Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fourth of July BBQ menu

I had an email from a friend the other day. Here's what she said,
"So, I thought you might have an idea....what is a good fourth of July BBQ recipe. We are having friends over for the 4th for a BBQ and swimming, and I am trying to think of something that would be delicious and easy. I thought of you. You always have great cooking ideas!! Thanks!"
And this was my reply.
"Hi there! BBQ, hmm. Since I just posted on my blog about the fact that it’s too hot to grill, I don’t have a ton of good ideas for that, but I can tell you what I’d make. I’d make my famous corn, tomato, and okra salad. It’s awesome and everyone likes it even if they don’t think they like okra. Basically you slice a bunch of tomatoes, slice okra and take the kernels off the corn, put them on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Then you put them under the broiler until the okra looks like it’s browning slightly and crispy. Take it out put in a bowl with some sliced fresh basil. Yum. This a great side dish and can be served cold, warm or at room temperature.

If I was grilling I’d marinate some flank steak in soy sauce, lime juice and garlic and then throw it on the grill with some peppers. Serve with avocado slices. Or you can take some fresh tilapia or other fish. Put it on a piece of tin foil and dump some Herdez salsa on top. Squeeze some lime and drizzle with olive oil and then fold the tinfoil into a packet. Throw that on the grill too.

If I wasn’t grilling I’d roast some pork butt in the oven for several hours and then pull it out, shred it, mix with bbq sauce and make pulled pork sandwiches for everyone.

You can also open up some jalepenos, take the seeds out and stuff with mozzarella mixed with cream cheese. Then wrap bacon around them and secure with a toothpick. Put it in the oven at 350 and bake them till the bacon is crispy.

What else? Chips and guacamole and/or salsa. Fresh sliced tomatoes sprinkled with salt.

Oh and you can buy peaches or plums and grill or bake them. Make a butter, brown sugar sauce on the stovetop and drizzle. They are great on vanilla ice cream. Or you could make a cherry pie and serve that with vanilla ice cream. Or just buy a variety of popsicles.

I hope that helps! Ask me if you have any questions about the recipes if you decide to do them. I can send you more detailed ones if you want."

And I hope that helps anyone else out there who might be wondering what to make this weekend!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New way of Life

It's been a while since I posted. I'm busy. But I'm still cooking. And I'm still sipping. Since July I have been on the south beach diet. I lost the last twenty pounds that I needed to shed and then maintained that weight loss. I feel better and look better.
I also have changed the way that I eat, the way that I think about food, and the way that I cook. I no longer think you need a starch on the plate. When I do a protein main dish, I look for two sides that are different colors. I never thought so much about color on a plate before, but green can get monotonous.
There are a surprising amount of recipes that stay true to the South Beach way of eating, especially once you get past phase one. Of course, these days I often "cheat" on the weekends and then have to reign myself in by doing phase one for a few days, but I honestly don't mind. I love good food. I read a menu very carefully and put a ton of thought into food. What will the flavors be? How will they work together? Will it be the best thing on the menu? I care. I can't do just any diet. I tried other's but the food wasn't good enough. Or there wasn't enough. I like South Beach, because I can eat more food And I can make it delicious. So delicious that I don't miss certain foods.
I still have wine too. No diet or way of life will change that for me. Delicious reds and crisp wines still appear every night. I'm not going to lie.
I have been even more actively involved in food since I started the South Beach, because it's often easier to prepare a healthful meal than find it in the quick food section of the grocery store. In fact, that's the biggest complaint I've heard about South Beach, is that it gets boring because people don't have time to cook and there are relatively limited quick choices. I thought people might appreciate a blog that chronicled someone's life and choices within the south beach diet who still loves and appreciates gourmet, full flavored and fun dishes. I'm not saying I'm a gourmet chef. I'm not. I have two children under three who need me and I'm exhausted when I start dinner at six thirty. But I do cook, and I strive to create something better each time.
I'll try to post my menu for the week each Monday, and share with you favorite recipe's and wines that I run across. I will also share with you the books on food that I am reading and possible share with you my forays into gardening that food.
Wish me luck.
Love, Amber