Saturday, June 14, 2014

Friday The 13th A Very Peachy Dinner Party

It was Friday the 13th, the most widespread superstitious day which some consider unlucky, but not Stone and I.  We were up early, Stone was off to the golf course, while I peddled my bike to the library and Krogers.  My morning went well, nothing dreadful happened.  I visited with a past neighbor, Lynn,while waiting for the library to open.  She also was out biking. We chatted for a bit and said our goodbyes knowing we didn't have long before the rain was to come.  I still wanted to stop by the grocery on the way back.  The clouds were rolling in and it was getting dark. Should I or shouldn't I. Will the rains come before I make it home?  I didn't really need anything for the nights feast.  I took a chance and hurriedly made my purchases and was own my way.  I made it with two hour to spare before the rain began, totaling a 8 1/2 mile ride.  Glad I made that stop.   No preposterous superstition was going to keep me closed indoors.  
We had a dinner party and Carleen, Daniel, Helen, Don, Stone and I were ready to have some fun.  Apparently they were not superstitious either. My first decision was what to wear.  All three of us are CAbi ladies, therefore we own some of the same clothing pieces.  I chose something non CAbi, since I didn't want to match anyone.  I had a maxi dress that I purchased about three years ago and had never worn.  I don't know why it has hung in my closet and never worn. Sometimes I just do that.  Then one day I look at it and bam! The day has come and I can't wait to put it on.  Its like I've never seen it before. It was brand new with the tag still attached, but bought three years ago.  It was perfect for the evening with the warm humid weather here in Tennessee cooling down in the evenings.  I just had my wrap handy when my shoulders where cool. 
 While trying to establish the menu, everything peachy grabbed my attention.  I don't know why, from the appetizer to the dessert.  Deciding that everything couldn't be peach, I had to make some choices.  The evening was to begin with Frozen Peach Daiquiris.  For the appetizer I chose a Zesty Hummus Dip with Lemon and Garlic that I served with Pita Chips, carrots and celery.  The main entrée   consisted of Peach-Mustard Pork Chops, Baked Beans and Vegetable Coleslaw. I ended the meal with a Peach Cobbler Ice Cream Cake. I just had to have peaches in the dessert. My tablescape had come together with the flowers that my neighbors, Sid and Shannon brought me last weekend and just so happens are the color of peaches.
As our guest arrived, the skies cleared.  We sat on the porch enjoying our cocktails and appetizers while chatting about any and everything including recent trips to making plans for future ones.  This sounded like a job for an Event Coordinator. Carleen, Helen and I are up for the job. It was time for dinner, so Stone fired up the grill and in no time the Peach-Mustard Pork Chops were ready.  The wine was pored as we gathered around the table, toasting to good friends together again.  The food was consumed as we lingered, full and content.  The sun had gone down, and the lightening bugs were out. Not only was it Friday the 13th, it also was a night of a full moon.  Before the evening came to an end, we went indoors to view pictures of Helen and Don's recent dive vacation.  It's amazing all the brilliant colors and little creatures in the world under the water.  Things seem so calm as you glide in slow motion watching everything all around.
 We all made it through the day and nothing awful happened.  It's nearing the witching hour and our evening has come to an end. Time sure fly's by when you're having fun.  I'm glad none of us are superstitious otherwise all would have stayed home, closed up indoors, missing out on this enjoyable evening together.

Tennessee Food Blog, screen porch, dinner party, tables cape
My Tablescape

Frozen Peach Daiquiris, raspberries, dinner party, tennessee food and travel blog
Frozen Peach Daiquiris

Can be made ahead!!!!!
Frozen Peach Daiquiris Ingredients:
6 ounces (3/4 cup) frozen lemonade or limeade concentrate
6 ounces (3/4 cup) light rum,  I use Bacardi
4 cups frozen fruit; may substitute fresh, flavorful, ripe fruit
2 cups ice cubes, I used Sonic ice.
sweetener (optional), to taste, if desired (superfine sugar, agave syrup, or other preferred sweetener)
fresh fruit for garnish (optional)

Directions: In blender, mix lemonade/limeade concentrate, rum and fruit.  Berries can be added whole; other fruits should be cut into cubes/pieces.)  Blend until smooth.  Add ice. Blend until smooth, and no ice chunks remain.  Taste and add sweetener, if desired.  If flavor is too intense, add more ice cubes and blend.  For stronger fruit flavor, add more fruit and blend. Recipe from:

Recommended Fruit:
Strawberry (raspberry and blackberry not recommended for this "whole fruit" method, because their larger seeds result in a gritty drinking texture.
Pineapple (optional: add 1 cup canned light coconut milk for a Pina Colada

Make ahead mason jar daiquiris: 
Pour blended daiquiris into 1/2 pint or pint mason jars, leave at least 1/2" at the top to allow for expansion when they freeze, drew on the lids and freeze.  To serve, remove fro freezer (let them set out for 5-15 minutes if they're too hard) and use a fork to break up and stir the semi-frozen  daiquiris into a slushy consistency.  The alcohol keeps them from freezing to a hard solid state, so they're always ready to remove from the freezer, stir, serve and drink.  These will keep for up to a month in the freezer.

zesty hummus dip, celery, pita chips, carrots
Zesty Hummus Dip

Zesty Hummus Dip Ingredients:
2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 Tablespoon water
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup olive oil plus 2 Tablespoons, plus 2 Tablespoons to drizzle over top as garnish
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dry oregano

In the bowl of a food processor, add the chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lemon juice, lemon zest, water, sea salt and the garlic cloves.  Process for about 1 minute to combine well;   slowly drizzle in the 1/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of olive oil while the processor is running, until the dip is creamy and completely smooth; you may need to stop the processor and scrape down the sides a couple of times with a spatula to get all of the ingredients well processed.  
Once the hummus is smooth and creamy, spoon it into a serving dish and sprinkle the cumin, paprika dry oregano over top, finish with a drizzle of the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil; serve with pita wedges or vegetables.  Recipe from:

Peach mustard pork chops, brown sugar, paprika, coriander, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, 1" pork chops, peach preserves,
Peach-Mustard Pork Chops 

Peach-Mustard Pork Chops Ingredients:
Serves 6
For the Pork:
1 Tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
6 bone-in pork rib chops (1" thick; about 4 1/2 pounds total)

For the Peach-Mustard Sauce:
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons peach preserves
6 cloves garlic, smashed
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoons  mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
vegetable oil, for brushing
3 peaches, halved and pitted

1. Prepare the pork: Combine the brown sugar, paprika, coriander, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, 1 Tablespoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large baking dish.  Pierce both sides of the pork chops with a paring knife (about 12 times per side).  Add the pork chops to the dish, turning to coat with  the spice rub.  Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
2.  Make the sauce: Combine the vinegar, preserves, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, red pepper flakes and 3.4 teaspoon salt in a  medium saucepan.  Bring to a  boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the sauce thicken slightly, about 8 minutes; let cool completely. Transfer 1.4 cup of the sauce to a separate bowl for basting.  Set aside the remaining sauce for serving.
3.  Remove the pork from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before grilling.  Preheat a grill to medium and lightly brush the grates with vegetable oil.  Transfer the pork chips to the grill, cover and cook until lightly marked, about 4 minutes.  Uncover and continue cooking, flipping and basting the pork chops every 2 minutes, until they are golden and well marked, about 8 more minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.
4.  Meanwhile, brush the peaches lightly with vegetable oil and place cut-side down on the grill.  Cover and grill until marked, 1-2 minutes per side.   Serve the pork chops with the grilled peaches and the reserve sauce.  Recipe from:

baked beans, peppered maple bacon, bushes baked beans, chili sauce, onion, brown sugar
Baked Beans

Baked Beans Ingredients:
1 pound peppered maple bacon
2 (28 ounce) cans bushes baked beans
1 (12 ounce) bottle chili sauce
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups brown sugar

Cook bacon and crumble, set aside.  Chop onion, and sauté' in bacon grease.  Combine beans, chili sauce, onion, brown sugar, and bacon.  pour in a 9X13" dish. Bake 45-1 hour.  OR cook on low in a slow cooker for approximately 7 hours.

vegetable coleslaw, hellmann's mayonnaise, dijon mustard, sugar, dider vinegar, celery seeds, celery salt, kasher salt, pepper
Vegetable Coleslaw 

Vegetable Coleslaw Ingredients:
2 (16 ounce) bags of (3 color deli coleslaw)
2 cups Hellmann's Mayonnaise, all good southern women know there is no other mayonnaise!
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

I mix this up about 4 hours prior to eating.
Empty both bags of coleslaw into large bowl.  In a medium bow, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, vinegar, celery seeds, celery salt, salt and pepper.  Pour enough of the dressing over the grated vegetables to moisten them.  Serve cold or at room temperature.  Serves 8-10.  Slightly adapted from

granulated sugar, lemon, peaches, graham crackers, pecans, butter, vanilla ice cream, pound cake, heavy cream, confections' sugar, vanilla exctracr
Peach Cobbler Ice Cream Cake

Peach Cobbler Ice Cream Cake Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
juice of 1 lemon
4 peaches, peeled and cut into 3/4" pieces
1 sleeve graham crackers (9 whole crackers)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 pints vanilla ice cream homemade or store-bought.
cooking spray
2 (10-12 ounce) pound cakes
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
3 Tablespoons confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Stir 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, the lemon juice and peaches in a large pot; let sit 15 minutes.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and ooh until the peaches are tender, about 15 minutes.  Remove 3/4 cup peaches with a slotted spoon and refrigerate for topping. Puree the remaining peaches and cooking liquid in a blender; transfer to a bowl and freeze until very thick, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350' and line a baking sheet with foil.  Coarsely crush the graham crackers and toss with remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the pecans and butter on the prepared baking sheet; spread into a thin layer.  Bake 7 minutes, then stir and continue baking until golden brown, 6-10 minutes.  Let cool and harden, then crumble and set aside.

Assemble the cake:
Let 2 pints ice  cream soften at room temperature until spreadable, about 10 minutes.  Coat a 9" springform pan with cooking spray and line the bottom and sides with plastic wrap, leaving a 2" overhang.  Spread the softened ice  cream in the prepared pan, then top evenly with the peach puree.  Freeze until the puree is firm, about 45 minutes.
Let the remaining 2 pints ice cream soften, 10 minutes, then spread over the peach puree.  Sprinkle with 1 cup of the pecan mixture and press in into the ice cream.  Cut the pound cakes lengthwise into 1 1/2" thick slices; arrange the slices in a single layer on top of the ice cream, trimming as needed.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.
Beat the heavy cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in a bowl with a mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.  Uncover the cake, then invert onto a pilate; remove the springform ring and the remaining plastic wrap.  Cover the top and sides with the whipped cream. Top with the reserved peaches and remaining pecan mixture.  Freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Servings 12.

Are you superstitious?