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Chop It Up, I’ll Eat It

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

Golly gee whiz, it is HOT here in Georgia. Yes, I know, it’s August. But wow, all I want to eat is chopped salad these days. I’m on a kick and taking Eric with me.

Here is one of the salads we’ve been enjoying recently. I’m a big fan of California Pizza Kitchen and love their BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad. I could eat it everyday. But that would get pricey, so I learned how to make it at home. Would you like to make it for yourself? Let me help!

You can make this at home, too!

You can make this at home, too!

I didn’t say I was dieting, I’m just beating the heat. Add a Corona – don’t judge.

The recipe is from Food.com, and I can’t lie, I used tortilla chips and bottled ranch dressing and then threw it all together. If you have the time to follow all these steps, bless your heart.

INGREDIENTS:

4

DIRECTIONS

  1. To Make the Fried Tortilla Strips: In a deep, heavy frying pan, heat several inches of vegetable oil to a temperature of 375 degrees. Working in batches if necessary to prevent overcrowding, carefully add the tortilla strips to the hot oil, submerging them with a metal skimmer or slotted spoon. Fry the tortilla strips until evenly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully lift them out with the skimmer or slotted spoon and transfer them to paper towels to drain and cool. Set aside, uncovered.
  2. To Make the Garden Herb Ranch Dressing: In a mixing bowl, use a fork to stir together the mustard and cold water, forming a paste. Set aside for 10 minutes. Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the bowl and, using a handheld electric mixer at low speed or a whisk, blend together just until smooth, taking care not to incorporate too much air into the dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  3. To Make the Grilled Garlic and BBQ Chicken: Preheat a stovetop grill or the broiler. In a mixing bowl, stir together the olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, and salt. Turn the chicken breasts in this marinade and leave to marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Grill or broil the chicken breasts until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. Cut the chicken breasts into 3/4-inch cubes and, in a bowl, toss with the barbecue sauce to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  4. To Make the Salad: In a large mixing bowl, toss together the lettuces, basil, jicama, Monterey Jack cheese, beans, corn, cilantro, dressing, and half of the Fried Tortilla Strips. Transfer the salads to chilled serving plates. Surround each salad with diced tomatoes and the remaining Fried Tortilla Strips. Top each salad with chunks of Grilled Garlic BBQ Chicken and drizzle the chicken with the barbecue sauce. Garnish with the scallion.

Gobble down like hungry badgers. Crack open another cold beer. Sit in the air conditioning and watch Stranger Things. OMG, I love that show!

What are you doing to beat the heat?

xoxo, Patti

Some Summer Things

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Good Morning Darlings,

I simply cannot let summer slip away. The nights are getting a smidge cooler and Labor Day is upon us.

Here are some of my favorite shots from summer. They may not all be my shots, but I love them just the same.

This past weekend we visited with our friends Denise, Rick and Holly in Florida. Despite the impending hurricane, we had a fine time. Here we are getting ready to tuck into some bairdi crab legs . They are a cross between snow crab and Alaskan king crab. Delicious.

Hanging at Crabby Bills

Hanging at Crabby Bills

We also spent the night at La Hacienda, owned by our dear friends, Tera and Ed. I took no pictures, I just enjoyed the day.

I never made it to the beach, but I bet it looked like this! Maybe later this year:

 

Wish I were there!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we did lots of beer tasting (doesn’t that sound better than drinking? much more sophisticated).

Eric and I discussed the house we will buy before the end of next year. Things on our wish list include:

A pizza oven is a MUST!

I want the entire backyard look like it’s always ready for a party. Party lighting is a must have.

Is this scrumptious?

That’s all for now. Share all your dreams and secrets for summer with me! I promise not to tell.

xoxo, Patti

 

Some of My Favorite Summer Things

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Summer will soon be gone, replaced by light sweaters and thoughts of Halloween costumes.

What has been your favorite summer memory?

BBQ Manners

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Just when you thought it was time to let your guard down…here’s a list of manners for giving/attending a bbq. Anything here that we’ve forgotten?

Celebrity chef Ted Reader comes to us with these gems of advice.

What’s cooking with Chef Ted?

Fun Find Friday – Popsicle Molds

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Summer – hot – meltingly sultry….we just can’t seem to cool down quick enough. What to do? Well, if you can’t stand the heat, get in the kitchen and make popsicles!

These tasty treats are so easy, and so much better when made at home. You can actually control what goes into your food, and isn’t that what we all want?

I just purchased this model and have been making popsicles every day. I’m popsicle obsessed.

My Popsicle Mold

And you’ll need extra popsicle sticks, too. They can be ordered here. I really need to stock up on these, my popsicle addiction is growing.

Now that you’ve got a mold – what should you put into your popsicles?  Just about anything you can pour into the mold.  I started with juice – easy enough. But I chose exotic juices. Guanabana, mango, papaya and pineapple juices. And then I started combining the flavors. I even took popsicles to a new neighbor as a housewarming gift. Trust me, they were very well received.

You could mix up instant pudding and pour them into your molds. For a lunch popsicle you could fill the mold with vegetable juice! Okay, that may not appeal to everyone, but you healthy types out there might really like it.

You can also get swanky with your frozen treats. How about pouring a bit of pureed strawberries in the mold, just to fill the tip, and after that portion freezes, fill the rest with pineapple puree or juice. Not only will it look pretty, but it will be delicious!

Special tip – Let your popsicle mixture firm up a bit before inserting the sticks. I learned this the hard way. My first batch had sticks that were all wonky and off-centered. They still tasted good, but looked funny.

Another tip – first pour your mixture into a spouted container for easier pouring. I use my large Pyrex measuring cup. Works like a charm.

Now go forth and make popsicles! Summer will not get the best of you!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Glee Soundtrack – Ice Ice Baby

Cold Is The New Cool

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

The official start of summer is just days away, but Old Sol seems antsy to bring it on. It is positively steamy here in Atlanta and what better way to beat the heat than ice cream? Now I know that might coincide with your bikini-ready plans, but you need to give yourself a tiny break here and there, yes?

There are so many fantastic ice cream purveyors here in our city – just turn around and you bump into one!

If Only We Could All Look So Sweet Gobbling Ice Cream

More Frozen Goodness Inside