October 11, 2017

An Effortless Backyard Dinner Party

To close out our summer this year, we hosted a dinner party in the backyard. Couple things you must have for this scenario one being perfect weather and the other, a great group of friends to enjoy it all with.

So where do I even begin with this dinner?  It’s by far one of my faves ever.

How about the wine? The darling family behind Maiden + Liberty asked if we’d like to taste the wine that they make in their family run vineyards. We said yes. Obviously. So they sent over the sweetest person on the planet to pour several different wines for us to taste.

The setting was all farm inspired. At the market I always see piles of wood slats laying in the back. They let us take a few and we set them into the grass with pillows and blankets all around.

Having a bar cart on wheels is so convenient because you can move it all around. For this dinner we wheeled the cart right onto the grass the in backyard by our dinner set up and set up an ice bucket, tons of glasses and dish towels to clean up any wine that dripped down the bottles.

I wanted a moody palette of flowers. Sort of a nod to the sadness of the summer ending and a wink to the start of fall. Oranges, red, purple, pink and green were the perfect mix.

My friend Anastasia of Sag Harbor Florist has a farm where she was currently growing the most beautiful dahlias and picked buckets of ’em for us to use. We styled them all through the wood slat table creating the prettiest look!

Naturally, Crafty Maggie whipped up a little DIY wine cork name card for each guest with some household items that she found….doesn’t get more fitting than this…

For dinner I wanted to serve a really fresh, seasonal meal but I did not have time to cook. There’s a local gourmet market in Sag Harbor that I’d been dying to try, so I gave it a go and was not disappointed. The roast chicken, grilled salmon and vegetables were out of this world. The best part was they kept perfectly tasty at room temperate so we weren’t rushed to eat!

The weather was wonderful and we had the most fabulous time making memories with dear friends.

Find our Backyard dinner party featured on Inspired by This here.

xx, Seri
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September 22, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

I just had one of those “OMG I FORGOT TO POST THIS” moments and although I’m knee deep in Rosh Hashanah prep I’m bringing you a recipe that’s furthest thing from traditional Jewish fare ever.

Now, posting this the day before the start of the Jewish New Year is going to definitely garner me a seat in business class on the next flight to H.E.L.L.

But, there’s a reason for this so hear me out.

These beauties were made a few weeks into the summer and as you can see I dressed them up with some pretty garden flowers. There was no way I could wait another minute to post this because, well, everything is coming up really “fallsie” right now so these just won’t fit into the recipe lineup for the season.

Besides the fact, it’s finally summer around here (even though it’s mid September) and the temperatures today are not conducive to wearing sweaters and jackets. HOLD UP a second. By no means am I complaining. Our summer season is so short and we had so many weekends filled with crappy weather so…..if it’s not too late for barbecuing, you need to try these shrimpapaloozas. Yes, that’s my new word for shrimp that are on steroids.

Wait. Do you actually know what the difference is between a shrimp and a prawn? Of course, I’m going to tell you so you can tell your friends.

Prawns have claws on three of their five pairs of legs, shrimp have claws on two of their five pairs of legs. Their gills and body shape are different too. As far as cooking them goes, they are virtually identical and interchangeable.

But really? Who gives a hoot about how many claws between these two shellfish. In my books, a prawn is just a GIMONGOUS shrimp and to be quite honest, the bigger the better for me.

How will I repent for my sins (and this post) next week? I figured it out.

Today I’m going to give you this recipe and link you to one of my all time faves for the NEW YEAR.

To those of you who celebrate, Shana Tova. May your lives always be filled with sweetness, love, health and happiness.

GRILLED JUMBO PRAWNS WITH LEMON GARLIC BUTTER

– 8 -10 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined and washed
– Salt & pepper
– juice of one lemon
– ½ stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
– ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
– ¼ cup finely chopped sage
– 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1) Preheat an indoor grill or outdoor barbecue. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Mix lemon juice, butter, parsley, sage and garlic in a small bowl.
2) Brush shrimp with butter mixture and place on grill. Continue brushing with butter until shrimp is cooked through – about 2 minutes on each side. If these are large shrimp they may take a bit longer. Serve hot and enjoy!

MY FAVOURITE ROSE APPLE TARTS

click here – Rose Apple Tarts

See you next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating

xx, Debi
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September 15, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

The issue with having a garden in your backyard is keeping up with the endless amounts of provisions you reap if you are lucky enough to have a good growing season. Enter Steve. He is out there on a daily basis picking reaping the benefits of what he has tended to all summer long.

The majority of the time, he ends up eating half of the ripe tomatoes the second he picks them off the vines and then comes in swinging another baseball bat size zucchini which really has no place for me to store in the kitchen. Those zucchs are really great to use in so many recipes during the summer.

I bet you didn’t know that you can freeze shredded zucchini. Neither did I until I saw it on Pinterest the other day.

There was one zucchini in particular that was sitting and staring at me from the kitchen counter. It was literally driving me crazy to look at because, I mean, really? It didn’t go with the new decor. In fact, zucchinis don’t go with ANY decor.

We have a giant fridge but there was no room for this sucka anywhere inside of it. Why? Because this guy had too many brothers and sisters that were already occupying the space reserved for humongous vegetables. It looked exactly like the Goodyear Blimp and each time I saw it on the counter, I cringed. I finally had enough and said “off with his head (and butt)”.

I threw the whole thing into my food processor and shredded it until I could no longer recognize it’s similarity to a big flying balloon.

So what was I going to do with all this zucchini?

Easy.

I had all the makings of a chocolate banana bread within my reach and I figured why not just add in the zucchini for a “healthy factor”. Who am I kidding? Between the chocolate and sugar, this wasn’t super “good for you” but it sure was delish and rated on a scale of +10 according to those who tasted tested it. Once again, I threw in substitute ingredients that really should have been other things but somehow this came out just fine.

Example 1:

I used 45% dark chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips for the guts.

Example 2:

I didn’t really need to throw in a banana, yes I know I said it was a chocolate banana bread but I had to change the title due to the fact that I used half a banana in the recipe. Otherwise, it would have just been called a chocolate zucchini bread. It was a last minute entry from the fridge before it hit the garbage. Gawd I love dead bananas. Oh and by the way, if I had a whole banana I would have most definitely added it in but half was better than nothing.

Example 3:

I used a small container of blueberry greek yogurt instead of plain greek yogurt because I didn’t have any and I certainly wasn’t running to the market to get a large container when I only needed a 1/4 of a cup.

My motto is “use what you’ve got otherwise it will rot”.

What’s the worse thing that could happen? Usually nothing.

Here’s what transpired when I sent a text out to my three boys with a picture of this bread. One of them dropped everything and came up to the house to ensure the gets at least two pieces. The other two were delivered the balance this week and my eldest said “that bread should be illegal”.

If you want to hide your zucchini and puddles of chocolate, this ones for you.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BANANA BREAD 

– 1½ cups grated zucchini
– 1 cup all purpose flour
– ¼ teaspoon baking powder
– ¾ teaspoon baking soda
– ¾ cup semi sweet chocolate chips (I used mini)
– 1 bar dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
– ½ cup good quality cocoa powder
– ½ cup white sugar
– 2 large eggs
– ¼ teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– ¼ cup vegetable oil
– ¼ cup GREEK yogurt
– ½ ripe banana, mashed

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a loaf pan by lining with parchment paper or nonstick spray. In a large bowl mix dry ingredients together with chocolate chunks. In another bowl whisk together sugar,eggs,vanilla, yogurt, oil & mashed banana. Mix until smooth.
2) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until blended. Don’t overmix. Add in Zucchini and mix until the Zucchini is dispersed evenly throughout the batter. Place batter into loaf pan and spread out evenly. Take chocolate chips and sprinkle over batter, press them in lightly with your hand.
3) Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

xx, Debi
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September 8, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

Sorry I’ve been missing in action over the past week. The next kid is getting married on September 10th so it’s been a bit busy. The standard prep, hair, nails, face and trying on my dress every day to make sure it still fits (because I’ve been scarfing down obscene amounts of sweets lately…..I’m using summer as an excuse).

So how about these figs. Let me tell you about them and also confess something to you.

I’m not a big fig fan. I think it’s the skin flesh or the tiny little seeds. What is it? I dunno. I can tell you one thing, it’s not the same as eating a fig bar. Those are REALLY GOOD and the cookie part is as soft as a pillow so who gives a damn about the fig interior.

Then why did I choose to make this recipe? Well, it’s like this.

I always get sucked in to those little street markets that display all their fresh produce right on the sidewalk. I couldn’t resist these perfect little figs. They were actually calling my name even though technically I dislike them.

I had a vision for these little fruits but sometimes things in my kitchen doesn’t always go as planned. I cut these little suckers in half, styled each one on a rustic looking plate, topped them with crumbled goat cheese, honey and pistachio nuts (which I made Steve shell for me) and then starting taking pictures of them. But wait. I noticed something. The pistachio nuts were not green enough.

Now listen. If my nuts aren’t green enough, they are not going to be photo worthy. And you know how nuts I am so you can understand why I had to start this whole recipe over again from scratch. Don’t worry, the figs weren’t wasted, I used them in another recipe where the colour of my nuts didn’t matter.

Oh, and I’m not the least bit sorry about those nuts. I had more figs and a bunch of green things so I could make this recipe instead.

As a matter of fact, this was so good I may have become a fig fan now.

Uh. Not really.

FRESH FIG SALAD WITH PEAS & GOAT CHEESE
– 8 – 10 fresh figs, cut in half
– 1 cup green peas
– 1 cup microgreens (I used arugula)
– 1 cup fresh blueberries
– ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
– 2 tablespoons organic honey
– 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
– dash of salt and pepper

1) Place first five ingredients on a platter. Drizzle with honey and oil. Season with salt and pepper. toss and serve.

xx, Debi
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September 5, 2017

Grapefruit White Sangria

Sadly, summer is coming to an end, and the LMP ladies and I are mourning the upcoming loss of sunshine and beach weather. But we aren’t quite ready to give up our summer-style cocktails!

I decided to use up some of the grapefruit we had left over from our MZ Wallace party, where I made a Ruby Red Grapefruit Gin & Tonic, and make a super simple sangria! This Grapefruit White Sangria turned out way more delicious than I could have imagined!

Here’s what you need:
-fresh grapefruit
-fresh limes
-white wine
-vodka
-ruby red grapefruit juice
-sparkling water
-fresh mint
-sugar

Here’s what to do:
1) In a pitcher, combine sliced grapefruit, sliced limes and cut up pieces of mint. On top of fruit, add 1/4 cup of sugar.


2) On top of the fruit and sugar, add 3 oz. of vodka, a bottle of white wine and 1/2 cup of ruby red grapefruit juice.  Stir gently.


3) Top off your pitcher with sparkling water.
4) Let pitcher of sangria sit in the fridge for an hour or so to let flavors combine and chill.

Pour, and serve! This refreshing cocktail is a perfect way to toast the last few days of summer, and cry a little bit.  Just kidding…

Until next week… Cheers!

 

xx, Abby
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