Thursday, August 29, 2013

A night out at Posh, Scottsdale

This picky eater loves to try new restaurants!  Mmmmmm yum.  I won't trash a restaurant, I just won't talk about it.  But the ones that I try that are good - bring it on!  We went to "Posh" last weekend, located off Scottsdale Road, just North of Scottsdale Fashion Square.  It was unexpected.  Here's why:  it's what they call "improvisational cuisine."  Huh?  Most people said to me when I explained the weekend plans.  The menu looks like this...


Posh Menu


You basically tell them what you DON'T want to eat, what you're allergic to or can't stand - but the rest is up to them.  You can't say "I want a salad" or "Can I have a steak?".... because they decide!  The tasting menu, however, does begin with a "starter" type course and end with a dessert.  While it's odd -  it's also kind of fun!  We had a fig appetizer, which... I'm just not in love with figs (I should have mentioned that on the paper but it's quite a big task to remember all the food in the world you don't like!)... then the experience continued with a celery soup and an heirloom tomato type caprese salad.  The celery soup was perfectly balanced, rich while not too creamy on a hot summer's day.  The heirlooms were at their peek with some feta, capers, radicchio and even a tomato sorbet! It was a new twist on an old favorite!  Both were scrumptious.   

Celery Soup


Heirloom Tomato Salad


Main courses 

Both were excellent with the Halibut Cheeks being, by far, the favorite (of the whole night really).  It was made with mushrooms and a soy sauce reduction which had your mouth doing somersaults with excitement!  The Yellow Tail was good too with some sautéed onions accompanying it.  

Halibut Cheeks with Polenta 


Yellow Tail with Haricots Verts




Kitchen is in the middle of the room


White Chocolate Mousse with Shortbread & Figs


The Desserts were good but not to die for... All in all a fun, new (to me, it's been around for several years now) place to go for this picky chick!  My only thought was: what if, like the Halibut Cheeks, I loved a dish so much, I wanted to go back again and order it...?  Because it's all "improv," that would be impossible.  Technically.  Right?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Easy egg muffin!

Not a cook!  But I love yummy things.  The weekends in my house are sacred!  Saturday morning we all take a huge breath and eat.  But we only have time for a quick bite - it can take hardly any time to prepare because.... we are busy on the weekends (doing all my projects!!!!)  So, get the kids drinks, slam this together and while they're watching their favorite episode of Caillou or Maya & Miguel... these bake.

Breakfast "Muffin"


This is so easy, yummy and awesome to make for the family or even to feed an a-m crowd - quick!



These are almost as easy as cereal!  Grab 8 eggs, crack in a bowl, add (whatever you want) we added cheese, tomatoes and onions.  Then take an uncooked piece of bacon and line the muffin tin.  Pour egg mixture into tin.  Makes about 12 "muffins". 



Bake on 350 for about 25 minutes, watch for spillage, and voila!  These were scrumptious.  My kids ate every bite!  Impressive and simple.  Perfectly suits my picky style! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer BBQ!

The Headlines:

Summer is here.

Make all of these things!




I like to have people over.  These are my Summer "go-to"s and now they should be yours!  They're all so easy they make it possible to BE with your guests rather than just serve them the whole time they're there!

BEST Watermelon Margaritas EVER
A hit every time we make them.  Can't go wrong.  Any other watermelon drink this picky chick has ever ordered - never comes close!




Here's What You Need:
12 cups of diced, seeded watermelon. chilled.
1 cup agave nectar or 2 cups of sugar
1 cup lime juice
lime wedges
1800 tequila  (this is one of my favs but this is interchangeable based on your taste)
sugar for rimming!

Here's What You Do:
In a blender, combine watermelon (remember fresh ingreds give cocktails their UMPH), agave nectar (or sugar) and lime juice.  Using a lime wedge, line edge of glasses then dip into sugar so it sticks to the edge of the glass.  Let it dry before adding drink.  Fill glasses with ice and put 6 oz of mixture plus 2 oz of tequila into a shaker.  Shake and pour over ice.  Place small wedge on edge like above and serve.  Makes about 6 hearty margaritas.

**Bonus- since the fruit mixture is done separately -- you could easily add Sprite (versus tequila) or sparking water and serve to the kids!!!


Turquoise Lemonade
This is so easy it really needs no explanation but...


Grab your lemonade of choice and throw less than a drop of blue food coloring and VOILA!  Kids think it's more special than regular lemonade.  (And maybe it is)  We almost ran out before dinner!

BEST Guacamole EVER
My husband's guacamole is good, really good.  Everyone who eats it raves... and this picky chick is no exception.. there's no exact recipe but here goes:

   
Here's What You Need:
6 avocados, chunky sliced
yellow onion chopped
cilantro
6 roma tomatoes chopped
Tabasco (not too many drops!)
onion powder
garlic salt (be generous with this)
pepper (not too much of this)
lime juice  (lots of this too)

Here's What You Do:
Toss the chunky cut avocados into a large bowl, add diced tomatoes, diced onions and chopped cilantro.  Add all the rest of the spices to taste.  I know it's not much... but as long as you taste test it a lot you will come up with something awesome!!  This picky chick, non-cook, can promise you that!


Mango-Papaya Salsa (for a white fish taco or with chips)
Mango/papaya salsa is the key (besides yummy fish) to our halibut fish tacos!  Again, super easy but requires some chopping.


Here's What You need:
4 mangos 
2 papayas 
5 roma tomatoes 
half of a yellow onion 
cilantro 
lime juice of 1 full lime
1/4 cup of orange juice 
salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion powder to taste

Here's What You Do:
Dice all the ingredients and chop the cilantro, throw it into one large bowl, with juices, then season to taste to round out the sweetness.  Let it sit for about an hour in fridge before serving.  

It also works with just chips but we like to reserve this specialty for the main course.  Encourage people to not be shy when loading up their taco - I also add ranch dressing to the taco and it's a perfect citrus/creamy mix! 
   

Melt In Your Mouth Cookies
So this, in all actuality, is not officially a go-to desert for me.  Usually, during the summer, I do ice cream something-or-other.  But occasionally I like to do something different! 




Here's What You Need:
1 cup butter 
3/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup flour 
frosting:
1 pkg cream cheese (but only use 3 ounces)
1 cup powdered sugar 
1/2 tsp vanilla

Here's What You Do:
Heat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, mix room temperature butter.  Add cornstarch and sugar.  Once fully blended, beat in flour until mixed.  Seriously, this is so easy that the oven may not even be warm yet!  Plop about a teaspoon full for each cookie on a sheet.  Then flatten them out with another teaspoon coated with powdered sugar so it doesn't stick.  Bake for 10 minutes.
While that's happening,  mix all the frosting ingredients together and, if desired, add food coloring,  depending upon occasion.  For a pool party/BBQ like we were having, I chose a light blue color as pictured.   Once cookies come out and cool, frost. 


These are amazing melt in your mouth goodness!  Impossible to mess up... 

There ya have it... Summer BBQ at your service.  Easy, happy, yappy goodness!