Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Grilled Pizza with Asparagus, Caramelized Onions, Hummus and Brie

Perfect Pairing: Sabra Classic Hummus


Last week was our annual family vacation at the lake.  I look forward to this week all year.  One of my brothers lives in California so it is hard for all of us to be in the same place at one time.  We had an absolutely wonderful time enjoying each others company, the summer weather, lake, good food, and lots of cute kids.  I miss everyone already!








I am a big fan of unusual pizzas and flatbreads.  I have shared a few creations here…




Even traditional pizzas can sometimes benefit from an update, like with this Prosciutto and Pineapple Grilled Pizza.

The combination of hummus, asparagus, caramelized onions, and brie on pizza may seem a little strange, but it is one of my all-time favorites.  Using hummus as the “sauce” adds a rich creaminess, and the onions add just the right amount of sweet. 


This pizza is great as a main course, but it is also perfect on appetizer night.  We have a lot of appetizer nights at our house.  Usually on app night we serve a dip or salsa of some kind, a salad or veggies, and a crostini.  This pizza fits right in. Add a bottle of chilled white wine and you have yourself a party. 


I really like to use Sabra’s Classic Hummus here.  I am not being sponsored in any way to say that, I just really like it. 



Monday, August 18, 2014

Un-Recipe Files: Personalized S’Mores Bar


Last year we started a new tradition we like to call Wienerpalooza.  It is a super classy event, as you can imagine.  Basically it is an al fresco party where we serve all sorts of hot dogs and brats cooked over the fire with plenty of toppings.  



You can read about last year’s event on my Mini Chile Cheese Corndog Muffin post


Most of the same people were in attendance this year.  We planned it so that it would happen during my best friend’s annual lake visit with her family.  


Love this family!

We had beautiful weather again this year.  I love to see the cute kiddos running around playing.



This was Callie sneaking chips last year.


And this year!  So cute.


There were two new guests this year….


Last year they were just a twinkle in their mama’s eyes and a bump in their belly!


For dessert we did a personalized S’more bar.  While the original s’more is pretty great why not improve it with chocolate graham crackers and a variety of candy?  


My personal favorite was a Reeses instead of the standard chocolate.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Grapefruit Mojitos

Perfect Pairing:  Wooden spoon


Grapefruit mojitos are my official summer drink of 2014.  Fresh mint is muddled with fresh lime juice and a touch of sugar, then mixed with white rum, ruby red grapefruit juice and club soda.  Serve over ice and you have a ridiculously delish and refreshing summer drink.  AND, and and and, it is pink.  I love a pink drink.

I am not a fan of overly sweet drinks, so I don’t use much sugar in this recipe.  Feel free to increase the sugar if you like it sweet.  You could also replace the club soda with Fresca or Sierra Mist. 


Mint is a notoriously hearty plant, so if you are growing it this summer you probably have an excess of the fresh herb. My mom has a thriving mint plant that is always just begging to be trimmed down.  I am happy to use the harvest in a big batch of mojitos!

A few years ago when we purchased a bottle of Barcardi rum it came with a muddler.  I love this little tool, but if you don’t have one you can certainly use a wooden spoon to get the job done.

One year ago on Perfecting the Pairing: Nutella Crunch Ice Cream Cake

Two years ago on Perfecting the Pairing: Lemon Trifle

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Honey Roasted Carrots

Perfect Pairing:  Well-loved baking sheets


Honey Roasted Carrots is such a quick, delicious, easy, and cheap side dish. 

Carrots are tossed with olive oil, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper, then roasted in a hot oven until just charred and tender.  While they are still hot they are tossed with fresh lemon juice and parsley.

They are also really pretty.


Speaking of pretty, the first time I made this dish I used rainbow colored carrots.  They were on sale and I just could not resist! 

 photo 3

Roasting vegetables is really hard on baking sheets.  Especially when you use cooking spray and honey.  I often wonder if they replace the Barefoot Contessa’s baking sheets for each show because they always look like new.  Mine look like they have had really, really hard lives.  I would recommend using your “well-loved” baking sheets for this recipe. 


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