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Posts Tagged ‘Date Night Dinners’

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The ever-engaging Sloane Taylor bringing us her latest recipe for comfort.

There comes a time when everyone needs a little comfort food. Lovely hot soup with fresh bread and a glass of wine always does it for me. Maybe this recipe will do it for you, too.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Photo Courtesy of Monovareni Pixabay

2 lbs. fresh asparagus
6 cups chicken stock
7 tbsp. butter
½ cup flour
3 tbsp. shallots or scallions, chopped fine
¼ cup dry sherry
2 egg yolks
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter, softened
White pepper to taste*

Slice off the asparagus tips and set aside. Trim off ¼ inch or so from the bottom ends of the stalks and discard. Chop the rest of the spears into ½ inch lengths.

Use a medium-sized saucepan to bring the chicken stock to a boil. Drop in the tips and lower temp to medium-low or soft boil. Cook tips until just tender, 5 – 8 minutes. Drain the stock into a bowl and spoon the tips into another one.

Melt 5 tablespoons of butter in a 4 -5 quart saucepan over moderate heat. Stir in the flour. Lower heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Be careful not to let this roux brown or the soup will be bitter.

Remove pan from heat, let cool 30 seconds or so. Pour in stock. Stir constantly with a whisk to thoroughly blend the stock and roux. Return pan to moderate heat and stir until this soup base comes to a boil, thickens, and is smooth. Lower the temperature and simmer gently.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. When the foam subsides, stir in the stalks and shallots. Toss them in the butter over low heat for 4 minutes or so. You only want to soften them so don’t allow them to brown. Stir this mixture into the soup base, add sherry, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until asparagus is tender.

Purée soup in a blender or food processor. Pour into a strainer set over the pot. Stir with a spoon or spatula to extract soup from the pulp. Discard pulp.

Whisk the egg yolks into the cream. Stir in 5 tablespoons of hot soup at a time until you’ve added about ¾ cup. Reverse the process and slowly whisk the now-warm mixture into the soup.**

Bring soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste and season with pepper if necessary. Add the asparagus tips.

Serve from a tureen or in individual bowls.

This recipe makes 6 bowls.

*No need to buy white pepper if you don’t have it. Use black pepper only a little more as it is not as strong as white pepper.
**This may seem like extra work, but if you don’t do it the yolks and cream will curdle.

May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with good friends, laughter, and seated around a well-laden table!

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has seven romance novellas released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Date Night Dinners, her Couples Cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes, is Taylor’s first solo venture into non-fiction.

Excerpts from her books and free reads can be found on her website, blog, and her Amazon Author Page.
Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

AHH YES, COMFORT FOOD

From

Sloane Taylor

This recipe makes one delicious sandwich that works great for lunch or dinner. Add a bowl of soup or crispy salad and a nice cold beer for a complete meal.

Revved Up Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwich

2 slices Italian bread
4 slices ham, cut thin
2 slices mozzarella cheese, cut thin
2 slices tomato, cut thin
Garlic powder NOT garlic salt
⅛ tsp. ground thyme
2 tbsp. butter or so

Preheat a heavy 8 – 10 inch skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.

Spread the butter on the inside of each slice of bread. Sprinkle on a little garlic powder. Grill bread buttered side down until lightly browned. Remove bread to cutting board.

Reduce heat to medium.

Lay one slice of cheese on toasted side of bread, then sprinkle on thyme. Add ham and tomato. Top with another slice of cheese. Cover with the second slice of bread, butter the outside, and sprinkle on a little garlic powder.

Place the buttered side of the sandwich in the pan and fry until the bottom slice is browned to your taste. While that cooks, butter the outside of the top slice and sprinkle on a little garlic powder.

Flip the sandwich and fry until it reaches the color your like. Cover the pan so the cheese melts thoroughly.

Enjoy!
Sloane

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has seven romance novellas released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Her first solo venture into non-fiction is a Couples Cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes, DATE NIGHT DINNERS, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening.

Excerpts from her books and free reads can be found on her website, blog, and her Amazon Author Page.
Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

what’s for Sunday breakfast/brunch

by

Sloane Taylor

Make Sunday morning special with this delicious and easy make-ahead meal. Serve with mini croissants or French bread, butter and jelly. Hash browns and fruit salad are nice accompaniments. Mimosas are a lovely drink to top off your breakfast/brunch.

Breakfast Soufflé
1 pound ham, bacon, or breakfast sausage
9 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups milk
1 tsp. dry mustard
Diced green, red, and/or yellow pepper to taste
4 – 1 inch slices Vienna or French bread, cubed
½ pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ pound Swiss or Gruyere cheese, or a combination of the two grated
Diced onion to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Dice the ham or bacon. If you use ham, set aside in the bowl you choose for the eggs. Fry bacon to the crispness you prefer. If you use breakfast sausage, fry the meat until no longer pink. Be sure to break up any clumps. Drain the meat in a colander while you continue to prepare the soufflé.

Add all ingredients, but the bread, to the eggs. Stir well.

Stir in bread.

Pour mixture into an ungreased 9×13 inch glass dish. Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center has no egg cling to it.

This dish can be assembled a one or two days ahead of time. Allow the soufflé to sit on your counter 1 – 2 hours before you bake it.

Leftovers are excellent from the microwave.

May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with laughter and seated around a well laden table!

Sloane

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has seven romance novellas released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Her first solo venture into non-fiction is a Couples Cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes, DATE NIGHT DINNERS, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening.

Excerpts from her books and free reads can be found on her website, blog, and her Amazon Author Page.

Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

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Recipe Review

Date Night Dinners—Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening: Cookbook for Two

by Sloane Taylor

Left to right: Mock Chicken Legs, Parsley Potatoes, Truly Yummy Brussel Sprouts

 

Sloane Taylor asked us to try some of the recipes in her new Date Night Dinners—Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening: Cookbook for Two, and Catherine decided to do an entire meal—over achiever that she is. For the salad she chose WARM ENDIVE AND PINE NUTS. The remainder of the meal (pictured above) was MOCK CHICKEN LEGS, PARSLEY POTATOES, and TRULY YUMMY BRUSSEL SPROUTS. We made some modifications to a couple of the recipes based on what we could find in our grocery, and the finished meal still tasted great.

We have to admit that Catherine wasn’t very adventurous in her choices as we love chicken, beef and pork, potatoes, and Brussel sprouts, but we have never had them cooked quite like this.

Endive, however, isn’t common on our dinner plates. Iceberg, romaine and mixed greens are our usual salad choices. So, Catherine did get adventurous in her choice of salad, WARM ENDIVE AND PINE NUTS. Unfortunately, she made the salad on a different day than the rest of the meal, and forgot to take a picture of it. But, rest assured, the salad was good.

We couldn’t find Belgian endive in our grocery, so Catherine used a regular endive. The greener version made the salad reminiscent of a wilted lettuce salad her mother used to serve. We weren’t sure about the mustard in the dressing, as Catherine isn’t fond of mustard, except in deviled eggs. But the Dijon mustard had a mild enough taste that it enhanced, not overpowered, the dressing. We’ll make the dressing exactly like the recipe when we do this salad again. It was a nice change from the iceberg, Romaine and mixed greens we usually use.

We love a dish very similar to the MOCK CHICKEN LEGS in the cookbook. Here where we live it’s call City Chicken. Catherine’s mother used to serve a fried pork version, dipped in cornmeal, when Catherine was younger. Sloane’s version is a bit more elegant than our childhood version as it’s browned then baked. It smelled wonderful when we brought it out of the oven. We used beef and chicken from the local meat market. They didn’t have veal. We also used a breading that had Pecorino Romano cheese in it. When we want Mock Chicken legs again, we will choose chicken and pork tenderloin, eliminating the beef completely, as we try to eat less beef nowadays.

This recipe has now become our go-to for an improved, updated version of our childhood “City Chicken.” No more “chicken-on-stick” from the meat counter. We’re making it from scratch from now on. Definitely a winner in our kitchen!

 

MOCK CHICKEN LEGS

INGREDIENTS:

Use equal amounts of the three meats. If you are anti-veal, the beef and pork alone are still great. Increase their amounts to 1½ lbs. (750g) each.

1 lb. (450g) eye of round or other high quality beef roast, cut into 2 inch (5cm) cubes 1 lb. (450g) pork tenderloin, cut into 2 inch (5cm) cubes 1 lb. (450g) veal shoulder, cut into 2 inch (5cm) cubes
3 eggs
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1½ (160g) cups seasoned bread crumbs, possibly more
Olive oil
Skewers 6 – 8 inches (15 – 20cm) long

Alternate the meat cubes as you skewer them. Set aside on waxed paper.

**Stop here if you plan to cook the legs another day. If you made extras, this is the time to freeze them. Lay the skewers on a cookie sheet. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate.

On the day of serving, combine eggs and pepper in a shallow bowl. Dip the skewers, one at a time, into the mixture. Roll in the bread crumbs then set them back onto the waxed paper. Refrigerate for at least ½ hour to set the coating.

Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C).

Heat ½ inch (1.25cm) olive oil in a frying pan. When the oil shimmers, carefully put in a few skewers and brown well on all sides. As they are cooked set them into a baking dish, stacking the skewers is fine.

Cover the dish and bake for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until fork tender.

Do NOT add any liquid to the meat. This dish produces its own fantastic sauce.

 

For our potato dish we chose PARSLEY POTATOES (POMMES DE TERRE SILLEES).
These parsley potatoes are a form of scalloped potatoes. The bay leaves added an interesting flavor to the dish. The only change we’d make is using a bit more milk. Our dish turned out a bit dry, but we’ll blame the cook, not the recipe.

TRULY YUMMY BRUSSELS SPROUTS was our vegetable choice. We love roasted Brussel sprouts tossed in olive oil and garlic powder. So, we were anxious to see how these stacked up. We weren’t disappointed. The bacon and onion are stellar additions to the sprouts. The flavor inspired us. This winter, when we don’t mind heating the kitchen with the oven, we’ll toss some onions and bacon onto our roasting sheet. Be sure to cook the sprouts until they are fork-tender. Catherine rushed them and they were a bit chewy, but still delicious enough that we ate the whole skillet.

Well, that’s our take on the four delicious recipes we tried from Date Night Dinners—Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening: Cookbook for Two. You can find Sloane Taylor’s cookbook on Amazon. Available in paperback or Kindle.

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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

A Greek salad for two.

by

Sloane Taylor

This fun recipe serves two for a terrific lunch. Add a loaf of crusty bread and a bottle of crisp white wine and let the afternoon take you where it will.

GREEK SALAD

3 tbsp. olive oil
½ tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic, chopped fine
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 Roma tomatoes
½ green pepper, seeded
1 small cucumber, peeled
¼ red onion, sliced thin
1 tbsp. sliced black olives
Feta cheese to taste

Whisk first 6 ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside. Do not refrigerate.

Chop tomatoes, green pepper, and cucumber into medium-sized chunks. Toss into a large mixing bowl.

Add the black olives. Mix by hand to blend the flavors. At this point you can cover the bowl and set in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

When it’s time to serve, add just enough dressing to moisten the salad. Don’t drown it. Toss by hand or with two large spoons.

Transfer to a serving bowl or individual plates. Sprinkle feta cheese across the top and enjoy!

This salad also works great with dinner and will serve four.

May you enjoy all the days of your life around a well laden table!
Sloane

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has seven romance novellas released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Her first solo venture into non-fiction is a Couples Cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes, DATE NIGHT DINNERSMeals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening.

Excerpts from her books and free reads can be found on her website, blog, and her Amazon Author Page.

Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

Read Full Post »

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The first couples cookbook, Date Night Dinners, by Sloane Taylor , now available in e-book and paperback.Be sure to get your copy today!

Ready to ignite that old flame? Or perhaps spark a new one? Take your partner by the hand and turn on your stove. A true romantic, award-winning author Sloane Taylor brings her creativity to the kitchen with easy-to-make meals sure to spark the intimacy and quality time you want with your special someone. Cooking together is only the start of the fun!

Create 45 complete dinners for two and flavor your evenings with a new dish. These 80 recipes use everyday foods already on most kitchen shelves. The recipes are easily increased for those fun times friends or family join your table.

Date Night Dinners, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening, is an ideal gift for engagements, bridal showers, anniversaries, or for anyone who wants to spice things up.

What People are Saying About Date Night Dinners


Bring your date nights back home! Sloane Taylor’s delicious meals are the perfect prelude to romance.
Helen Hardt,#1 New York Times, #1 USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author

These recipes are sure to please the palate and make your romantic night a perfect memory. Enjoy!
Jan Springer, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Romance Author

With Date Night Dinners Sloane Taylor reminds us that our relationships should be savored like a fine meal.
Chris Pavesic, Award-Winning Sci-Fi/Fantasy Author

Any recipe is a perfect date night dinner because it can quietly simmer away while the diners are doing umm…other things.
Vonnie Hughes, Romantic Suspense Author

BUY LINKS

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has seven romance novellas released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Her first solo venture into non-fiction is a Couples Cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes DATE NIGHT DINNERS, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening.

Excerpts from her books can be found on her website, blog, and all popular vendors. Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

Read Full Post »

Friday Features’

Guest

Sloane Taylor

Shares a

Chicken Stir-Fry recipe

A quick and tasty meal served over rice is perfect for those super busy days when you don’t want to spend a lot of time at the stove. Be sure to cook the rice first and keep warm in a 210° F oven while you make the chicken.

CHICKEN STIR-FRY

¼ cup olive oil
⅓cup honey
⅓cup soy sauce
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 gloves garlic, chopped fine
2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut in large chunks
1 medium onion, quartered
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped

Combine all ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl. Marinate for 4 to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Remove from the fridge one hour before cooking to bring mixture to room temperature.

Drain chicken and vegetables in a colander. Do no reserve the marinade.

Heat a large frying pan on medium-high. It’s ready to use when a sprinkle of water dances across the surface.

Add the chicken and vegetables to the pan. Sauté for 10 to 13 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.

This dish can also be prepared as SHISH KABOBS on the grill.

Follow the recipe up to the cooking steps.

Soak the skewers in a dish of water for at least 30 minutes before threading the raw ingredients. This stops the skewer from catching on fire.

Preheat your gas grill on medium-high.

Thread the meat and vegetables onto wooden skewers chicken, onion, pepper. Repeat until all your ingredients are used. This recipe will make at least 6 skewers.

Grill 12 – 15 minutes. Be sure to turn often so they don’t burn.

May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with laughter and seated around a well laden table!

Sloane

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has seven romance novellas released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Her first solo venture into non-fiction is a cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes DATE NIGHT DINNERS, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening releasing June 5, 2018.

Excerpts from her books can be found on her website, blog, and all popular vendors. Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

Read Full Post »

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