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}