Strawberry Mojito Pitchers

Well, it’s September and I’m finally getting back to posting stuff. Living in a city where we only get a few months of warmth each year it seems as though we try to pack it all into a shortened time frame. There were weddings and parties, happy hours and out of town trips, coupled with trying to take our boat out any chance we could get. On top of all that, we bought another house, celebrated 5 years of marriage & I turned 30! All that equals zero time left for me to cook, let alone photograph my meals when I do, but here’s some iPhone pics to catch you up.

photo 5

Sissy & I out on the boat

photo 3

Girls weekend in Put-in-Bay, Ohio

photo 4

Hubby & I at a friend’s wedding

photo 2

One of many delicious dinner parties!

photo 1

Our new house!

My 30th birthday

My 30th birthday

Birthday party decor

Birthday party decor

One thing that I was able to make and perfect this summer was this delicious pitcher of Strawberry Mojitos! If you want to make it ahead, combine all ingredients except for the mint and strawberries until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Strawberry Mojito Pitchers

Strawberry Mojito Pitchers

  • juice of 4 limes
  • juice of 4 lemons
  • 1 bottle Bacardi Rum (750 ml)
  • 3/4 cup simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 bottle club soda (1L), plus more if desired
  • splash of orange juice or lemonade
  • several handfuls of fresh mint
  • fresh strawberries, quartered

To make the simple syrup, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup white sugar in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher, stir and serve!

December Supper Club Buffalo

I’d like to start out the new year by thanking everyone who reads my blog for all your love and support. With absolutely no idea what I was doing, I started this blog a year ago as a new year’s resolution. I couldn’t be more happy that people not only read it, but actually enjoy it. Over the past year I’ve learned a lot, namely how to take better pictures (some of my old posts are REALLY ugly with iPhone-only pics), but also how to open myself up without being scared of what people might think. It’s been a challenging, yet fun and rewarding journey and I am looking forward to continuing that! To keep the positive momentum going, check out my interview on Buffalo Eats, a WNY-based food blog, where I’m now listed as a Buffalo Foodie. Woot woot! Also check out my interview with Channel 7 about a new food market that opened in Buffalo. Special thanks to my techie husband for recording it and figuring out how to post it to YouTube! Yea, I’m pretty popular these days. Ha!

Ok, enough of the self-promoting. Onto the fun stuff. BOOZE! That was the theme for our third installment of Supper Club Buffalo. Each dish needed to incorporate alcohol into it which wasn’t very hard to do for all us boozers. I made Penne alla Vodka without the sausage. I’m over a month behind on posting this, but hey, better late than never, right? Oh, and sorry for all the Instagram/iPhone pics, but that’s all I have.

the menu

the menu

some booze to go with our booze

some booze to go with our booze

cute favors from our crafty hostess

cute favors from our crafty hostess

tablescape

lovely tablescape

lovely ladies!

lovely ladies!

my penne alla vodka dish

penne alla vodka

guinness braised quiche

guinness braised onion and aged white cheddar quiche

drunken dueling chickens

drunken (and dueling!) chicken

drool-worthy tiramisu!

drool-worthy tiramisu!

Yum!

Twice Baked Winter Squash Gratin

attendees for the November Supper Club

attendees for the November Supper Club

the delicious menu

the delicious menu

Twice Baked Winter Squash Gratin

For our second Supper Club our host chose Crockpot and Stovetop dishes as her theme, as she is in the middle of a kitchen renovation. While this dish was neither (no one ever said I was good at following the rules), I figured I could just bring it over hot. I had (and still currently have) so much winter squash left from my farm share that I really needed to use it up. And since the hubs doesn’t eat it, this was really the only opportunity I had to use some of it up. It came out pretty good for just winging it! The only issue I ran into was when I was running the onions through the food processor. They kept getting stuck around the blades so I needed to make sure to check that those got pureed. Other than that, this dish was delish!

Twice Baked Winter Squash Gratin

  • 1 butternut squash, acorn squash and red kuri squash (or any other combination)
  • 4 small onions
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus 3 tablespoons extra
  • pinch of fresh or dried parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice squash in half, scoop out seeds and cut the onions in half. Coat the cut sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay the squash halves, cut-side down, on a baking sheet. Place the onions under each squash cavity and place in the oven. Roast until very soft and fork tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Scoop out the flesh from the squash halves and place in food processor with the roasted onions. Purée until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with ricotta and parmesan cheese until well incorporated. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Fill a shallow dish with mixture. Sprinkle the top with remaining parmesan cheese, parsley and a light drizzle of olive oil. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Place under broiler for 5 more minutes, until top of gratin has browned.

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Sausage, Quinoa and Apple

Supper Club Place Setting

Service for 10!

Supper Club Menu

The menu!

Supper Club Attendees

The gorgeous group of attendees!

Sausage, Quinoa and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Sausage, Quinoa and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

I mentioned last week that I hosted my first-ever Supper Club. As the host, I was responsible for the main dish and everyone else brought sides that went with our theme for the month, Fall. I decided to go with stuffed acorn squash because I could make all the ingredients the night before and just reheat the day of. I’d say it worked out pretty well. So well that we ate and drank ourselves into mini food comas and we even had leftovers for a few days. Bonus!

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Sausage, Quinoa and Apple

  • 6 acorn squash, rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-1/2 pounds spicy chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 2 Fuji apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 small green pepper, diced
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each squash in half crosswise; scoop out seeds and save for Roasted Acorn Squash Seeds. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each half so they can stand upright. Season the inside of each squash well with some of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place each half, cavity side down on a cookie sheet and bake until tender when pierced, about 45 to 50 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add remaining olive oil, chicken sausage, apples, peppers, jalapeño, onions, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper. Stir often until apples are tender when pierced, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cook quinoa according to package directions, substituting the chicken broth for water. When cooked, add quinoa to the apple-sausage mixture. Fill each squash equally with sausage-quinoa-apple mixture and bake, uncovered, until filling is slightly browned on top, about 15 minutes longer.

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