cooking

Starting a Supper Club

Supper Clubs are a great way to meet new people and reconnect with old friends.  Many have talked about starting one but don’t know where to begin! Here are some tips on how to get started!!!

1. Who to Invite:

You don’t want to have a massive throw down so let’s keep the guests to 8-10 max. What I think can be fun is for the hostess to invite 4 or 5 and ask them to bring a friend or date! That way new people are constantly meeting!

2. Set a Date:

Check with people’s schedules and see when works best for others. I’m planning on having one of the first Sunday evening of every month.

3.  Decide who brings what:

Appetizer, Entre, dessert. I’d say BYOB. (Wine that is). You can put 2 people on appetizers, 2 on entres, 2 on dessert and others can bring supplies such as napkins, plates, utensils if you are deciding to make your clean up MUCH easier.

4.  Budget:

Typically I would tell people not to go crazy. There are many food items you can make for a group of 8-10 for under $15. However, if someone wants to splurge… I’m not opposed!

5. Themes:

Keep it interesting! You could have indoor picnic nights, wine and cheese nights, passport nights… these themes can also effect the dress code for the evening and music!! I.E. costumes & playlists

6. Tablescape:

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on flowers, but a little effort doesn’t hurt! Get some baby’s breath and cut them to place in a short glass. Candles are also another great way to set the mood without going overboard on price. (I know y’all have candles at home.) Tablecloths are optional as is putting out all the china! Remember how great an easy clean up sounds.

7. Menu:

Print out the menu and say what item is! Encourage guests to try everything. It is a fun way to break the ice by trying new things together. Also include who provided the dish!

Hopefully this will encourage you to start a supper club or at least get some friends over for dinner! It doesn’t have to be fancy… it’s not the last supper-just a nice relaxed evening with friends.

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Lime & Honey Glazed Salmon with a warm Black Bean Corn Salad

This is the most perfect summer dish I have ever found. It is so light, satisfying and healthy! Made this with a friend and it was sooooo delicious.20130716-175521.jpg

Do realize though that this requires more ingredients than my usual recipes…

What you will need:

Extra-virgin olive oil (4 tbsp)

1 Medium red onion (chopped)

2 large garlic cloves (chopped)

Red pepper flakes (1 tspn)

Ground cumin (1 tspn)

Salt & Pepper

Honey (3 tbsp)

Chili powder (1 tspn)

Salmon filets (about 4, 6 ounce)

1 Red bell pepper (cored, seeded & chopped)

Corn (1 can or frozen bag)

1/2 cup of chicken stock or broth

Black beans (1 can, rinsed and drained)

Fresh cilantro (handful, chopped)

Baby spinach (6 cups)

2 limes (juiced)

WHEW. Okay, let’s get started!

1. Place a medium skillet over medium heat with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add in onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes and stir occasionally.

2. While that is cooking, place another medium skillet over medium-high heat with the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil.

3. In a separate dish, combine the juice of 1 lime, honey, chili powder, salt and pepper. (This will be the marinade for the salmon)

4. After coating the salmon in this mixture, add to hot skillet and cook until just cooked through. (4 minutes each side)

5. Jump back over to your first skillet with the onions and garlic and go ahead and add in the bell peppers, corn & chicken stock. Let that cook for about 3 minutes.

6. Add in black beans and cook until beans are heated through, then remove from heat and add juice from a second lime, chopped cilantro & spinach. Toss and wilt the spinach and then season to taste.

Presentation time!!

Serve the lime and honey glazed salmon over top of the warm black bean and corn salad and ta-da!!

Hope you enjoy!

 

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Lowcountry Shrimp & Grits

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It wouldn’t be right for me to live in Charleston and not master Shrimp & Grits. So tonight I decided to give it a try.

Now this can easily be served as a main course or as an hors d’oeuvre in martini glasses for fun!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of Shrimp (peeled and cleaned)
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Large garlic clove
  • Bundle of Scallions/Green Onions
  • 2 cups of Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 stick of Butter
  • 1 cup of Grits (I used Old Fashioned by Quaker)
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • Thick cut bacon- about 6 slices
  • Salt & Pepper & other seasonings such as cajun/creole for some kick!

Let’s Get To It!

  1. Boil 3 cups of water with 2 chicken bouillon cubes and add grits
  2. Cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the water is absorbed
  3. Cook bacon in frying pan and remove
  4. Add shrimp into pan that bacon was cooked in with the grease and cook until pink
  5. Add butter and cheese and salt and pepper to grits and stir
  6. Saute shrimp with scallions, bacon crumbles, garlic, other seasonings and lemon juice for 3 minutes

THAT’S ALL!

Simply spoon out cheese grits onto bowl/plate and pour shrimp mixture over top! Enjoy.. I certainly did. 🙂

Fresh Scents

imgres-4Not only do we, as girls, love to smell good… but we love our home to smell good too!

Instead of going out and buying more and more air fresheners for $10 or more, use things that can be found in your kitchen!

Lemon, Rosemary & Vanilla

These are all very soft scents which most of us have in our kitchen.

Lemons… check

Rosemary… check

Vanilla extract… check

Add 2/3 water to a pan, add your sliced up lemons, throw in sprigs of rosemary and add 2 tsps of vanilla!

This warm citrusy scent can simmer all day on low heat, just remember to add water!

Enjoy.

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Cavender’s Pasta

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Pasta is such an easy thing for us busy southern women to throw together; however, Cavender’s pasta offers a lighter palette of flavors which can be enjoyed while hot or cold. It’s also great because you can always add in other things to it. For instance, if you don’t care for black olives but love artichoke hearts- then throw those in!!

What will you need?

Angel Hair Pasta OR Orzo

Cherry Tomatoes

Black Olives (sliced)

Spring Green Onions

1/4 Vegetable Oil

4 tbls Lemon Juice (about 2 large lemons)

4 LARGE tbls of Mayo

4 tbls Cavenders Seasoning

Here we go!

1. Go ahead and start cooking either your pasta or orzo

2. Chop up your black olives, artichoke hearts, spring onions and whatever else you’re adding

3. In a bowl, mix together the vegetable oil, lemon juice, cavender’s seasoning and mayo

4. Add items of choice from Step 2 to pasta

5. Pour mixture over pasta and stir it up!

Now that was easy! This pasta is great for a hot summer afternoon served cold or a cool summer evening heated up.

Special thanks to my mother who has made this recipe for years!

Delicious Green Beans

photo-galleryPersonally, I love green beans. They provide a subtle crunch and savory taste when cooked the right way.

Today I will be sharing with you my recipe for green beans.

Ingredients:

Green beans- frozen works after almost thawed or fresh from market

Butter- usually 1/2 a stick

Black pepper

Garlic Salt

Let’s get started!

1. Place your green beans into a pot big enough for all the green beans to lay fairly thin

2. Add the stick of butter and turn on low heat

3. Go ahead and crack as much black pepper as you’d like and go a little heavier than normal with the garlic salt

4. Mix it all up and cover with lid

5. Allow the green beans to steam on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes

THAT’S IT!

Always do a taste test though.. often times with vegetables they don’t absorb all the flavor we’d like them to!

Shrimp with Avocado-Mango Salsa and Couscous

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   Ingredients:

Vegetable oil cooking spray
8 cups baby spinach
1 cup couscous
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 teaspoon salt,divided
1 large mango, peeled and diced
1 medium avocado, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Prep and Cooking Instructions:

Heat grill. Fold four 18-inch-long pieces of foil in half; unfold and coat inside with cooking spray. Place 2 cups spinach in center of 1 half of each piece of foil. Combine couscous with 1/4 cup water; divide evenly among packets, placing on top of spinach. Combine shrimp, 1/4 cup cilantro, oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Divide shrimp evenly among packets, placing next to couscous. Fold foil to close and crimp edges to seal; place on grill; close lid; cook until packets are fully puffed, 10 minutes. Combine remaining 1/4 cup cilantro with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, mango, avocado, tomato, onion, jalapeño and lime juice in a bowl. Carefully cut foil to open; stir contents; garnish with salsa before serving.

This recipe is one of my summer favs. It is so light and flavorful, but incredibly filling. Hope you enjoy!