A great psychological thriller…
Via David Leibovitz
A great psychological thriller…
Via David Leibovitz
Shrimp and grits go way back here in South Carolina (read a brief history here), but versions of this delightful dish are popping up all over the country! Now, we must admit…with the addition of heavy sauces and gravies in many cases, we don’t often allow ourselves the luxury of sitting down to a bowl of this belleicousness.
In comes one belle-brother (thanks, sweet Adam) and his very own shrimp-n-grits concoction. On a recent family trip, Adam took to the kitchen to show off his perfected recipe…and my, oh, my!! It was absolute perfection!
And some of our favorite recipes…
From A Chef’s Kitchen…(a casserole)…
And from Epicurious…(the over-easy egg would is a game-changer!)…
While summer isn’t quite “soup season”, a chilled, belleicious summer soup is right up our alley! A dear belle-friend shared one of her creations over the weekend…a chilled cucumber soup with lots of dill and a cayenne kick (thanks, Marion!!). It got us thinking about this summer delight.
This particular version is super simple…just a cup of buttermilk, a handful of herbs (cilantro, mint, basil…take your pick), two cucumbers, the juice of one lime, and salt & pepper. Toss it all in a VitaMix or blender and puree away. Garnish with herbs and maybe some extra minced cucumber, and you are all set!
We belles are a bit particular about our salad dressings…no bottles for us (well…except for our fave French Poodle). For the most part, we would rather create our own vinaigrettes, caesars, and whatnot as we kinda like to know what’s in there (and we are always doing our tweaking anyway!).
One belle was havin’ a hankerin’ for a bit of Ranch dressing the other day, and that happens to be one she never felt she had perfected. Picking up a bottle full of ingredients that can’t even be pronounced (we don’t need to learn those words anyway) was out of the question – AND…we have both been making great efforts toward keeping things healthy and whole. So…some googling went down and here’s what happened…
2 T dried parsley
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
1/2 t salt (we use Pink Himalayan)
1/4 t pepper
1 cup Greek Yogurt (we use Cabots full fat version)
1/4 c buttermilk (full fat is best)
1 t dijon mustard, optional (we kinda prefer it without, but it’s an option)
Blend dried herbs/seasonings. Place in blender/food processor/Vitamix with all other ingredients. Give it a good pulse or two. Guess what? You’re done! Store in a tightly-lidded jar in the fridge and enjoy to your heart’s content, belles!
Now that’s a trip to the ole ranch you can feel good about, belles!
We have long been fans of the artichoke. Not only is it delicious, it is packed with fiber, magnesium and vitamin C…all while sporting a meager 60 calories. And…bonus…it’s fun to eat!
We ran across this article from Decoding Delicious recently, making us realize that our old standby way of artichoke prep (boiling) is still the gold standard for producing moist, tender, “meaty” leaves. Thought it might be time to share our tips so that you can enjoy as well!
Rinse the artichokes well, then begin the trimming. We typically leave 1/2 – 1 inch of the stem intact
Fill a large pot (large enough to allow your number of artichokes to float freely) about half t0 three-quarters full, adding a heavy dose of salt and one lemon, squeezed into the water. Bring water to a boil
Add artichokes and place cover firmly on pot. (One tip is to place a smaller pot lid directly on the veggies, then place the lid on the pot. This helps keep them submerged in the salty water while cooking)
Turn down to a medium simmer and allow to cook (never lifting lid) for about 45 minutes for a medium artichoke.
Drain them upside down and allow to cool slightly. Serve with your choice of condiments (one of us prefers lemon butter above all others…just sayin’)
If you need a tutorial on eating how-to, read Miss Abigail’s Time Warp Advice on the subject
Time to get all ‘choked up, belles!
Many years ago, a dear California friend gave us each a copy of the Junior League of Pasadena cookbook, Dining by Design…an oldie but a goodie!! We had several recipes which caught our eye all those years ago, but as other cookbooks, blogs, and influences came around, we moved on and forgot about some of our favorites…this one in particular!! We both served this to rave reviews for a couple of years. We think it’s time to bring it back!!!
12 oz bleu cheese, crumbled
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 c olive oil
4 T red wine vinegar
2 T lemon juice
1 c chopped onion
1 c minced cilantro
Pour vinaigrette over cheese mixture and gently toss to combine
Allow to marinate in refrigerator until ready to serve. Give a quick toss into a serving bowl or spread out on a platter.
They say…even people who don’t like bleu cheese LOVE this!! We have witnessed this miracle first-hand!
It’s a must-try belles…you won’t regret it
We mentioned this Half Baked Harvest belleiciousness…
a few days ago…but thought we would share our success in the “test kitchen” with our “test audience” (as in family and friends who are happy to be brutally honest) over the holiday weekend.
We chose three varieties (with slight tweaks, ’cause that’s how we roll) of the six incredibly creative crostini options…(and we chose to use larger, tasty bruschette to make things less tedious)…
Bruschetta no. 1:
The latest belle-ringers…
And finally…a refreshing Summer punch
What’s a belle to do when her freezer seems to be filled with a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and a lot of what seems like nothing? Well…we made the most out of an “over-stuffed” situation one recent rainy day…and the results were so delicious, we just had to share (as we belles do)!
Our version of a “Clean-out-the-freezer Fruit Crumble”:
This recipe is very simple and you can use whatever fruit combination you have on hand. In this instance, we used peaches, raspberries and blackberries. About 1 bag each. We drained and thawed briefly in a colander and then got impatient (that should come as no surprise). To the fruit add: 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Put in a 9×11 casserole dish.
The topping: 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, a pinch of salt, 1 cup of old fashioned oats and 1 cold stick of butter cut into small slices. Combine all topping ingredients and with a pastry cutter or two knives mix topping until it resembles coarse meal. (impatience reared its ugly head here as well)
Put topping over fruit and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour
One more view of the finished product…just for motivation;)
If you feel that now is a good time to empty the freezer of vanilla ice cream, we already beat you to it!!
So there you have it, another belle-icious recipe…and you cleaned out your freezer!! Multitasking is a belle’s way of life.