Thursday, March 16, 2017

Night at the Movies - Annika & Stephanie - February 2017

Annika and Stephanie hosted a "Night at the Movies" evening in Stephanie's theater room and it was all things theater.

They did a fun big round table with accents of black, red and gold. 

The center piece was a black sequin runner with two large CINEMA signs in the shape of tickets and some red and white table toppers and bright red bowls full of yummy popcorn! And you can't forget the 3D glasses and gold star lights for a perfect movie touch.

The chairs were draped in red fabric and looped to add a little color and dress up the plain chairs.
Place settings were red round placemats with black square plates made into a movie clicker. Such a fun idea (a little more time consuming than you would think). 

Name tags were red stars with each gals name printed on it and set in a gold "bucket" of popcorn.
Goldware wrapped in gold napkins and secured with a film strip
and menus in a film strip style featuring all the deliciousness of the evening.

The appetizer table (Preview) was a "Popcorn & Soda BAR". Fun banner, popcorn machine, soda station and tubs of popcorns for the choosing.
Popcorn flavors were:
Movie Theater,
Rosemary Parmesan, Churro and Garlic Dill. (Churro was a huge hit!)

Then there was the soda bar. Soda of choice, pebble ice, coconut syrup, fresh lime and a shot of half n' half made for some yummy drinks!
Each gal made their movie tray of goodies and soda and then headed for the couch to watch our feature film presentation. It was a collection of photos from all the years of our gourmet nights. Super fun to reminise!
They moved to the table for the rest of viewing and went straight to the "Short Film" course which was Tuscan Tomato Basil Soup with Homemade Sourdough Croutons in the cutest red striped popcorn bucket bowl!
"Feature Film" was a Marinated Grilled Flank Steak with Parmesan Herb Potato Stacks and Honey Dijon Pear Greens. So yummy and pretty!
The "Credits" finished it out with a Chocolate Chip Cazookie with Homemade Peanut Butter Cup Ice cream. Gooey warm cookie with delicious fresh ice cream is perfection!
Take homes were back on the counter with a few props and their recipes.
Each gal got a popcorn tub that had a can of soda and a bag of homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt popcorn. Seriously the yummiest popcorn ever!

Such a fun night!

Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn  -
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 large garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic salt, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels (or 12 cups popped)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Place 1 sprig rosemary and smashed garlic clove in the bottom of a small saucepan. Pour olive oil on top and set on stove over low heat. Stir in garlic salt and black pepper, to taste. Heat until very warm but not simmering. Turn off heat and allow to sit while popping the popcorn.
Pull leaves from second sprig of rosemary and finely mince. Set aside.
Remove rosemary sprig and garlic clove from the warmed olive oil. Drizzle olive oil over popped popcorn and toss to coat. Sprinkle popcorn with grated Parmesan, 1 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary (more or less, to taste), and additional garlic salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

Garlic & Dill Popcorn  -
5 cups popped popcorn
1 Tbs dried dill
1/2 tsp garlic salt
3 Tbs butter, melted

Pour your popcorn into a large bowl.
Combine the dill and the garlic salt into one small bowl.
Evenly drizzle the melted butter over the top of the popcorn and then gently stir or shake the bowl to coat the popcorn with butter.
Sprinkle the garlic salt and dill mixture over the top of the buttered popcorn. Gently stir/shake the bowl again so that the popcorn is evenly coated with seasoning. Sprinkle more or less to taste. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

Churro Popcorn  -
         Cinnamon Coated Popcorn
                  1/3 cup popcorn kernels
                  1/2 cup butter
                  2/3 cup sugar
                  3 Tbs cinnamon ground
                  2 Tbs light corn syrup
                  1/4 Tbs vanilla extract
         Churro Sugar Coating
                  1/2 cup powdered sugar
                  1/4 cup sugar
                  1 & 1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the churro sugar coating (powdered sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon), then set aside.
Prepare popcorn in a popcorn maker. You can also put popcorn in a paper bag, fold over a few times, then microwave for 90-120 seconds (or until popping slows). Pour popcorn in a large mixing bowl and set aside, giving it time to cool a little while you prepare the next steps.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add granulated sugar, cinnamon, light corn syrup, and vanilla. Allow ingredients to simmer, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth and no longer grainy, about 2-4 minutes.
Begin to slowly pour cinnamon coating over popcorn a little at a time. Use a spatula to gently stir and toss the popcorn to coat.
Sprinkle the top of the popcorn with 1/3 of the churro sugar coating, then toss to coat. Continue adding more churro sugar coating until popcorn is completely covered and appears light gold in color. Serve immediately.

Dirty Soda
2 tablespoons coconut syrup
crushed ice
1/2 lime (cut the lime into quarters and use 2 quarters)
12 ounces Diet Coke
1-2 tablespoons half and half (optional)
Pour coconut syrup in bottom of 24 oz. glass and fill halfway with ice. Squeeze limes over ice and drop them into glass so the rind is touching the ice. Pour soda of choice over the limes and if desired, add a splash of half and half.

Tuscan Pesto Tomato
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 14oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried parsley
½ cup whipping cream
1 cup basil pesto
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions and cook on medium-low until translucent.
Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add stock and parsley. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. Add cream and pesto.
Pour soup into a blender and blend until you get the desired consistency. You may need to do this in two batches, OR use an immersion blender.
Return to pot and add salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with Homemade Sourdough Croutons and shaved parmesan cheese.

Homemade Sourdough
1 loaf sourdough bread (to make 4 cups bread cubes)
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried parsley

Cut sourdough loaf into one inch thick slices. Cut slices into cubes until you have 4 cups. Melt butter in a large microwave safe bowl.
Add olive oil, spices and herbs. Stir to combine. Pour bread cubes into bowl.
Using a large spoon or clean hands, mix bread cubes until completely coated.
Bake croutons at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crisp, turning halfway through.

Marinated Flank Steak
1 cup vegetable oil
4 tsp red wine vinegar
6 Tbs minced green onions (with tops)
2 - 4 Tbs brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp basil
2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 tsp marjoram
flank steak

Combine above ingredients and marinate flank in it overnight or 48 hours. Grill until light pink. Boil 1 1/2 cups of sauce for 5 minutes to pour over steak.

Creamy Potato stacks with Garlic, Thyme and
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 lbs medium russet potatoes (about 4-5), peeled and sliced 1/8 – 1/16 inch thick
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick spray. In a small saucepan, whisk together cream, thyme, garlic and nutmeg. Bring to a slow simmer and remove from the heat. You want the cream just heated through. Discard thyme.
Toss the potato slices with salt and pepper and layer into stacks in the prepared tin, filling each one to the top but not over the top. Spoon cream over each potato stack, filling almost to the top. You will have couple or so slices exposed. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are knife tender and golden brown on top. Remove the muffin pan from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen up the stacks and carefully remove to a platter to serve immediately.

Fresh Pear Salad with Creamy Honey Dijon Dressing
- www.
fresh spring mix salad greens
2-5 fresh pears, thinly sliced
1 cup crumbled feta
1 ½ cups pecans
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
Creamy Honey Dijon Dressing
½ cup good Dijon mustard
½ cup honey
½ cup cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup olive oil
Combine pecans, sugar and butter in a frying pan. While stirring, cook on medium low for 5-10 minutes or until pecans are coated and browned. Set aside.
Prepare dressing. In a blender or food processor combine all dressing ingredients except for oil and water. Blend until combined.
Slowly add oil in a steady stream until emulsified. If dressing is too thick add water until you get the desired consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.
When ready to serve, toss together greens, sliced pears, candied pecans and feta. Serve dressing on the side.

Chocolate Chip CookiesKitchen Aid - Makes 4 1/2 dozen cookies
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Place sugars, butter, eggs, and vanilla in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl. Turn to Speed 4 and beat about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl. Turn to Stir Speed. Gradually add baking soda, salt, and flour to sugar mixture and mix about 2 minutes. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl. Add chocolate chips. Turn to Stir Speed and mix about 15 seconds. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from baking sheets immediately and cool on wire racks.

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
2 large eggs 
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 cup milk
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
 3/4 cup Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.  Whisk the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more.  Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend.  Pour about 1 cup of the mixture into a separate bowl and whisk in the peanut butter, a little at a time.  Return the peanut butter mixture to the remaining mixture and stir until well blended.  Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following manufacture’s instructions.  When the ice cream begins to stiffen (about 5 minutes before it is done), add in the chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups and continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.   Makes generous 1 quart

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Popcorn
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
generous 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (melted)
1/4 tsp (or more to taste) sea salt

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Prepare popcorn in popcorn maker and carefully pour the popcorn onto the prepared baking sheet. Be sure that no unpopped kernels make their way onto the baking sheet. Drizzle the popcorn with melted chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt. Toss the popcorn to distribute the chocolate. Taste it and add additional salt, if desired. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes for the chocolate to firm up (you can also quickly pop it in the fridge to speed this along).
Chocolate chips can be melted in a double boiler or in the microwave. If microwaving, heat in 15- 20 second intervals, stirring between, until melted and smooth.

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