perfect way the end the weekend

So go to their website here. Sign up, follow along, get in the know! You'll be happy you did


Shrimp & Scallop Truffle Risotto

Valentines Day is too far away.

New Years Eve really isn't that much closer (but my college roommate is getting married then so I'm sure for her it feels closer than I can imagine)

Maybe a birthday. Yours or a loved one.

How about it doesn't really matter anyway.

There was no occasion for me.  Just another Monday evening.

And I for one am glad I didn't wait any longer to make this fantastic dish

This is THE Best dish I have ever made.

I felt so satisfied, yet a little sinful while I was eating it. It's what the fiance' and I call good livin' (GL for short)

I mean, risotto with shrimp and scallops is one thing. Topped on a bed of spinach. But finishing it off with a drizzle of truffle oil just makes this dish decadent.
I had plans to post some other dishes first. Another salad. A coffee cake (oh, don't worry, we'll still get to that)

But after eating this, I knew it would be unfair to not share this with you immediately. I already held on to the recipe for far too long after seeing it over here.

I made a few changes to the recipe, like doubling it because I knew I wanted leftovers, and adding Parmesan cheese.  It's not complicated to make. Just remember to pack a little patience with you. After all, it is risotto


Pasta with Turkey Meatballs Tomatoes and Bocconcini

This is one of those staple meals to add to your repertoire when you might not be feeling all that creative in the kitchen.  At least that was what this meal was for me.
It pretty much has all a girl could ask for in a meal.  Al dente pasta, seasoned juicy turkey meatballs, cherry tomatoes, which soften and break down during the cooking process, and mozzarella cheeeeesssseeee balls.

If you can't tell, the mozzarella cheese balls get me all kind of excited.  I'm a big fan of cheese. And it doesn't have to be the fancy, artisanal cheeses either. I'm good with a little cheddar or Monterrey jack and of course these, right here, which basically knocks it out of the park. It has such a creamy and mild flavor and I just love how it gets all stringy when it starts to melt.  But I will warn you, the cheese does tend to clump together when it cools down (not like a that have ever stopped me from delving in).
And if you've never had the opportunity to indulge in these little bite sized balls, also known as bocconcini, this is the perfect time to acquaint yourself.  I'm sure it'll be a long lasting relationship.
Oh, before you go to the recipe, check out two of my friend's blogs, here and here.  As you will see, they are the fashionistas in my life with a great sense of style.  Right now, both are featuring giveaways from a cute jewelry store in NYC, Wendy Mink.  I am new to the greatness of Wendy Mink but I definitely foresee a few of their pieces in my jewelry box very soon (hint to the fiance')


Shrimp Scampi Pizza

Remember Stouffer's French Bread Pizza?  I say remember like they don't still make them and sell them.  I guess it's just been that long since I've had one.  Although, back in the day, I would get a taste for one every now and then.

Well this is like a grown up, sophisticated version.
Isn't that just mouthwatering.
Let me just say shrimp scampi + ricotta cheese / french bread = goodness in the tummy
It's a quick weeknight meal with minimal preparation. Saute some smashed garlic gloves, add those to the food processor with some parsley, saving a little of that mixture to go with the shrimp and then adding the ricotta cheese and Parmesan, setting aside, then saute the shrimp with more garlic, red pepper flakes and the garlic/parsley combo. Spread the cheese mixture onto the halved french bread, sprinkle with a lil' Parmesan cheese, stick in the broiler for a few minutes and ...Voila'!

I say best served with a glass of white wine