Friday, July 29, 2011

What’s for dinner: cough drops, soup and popsicles


For those of you that follow me on twitter you know that I have been sick all week long and it has sucked. Majorly. My week has consisted of couch laying, sleeping, red box movie watching, whining, fever sweating, Olympic cough drop eating and extreme nose blowing.  


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Midweek eats: Cooking for the in-laws…

There is always some kind of initiation process when entering someone’s family through marriage. For my future in-laws, part of this obstacle is how well one can execute a home cooked meal.  (insert side-eye here..lol) I completed the said challenge by attempting to woo them with my famous mixed green salad with homemade salad dressing and a simple Spinach Tagliatelle pasta with Shrimp and tomatoes in a white wine butter sauce. Sounds good, right?
Hot in the Pan... Tagliatelle with Shrimp and Tomatoes in a White Wine Butter Sauce.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Funday: An Atlanta Favorite

After 7 years of living in Atlanta, I finally made it over to Busy Bee’s Cafe. I’m sure you’ve all heard of it, it’s the popular hole in the wall place in the West End near the AUC that pumps out tons of Southern favorites.


Friday, July 22, 2011

What’s for dinner?? Guest Post: All Dressed Up In Love: Tuxedo Strawberries

Remember those very cute, very delicious tuxedo strawberry men that I ate for dinner here? Well the very creative gentleman that created them has graced us with our very first guest post and the how-to on these cute little treats. Enjoy!

Hello all, my name is Níco. I love cooking and food preparation just because it allows you to literally fill people with the love you put into the food you offer them – and this recipe offers a unique opportunity to not only cook love into your food, but to even dress your food up with love. Although it takes a little extra time, this recipe (or preparation, to be more precise) is as fun as it is rewarding. It will make the love you feel for the special person (or people) you are preparing it for both palpable and well presented… after all – who doesn’t love a nice tuxedo?

Ingredients/Materials:

  • 1 package of fresh strawberries, washed and dried completely (stem on)
  • 1/2 lbs (depending on your taste) of each: white and dark chocolate bits, squares, or kisses (80% cacao for dark is best)
  •  Wax Paper
  • Ziploc Sandwich Bags
  • Microwave
After having washed and most importantly, DRIED the strawberries, place the white and dark chocolate in a 2 large bowls (separate, of course). Then place the wax paper on a cool counter top surface or on a cookie sheet. Next warm the white chocolate for about 30 seconds at a time in the microwave, stirring very well between warming intervals… Remember – this is a labor of love… white chocolate is very temperamental, but if you take your time with it and warm it slowly then it will be smooth and beautiful… if not it can burn, and believe me you’ll know if it does! Once it is smooth simply take each strawberry gently by the stem and slowly dip it into the white chocolate, but leave a touch of strawberry showing for presentation, placing each one on the wax paper to cool.

Step 1: Strawberries in white chocolate shirts
Once you have given each strawberry its shirt, the next step is to give them their coat. Warm the dark chocolate in the same way as the white, however this chocolate is not nearly as formidable an obstacle as the white. Do remember, however, to save some for the next step. Now you simply dip each berry in the same way, but this time creating a V shape showing a significant portion of white on the front of the berry and covering the back with dark chocolate.

Step 2: Dark Chocolate Jacket
Finally, we must give our men their studs and bow ties – this is done by warming some of the dark chocolate in a Ziploc bag at 10-15 second intervals and gently massage it in between. Be sure not to press to hard or it will get everywhere! Then cut a very small part of a corner off and use it to dot on the studs and draw an X above them, closing the ends to make bow ties!

Step 3: Chocolate studs and bow ties
 The only thing left to do then is present them well for your loved ones. This small act is sure to make a big impression and is a unique way of showing how you feel. After all, it really is a special occasion if even your food got dressed up for it, isn’t it?
 
Strawberry men in Chocolate Tuxedos!
I hope you all enjoy and can share this with all of your loved ones.

Best,
Níco Rico from Atlanta

Find a printable recipe here.

I hope you all enjoyed our first Guest Post! We will see you back here on Monday for "Monday Funday". Have a yummy weekend!

Thanks for reading!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Midweek eats: Girls night!!

I recently made dinner for my 'girls' night with my favorite gay, 'Gi-Gi'. After a quick trip to Kroger to pick up fruit tarts for dessert, we made our way back to my house to get cooking... and drinking. :-)

We started with a simple mixed green salad and a homemade vinaigrette. 

 

Girls night salad...mixed greens, yellow tomatoes,  red onions and cucumbers.
To follow, we had a delicious, perfectly seared fillet with asparagus and parsley potatoes. I planned to make a red wine reduction to go with, but got a little too tipsy (thanks to my empty stomach) and I didn't even think about it until we were half way through the meal. Don't worry, It was deliciously perfect exactly the way it was.


Girls night dinner... Asparagus, Fillet, and Parsley Potatoes
You should try changing up your girls night or 'bromance' dinners and cook at home. You save money, you can drink more (lots more if you are the hostess!), you can laugh, scream and giggle without disturbing the table next to you and for you healthy eaters out there, you can control what goes into your food. Give it a try and email me what you made!

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your hump day! I will see you back here on Friday for "What's for dinner?"



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citrus.catering@gmail.com

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Funday! The Gelato edition…

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAAAMM!
Cheesy, I know, but I couldn’t resist! :-)
As I mentioned in a previous post, Monday Funday is a real thing in my house, and the latest, Monday Funday thing has been to go to Paolo's Gelato Italiano in the Virginia Highlands and indulge in some amazing ice cream.
If you haven’t been yet, you must get there asap. It reminds me of the Italian ice shops from my home town in Germany. I mean they even have spaghetti ice cream for God’s sake! (Military kids und alle meine Deutsche stand up if you remember ‘spaghetti ice')
Paolo’s has been around since 1999, serving up over 62 fresh homemade flavors that change weekly (check out the list here). The even have a “Gelato Alert”; it’s a subscription to receive an email on the flavors that they are concocting for the week.
Yummy Ice Cream line up for the day at Paolo's

They have just about any flavor you can think of... Flower flavors like, Orange Blossom and Rose; Vegetable flavors like Avocado and Basil; and of course all the traditional cream and fruit based flavors like Chocolate, Banana and Strawberry (and many, many more). My absolute favorite thus far is their Pistachio ice cream. It is like heaven in your mouth. I’m not a huge fan of regular ol’ store bought pistachio, but this ice cream; you have to taste it to believe it.   
All mine! Yummy Pistachio!

So get to Paolo’s Gelato ASAP and find your favorite flavor!

Paolo's Gelato Italiano on Urbanspoon


I hope you all have a wonderful week! I’ll see you back here on Wednesday for “Midweek Eats”.


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Friday, July 15, 2011

What’s for dinner??

Confession: I have not eaten one home cooked meal all week. It has been one of those weeks. Work, special Harry Potter screening, Rihanna concert, the in-laws in town, etcetera, etcetera … you know how that goes.

To make matters even worse, we went out to dinner with the soon-to-be in-laws last night at Marlow’s Tavern Midtown and I did not take one single picture. What kind of food blogger are you?! I guess the food was too good; it was gone before I could snap any photos. Well, that is not entirely true… food was probably just ok; I guess I was too busy being witty, cunning soon-to-be daughter in-law?? :-)

Any who, here is my review/first look at Marlow’s Tavern in midtown…
Marlow’s Tavern is your standard chain restaurant—booths, tables a good size bar and a few modern touches. To give you a better idea, when I walked it, my first words were,
“It smells like the Ruby Tuesday’s I worked at in college.”
They have 7 locations throughout the Atlanta area, and the midtown location now offers online ordering, so obviously Atlanta has been good to Chef Metz and his co-owners.

We were seated immediately in a large both towards the front of the restaurant and four icy water’s were at the table before I returned from the restroom. Our server, a very handsome young man and a friend of my girlfriend rattled off the specials and took our drink order.

We started with cocktails (of course), I had Tommy’s Favorite (red) Sangria with big chunks of red wine stained fruit and agave nectar. My girlfriend had the Summertime Watermelon Margarita with plenty of tequila, fresh watermelon syrup and house-made sour. Both were delicious.

Next we had the J.T.’s Kettle Chips appetizer, adorned with creamy gorgonzola, bacon, tomato and scallions. The creamy cheese sauce was delicious, but overall the dish was way too salty for me. The in-laws seemed to enjoy it, though, so maybe it was just me.

(Photo from Marlow's website)
For the entrée I had, Skirt Steak with chimichurri sauce, asparagus, grilled squash and onion rings. The plating was quite creative, the steak, coiled and standing on its side on top of the chimichurri sauce acted as a vase for the asparagus and the three huge onion ring were stacked on top of the squash. (I’m so peeved I didn’t get a picture! Imagine that, it is one of the few entrees not pictured on Marlow’s website.) The steak was yummy, seasoned perfectly with a perfect sear. The onion rings were a bit bland and greasy and were the only things left on my plate.

My other-half had the Shrimp and Grits with Cheddar Grit Cakes, Spinach and Tomato Shallot Beurre Blanc. It sounded much better than it tasted. The grit cake was a little too soggy from swimming in the sauce and the shrimp was under seasoned. I had a few bites and I thought the combo of the grit cake and the Beurre Blanc was pretty yummy.

(Photo from Marlow's website)
The soon-to-be in-laws shared the classic Tavern Burger with French Fries and a House-made Tomato Bacon jam. They were a little turned off by the idea of Tomato Bacon jam, but it turned out to be a hit. I guess you can’t go too wrong with a burger.

(Photo from Marlow's website)
Overall, the food was just ok, but the drinks were strong and the service is outstanding. I'm sure I will find my way back at some point or another. Go and Check it out for yourselves!

Marlow's Tavern on Urbanspoon
One last thing, the highlight of the night (and the one photo I did manage to get) was this delightful libation I had from Bar Eleven while enjoying Live at Loews, Sage Blossom. The combination of Orange and Sage was truly yummy! The recipe is below, courtesy of  Loew’s.

Sage Blossom Cocktail from Bar Eleven at the Loew's hotel

The Sage Blossom Recipe - Loews Atlanta Hotel's Signature Cocktail

1 Sage Leaf

2 Orange Wedges

1 1/2 oz Hangar One Mandarin Blossom Vodka

1 oz Simple Syrup

1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

Garnish with a floating sage leaf

In a mixing glass, muddle orange wedges and sage leaf.  Combine remaining ingredients into mixing glass.  Transfer all ingredients into tin filled 2/3 full with ice. Shake vigorously 8 to 10 times.  Strain mixture into chilled cocktail glass and add garnish.


You all have a yummy weekend! See you back here on Monday for “Monday Funday!”


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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Midweek eats: Lemon basil cupcakes!

These Lemon Basil cupcakes were a huge hit last week, so I thought I’d share the recipe with all you adventurous cooks out there.
Lemon Basil Cupcake with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing and a Candied basil garnish.

** For those of you not in the baking mood, you can order these cupcakes directly from us by the dozen for $30.00. I’m dropping the price to $25.00/dozen for those that follow our blog. Email us here to place your order. (Sorry local orders only at this time) **

Here is the recipe for these tasty little treats...

Lemon Basil Cupcakes

Makes 30 cupcakes.

2 cups sugar
Handful of fresh basil leafs (about ¼ cup when shredded)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 eggs
1 cup butter (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 oz sour cream
1 cup of Milk
 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. First make your lemon basil sugar— tear basil leafs into a food processor, add the lemon zest and sugar, pulse 6-8 times until basil is finely chopped and incorporated into the sugar and lemon zest (will be a slight green color and very fragrant.)
  3. Using an electric mixer cream butter and lemon basil sugar.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add vanilla; mix well.
  6. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream and milk (batter will be slightly thick)
  7. Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3rd’s full.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool completely then frost and garnish.
Candied Basil

30 fresh basil leafs (rinsed and patted dry)
2 egg whites
½ cup fine sugar

  1. Prepare a cookie sheets lined with either wax or parchment paper. Place sugar in a shallow bowl or plate.
  2. Drop basil leafs in a bowl with the egg whites. Mix well to completely coat. Careful not to tear any of the leafs.
  3. Carefully dump the leafs into a strainer to strain out egg whites.
  4. Remove excess egg whites from each leaf then dip each leaf into the sugar evenly coating both sides. Place on cookie sheet to dry.
  5. Once completely dried the basil will be hard and ready to garnish.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese (softened)
½ cup butter (softened)
16 oz confectioners’ sugar (give or take depending on how stiff you want your icing)
¼ cup on milk (give or take depending on how stiff you want your icing)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoon lemon zest

  1. In an electric mixer beat the cream cheese and butter on high until smooth.
  2. Slowly add about 10-12 oz confectioners' sugar
  3. Beat in vanilla and lemon extract, lemon juice, lemon zest and milk on low speed until completely mixed.
  4. Add the remaining powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached (you may not need all of it)
  5. To frost, cut about an ½ inch off the tip of a pastry bag (or a Ziploc bag) and fill with icing. Twist the top of the bag to push the icing down. Frost cupcake in a circular motion.
  6. Top with Candied Basil Garnish
  7. EAT!


(Find the printable recipe here.)

Enjoy the rest or your week! We’ll see you back here on Friday for “What’s for dinner??"

Don’t forget to follow our blog for all kinds of insider tips, recipes, photos, local restaurant reviews and lots of other tidbits of information!

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http://citruscatering.blogspot.com/
citrus.catering@gmail.com

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Funday: Upcoming Food events

Happy Monday! To help you get your week started out right, here are a few upcoming events to look forward to that are sure to satisfy your tastbuds.

Taste of East Atlanta Village
East Atlanta, GA (corner of Flat Shoals and Glenwood Ave)
Thursday, July 14, 2011 5-9pm 

Sample great food from local East Atlanta restaurants for just $1 per 'taste'. Purchase tickets on the day of the event at the East Atlanta Village Farmers Market or at the Taste booth at the corner of Flat Shoals and Glenwood Ave. East Atlanta is quirky part of town with lots of trendy spots (and some old favorites).  One of my favorite local musicians, Doria Roberts and her partner Calavino Donati own Urban Cannibals Bodega + Bites, (one of the participating 'tastes') a very cool neighborhood general store that  also offers artisan sandwiches, soups, sauces and baked goods.  Definitely worth checking out. Find a list of participants here.

Don't forget about JCT’s Kitchen 3rd annual Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival coming up on this Sunday, July 17 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Find my write up on the event here and purchase tickets here. (fyi: ticket prices went up to $70)




3rd Annual Taste & Tour of Cheshire Bridge
Wednesday & Thursday, July 20-21, 2011
5:00 PM - 10:00 PM
$20.00 per person per day or $35.00 per person for both days.

Cheshire Bridge is an interesting area, laden with the neon lights of strip clubs and a melting pot of inhabitants, but it is actually home to several great restaurants. One in particular, for those of you that are Top Chef fans; Cheshire Bridge is home to season 6 runner-up, Kevin Gillespie’s restaurant Wood Fire Grill. You can check out the complete list of participants here. Each ticket will get you a complimentary item from each participating business, remember this a ‘tour’ in addition to a ‘taste’… so that means food tastings, as well as, merchandise, coupons, raffle tickets and other items unique to each business. This is setup as a walking tour (you can find marta info here) and they will have a trolley running as well to get you around to each location, however they also have designated parking locations at Antiques & Beyond (1853 Cheshire Bridge Road) and The Center for Spiritual Growth & Meditation (1893 Piedmont Road NE).

Oh! One more thing, Make sure all you iphone and Android users check out your Scout Mob App, one of my favs Noodle(midtown) is running a 50% off special until October 9, 2011 ($20 max. 1 per table. Dine-in only.)

Hope you all have an yummy week! See you on Wednesday for Midweek eats (and make sure you are hungry... cause we got cupcakes!)

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Friday, July 8, 2011

What's for dinner: Chocolate!

Honestly, I haven’t been in the kitchen much at all this week! I’ve been out and about supporting Ric Sosa (Sofia Santana “GiGi” de la Gorgonzola-Gonzalez) in his her fundraising efforts to become a debutante for the 10th Annual Atlanta Cotillion, benefiting AID Atlanta. So my dinners have consisted of cocktails and little nibbles (mostly chocolate!). Here’s the picture of my 'dinner' that I tweeted the other night…


Chocolate! (and cheese) for dinner
I have to say the chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate bark was delicious!

Speaking of that delicious chocolate, in the mist of all that mingling and socializing, I found 2 potential guest bloggers, one of which was the gentleman that created those cute little chocolate strawberry tuxedo men (and all the other chocolate goodies)! Who wouldn't want to learn how to make those for their next dinner party?!

**SN: If you are a foodie that has some yummy things to share and would like to guest post on our blog please email us for more information.**

Any who, here are couple events going on this weekend…

$5 Menu at Spice Market


Friday, Saturday, Sunday’s in July 5:00pm-6:00pm
188 14th Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30361 

 The Asian fusion restaurant at the W Midtown, Spice Market, is offering a special $5 menu From 5pm to 6pm on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in July. The special is only good in the bar area and only on selected items that you can find here.

 
Escorpion VIP opening party

Saturday, July 9 9:00pm-2am
800 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308

Escorpion, the newest addition to Chef Riccardo Ullio’s (owner of Sotto Sotto and Fritti in Inman Park) restaurant group took over Eno’s old location on Peachtree a few months back and they are finally ready to host their VIP opening party. Executive Chef Edgar Cruz will present a variety of hors d'oeuvres as well as live music by the restaurant’s favorite Latin DJs. Mixologist Adam Fox and Gilbert Marquez will be in the house crafting their agave cocktails.


Get out and eat something yummy! Have a wonderful weekend!


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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Midweek eats: Pick of the crop…

Tomato season is finally among us and although I don’t have any veggies growing in my tiny midtown apartment, I did receive some goodies from a good friend’s family garden during a recent trip to Savannah.

I got all kinds of fresh, organic produce… tomatoes, green beans, bell peppers and banana peppers!

I could resist making a yummy tomato salad with those bright red, fragrant tomatoes right off the vine.



Here is my recipe:

Makes 4 servings.

5 Large tomatoes diced
4 Medium sized fresh mozzarella balls sliced
¼ Red onion diced
¼ cup Fresh basil chiffonade
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Michelle’s Essence (sea salt and white pepper mix—2 to 1 mixture)
Black Pepper to taste

Enjoy the Salad! (Find the printable recipe here)

I’m thinking some good ol’ delicious Pico de Gallo is up next with the rest of the tomatoes… stay tuned!


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Monday, July 4, 2011

Monday Funday: Happpy 4th of July!

HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A YUMMY 4TH!

White Balsamic Custard Tart with Fresh Berry Topping

(Photo from bon appetit-- Find reciepe here)



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Friday, July 1, 2011

What's for dinner?? Red, White and Blue edition...

The 4th of July is right around the corner... here are some yummy treats that I found on the web that might bring some fun to your festivities.

RED: How about some Red Cabbage Slaw (click the link for the recipe)



(Photo from Food Network)
 WHITE:  Yummy Oil and vinegar based Potato Salad (click here for the recipe)

*Side note: try using chives instead of red onions, add a couple tablespoons of dill and for a little crunch add some diced (seeded) cucumber.... yum!*



(Photo from Bon Appetit)
 BLUE: Stuffed Blue Cheese Burgers (click here for the recipe)


(Photo from http://www.finecooking.com/)
 RED, WHITE & BLUE: Dessert!! Super simple, fancy looking and yummy. (Check out the recipe here)

(Photo from Food Network)

No Holiday is complete with a cocktail... check this delish thirst quencher out!

Blueberry Lime Margarita (recipe here)

(Photo from http://www.delish.com/)

Hope you all enjoy your Holiday weekend! Eat some yummy treats :-)


Don’t forget to follow our blog for all kinds of insider tips, recipes, photos, local restaurant reviews and lots of other tidbits of information!

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citrus.catering@gmail.com