Meat – on – a – stick

Ever go to a BYOF BBQ? 
Ya know, when your friend says “Hey man, come by tonight, we’re gonna fire up the grill and you can bring some meats or whatever you want to throw on there.”  When this happens what do you end
up bringing?  I bet the answer is a
burger or hot dog.  Now not that those
things aren’t delicious but I think it is much more fun to bring something like
this.  This particular day we weren’t
going to one of those BBQ’s, we were going to the beach, but this is a great recipe for one of those situations.

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Chicken Tuscany

About 2 and a half years ago, my mom found some random recipe
online.  It was really simple and
delicious she said.  So I decided to try
it out for a dinner party.  It was our
first dinner party ever, Mandi Rich and I fresh out of college living in Allston, MA
and having 5 people over after work on Thursday to watch the office.  Mandi and I worked on the meal while Rich
(1/2 of design team) cleaned up and prepped for the guests.  As we ate, we all just laughed the entire
time.  This was the best food any of us
had ever tasted!  I think that moment
caused me to get more into cooking because seeing the joy on everyone’s faces
was really awesome.  These days, I make
this meal occasionally and it always reminds me of that night.  It is no longer the best thing I have ever
tasted since my palate has changed and I have eaten much more types of foods
since then, but it always brings me back to those days on Lorraine Terrace.

Does anyone remember that party?  Was it as good as I remember?  Or was I just drunk… Anyways, the recipe is
here
.  It is called chicken Tuscany although I don’t think it has anything to do with
Tuscany.  We decided to put a Jamie Oliver risotto
recipe with it.  Before I get into the
food part, I found 5 pictures from that party a few years back that I want to
share with you.

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Sliders

Sliders are a popular option at so many restaurants these
days, but did you know they are extremely easy to make at home?  Some weary travelers were set to arrive at my
house around 4 and we weren’t going to be having dinner until close to 9 so I
knew they would need a snack.  I thought
this would be just the thing to get them going.

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Strawberry Salad

Nothing crazy here today, just a really basic yet delicious strawberry
salad.  I’m sure you’ve all pretty much
had this salad in one form or another, and this is the way we make it.  Mandi really wanted to post this one because
it is her favorite salad.  The strawberries
were really fresh and delicious and the pictures came out great so here it is.

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Farmer Dan

I decided to grow some plants in my backyard.  I have always wanted to, and a combination of
being an impulsive dude, the right time of year, a beautiful day, and reading this
article
(I’m reading his book at the moment) made me run out and get
some containers and seedlings.  Suddenly
I had a small garden.  Now I am by no
means an expert on this, I’ve never done this before.   But I still wanted to post up some pictures
because I think these plants are beautiful. 
Also to show people who think they don’t have enough space and expertise
that it is really not that hard.  Its not too late either!

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Tamales

I totally did not plan to make a Cinco de Mayo themed post
today.  I had tamales all lined up to go,
and I woke up and was like…hmmm today is Cinco de Mayo…  crazy! 
We made these because Mandi was scouring the internet for other things
to steam.  Once we bought the steamer she
decided that she wanted every meal steamed from that point on.  The thing about tamales is you are supposed to
use a metal pot steamer.  This is because
they take over an hour and a half and the bamboo starts to get really soggy at
that point.  This is fine, it still dries
out and everything, you just have to be careful with it.  They came out great for us and we even got some
nice bamboo flavor in the tamales that was delicious.  In a totally unrelated side note to TFIMB
fans, check out the web comic xkcd from today and also from Friday.  They are both food related, slightly nerdy,
and hilarious as usual.  Be sure to mouse
over to see the alt text.

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Cuban Night

We went to Amy’s for a Cuban dinner party this past weekend
and it was a great time.  I have never
had some of the ingredients and flavors she worked with and I was excited to
try them all week.  Mandi went over and
helped her take pictures and cook in the afternoon, then we all showed up
around 7.  Amy will be writing the rest
of the post, but I may leave a few comments in red.  Also the Recipes (as usual) are at the bottom
of the post.

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Wonton Soup

Ever since Heidi made dumplings a week or so ago, Mandi has
been asking me every day “when can we make dumplings?”  Well when she came home with a new bamboo
steamer, I knew it was time.  The other
reason I knew we should make them, is that they actually had Pork Shoulder at
the store.  In Bermuda,
this is a rare find for me. (side note- because of this, there will be 3 pork shoulder
recipes in a row, HA!) 

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Meatballs

As I was making these meatballs, I was a bit worried about
posting the recipe.  My mother told me
the recipe, as my grandmother had given it to her.  I didn’t know if there was some sort of
embargo or block on passing it out for all to see.  Would I be blacklisted by my family and never
given any recipes again?  No more Gnocchi
secrets or Lasagna tips?  No more making tortellini’s
for the holidays?  I didn’t know what to
do.  Then last night I was watching Molto
Mario (Re-Runs on fine living!) and the weight was lifted!  Mario made meatballs almost the exact same
way as my family!  This did 2 things, for
one, it made me proud because Mario is as authentic as you can get for Italian food,
and 2, it released the ban on the recipe because it is no secret, its already
out there for the world to see via Mario Batali.

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Chicken Pot Pie

With the warm weather and summer feeling here in Bermuda, It may seem odd that I am making chicken pot pie.  There are however 3 main reasons for making
it.  1. We needed to re-up on chicken broth
in the freezer and pot pie is the perfect thing to make the day after making
broth. 2.  It is still a bit cold in Massachusetts where most
of my friends live so they can make this. 
And 3. We got a cool new knife rack for the kitchen and we needed Gareth
to help hang it for us.  Having concrete
walls, it is tough to hang everything and Gareth can do it easily.  He always asks us for things like chicken pot
pie, shepherds pie, and bangers and mash, so we thought it would be a good way
to get him over and help us.

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Persian

We made Persian food this week.  Neither of us are Persian or have ever been
to the area, and I have never even tried this type of food so I don’t even know
if it came out authentic tasting, but I do know it was delicious.  Mandi has had Persian once before.  she was at her friend Nooshin’s house.  Her mom made some delicious Persian dishes
for dinner when we all lived in Boston.  Now Noosh has moved to LA and we have moved
here.  The reason we cooked this meal, is
because Mandi is going to visit Nooshin in LA next week and wants to cook her
something to remind her of home.  What a
nice girl.

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