Friday, February 19, 2010

Pre-Wedding Planning Party

Hobbies are relaxing to most people, reading, fly fishing, hiking...but not the Blondes. Our hobby is spending months in a state of anxiety while planning weddings. We've done it four times now, and are about to do it again. Typically, we tend to have friends who are really cheap and they know we are suckers for any type of big party where we get to do the cooking, so we end up cooking for a lot of big parties... Anyway, one of our nieces is getting married and we volunteered to do the food, so we decided to have a planning party. In an effort to impress the parents of the bride with our baking skills, we decided to bake a cake. We aren't going to do the wedding cake (we aren't that ambitious yet), but with the idea that it could be used as centerpieces on the tables. Here's how we did it:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


3 eggs
2/3 cup oil
1 cup water
1 8 oz. jar lemon curd
large package of lemon instant pudding
1 boxed yellow cake mix
Beat the above ingredients until well blended

Pour batter into buttered/floured bundt cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean...

After the cake cools, glaze it with a glaze made of the following mixed together:

2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
couple of drops of yellow and red food color to make the glaze kind of orangey.

Then place your favorite flowers or whatever flowers work for your event on top and stuck down in the hole. You can adjust the color of the glaze to contrast with the color of the flowers by using different food coloring. Here's what ours looked like:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Seared Scallops with Balsamic Reduction

Start by preparing the scallops.

Wash scallops and pat them dry; season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

Heat a skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add scallops and sear until they are a golden brown, removing from the pan and leaving the tasty little scallop bits in the bottom of the pan.

Add 3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar to the pan, along with 2 T of butter and cook over medium high heat until the vinegar reduces to about 1/2, 20 minutes or so. As the vinegar reduces, add one chopped fresh tomato so the balsamic coats the tomato. After the vinegar has reduced, place the scallops on a serving dish and drizzle the reduction over the scallops. Garnish with fresh basil. You can sop up the reduction with crusty French bread or a baguette.

Serve as an appetizer with a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc, the Blondes really like Red Truck, or I guess it's actually White Truck

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Turkey Noodle Soup

If you want, you can pour yourself some more Wild Turkey, it always makes the afternoon go a little quicker....

First, the can always buy some egg noodles at the store, but the Blondes never do things the easy way and decided to "Martha Up" and make the noodles themselves.

First take two cups of flour with a pinch of salt and put it in a big mixing bowl.

Then whisk two eggs with two tablespoons of olive oil in a separate bowl.

Make a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs stirring with a fork until the dough forms.

Then knead the dough on a floured surface for ten full minutes. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let it rest for a full twenty minutes..Don't skip this, it really makes a difference in the dough, if you get impatient, pour yourself a glass of Wild Turkey, or in our case, a glass or (three if you're feeling particularly patient) of Chardonnay.

Then run it through a pasta maker twice until it looks like this

Now for the broth:

First cut up the turkey and put it in your biggest stock pot (looks like something from Dexter, doesn't it?)

Then add water to cover the carcass and bring to simmer. Simmer it until the Chardonnay is gone..or at least until the meat falls off the bones (at least a couple of hours). Remove the bones from the broth and dice, setting the meat aside. Dice a whole leek and add it to the pot with a little fresh sage and Herbes de Provence - about a tablespoon..

Add the meat back in and bring it almost to a boil. Cut the pasta into strips and add carefully. It cooks almost immediately.

Open yet another bottle of Chardonnay and enjoy