For my Aunt Kathy's 50th birthday, we went on a Girls Only trip to the Poconos. It was my Mom, my sister, and my Aunts (Aunt Kathy and Aunt Lori). My Mom's other sister, Aunt Diana couldn't be with us and we missed her terribly. She always brings such joy and laughter to the people around her. She also is a phenomenal cook and baker and would have loved all the things my sister and I created. We will do the trip again, Aunt Diana, and you'll be with us next time!
We had a wonderful time. My Aunts live in Florida and North Carolina, so I don't get to see them that often. It was so much fun to talk until the wee hours of the morning and just hang out with one another. My sister and I decided that we would cook the entire weekend because we don't often get to cook together. She's been cooking long before I started and it was such a special time for us to be in the kitchen side-by-side.
We took pictures of most of the food we made, but they weren't on my camera and I need everybody to email them to me (hint, hint). The house that my Mom's good friend graciously let us use was absolutely unbelievable! I wish I had snapped a picture of the kitchen, because it was divine. But here's what the dining room looked like:
And here's what the view from the main balcony looked like (every bedroom also had it's own balcony):
And without further ado, here was our Menu (some are links and the many can be found in the recipes below)
Shrimp and Zucchini Tostadas
Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Pear Cardamom Bread
Banana Sour Cream Pancakes
Herbed Scrambled Eggs
Zesty Ravioli Skillet
Herbed Garlic Bread
Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
Crab and Roasted Red Pepper Strata
Pecan Praline Bacon
Cranberry Lemon Scones
(I used lemon instead of orange)
Fresh Corn Salad
Banana Sour Cream Pancakes
~These have a really unique flavor~
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- unsalted butter
- 2 ripe bananas, diced, plus extra for serving
- Pure maple syrup
- Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.
- Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium low heat until it bubbles. Ladles the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes.
- Distribute a rounded tbsp of bananas on each pancake.
- Cook for 2 or 3 minutes until bubble appear on the top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned.
- Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used.
- Serve with sliced bananas, butter and maple syrup.
~These went nicely with the pancakes~
Crack 1 dozen eggs into a large bowl and whisk together with a 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Cook over medium and allow to set a little bit before "scrambling". This gives the eggs a nice texture that is more like folds of eggs instead of lumps. Then add shredded provolone and/or Parmesan cheese while the eggs cook and then sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs such as chives and Italian parsley when they are done cooking.
~Fresh and flavorful!~
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 cups loosely packed fresh baby spinach leaves
- 6 oz. provolone cheese, grated
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes with onions, undrained
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 package small frozen cheese ravioli
- Halved grape tomatoes (optional)
- Add oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Finely chop the jalapeno and add to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute or until crisp tender. Add garlic to the skillet and cook for 15-20 seconds until fragrant.
- Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper to the skillet and cook 1-2 minutes until simmering. Add ravioli, stir to coat. Cook, uncovered, 4-5 minutes or until tender.
- Stir cream into skillet. Cook, uncovered, 1-2 minutes or until simmering.
- Sprinkle spinach over ravioli and cook, covered, 1 minute or until spinach starts to wilt.
- Remove from heat and top with cheese. Cover the hot skillet and let stand 1-2 minutes so that the cheese can melt. Garnish with grape tomatoes, if desired.
~I ate what seemed like 500 pieces of this~
- 1 loaf of nice crusty Italian bread
- 1 stick( or maybe a little less depending on how big the loaf is)of butter
- 3 or 4 cloves of minced garlic
- dash of garlic salt (optional)
- a couple tbsp chopped fresh herbs like Italian Parsley and Basil
- Olive oil
- Handful of shredded provolone or Parmesan cheese.
~This recipe was so easy and very impressive~
- 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling (skip 2 1/2 cups of flour if using ready made pie crust)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (skip if using ready made pie crust)
- 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar (only need 5 tbsp if using ready made pie crust)
- 1 teaspoon salt (skip if using ready made pie crust)
- 1/2 cup ice water (skip if using ready made pie crust)
- 1/4 cup whole, skin-on almonds, toasted
- 5 to 6 plums, halved, pitted, and sliced inch thick (keep slices together)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- If you choose to make your own pie crust, follow these directions. In a food processor, combine 2 1/2 cups flour, butter, 1 teaspoon sugar, and salt; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add up to 1/4 cup remaining ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Don't overmix. Remove dough from processor and shape into a disk; wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour.
- Here is where I began. Wipe bowl of food processor clean and add almonds, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 2 tablespoons flour; pulse until ground to a coarse meal.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness (I didn't have to do this...I just unrolled the ready made crust). Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet (I made it on a stoneware pizza stone); sprinkle almond mixture over dough.
- With a spatula, transfer plums to dough; press lightly to fan out, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold edge of dough over fruit. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
- Brush crust with cream; sprinkle galette with 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until crust is golden and underside is cooked through, about 70 minutes.
Happy Birthday, Aunt Kathy!