What to Celebrate Weekend Special?

So we’ve got a couple of thing going on this weekend. First and foremost, today is Cinco de Mayo. It’s raining again, so a sunny Mexican-inspired meal sounds pretty good about now. If you don’t have time to fiesta tonight, then you can always celebrate the Kentucky Derby tomorrow.

Here are a few ideas for your Cinco de Mayo feast!

For starters, how about the Middle East meets Tex-Mex with a tasty Chipotle Sweet Potato & White Bean Hummus? Or try my Corncakes with a dab of Roasted Red Pepper Dip.

Move to the table and a simple salad. My Romaine & Radicchio Caesar Salad is delicious. Now for the main course. My grill is still on porch so I’m good to go with Grilled Shrimp with Salsa de Cacahuate y Chile de Arbol and a side of Grilled Zucchini, Onions and Peppers and a spoonful of steamed rice.

And for dessert … as far as I know my I Love Lime Pie has nothing to do with Mexico. However, it is delicious. That’s a good enough reason for me. How about you? Feliz Cinco de Mayo y ¡buen apetito!

=o=

Now, what about Derby Day?

Celebrate the Derby with fun and festive cocktails! It’s not a Derby without Mint Juleps:

Kentucky Mint Julep
Serves 1

1-2 tablespoons minted simple syrup
Crushed ice
2 ounces bourbon
Garnish: sprig of fresh mint

Put the syrup in a tall glass or silver Julep cup, add about 1 cup crushed ice and the bourbon. Add more ice and a splash of water to almost fill the glass. Stir well and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Minted Simple Syrup
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 bunch mint

Put the water and sugar in a heavy saucepan. Stirring frequently, heat over medium until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and continue simmering for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pan from the heat. Add the mint and steep for 15 minutes. Strain the syrup, cool to room temperature and refrigerate until cold.

Can be prepared ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

Now the question, what to nibble while you watch the sport of kings?

How about a make-your-own crostini bar? Grill up some bread, add some breadsticks and artisanal crackers and let your friends mix and match. To build your crostini bar, start with a Duo of Pestos Artichoke and Sundried Tomato and add a small bowl of Tapenade. Grilled Vegetables are lovely on crostini. Asparagus, zucchini, tomatoes, onions and peppers … any and all are delicious. While you’re at it, throw a few Shrimp on the Grill.

Alright, what’s next, hmmm … how about Chicken Liver Pâté and Smoked Salmon Mousse. Of course, you’ll want some cheese … a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano, a log of goat cheese and maybe another wedge, this one Stilton or Gorgonzola. Be sure to include something sweet, maybe some honey or Fig Jam and add some nuts. Walnuts and pine nuts are always a good choice.

Top off the evening with something sweet: In keeping with the make-your-own-theme, how about a sundae bar? A few quarts of your favorite ice cream or gelato and some delicious sauces, Chocolate, Caramel and Maple, one, the other or all three, work for me. Some fresh berries would be nice too!

Stay dry, have a great weekend and bon appétit!

What’s up with you this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive a new story and recipe every week.

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© Susan W. Nye, 2014

What Happened to the Sun? Weekend Special

It’s been a dreary few days. Rain intermittently interrupts the drizzle but refuses to clear the gray skies. I’m doing my best to think positive thoughts for the weekend. I’m doing my best to remember that I’ll be sitting on a beach before I know it. You will too!

For now, take it inside and enjoy an evening with friends. Here are a few ideas to brighten a dull weekend!

Pour a glass of wine and share a platter of scrumptious treats. Start with some fresh vegetables and artisanal crackers and add some Artichoke Pesto and Roasted Red Pepper Dip. Complete the picture with a wedge of your favorite cheese.

Sit down to something different. How about individual Roasted Beet Tatin with Goat Cheese & Walnuts. Quite elegant and tasty too!

For the main course, something with asparagus sounds wonderful. It’s too early for local stalks but it makes me think of spring. My Coq au Vin au Printemps and Ravioli with Saffron Cream, Grilled Asparagus & Mushrooms are delicious one-dish suppers.

For dessert? My seasonal favorites include I Love Lime Pie and Maple Crème Brûlée.

What have you? Any special plans for this dull and dreary weekend?

Bon appétit!.

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What’s up with you this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2017

Easter Brunch Special

If dinner is more your style, check out my trio of Greek, Italian and French inspired Easter Dinner menus.

Are you one of those people who would rather brunch than lunch or dinner for Easter? Brunch is a good idea if you want to free up the afternoon for a hike, a long bike ride or a nap. Regardless of how you spend the afternoon, I’ve got a great brunch menu for you to enjoy with family and friends.

When it comes to brunch, you can’t go wrong with a cheesy pie. Try my Quiche Lorraine, Spinach Ricotta Pie or Asparagus & Goat Cheese Tart.

Of course you’ll want a big bowl of berries … strawberries, blueberries and blueberries are delicious with a dollop of my Lavender Infused White Chocolate Cream or Creamy Lime Custard.

Next, add a scone or a pound cake or both. I love lemon anytime, especially in the spring. Give my Lemon Scones or Lemon Pound Cake a try.

Top it all off with a delicious cup of espresso or a cappuccino and your favorite cookie. How about Cherry-Pistachio Biscotti or Almond Macarons with Chocolate-Raspberry Ganache or both!

Have a lovely Easter and bon appétit!

What are your plans for Easter? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

© Susan W. Nye, 2017

Winter Is Back Weekend Special

buoys_snow_02March comes in like a lion. This year is no exception. After a delightful taste of spring the cold and wind is back. With any bit of luck, there will be enough sun to encourage all of us out the door for a little skiing, snowshoeing or a walk around the lake. Even if you end up at the gym, do try to get some exercise.

A little cooking might also be in order. Call a few friends and invite them over for a delicious dinner or suggest a potluck. Here are a few suggestions:

Let the wind blow while you cozy up to the fire with a glass of wine. Invite your friends help themselves to Artichoke Crostini or Zucchini Pancakes with Tapenade.

When you are ready to gather around the table, think colorful with a great salad. You and your friends will love my Radicchio, Fennel, and Arugula Salad. If you’d prefer cozy soup to start, give my Homemade Tomato Soup a try.

Follow up with my current favorite pasta. As you know, I have a new favorite at least two or three times a year! Fickle or not, this one is wonderful. If not this weekend, try my Spaghetti with Cauliflower & Olives soon. For a delicious alternative, consider my Creamy Polenta with Mushroom & Kale Ragù.

End the evening on a sweet note. You earned it on the slopes or gym! Perhaps you’ll think spring and bake a Lemon Tart. If you’re short on time, then give my Bananas Foster a try.

Have a great weekend! Bon appétit!

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How are you spending the long holiday weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2017

It’s a Patriots Super Bowl Weekend Special

New England is ecstatic. Tom Brady and the boys are in Houston for Super Bowl 51! Whether you’ve invited the entire neighborhood over or need to bring a dish to someone else’s party … here are a few delicious ideas.new_england_patriotsThe almighty apps … As in appetizers, not software for your smart phone. Here are a few favorites:

If it the Super Bowl, you gotta have a great dip. Try any or all of the following!
Roasted Beet & White Bean Hummus
Artichoke Pesto
Barba Ganoush
Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Warm Gorgonzola with Caramelized Onions & Walnuts

Don’t forget the wings! Roast them in the oven or get out the grill:
Spicy Tequila Chicken Wings
Hoisin Chicken Wings

Next, comes that football favorite … chili!  I’ve got something for everyone – carnivores to vegetarian:
Pumpkin Chili with Turkey & Black Beans
Pork & Black Bean Stew with Salsa Verde
Red Bean & Pork Chili
Chicken, Black Beans & Corn
Chili Con Carne
White Bean & Veggie Chili

Add something green. Add a little crunch with a great salad or slaw.
Crunchy Slaw with Cilantro, Mint and Peanuts
Jicama Slaw
Spicy Cucumber & Radish Salad
Caesar Salad with Parmesan Croutons

Finish it off with something sweet.
Chocolate Hazelnut Bars
Peanutbutter Brownies
Root ‘n’ Tooty Good ‘n’ Fruity Oatmeal Cookies

Have a great weekend and bon appétit!

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

What’s up with you this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2017

A Holiday Cocktail Party Special

Are you one of those people who think about but never get it together to throw a holiday cocktail party? I don’t blame you. With all that is going on, it can be daunting. Well, let this be the year you throw caution to the window and plunge in. I’ve got some tasty treats to suggest as well as some hopefully helpful Party Planning Tips.

A special cocktail is always a hit! Think sparkling with a Kir Royale. Too traditional? How about fun and festive with my Berry Merry Martni?

And now for the nibbles! For a small group, keep it simple. A nice platter, and perhaps a warm and tasty mug of soup. Let’s face, big or small, no one will be eating dinner after your party. For a larger do, you’ll want a nice selection of tasty treats to pass and a platter or two for grazing.

Delicious platters…
Put out a basket, a platter or two. Your guests can wander, chat with old friends and make new ones while they nibble to their hearts content. May I suggest …

Beautiful cheeses with fruit or some lovely slices of prosciutto and dried sausages, add a basket of artisanal crackers and Cheddar-Sage Biscuits and bowl or two of Roasted Almonds and Spicy Olives.

Fresh veggies with a great dip or three. Try my Roasted Beet & White Bean Hummus or Chipotle Sweet Potato & White Bean Hummus. If you like, add small bowls of my Artichoke Pesto, Roasted Red Pepper Dip and/or Tapenade

Gravlax with Tarragon-Caper Mustard Sauce – what could be more festive?

Or go retro with a bubbling pot of Fondue.

For a nice touch, set stacks of small plates (tea and espresso cup saucers work well) next to your platters. Instead of a traffic jam at the buffet table, your friends can help themselves to a nibble or two and then move on to mingle and munch.

Not your Nana’s canapés …
Warm or cold, everyone enjoys a tasty hors d’oeuvre, so why not pass a few delectable little bites. Without a doubt, the two top fan favorites from my treasure chest of treats are Beef Tenderloin & Stilton Crostini and/or Roasted Shrimp with Tarragon Aioli … or if you prefer Lemon-Basil Aioli.

And by the way, speaking of retro and fondue, anything with melty cheese will please most guests. I’ve got lots to choose from – how about Tartelettes au Fromage avec Saucisse et Poireaux (Cheese Tartlets with Sausage & Leeks),Spanish Stuffed MushroomsButternut Squash Tartlets? or Spanakopita?

For sipping … Served in shot glasses or espresso cups or a big old mug, what could be more welcoming than piping hot soup. Keep it easy, skip the spoons and stick to purées like my Roasted Butternut Squash, Tomato Soup ( with wedges of Grilled Cheese?) or Wild Mushroom.

A sweet finish …
One or two sweet bites are a great way to end the evening. Delight your guests with mini Gingerbread Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, Sweet Dream Bars and/or Almond Macarons with Chocolate-Raspberry Ganache.

rosemary_cashews_03Say good-night with a gift bag …
Send everyone home with a little treat. Leave a happy holiday basket at the door with little bags filled with my addictive Chocolate Almond Brittle or go savory with Rosemary Cashews!

Cheers and bon appétit!

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For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

How are you spending the long holiday weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2016

Holiday Entertaining – Dinner Party with Friends

Christmas_Cheers_01The holidays are a great time to entertain. Dinner for eight, brunch for a dozen or cocktails for fifty; you decide. Perhaps you are thinking that you are long overdue for a dinner party? Maybe it is your book club or the neighbors or your favorite, oldest, nearest and dearest friends. The ones you met when you first moved to town … how many decades ago? Whomever the company, take a break from the hustle and bustle and get a group together for a long and lazy dinner party. Let casual meet elegant with your favorite cashmere sweater and cozy bistro dishes.

Maybe you’re thinking … what the heck is a cozy bistro dish or how did that hole find my sweater? I can’t help you with the sweater but I can suggest a menu!

So, here we go.

Start with a glass of champagne and a tasty amuse-bouche. (Translation – amuse-mouth. It’s just a fancy way to say a one or two bite treat.) How about a nice little tartlet (or tartelette in French)? You might like to try my Butternut Squash Tartlets or Tartelettes au Fromage avec Saucisse et Poireaux (Sausage and Leek Tartlet). Add bowls of Spicy Olives and Rosemary Cashews to nibble.

Moving à table (to the table) … a lovely soup is just the thing on a chilly night. I suggest you try my Wild Mushroom Soup.

For the main course … you can’t go wrong with my Lemon Roasted Chicken Thighs. Serve the chicken with a spoonful of Whole Grain Pilaf and Roasted Parsnips with Rosemary and/or Roasted Carrots (skip the pearl onions).

Next, comes the salad; yes, after the main course. Keep it simple with Salad Greens with Classic Vinaigrette. Keeping with the French theme, add a wedge of your favorite cheese and a basket of artisan bread and/or crackers.

Now, it’s time for dessert. As always, you can’t go wrong with chocolate. My Chocolate Walnut Tart is rich and delicious. If you’d prefer a creamy French pud, then give my Cranberry Clafoutis or Ginger Crème Brûlée a try.

Have a lovely evening! Bon appétit!

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

How are you spending the long holiday weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! target=”_blank”>Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2016