Pinspired : Whole Foods Steak and Corn Kabobs with Arugula and Parsley Pesto

Pinspired : Whole Foods Steak and Corn Kabobs with Arugula and Parsley Pesto

This is another recipe that I found while combing Pinterest, it is from Whole Foods and I loved the simplicity of it. It is a great Summertime recipe because it is great on the grill and uses Sweet Summer corn. I only tweaked this recipe slightly using ingredients I had on hand. The original recipe can be found here or on my Pinterest board “To Try”.

Whole Foods Steak and Corn Kabobs with Arugula and Parsley Pesto

1 1/2 Top Sirloin Steak

1 T Montreal steak seasoning (optional)

1 lb small yukon gold potatoes

3 ears of fresh corn cut into 1 1/2 inch rounds

1 c arugula

1/2 c fresh parsley

1/4 c  light olive oil

1 t Worchestershire sauce

1 t dijon mustard

1 clove garlic

1/2 t white or champagne vinegar

Place potatoes in salted water and bring to a boil, simmer for ten minute or until they are tender, but not falling apart. remove potatoes from water and add sliced corn, bring water back to a boil and cook corn for 2 minutes. Remove corn and let cool.

In a food processor or blender combine arugula, parsley, oil. Worchestershire, mustard, garlic and vinegar. puree until it is the consistency of pesto. set aside.

Cut Steak into 1 1/2 ” cubes and sprinkle with steak seasoning. Thread skewers, (if using wooden ones soak in water for 1/2 hour prior to threading), alternating steak, potatoes and corn.

Whole Foods Steak and Corn Kabobs with Arugula and Parsley Pesto

Pre heat a grill to med high, then place the kabobs on the grill for 6 minutes, rotating them so that all side are cooked, these will be med-med-rare, cook longer if desired.

Remove from grill, drizzle with pesto. I served mine with a simple salad and rice.

Whole Foods Steak and Corn Kabobs with Arugula and Parsley Pesto

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Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Make your plate a little more colorful with this Purple Potato and Bean Salad. Great as a side or a light meatless Summer meal.

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

4 cups small purple potatoes, quartered ( I left the skins on)

1 can white beans, rinsed

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 c red onion, chopped

2 T olive oil

2T red wine vinegar

1 T chopped  fresh cilantro ( or basil)

1/2-1t salt

1/8 t black pepper

Boil potatoes until fork tender, drain and add to a large bowl. Add bean, tomatoes, onions,  toss with oil and vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add cilantro and stir.

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Chill and serve.

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Roll Out the Barrel: Oktoberfest Party

Oktoberfest Party: Photo Booth

It was one of my best friends birthday recently so we decided to throw her a birthday party with an Oktoberfest theme. Whats not to like, beer, costumes, and German food.

To start I decorated with some beer and fall things I had around the house, empty bottles, beer steins, burlap runner, dried wheat and fall leaves. I also bought a blue and white harlequin tablecloth ( the official Oktoberfest pattern) from a party store and hung it over a curtain rod in my family room to make a back drop for a ” photo booth”. I had props like steins, lederhosen, German signs and Oktoberfest bibs from the party store. I set my camera on a tripod in front of it and tried to get shots of all the party goers.

I am also very lucky that I have some home brewing friends who made a keg of beer especially for our party, delicious!  But this is a great time to taste some of the fall varieties of craft beers like Oktoberfests and Pumpkins.

For appetizers I set up a “Pretzel Stand” I had assorted flavors, shapes and sizes of pretzels and dips to go with them. I even made some homemade Pretzel Bites by following this recipe. http://www.snixykitchen.com/2012/10/24/pretzel-bites-with-four-distinct-dipping-sauces/. I made the dough a day ahead of time and covered it tightly with plastic wrap. then boiled and baked the pretzels the next day. I also found that I needed to add about 3/4 c more flour than the recipe called for to get the dough to be the right consistency but I live in Florida and baking here can be weird.

Oktoberfest Party: Homemade Pretzel Bites

Oktoberfest Party: Pretzel Stand

For dips I made a Sweet and Spicy Mustard Sauce

1 c mayonnaise

3/4 c coarse mustard

2 T  jarred grated horseradish

2 T honey

Oktoberfest Party: Sweet and Spicy Mustard

a Chocolate and Toffee Dip

1 brick cream cheese softened

1/2 c brown sugar

1/4 c white sugar

1/4 c cocoa powder

1/2 c toffee chips (Heath)

1 t vanilla

Mix all ingredients together in a mixer on low until combined.

Oktoberfest Party: Chocolate and Toffee Dip

I also made Beer Cheese Dip using an Oktoberfest Beer instead of an IPA.

To make all of the food seem more festive I labeled them with German names on the tables.

For the main course we had Brats braised in Beer, Rouladen, Oma’s Potato Salad, Saurkraut with beer and apples, and Homemade Cucumber Salad

Oktoberfest Party: Rouladen

Cucumber Salad

4 cucumbers peeled and sliced thin

1 cup sour cream

2 T sugar

2 T white vinegar

1 t dried dill

1 t salt

1/4 t black pepper

Slice cucumbers and place in a colander to drain for 20 minutes, then mix all ingredients together in a large bowl

Oktoberfest Party: Cucumber Salad

Last but not least, everyone’s favorite, cupcakes. My friend made 3 different kinds for our Oktoberfest themed party. Apple Strudel, German Chocolate and Bavarian Cream. ( I will try to get the recipes to post on here)

Oktoberfest Party: Cupcakes

Fun was had by all, the food, beer and company was all delightful. Go on try some of these ideas at your next Fall party and share your tips below.

Graduation Party Revisited

Graduation Party Ideas

I can’t believe it has been a whole year since my oldest graduated from high school. He has now completed his first year of college and is working part time. He votes, pays taxes and insurance and is a true adult in everyone’s eyes but mine, to me he is still my baby. As I see many parents getting ready to celebrate their own children’s accomplishments and graduations I decided to revisit some of the highlights from last year’s graduation party and post them here.

For decorations we did all of our sons school and baby pictures under a sheet of clear plastic on the table, it was fun to reminisce and see all the crazy hairstyles he went through as a preteen. We also rolled the napkins into diploma shapes and tied them with black ribbons. Then made little stacks of them around the table.

Graduation diploma napkins

For food we incorporated his favorite food, chips and set up a chip and dip bar. We set out various types of chips and dips in different bowls plates and cake stands and let everyone mix and match.

Chip and Dip Bar

Don’t worry we also had vegetables for dipping.

Veggie platter

Some dip ideas are… ( click on the link for the recipes)

Salsa and Guacamole

Bacon Horseradish

Kalamata Olive

Beer Cheese

Goat Cheese and Marinara

Sweet Potato Hummus

Pimento Cheese

Also you could include some dessert dips

Creamy Reese’s Peanut Butter Dip

Key Lime Pie Dip

I was lazy and let Publix make the cake, but this book cake would be pretty easy to replicate using 2 different sized rectangular or square pans.

Publix's Book Style Graduation Cake

Congrats to all who graduated and the people that helped them get there, have fun celebrating this momentous occasion.

Oma’s Potato Salad

Oma's Potato Salad

I was not sure I would ever post this recipe here. It is kind of a family treasure. My Oma (grandmother in German) would make this for every family gathering, it was our favorite, and now my mom makes it for all the special occasions. Everyone I know who has tried it loves it, it is so simple but so good. It is not the traditional warm German potato salad, we never had that, this was the only potato salad I ever knew until I was a teen. I have tried adding some other ingredients or doing it a little different but it is just not the same. It has to be made just the way Oma taught me.  So I have been sitting on this recipe not sure if it was a sacred family secret, and then my mom asked me to share it (said it would be perfect for Summer barbecues) so I guess it is ok to let the family treasure out of the bag. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Oma’s Potato Salad

5 lbs red skinned potatoes

1 c mayo

1 c  dill pickles chopped, **only use Claussen or other high quality refrigerated pickles

1 cup red onion chopped

1/2 c of the juice from the pickle jar

salt and pepper

Boil unpeeled red potatoes whole in salted water until they are cooked through. Use a fork to test doneness. Drain and wait until the potatoes are cool enough to handle but still warm (very important).  Peel and cut into bite sized pieces and place into a large bowl. while the potatoes are still warm pour 1/2 or the pickle juice over the top ( 1/4 c) When the potatoes are warm they absorb the pickle juice like a sponge, much like salting fries when they are still warm. Stir in the mayo, chopped pickles and onions and rest of the pickle juice. stir until combined and add salt and pepper to taste. Chill and serve. ( Although my son likes it best when it is still a little warm)

Oma's Potato Salad

Oma's Potato Salad

Return from NYC and a Potato Salad Recipe

It’s the weekend and I have returned from my trip to NYC, cooking has not been a priority as much as getting my house back in order. I left my husband and 2 teenagers in charge for 5 days and came back to a car without gas, piles of laundry, a parched herb and vegetable garden and an empty cupboard. I am pretty sure no one dusted or ran a vacuum either. I am not going to complain because everyone is alive and accounted for and if this is what has to happen for me to be able to take my little trips than that is a small price to pay. So today’s recipe is one that I made when we had a baseball night in. It is a perfect accompaniment to hot dogs, burgers or barbecue.

12 med sized red skinned potatoes ( I left the skins on, but if you like them peeled go ahead.)

2 stalks celery chopped fine

3 hard-boiled eggs chopped

1 1/2 T fresh chopped parsley

1t fresh dill chopped

3/4 c mayo

2T red wine vinegar

1t salt

Place potatoes in a large pot cover with water, bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cook until tender. Pour into a colander and drain. When potatoes are cool enough to work with cut into bite sized pieces and place in a large mixing bowl (don’t wait until potatoes are cold because they will be less porous and won’t absorb the flavors of the ingredients), add remaining ingredients  and mix together. Cover and place in refrigerator until chilled.