Hello beautiful peeps! Who’s ready for some happy summertime eats???!!!
I recently threw my sweet husband a 60th Birthday Party at home…Louisiana Style! Steven and a couple of his best friends from New Orleans boiled more Louisiana shrimp and crawfish than you could “shake a stick at,” but I also included some additional party menu items for guests to enjoy. I had so many requests for the Hot Onion Souffle’ Dip and Orzo Salad recipes that I decided to share them here on my blog! Disclaimer: I will do my best to replicate the Orzo Salad for you. Not only did I not get a picture of it (it’s a really pretty salad, btw), I didn’t really follow a proper recipe for it. I just sort of “made it up”. But that’s the beauty of the Orzo Salad…you get to improv it depending on what’s fresh at the market or what’s in your frig! The Hot Onion Souffle’ Dip? Absolute no-brainer party dip for any time of the year!
Boiled Shrimp and Crawfish w/Conecuh Sausage, Potatoes, Corn and Mushroom
Hot Onion Souffle’ Dip w/ assorted crackers
Watermelon Salad and Cucumber Salad
Marinated Cheese and Vegetables
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Red Beans and Rice
HotOnion Souffle’ Dip
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 c. mayonnaise
2 1/2 c. finely chipped onion (about 3 medium onions)
Soften cream cheese. Mix all ingredients together until well combined.
Place mixture in a greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned on top; about 50 minutes
Serve hot with corn chips and assorted crackers. This dip is delicious even after it cools to room temp!
1 (16 oz) package orzo
1/2 red pepper; finely chopped
1/2 yellow pepper; finely chopped
1/2 green pepper; finely chopped
3 stalks celery; chopped
1 vidalia onion; finely chopped
4 oz sun dried tomatoes; drained and chopped
1 small pkg. grape tomatoes; halved
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen edamame; thawed
1/2 cup fresh basil; chopped
3/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoon honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
Prepare all vegetables except basil and place in a deep bowl. Set aside while you prepare the vinaigrette.
Whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly, until emulsified. Drizzle HALF of the vinaigrette over the vegetables, and toss to coat. (Save the remaining vinaigrette for the orzo pasta.) Cover and chill at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours, tossing occasionally.
Prepare orzo as directed by packaging. (Pasta should not be al dente for this salad. Once drained, pour into a serving bowl and add about half of the remaining vinaigrette; tossing gently. Chill until ready to assemble.
To assemble, combine chilled and marinated vegetables and orzo into one large bowl; toss with basil and parmesan cheese and taste. If your salad needs a bit more vinaigrette or salt, add it here. May be served chilled or room temperature.
This bright salad is full of flavor and can be interpreted with blanched green beans or asparagus in place of the peppers; chickpeas instead of edamame! Enjoy and happy SUMMER!
A big thank you to Karen Russell, Victoria Iacono and Julie Pflug for contributing some of the photos in this blog! xo
Planning a fun party for the girls can really be executed anytime of the year, but I find it especially festive to throw an “over the top” girly party around Valentine’s Day!…a Galentine’s Day Party, if you will. Add a theme to your party and the fun can begin before guests even knock at your door! With only one guideline for party attendance, guests were asked to arrive dressed in their favorite Sex and the City character. So in the days leading up to the event, friends were scouring their closets for their best Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte or Miranda outfits! So. Much. Fun.
“I’m sorry. I don’t think I heard you correctly. I thought I heard you say you were taking a veggie tray to this weekend’s Super Bowl party. My bad. (slight pause) Wait, what?!!!!! You’re saying I heard correctly? So you’ve gone all nutty on me???? Do you realize what you’re doing…what you’re saying??? A Super Bowl party is no time to break out the cold, raw vegetables with some blasé ranch dressing! We want fattening, heart rate spiking, testosterone raging, artery clogging, finger licking, tongue smacking, belly rubbing football food, for goodness sakes! Dude food, if you will! Come on man!”
Ok…you know I can be fickle when it comes to my love for cake. I love this one and that one and that other one over there and easily vacillate between fruit and chocolate and spice and cream as my favorite. But today…on this wintry, rainy day in January when Nashville is preparing for twenty degree temps, this is my FAVORITE cake of all time and it fits the bill perfectly! It’s sweet, but not too sweet…it’s perfectly moist…it’s complex without being complicated and it is just SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL! So gather your seven ingredients (yes…only 7!) and get to baking! Don’t forget to have a cup of coffee, a fire or favorite blanket and a good book at the ready! XO
CHOCOLATE APRICOT MARBLE CAKE (Adapted from Scandinavian Baking by Trine Hahnemann)
1 cup butter (I always use salted butter)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 7/8 all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 oz best dark chocolate, at least 60% cocoa solids; finely chopped (I used Lindt Excellence with Sea Salt)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 oz organic dried apricots, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (3 – 4 minutes).
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift in the flour and mix again, just until a smooth dough forms. Halve the batter and put each half in a bowl (I left half in my standing mixer for the chocolate). Add the chocolate and cocoa to one bowl and mix well. Mix the dried apricots into the batter in the other bowl (I mixed this half by hand). Butter or spray a loaf pan. (I also use four mini loaf pans.)
Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly, then pour over the apricot batter and spread that evenly, too. Take a spoon and dip it into the batter, going right to the bottom of the pan and pulling up to make a swirl inside the cake. Repeat three times in different places in the pan.
Bake one hour (or for mini loaf pans, bake 30 – 35 minutes). Insert a toothpick into the middle of the cake; it should emerge clean. If not, bake 5 minutes more, then check again.
Let cool in the pan. Serve morning, noon or night!
I look so forward to the Thanksgiving meal every year. I roast a no fail Rosemary Turkey, my grandma’s Chicken and Dressing, my sister’s Three Cheese Mashed Potatoes, my mom’s Squash Casserole and Ambrosia, and my spin on turnip greens and corn soufflé. These menu items are non-negotiable and always present. But besides the greens and cranberry relish, this feast turns out looking pretty darn beige on the table! What do you say we invite a new side dish this Thanksgiving? You know…one that will impress your taste buds and add vibrant color to your plate! I created it a couple weeks ago, very much by accident, and immediately knew I was on to something.
MIXED GREENS WITH ROASTED SWEET POTATOES AND ONIONS, DRIED CRANBERRIES, GRANNY SMITH APPLES, TOASTED PECANS AND PARMESAN
Hold on Ranch Dressing and boring ol’ Onion Dip! There’s a new dip boss in town! Peach and the Willow Dip, “please stand up, please stand up, please stand up”! (Go ahead and rock the Slim Shady song here….it’s Friday and you’ve been itching’ to dance all week!). Continue reading →
Oh how I love Carrot Cake! I think not so much for the carrot part, but more for that decadent, fail proof cream cheese frosting part. For me, the cake is a medium just to get to the frosting! Is that awful??? SNS? Same goes for Hummingbird Cake…but I digress…just look at this beautiful Carrot Cake!
Easter is a little over a week away and millions of folks around the world will celebrate this holy holiday by “brunching and lunching” with family and friends. My hunch is that Carrot Cake will make its share of appearances at dessert tables far and wide. If Carrot Cake is one of your favorites like it is mine, then you will definitely want to add this new twist on a traditional dessert to your Pinterest board. It just so happens that my blog’s namesake, the glorious peach, is the added ingredient that creates such a delightful new riff on a classic cake. The peach notes in the cake are subtle…the perfect balance of fruit and spice. I decorate my Peach Carrot Cake in the naked fashion, not to overwhelm the cake with too much of that beautiful cream cheese frosting. Believe me… it’s hard for an icing addict like myself to admit, but this cake is so good it doesn’t need frosting!!! Trust me on this one and keep the frosting layers thin. I also love the rustic elegance the cake renders…especially with the addition of peaches and blackberries. So earthy and beautiful…like spring and summer wrapped into one!
PEACH CARROT CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING & CARAMELIZED PEACHES
Makes one 6-inch cake; Serves 8 – 10
Ingredients for the Cake:
3/4 cup salted butter
3 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cups grated carrots
1 can of peach halves in juice (2/3 cup of peach pure will be used in the cake, save the rest for the filling)
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting:
3/4 cup softened butter
7 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 – 1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
For the Filling:
Remaining Peach Puree
3 – 4 fresh peaches (you may also use frozen peaches, thawed)
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp light brown sugar, loosely packed
Heat oven to 350 degrees F
Line with parchment and butter sides of two 6-inch cake pans
Melt the butter and leave to cool.
Beat eggs and sugars until fluffy and lighter in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Add melted butter and vanilla and beat until combined.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl, then stir into the batter until just smooth.
Peel and grate the carrots. Put the peaches (without the juice) in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
Add grated carrots and 2/3 cup of the peach puree to the batter and stir until combined. Divide the batter between the two cake pans.
Bake for about 40 – 43 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat butter until pale and fluffy. Add cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until just smooth.
Put the bowl in the fridge while you cut the cake.
Cut both cake layers in half with a serrated knife so you end up with four cake layers.
Put the first cake layer on a cake board or directly onto a plate or cake stand. Spread a layer of frosting on the first layer, then spread a layer of peach puree over. Repeat this until you’ve used up all layers.
Spread a thin layer of frosting all over the cake and put in the fridge while you prepare the topping.
Slice the fresh peaches. Heat the butter over medium heat in a non-reactive skillet. Add brown sugar and swirl with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts.
Add the peach slices and caramelize for 2 -3 minutes. Let cool completely, then put them on top of the cake with the blackberries.
***Cake recipe credit: Award winning baker, writer and blogger, Linda Lomelino ***Peach Carrot Cake Photo Credits: Robyn Rodehaver
Looking for other great cake ideas for Easter (or anytime!)??? Try this one from Peach and the Willow! Click HERE for recipe!
Everyone Enjoy and Happy Easter! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Love ~ Sabrina
Are you feeling it like I’m feeling it…seeing it like I’m seeing it??? The warmth of the sun, the pop of greens, the new melodies of the song birds??? Spring, albeit too early, is bursting all around us! From tree blossoms to grass weeds…the signs are everywhere! Soon…crates of Strawberries will be showing up from Plant City, Florida to satisfy our strawberry indulgences and vices. And although a nasty freeze will surely make an unwelcome appearance before it’s all said and done…we can still be excited about Spring’s beautiful, life renewing arrival. Continue reading →
Tea Champagne Party 101. Start with three really good cookie recipes, a few bottles of champagne and some of your best girlies! Done! It’s that easy! You’ve made a party.
But seriously…with a little pre-planning, you can throw the most heavenly tea champagne party that’s ever been. The pay off is so worth the effort! Like with any party, once you’ve determined what you’re celebrating…birthday, engagement, baby shower, etc…you can then settle into some details. My planning/brainstorming looked something like this:
Tea Party…Around Valentines Day…A “Gal”entines Day Affair…Marie Antoinette Style…One Year Blog Anniversary…around 8 – 10 ladies…all in shades of blushContinue reading →
So your kid went pee-pee in the potty for the first time? Let’s Celebrate!Your pups got a clean bill of health at the vet? Let’s Celebrate! Your rude co-worker didn’t give you the stink eye in the hall today? Let’s Totally Celebrate! Point is, it really doesn’t take much to whip me into a frenzy and pop a cork in celebration. But with the one year anniversary of my blog approaching, I knew I wanted to do something a little over the top to commemorate the occasion. Soooo… (pronounced long and drawn out…very southern-like), being the self proclaimed prissy pants that I am and having never shied away from anything girly or glamorous, I decided to throw a tea party…but not just any garden variety tea party. A modern day Marie Antoinette style tea party where there is, in fact, no tea, only champagne, and plenty of delectable treats on which to feast your eyes and tickle your taste buds. Since the party was to occur just before Valentines Day, I made it a “Galentines Day” affair and invited a few girlfriends, making it the most fabulous, frolicky, gorgeous party I’ve thrown in a very long time! Friends came dressed to the hilt and we spent Friday afternoon laughing, loving, sharing, being a little serious and a tad silly! I’m guessing Marie Antoinette would have felt right at home! Continue reading →