Thursday, September 27, 2007

While We're Talking Southern...

I had to tell ya'll about this recipe I found in Southern Living. I bought an issue of Southern Living for my mom, who had her knee replaced two weeks ago. I thought that a bunch of new fall magazines and candy would be nice for her to enjoy while she is recuperating. Well...I really enjoy reading Southern Living and I had to flip through the magazine before I sent it to see if there were any good stories or recipes. Sure enough I found Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies. Jeffrey really likes Carrot Cake so I thought I would try a small batch to sample. They were FANTASTIC! To save time, I cheated and used shredded carrots in the produce department. Next time, I'll definitely shred my own, those were too thick. I omitted the raisins. Also, remember to put the icing in the refrigerator to set before spreading it on the cookie. I also think you need more powdered sugar than this recipe calls for. What a wonderful fall treat! Ohh by the way...the next day in our P.O. Box was a September 2007 issue and subscription to Southern Living someone "very special" sent me. THANK YOU!!!! It was much easier to mail off the care package to my mom after that.

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies
3/4 cup grated carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins
1 (16.5-oz.) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough

1. Toss together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir raisins into carrot mixture.
2. Tear cookie dough into pieces, and stir into carrot mixture until well combined.

3. Drop cookie dough mixture by tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto lightly greased baking sheets. (Dough should make 24 cookies.)

4. Bake at 350° for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are crisp. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks, and cool 10 minutes or until completely cool.

5. Turn half of cookies over, bottom sides up. Spread each with 1 Tbsp. chilled Cream Cheese Icing. Top with remaining cookies, bottom sides down, and press gently to spread filling to edges of cookies.

Cream Cheese Icing

5 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
2. Add remaining ingredients, beating until smooth. Cover and chill 30 minutes or until spreading consistency.
Yield: Makes 1 dozen sandwiches

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Paula's Shrimp

Last weekend, I found a recipe by Paula Deen in The Lady & Son's, Too cookbook for fried shrimp. I was expecting a heavier batter, but they were delicious. The batter reminded me of the onion ring's batter at Nikki's in Chattanooga. Next time I want onion ring I am going to make this batter and use Vidalia Onions...YUM!

Battered Fried Shrimp
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 cup of ice water
1 egg
2 tbls. melted fat or vegetable oil
2 lb. uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on.
Vegetable oil for deep frying

In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Beat in the ice water, egg and 2 tablespoons fat or oil. Dry the shrimp. Heat the oil for the frying in a heavy pot until it registers 375 degrees. Dip the shrimp in the batter and then drop them in the pot of oil carefully. Fry until golden brown...just few minutes will do the trick. Drain on paper towels and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Last Hurrah

This weekend will bring our wedding season to a close. We will still have some, but no more outdoor large parties. On Saturday, we will have a wedding of 120 guests. The groom was a neighbor that I used to old do I feel? We have had several weddings in the past few weeks...I have been neglecting blogging about them. Here are some photos of weddings we have held recently. I think I stopped getting excited about them and taking photos when we lost power one night during a wedding and it never came on. Luckily, the guests were almost fed and they didn't mind the lack of light and fans on our patio.
This cake reminds me of a Zeta Tau Alpha cake. I was a ZTA in college. The colors are turquoise blue and steel grey.

This ceremony was so pretty along the canal.

This is a centerpiece I made from leftover flowers from a wedding. Those big green spiky balls are called Monkey Balls...furry little things. They are not as pictured here...but that's what the florist called them.

Table setting from last Friday's wedding...the martini themed event.

The Martini Cake from Papa's Bakery in Wilmington, DE

Lots of greens and turquoise in the past few months...this week is sky blue.

Caught Red-handed

As I have said before, when we cater weddings it is a lot of work. The staff works very hard. We have a little ritual for weddings. After we feed all of the guests cake, we have a small piece for ourselves and cool off in our beer and wine walk-in. We will critique the cake and enjoy a short break before the wedding ends. This time...I found Dustin enjoying a little dinner in the walk-in...

Monday, September 24, 2007

While it's Still Fresh

A few weeks ago I visited our local produce stand and bought some eggplant. I wasn't sure what I was going to make with it...but I thought I would find something good...which I did in House Specials: Main Dishes by Nancy Coale Zippe. This cookbook features many recipes from locals, specifically, my mother-in-law, Brenda Gentry's recipe for Brunswick Stew.

The recipe I used was Eggplant Lasagna by Nicholas Albanese. My version omitted the use of broccoli florets. It was delicious and very easy to make.

4 ripe large eggplants
Italian style bread crumbs
7 Eggs
1.5 c. milk
Tomato based spaghetti sauce, store bought or your own

Cheese Mixture:
2 lbs. ricotta cheese
12 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
3/4 c. Parmesan and/or Locatelli cheese
2 eggs
2 t. chopped parsley
1 t. pepper
Peel and slice eggplants to 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Pour the bread crumbs into a flat dish. Beat eggs and milk together. Soak the eggplant slices in the egg/milk mixture, then coat the bread crumbs and bake for 10 mis on each side on slightly greased cookie sheet at 400 degrees until golden.
Saving 4 oz. of mozzarella cheese for the top, combine the cheese mixture ingredients in a bowl.
Lightly grease a 9x13 deep glass baking dish and spread some sauce on the bottom. Cover with half the baked eggplant. Spread a little sauce, then all of the cheese mixture; plus another light layer of sauce then the eggplant. Cover with more sauce. Top with reserved mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 35 mins.
To accompany the lasagna I also made Ina Garten's meatballs from the Family Style Cookbook.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm It

I've been tagged by Victoria. This isn't that bad...much better than some of the others that go around.

Players- you must list one fact, word or tidbit that is somehow relevant to you life for each letter of your first or middle name.

When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your name facts etc. At the end of your blog-post you need to choose one person for each number of letters in your name. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they have been tagged and to read your blog.

for November. November 22nd is our wedding anniversary.

for Annette. My sister's name.

for Tome School. The Tome School is where I went to school from 1-12 grades.

for Art. I was an art minor in college. I am crafty and I love art history

for Liberal Arts. I have a liberal arts education. Thanks to Washington College.

for ice cream. My favorite flavor is chocolate/peanut butter.

for Emerald Isle. My favorite beach.

I'm tagging...which is hard because I don't have a lot of blogging buddies:

The man I love more than the Ice Cream Store, Jeffrey

TLC - she loves these things

Kathleen at Kathleen's Wacky Life

Ginger at Deep Fried she doesn't have enough to do...sorry.

Zabrina at Pixie Blossoms

Paula - If she ever posts anything on her blog again....

P.S. To create your own name,like the one above. Click here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Lesson in Gardening & Racehorses

I have grown up around flowers and racehorses all my life. My dad is a farrier and my mom was a part-time florist. You don't know how many times when people would ask me what my father did, I would say "he's a farrier" and they would say, "furrier"? I would shake my head, no he is like a blacksmith. Now, I work for a restaurant with a rich history in horse racing and is surrounded by beautiful flowers, many of which I planted this year. Above is a garden on the side of the restaurant. We planted those sweet potato vines and they have just taken off. The idea was to have them go up the lattice and around the columns. They have done a nice job this summer, I'll be sorry to see them go.

The columns are replicas from the grave setting of the race horse, Kelso. Kelso is buried a few miles from the restaurant on a farm where he lived. The surrounding area around Chesapeake City is known as "Horse Country." However, the decline in horse racing over the years has led to the closing of many farms. In the 1980's, the area was booming with big farms associated with famous race horses and equestrian riders and trainers. The largest was the United States farm of E.P. Taylor, Windfields Farm. Windfields is famous for the legendary, Northern Dancer. My father used to take me with him to Windfields when I was young to swap the flies around the horses legs while he was working on them. This helped them to stay still and not stomp around. I would use this stick that had the fibers of a horse's tail on it felt like their own. I could go on all day about the farms and the times I had out there...but it is late and I'll stop. I hope you enjoyed the lesson. For more info, click on the links...they have some very interesting information in them.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fall is Here...

Tonight I walked home from work and the weather was so crisp. There was a chill in the air and it felt so good. Although, I hate to see summer end, I do love a good fall day. Pull on a pair of jeans, sweater and enjoy the day. Here's Landen ready for the season with his football sweater on...he says "Go BIG ORANGE."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

No Words...

This is a photo from the early 90's I took from the observation deck at The World Trade Center.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

What's in your refrigerator?

I was watching MTV Cribs the other day and I love the part where they ask the "star" to open their refrigerator for all to see. Ours was pretty packed all last week, as you can see. Here's some of things you'll find:
Zucchini Lasagna
Chock full of Nuts Coffee
Deer Park Water & lemon Propel
Milk, creamer
1 lb. Maryland Crab meat
Yoplait yogurt
lots of different kinds of cheese
sweet corn
sausages & hot dogs
lots of condiments
chocolate sauce
and plenty more.

What's interesting in yours?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

It's a Nice Day for a White Wedding

It was a beautiful day...a perfect day for a wedding at the restaurant. Big blue skies and a cool breeze off the canal. This would be our "white" wedding. Everything was very simple and elegant with white and silver accents. The Hiram Brown Band performed, Blueberry Moon made the beautiful cake and Jacki Taylor did the photography...all people Jeffrey and I used at our wedding.

The parasols in the picture were in a galvanized tub for guests to use in the sun during the ceremony...and the beautiful flowers by Wildflowers by Alicia were filled with fragrant stock and lilies. The ceremony was held on the side of the restaurant under a grape arbor behind The Old Wharf Cottage. It was the first time we have ever held a ceremony in that location and it was just perfect.

If you don't know this song, check it out. Very beautiful and appropriate for this day.