Sunday, November 7, 2010

Destination Paradise

{Destination Paradise}
September 2010
Jenae & Lisa S.
{The Invite}
The Gals were given a bottle full of tropical sand, mini sunglasses, flip-flops, umbrella, and a drink glass with the rolled invite!

{Island Decor}

{The Place Settings}

{The Menu}


Paradise Pink Limeade
Crab Cakes with Sour Cream Remoulade
Pepper Peach Chicken Skewers
Fruit Salad in a Pineapple boat W/ Strawberry Sauce
Olive Zucchini Spread
Shrimp Salsa


Crab Bisque
Tropical Fusion Salad W/ Spicy Tortilla Ribbons
Cheddar Bay Biscuits


Teriyaki Glazed Tilapia W/ Cool Pineapple Mango Salsa
Baby Red Potatoes W/ Rosemary & Thyme
Summer Vegetables


Poached Peaches W/ Cream Cheese Filling
Lime Yogurt Lemon Grass Sorbet
Pecan Brownie Truffles
Coconut Cake

. Paradise Pink Limeade .
¾ cup lime juice
1 cup sugar
2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled
½ cup maraschino cherry juice or grenadine syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 cups crushed ice

8 maraschino cherries with stems
1 lime, sliced into 8 slices

In a large bowl, combine lime juice and sugar. Stir to blend until sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in soda, cherry juice or grenadine syrup, and vanilla. Add crushed ice and garnish each serving with a maraschino cherry and lime slice. Serve immediately.
. Crab cakes with Sour Cream Remoulade .

1 pound crab meat
1/3 cup crushed crackers (recommended: Ritz)
3 green onions, finely chopped
½ cup finely chopped bell pepper
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 egg
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
½ lemon, juiced
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
Flour, for dusting
½ cup peanut oil

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, except for the flour and peanut oil. Shape into patties and dust with flour. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, carefully place crab cakes, in batches, in pan and fry until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip crab cakes and fry on other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes.

. Pepper Peach Chicken Skewers .

24 small wooden skewers (6 inch)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each cut into 6 cubes
2 firm ripe fresh peaches, pitted, each cut into 12 cubes

Soak wood skewers in water for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix oil, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and cumin for marinade. Toss chicken cubes in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Preheat broiler. Place 1 chicken cube and 1 peach cube onto each skewer. Sprinkle with salt. Place on a broiler pan. Broil until chicken is cooked through and beginning to brown. Turn skewers halfway through cooking to brown on all sides, about 12 minutes total.
Arrange skewers on platter and serve immediately.

. Fruit Salad in a Pineapple boat W/ Strawberry Sauce .

1 fresh pineapple
2 cups cubed cantaloupe
1 cup halved fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tablespoon lime juice

Stand pineapple upright; vertically cut about a third from one side, leaving the top attached. Remove fruit and discard outer peel from the smaller section. Remove fruit from the large section, leaving a ½ in shell. Chop fruit; place in a large bowl. Add the cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries and lime juice; toss to coat. Place in pineapple shell.

. Sauce .
1 cup fresh strawberries, mashed
1 cup (8 oz.) reduced fat plain yogurt
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 ½ tsp grated lime peel
½ tsp vanilla extract

In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients. Serve with fruit.

. Olive Zucchini Spread .

2 packages (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese
3 cups shredded zucchini
1 jar (7 ½ ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, drained & finely chopped
¼ cup pimiento-stuffed olives, chopped
1 can (4 ¼ ounces) chopped rip olives
18 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 green onion, chopped

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; beat until blended. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

. Shrimp Salsa .

½ pound cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
¼ cup finely chopped onion
3 radishes, chopped
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until serving.
. Crab Bisque .

1 celery rib, thinly sliced
1 small onion, chopped
½ cup chopped green pepper
3 tablespoons butter
2 cans (14 ¾ ounces each) cream-style corn
2 cans (10 ¾ ounces each) condensed cream of potato soup, undiluted
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups half –and-half cream
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
3 cans (6 ounces each) crab meat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed

In a large saucepan, sauté celery, onion and green pepper in butter until tender. Add the next nine ingredients; mix well. Stir in crab; heat through. Discard bay leaves.
. Tropical Fusion Salad W/ Spicy Tortilla Ribbons .

2 cups cubed peeled papaya
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
½ cup golden raisins
2 Serrano peppers, seeded and chopped
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
¼ cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 corn tortillas (6 in) cut into ¼ -in strips

In a large bowl, combine the papaya, beans, avocado, corn, raisins, peppers, cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, sugar, salt.
Place tortilla strips on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, sprinkle with ancho chili pepper. Bake at 350 for 8-10 mins or until crisp. Serve with salad.

. Cheddar Bay Biscuits .

2 ½ cups Bisquick baking mix
4 tablespoons cold butter
1 heaping cup grated Cheddar cheese
¾ cup cold whole milk
¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Brush on top:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
a pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or a large fork. You don’t want to mix too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter in there that are about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk and ¼ teaspoon garlic. Mix by hand until combined, but don’t over mix.
Drop approximately ¼ cup portions of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.
When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl in your microwave. Stir in ½ teaspoon garlic powder and the dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits.
Makes a dozen biscuits.
. Teriyaki Glazed Tilapia W/ Cool Pineapple Mango Salsa .

½ cup thick teriyaki glaze
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon fresh minced ginger
Prepare teriyaki sauce by combining all the ingredients in blender until ginger is completely pureed. Marinate fish in sauce 1 hour in refrigerator.
Cook fish on grill. Brush the fish with a coating of the teriyaki sauce just before it is removed from the heat.

½ cup diced canned pineapple
½ cup diced fresh mango
¼ cup diced tomato
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 teaspoon diced canned jalapeno
1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients and serve on top of tilapia.

. Baby Red Potatoes W/ Rosemary & Thyme .

24 baby red potatoes, washed and cubed
1/3 – ½ cup butter, cubed
3-4 sprigs of fresh Thyme
3-4 sprigs of fresh Rosemary
Salt and pepper

Cube potatoes, tear off 2 large pieces of tin foil and place on baking sheets. Place cut up potatoes on the tin foil down the center. Cut butter in cubes and place on top of potatoes randomly. Place thyme and rosemary leaves atop potatoes also randomly. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
Bake in 400 oven for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender in center.

. Summer Vegetables .

Fry zucchini, carrots and squash in butter. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

. Poached Peaches W/ Cream Cheese Filling .

4 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 medium peaches
3 oz reduced fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon orange juice
Additional ground cinnamon

1. In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon; add peaches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until peaches are tender. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon; cool to room temperature. Discard cooking liquid. Halve, pit and peel peaches; refrigerate until chilled.
2. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’sugar, chocolate chips and orange juice until blended. Pipe or spoon into peach halves. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired.

. Lime Yogurt Lemon Grass Sorbet .

2 stalks lemon grass or 2 Tablespoons dried
1 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups plain yogurt
¾ cup lime juice
Lime sherbet
1 lime, zested
Prepare lemon grass stalk by peeling off the outer husk and placing on a solid cutting board. Bruise the stalks with the back of a thick knife. Wrap each stalk in a piece of cheesecloth and tie with strings.
In a stainless steel saucepan combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring one to make sure sugar has dissolved. Add one prepared lemon grass stalk and remove from heat. (I used 1 Tablespoon dried lemon grass in this) Allow lemon grass to steep in syrup until cooled.
In a stainless steel saucepan combine heavy cream and the second prepared lemon grass stalk or (1 tablespoon dried). Bring to a boil, remove pan from heat and allow to cool.
Remove lemon grass stalks from cream ( or dried mix) from cream and sugar syrup
Place yogurt in a large stainless steel bowl. Whisk in the cool lemon grass infused cream and lemon grass syrup. Keep mixture chilled until ready to serve.
Just before serving add lime juice to yogurt mixture. Adding lime juice too early will cause soup to curdle.
Ladle soup into chilled bowls or flat soup plates. Place a scoop of lime sherbet in the center of the bowl and garnish with lime zest.

. Pecan Brownie Truffles .

2 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick margarine
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a hand held mixer, beat the eggs and salt together in a large mixing bowl until frothy. Add the sugar and beat until the eggs are thick and pale yellow. Add the vanilla extract & beat an additional 30 seconds.
Put the margarine and chocolate in a microwave safe container and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir to insure that the chocolate has melted. Microwave an additional 30 seconds, if needed.
With the mixer running, pour melted chocolate into the egg mixture. Add the flour and beat 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat an additional 30 seconds.
Spray the cake pan with a pan release spray and pour in the brownie batter. Place the pan on the top rack of the oven and bake 15-20 minutes until the center is barely set. Remove from oven and let cool.
Mix brownies and ½ can of chocolate frosting together. Form into small balls and coat with melted almond bark. Roll in pecans before almond bark sets. Set on wax paper and let cool.

. Coconut Cake .

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¾ cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons milk
½ cup flaked, sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour 3 (9 inch) cake pans. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until done.
Prepare filling by stirring together sugar, sour cream, milk and coconut in bowl until well blended. Remove cake layers from oven and allow cake to remain in pans as you prepare to stack and fill. Remove first layer and invert onto cake plate. Using the wrong end of a wooden spoon, poke holes approximately 1-inch apart until entire cake has been poked. Spread 1/3 of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer, repeat process.

{The Gifts}
The Gals were given a delicious Island Vacation Party Mix and a beautiful bottle of homemade Chamomile Fields Shampoo. Gourmet Gals embroidered hot pads or curling iron holders and recipe pages were all put together in bright beach totes! It was everything we needed to pack for a tropical get-a-away!
. Chamomile Fields Shampoo .

4 bags chamomile tea
4 Tablespoons pure soap flakes
1 ½ Tablespoons glycerin

Let tea bags steep in 1 ½ cups of boiled water for 10 mins. Remove the tea bags and with the remaining liquid add the soap flakes. Let stand until the soap softens. Stir in glycerin until mixture is well blended. Pour into a bottle. Keep in a dark cool place.

. Island Vacation Party Mix .

2 ½ cups Corn Chex
2 ½ cups Rice Chex
2 cups macadamia nuts
¼ cup butter, cubed
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 cup flaked coconut
1 pkg (6 oz) chopped dried pineapple
1 cup white baking chips

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine cereals and nuts; set aside. In a small microwave safe bowl, combine the butter, sugar and corn syrup. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 2 mins. stirring once. Pour over cereal mixture and toss to coat. Cook cereal mixture, uncovered, on high for 2 minutes stirring once, Add coconut, cook 2 minutes longer, stirring once. Spread onto waxed paper to cool. Stir in pineapple and chips. Store in an airtight container.

{The Help}
A special thanks to our handsome Tiki Bar Bartender and the beautiful tropical ladies serving us. A big shout out to the men of the Island preparing the food. You guys were great!

{The Hostesses}
Thanks to Jenae and Lisa for such a tropical paradise! The atmosphere was so calm and relaxing and the food was just as amazing! There was wonderful conversation, food, and friends. We truly felt like we landed in destination paradise! Thanks for your hard work and creative ideas!

{The Gals}

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sweet Summer's Abundance

{Sweet Summer's Abundance}August 2010
Lisa N. & Becky

{The Invite}
The gals were given a bag full of fresh, sweet cherries! Delish!

{Summer Decor}

{The Place Settings}

{The Menu}

{Cucumber Punch}
by: Crystal B Recipes

Newcomers are always impressed when they discover we drink Cucumber Punch. "Cucumbers", they exclaim, as they scrunch up their nose!!!" They become dedicated fans too, once they've taken a sip.

1 small can limeade concentrate
1 liter 7-up, refrigerated
1 large cucumber
Maraschino cherries, cut in half
1 small bag of ice

The night before serving, make an ice ring using a jello mold. Cut the unpeeled cucumber in half and slice thin. ( Place the other half of the cucumber in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve the punch). If you've never made an ice ring, here's how:Place a layer of chopped ice in the mold and arrange the cherries and cucumbers on the ice. Add another layer of ice, then fill the mold with water. Freeze until ready to use.In a large punchbowl, make the limeade as directed on can. Add the 7 up and mix thoroughly. Just before serving, slice thin rounds of unpeeled cucumber into the punch, add the ice ring.
Note: You can make a sugar-free version of this by using “Crystal Light Limeade” and diet 7-up.

{Pea Pesto Crostini}
by: Giada De Laurentiis

1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, defrosted
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
1/3 cup olive oil
8 (1/2-inch thick) slices whole-grain baguette or ciabatta bread, preferably day-old,
1/3 cup olive oil
8 cherry tomatoes, halved or 1 small tomato, diced

For the pea pesto: Pulse together the peas, garlic, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a food processor. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
For the crostini: Preheat a stove top griddle or grill pan on medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the sliced bread with olive oil and grill until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the bread to a clean surface and spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the prepared pesto on each slice.
Top with tomato halves and serve.
*Cook's note: If you don't have day-old bread on hand, you can dry out fresh bread by putting the slices in a preheated 300 degree F oven until slightly crisp, about 5 minutes.

{Avocado & Grapefruit Salad}
By: Ina Garten

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil
4 ripe Haas avocados
2 large red grapefruits

Place the mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
Before serving, cut the avocados in 1/2, remove the seeds, and carefully peel off the skin. Cut each half into 4 thick slices. Toss the avocado slices in the vinaigrette to prevent them from turning brown. Use a large, sharp knife to slice the peel off the grapefruits (be sure to remove all the white pith), then cut between the membranes to release the grapefruit segments.
Arrange the avocado slices around the edge of a large platter. Arrange the grapefruit segments in the center. Spoon the vinaigrette on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve.

{Summer Snack}
Use your favorite berries-strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries Chopped mint and a drizzle of honey.

{Asian Noodle Salad}
By: Pioneer Woman-Ree Drummond

1 package Linguine Noodles, Cooked, Rinsed, And Cooled
½ heads Sliced Napa Cabbage, Or More To Taste
½ heads Sliced Purple Cabbage, Or More To Taste
½ bags Baby Spinach, Or More To Taste
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Thinly Sliced
1 bag Bean Sprouts (also Called Mung Bean Sprouts)
Chopped Cilantro, Up To 1 Bunch, To Taste
3 whole Scallions, Sliced
3 whole Cucumbers Peeled And Sliced
1 can (about 10 Oz.) Whole Cashews, Lightly Toasted In Skillet
1 whole Lime, Juiced
8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons (up To 3 Tablespoons) Sesame Oil
⅓ cups Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped
2 cloves Garlic Chopped
2 whole Hot Peppers Or Jalapenos, Chopped
Chopped Cilantro

Mix salad ingredients together. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on a platter.
Note: dressing keeps for up to three days before serving, without cilantro.

{Zucchini Soup}
3 cups (about 1 pound) sliced zucchini
1/2c. water
1 TBL. Fresh or instant minced onion
1 tsp. seasoned salt
½ 1/2 tsp parsley flakes (or TBL. Chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp chicken soup base or 2 bouillon cubes
2 tbl butter or margarine
2 tbl flour
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp monosodium glutamate (MSG)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup light cream
Sour cream

Combine zucchini, water, onion, seasoned salt, parsley, and 1 tsp soup base. Cook until zucchini is tender and most of water has evaporated. Mash or puree and set aside. In saucepan melt butter; add flour and rest of soup base, pepper, and monosodium glutamate. Blend; add milk and cream and simmer until thickened. Stir in pureed vegetables; thin with milk, if desired. Garnish with paprika and sour cream. Taste to correct seasoning. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

{Grilled Mozzarella and Spinach BLTs}
Creamy mozzarella is a good foil for the salty, smoky bacon in this grilled version of a BLT. Before cooking, remove any tough stems from the spinach. Serves four.

12 slices thick-cut bacon
1 medium clove garlic, finely chopped
3 cups lightly packed baby spinach
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices country-style white bread
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 large tomato (about 8 oz.), cored and thinly sliced
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Working in batches, cook the bacon in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and drain off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat. Return the pan to medium heat, add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 30 seconds longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat a panini or sandwich press according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (Alternatively, heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat.)
While the press is heating, arrange the spinach on 4 pieces of the bread. Top each with some bacon, mozzarella, and tomato, sprinkle lightly with salt, and complete each sandwich with a slice of the remaining bread. Brush both sides of the sandwiches with the oil.
Put the sandwiches on the press, pull the top down, and cook until browned and crisp and the cheese is melted, 3 to 6 minutes, depending on how hot your machine is. (If using a grill pan, put a heavy pan on top of the sandwiches and cook, turning the sandwiches over once.) Carefully remove from the press and serve.

{Carrots & Parsnips with Shallot & Herb Butter}
5 large carrots (about 1 lb.), peeled
4 large parsnips (about 1 lb.), peeled
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 Tbs. minced shallot
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh chives
1-1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme1 clove garlic, minced

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.
Cut the carrots and parsnips into 2 x1/4-inch matchsticks. Put them in a large bowl; toss with the oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and toss again. Transfer the vegetables to a 10x15-inch Pyrex dish and roast, stirring every 15 min., until the vegetables are nicely browned, 40 to 45 min.
Meanwhile, combine the butter, shallot, chives, rosemary, thyme, and garlic in a small bowl and stir well. Add the butter to the roasted vegetables and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

{Grilled Corn-Lime & Feta}
8 ears corn, shucked
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese) or Feta
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 limes, cut into wedges

Heat grill to medium-high. Brush the corn with the oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Grill, turning often, until tender and charred, 5 to 7 minutes.
Sprinkle the corn with the cheese and cayenne. Serve with the lime wedges.

{Deep Fried Pickles}
Jennifer Clement, Maggie’s Pickle CafĂ©-Food Network

24 dill pickle spears, chilled
Egg wash, recipe follows
Breading, recipe follows
Canola oil, for frying

Using only very cold dill pickle spears, dip pickle into egg wash and then coat with breading. Repeat until no pickles remain, and arrange dipped pickles on a sheet pan lined with waxed paper. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
In a deep fryer, heat oil to 375 degrees F. Alternatively, heat oil in a large, heavy pot suitable for deep-frying. Carefully add chilled pickle spears, in batches, to the hot oil and fry for about 3 1/2 minutes or until golden. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. May be served with Ranch Dressing.
Egg Wash: 2 cups milk, 2 eggs, Pinch lemon pepper, Pinch dill weed, Pickle juice
Breading: 2 1/2 cups cornmeal, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup lemon pepper, 1/2 cup dill weed, 4 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons garlic salt, Pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
For egg wash: In a baking dish, whisk all ingredients together, except pickle juice. Add pickle juice, to taste, and whisk to combine. For breading: Combine all ingredients in a baking dish.

{Curry-Yogurt Dipping Sauce}
By: Cook Think
Serves 6-12

This is a great dipping sauce for vegetables. Make up a big platter of artichokes, blanched green beans, red peppers and sliced carrots and enjoy the tang of the yogurt and subtly sweet spice of curry.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Add honey to sweeten to taste

Heat the vegetable oil in small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Pour the oil and curry into a bowl to cool. When the oil has cooled, whisk in the yogurt and mayonnaise.

{Lemon Cake Pops}
1 (18.25 ounce) package Lemon Cake Mix
1 (16 ounce) container prepared Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pkg. Almond Bark

Prepare the cake mix according to package directions using any of the recommended pan sizes. When cake is done, crumble while warm into a large bowl, and stir in the ¼ to ½ can of frosting until well blended and sticking together. Roll immediately after you mix cake and frosting. Use a melon baller or small scoop to form balls of the cake mixture.
Dip the balls in chocolate using a toothpick or fork to hold them. Place on waxed paper to set. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 30 min or overnight. In the morning place pops in freezer for a few hours then dip. I like to keep mine in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
*Any Cake & Frosting will work.

{Mixed Berry White Chocolate Mousse}

1 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries, thawed
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 drop red food coloring

Process berries in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain mixture into a small bowl, and discard seeds. Add the sugar and liqueur, and stir until sugar dissolves. Makes 1 cup of sauce.
In a heavy saucepan on low heat, warm 1/4 cup of the cream and the white chocolate, stirring constantly until chocolate melts. Let mixture cool until it is lukewarm. Stir in 1 tablespoon of raspberry sauce, and the food coloring. Transfer to a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, whip remaining 1 1/2 cup cream to soft peaks. Fold into melted chocolate mixture, one-third at a time, until no streaks remain.
Layer into parfait dishes, and serve with the sauce. May also be used to fill or ice a cake.

{Rhubarb-Raspberry Galette}
For the filling:
1-1/2 lb. rhubarb
1 cup raspberries
3 Tbs. flour
1 to 1-1/4 cups sugar
Melted butter for brushing
Sugar for sprinkling

To make the dough
Mix Together 2 c. sifted flour & 1 tsp salt
Cut in 2/3c shortening
Sprinkle with 4 Tbsp water.

To make the filling
Trim the ends of the rhubarb and, if the stalks are more than 1 inch thick, cut them in half lengthwise. Cut the stalks into 1-inch-long pieces. In a large bowl, gently toss the rhubarb and raspberries with the flour and sugar. Let stand until moist, 5 to 10 minutes.
Heat the oven to 400°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature until it's just pliable, about 5 to 10 minutes. Gently spread the fruit in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch margin around the edge. Carefully fold the edge of the dough over the fruit, pleating it as you go. Brush the edge of the dough with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is soft and bubbling, 45 to 55 min. Set on a rack to cool slightly.
Yields one 12-inch tart (or four 6-inch tartlets)

{Orange Creamsicle Cake}
By: Woman's Day Staff

1 store-bought 8-in. angel food cake (I made a box cake)
2 cups orange sherbet
2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed, or fresh whipped cream
Garnish: Candied Orange Peel (recipe below), optional

Invert cake onto serving plate. Fill center hole with sherbet, packing in. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze at least 4 hours or overnight. (Once the cake is frozen, it can be wrapped and stored in freezer up to 2 weeks.) To serve: Unwrap; transfer frozen cake to a serving plate. Frost sides and top with thawed whipped topping or whipped cream. Sprinkle candied orange peel on top, if using. Candied Orange Peel: Using a citrus zester, remove the peel from 1 orange in strips. Or use a vegetable peeler to remove the peel from the orange in vertical strips, avoiding as much of the white pith as possible; cut into smaller strips. Bring 2 cups cold water and the peel to a boil in a 2-qt saucepan ; drain. In the same saucepan, whisk 1 cup water with 2 cups sugar until sugar dissolves. Add the peel and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer the peel 10 to 15 minutes until tender and translucent. Drain; let cool. Toss the peel in 1/2 cup sugar. Using a fork or your fingers, remove peels, gently shaking off excess sugar. Store in an airtight container for 1 week.

{Frozen Watermelon Pops}
1 watermelon
Craft sticks(or popsicle sticks)
Cookie Sheet

Cut you watermelon in half. Reserve one side for the "pop holder"
Cut thick ring slices (about 1/2 inch thick) of watermelon
Use your cookie cutter and cut out your shape
Insert your craft stick into your watermelon shape, taking care not to poke it through.
Place on you foil lined cookie sheet and freeze for a few hours.

{The Gifts}
The gals were given delicious homemade smoothie fruit roll-ups! Also, a homemade kitchen hand scrub adorned with an authentic 'Gourmet Gals" label! Brand new recipe binders all tucked in darling summer totes completed the gifts! So summery and beautifully wrapped!

{Smoothie Roll-Ups}
by Veggie Wedgie

400gr strawberries
2 bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
1tbsp agave syrup or other sweetener

In a blender, add all ingredients and blend until smooth, taking care to crush the strawberry seeds. if your blender is not powerful enough to do that you will need to strain this. Spread the mixture on the dehydrator sheets and dehydrate on 41C for 6-8 hours, flipping once, until its completely dry. Roll up in baking paper and cut to serving sized pieces.
*You can totally make this in an oven as well, on the lowest temperature until the pulp is completely dry. They just won’t be completely raw and it’s more of hassle, but it is definitely doable.

{All-Natural Moisturizing Kitchen Hand Scrub}
1 1/2c sugar
1/3c Kosher Salt
Zest of One Large Lemon
1c. Olive Oil
A few drops of yellow food coloring
Scented Lemon Fragrance-(found in the soap making area)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. If you would like a slightly stronger fragrance, add the extract. Spoon into a pretty jar, tighten the lid. Wipe any spills or drips from the outside of the jar. Alternatively, you can use orange or lime zest for a different fresh citrus smell. For an extra touch, tie a pretty bow around the jar if you plan to gift this scrub. This makes enough for a 1 pint canning jar

{The Help}
Thanks to the sweet helpers that made our night so relaxing and enjoyable!
{The Hostesses}
Thanks to Lisa and Becky for such a wonderful summer abundance! It was truly a beautiful and tranquil evening. The food was spectacular and refreshing!
We learned so many wonderful ways to prepare our summer favorites.
The ambiance was perfect! Everything was so bright, cheery, and comfy!
Way to start the new GG year!
{The Gals}