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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A SUMMER FEAST!



We're entertaining friends this weekend and will be busy before they arrive, so I don't have a lot of prep time to get ready.  What's the perfect summer meal that's super easy and doesn't require lots of time in the kitchen?  Here's my solution:

MENU:

GREEK LAYERED DIP

LOW COUNTRY BOIL
COLESLAW
FRENCH BREAD
KEY LIME PIE

SAILOR'S PUNCH


GREEK LAYERED DIP
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

This dip is just devine! It's sort of a take on the standard Mexican 7-layer dip but it's much healthier (with hummus), and you don't feel bad afterward! It'll be devoured in no time I promise!

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened (I always use low or non-fat here)
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups hummus (which is one container of Sabra hummus)
1 cup chopped cucumber (I use hothouse or English - tastes so much better)
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (buy fresh and crumble it yourself)
1/3 cup sliced green onions
Pita chips, bagel chips and/or multigrain tortilla chips

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
In medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and garlic with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and combined.

Spread cream cheese mixture into a deep 9-inch pie plate, or shallow serving dish.

Evenly spread hummus on cream cheese layer.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Top with cucumber, tomato, olives, feta cheese, and green onions.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Cover and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours. Serve with pita chips and/or multigrain tortilla chips.
Makes about 2-1/2 cups dip.

LOW COUNTRY BOIL
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
One of the great things about this meal is that you can place your pot directly on the grill and not heat up your kitchen.  And I use peeled shrimp here, just because it's so much easier to eat.  But some feel that you lose flavor by doing it this way, so if you prefer, cook them with the shells on.

1 bag Crab Boil
1 TBSP Old Bay seasoning, or to taste
3 pounds new potatoes
2 (16 ounce) packages cooked kielbasa, turkey or andouille sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces (I like to cut and then brown the sausage prior to adding to the pot)
8 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed, broken in half, if desired
4 pounds whole king crab, broken into pieces
4 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 bottles of beer
1-2 lemons, quartered
A few dashes of Tabasco (or hot sauce of choice), if desired
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
I'm actually browning turkey sausage AND andouille sausage as one of our group doesn't eat pork.  I'll put the turkey smoked sausage IN the boil and serve the andouille on the side.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Heat a large pot of water along with 2 12 oz. bottles of beer over an outdoor cooker, or medium-high heat indoors. Add Crab Boil and Old Bay Seasoning to taste, and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, and sausage, and cook for about 10-12 minutes (make sure the potatoes are getting soft). Add the corn and crab; cook for another 5 minutes.

Then add the shrimp when everything else is almost done, and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes.
Drain off the water and pour the contents out onto a picnic table covered with newspaper. Grab a plate and some crab claw crackers and enjoy!
Some of our group enjoying our bounty of seafood!  Working hard on those king crab claws!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
LIMEY COLESLAW
(Adapted from Gwenyth Paltrow)

1 package coleslaw mix
2 TBSP veganaise
1 TBSP lime juice
1 tsp salt
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Mix all together just before serving - adjust veganaise, lime and salt to taste.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
KEY LIME PIE
(Adapted from All Recipes)


This pie has got to be the easiest on record to make.  But, nonetheless, it's my favorite and is so delicious at the end of a seafood dinner.
(Photo Credit: AllRecipes)
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
3 cups sweetened condensed milk (2 cans)
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup key lime juice (I use Nellie & Joe's, but you can squeeze all those tiny key limes if you prefer)
1 TBSP grated lime zest
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
 You can make your own graham cracker crust for this pie, but Keebler makes a  pretty good one.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice, and lime rind. Mix well and pour into graham cracker crust. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until pinhole bubbles burst on the surface of pie.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
DO NOT BROWN! Let the pie rest 30 minutes.  Chill pie thoroughly before serving. Serve topped with whipped cream (and lime slices as garnish if desired).
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
SAILOR'S PUNCH
(Adapted from Ursula's Cooking School)

I got this recipe from my mother year's ago.  Everyone loves this drink - even the non-beer drinkers.  It spells S-U-M-M-E-R in our house.  Just remember:
6 - 6 -12!

6 oz. frozen limeade concentrate
6 oz. vodka
12 oz. beer (any kind will do - I prefer it lighter)
Ice
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Place all ingredients in a blender and serve.  This recipe makes about 4 good size servings.

GIFT IDEA!
AND - the visit is centered around a golf tournament so I decided to put together a few "swag bags" for our guests!  We're in Atlanta, so most all of the items are from Georgia (or at least the South)!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Lastly, I'm fixing a breakfast casserole on Saturday morning that I had at my sister-in-law's (Sarah's) home recently.  It's super easy and was devoured in no time.  She adapted it from Allrecipes.com.

THE DAY AFTER - BREAKFAST CASSEROLE
This breakfast casserole isn't one of those that you need to prepare the night before, but you can.  Sarah did, but she cooked it, and then the next morning simply reheated it to serve.  It was delish!
Photo Credit: All Recipes
1 pound pork sausage (I'm using precooked turkey sausage though)
1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent roll dough
8 eggs, beaten
2 cups shredded mozzarella or monterey jack cheese
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Place sausage in a large, deep skillet (unless using pre-cooked sausage). Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Line the bottom of the prepared baking dish with crescent roll dough, and sprinkle with crumbled sausage.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

In a large bowl, mix beaten eggs, mozzarella, and Cheddar. Season the mixture with oregano, and pour over the sausage and crescent rolls.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bake 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

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