Here's how it all went down... we got to the Kennedy family's home and were pleased to find a beautifully set table. Oooh la la... when I grow up I want to be just like April! Look at what she just 'whipped up' from existing decor already in her house! Course 1: Blue Cheese stuffed Grapes with Candied WalnutsCourse 2:
Here I am plating the bacon and apples... yum! Kaitlin only ate the bacon off her plate.
Here's the completed salad with recipe to follow.
Field Greens Salad with Apples, Caramelized Bacon and Feta
1 (5 oz.) bag spring mix lettuce
1 (5 oz.) bag butter lettuce
2 fuji apples, cut into slices (or if tossing salad, rather than plating- cut into bite sized pieces)
10 slices of thick sliced bacon
1/3 cup brown sugar (or more, depending on preference... I always go more!)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup roasted sliced almonds
to caramelize bacon- Preheat oven to 350. Lay out bacon on cookie sheet in a single layer and sprinkle brown sugar on top. Make sure sugar is covering entire bacon slice. Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Watch carefully, bacon tend to burn easily. Let cool slightly before cutting into pieces. (The bacon may be cooked ahead of time and refrigerated, just be sure to microwave it a few second to warm up before serving)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup apple cider
2 Tb. apple cider vinegar
2 Tb. sugar
1 Tb. Good Seasons Italian Dressing spice packet
Combine all ingredients in covered container and shake well.
On a plate arrange alternating bacon pieces and apple slices. Toss greens, almonds and desired amount of dressing in a bowl. Evenly distribute salad on prepared plates and top with feta cheese.
And here is Course 3,
Corn Spoon Bread with BBQ Pulled Pork, Crisp Onions and Horseradish Dijon Aioli:
Corn Spoon Bread:
6 Tb. butter, softened
1/4 cup Masa (corn flour)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup milk
1 bag (16 oz.) frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup corn meal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350. Cream together butter, masa and sugar. In blender mix 1/2 bag of corn and 1/2 cup of milk, puree. (If there's not enough liquid, you can use remaining 1/4 cup of milk) Stir blender mixture into butter mixture and add remaining ingredients. Pour into 8x8 deep glass dish. Cover very tightly with aluminum foil. Nest 8x8 pan in a larger (9x13), deep sided dish. Fill larger dish with warm water (about 1/2 way up the side of 8x8 dish) and put in oven for 2 hours. Keep covered and do not open the oven while baking.
Barbecue Pulled Pork:
The secret to great pulled pork is the slow cooker AND not putting the bbq sauce on until almost ready to serve. Slow roasting in the slow cooker yields good, tender pork. If the sauce is cooked with the pork, it will separate.
1 boneless pork shoulder roast, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups apple cider
3 minced garlic cloves
1 Tb. kosher salt
black pepper to taste
Directions: Put all ingredients in slow cooker and heat for 5 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW. When meat is tender, pull apart with two forks and mix in desired amount of bbq sauce.
Horseradish Dijon Aioli:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp horseradish
Directions: Stir ingredients together until smooth- you may adjust dijon mustard and horseradish to taste.
Crisp Fried Onions:
easy peasy! I just use French's Fried onions that have been crisped a little in the oven.
Look what we had for dessert! I will make anything to go in my stemless martini glasses... french vanilla ice cream with fruit compote works for me!
1 cup black cherries ( I use the frozen from TJ's when I can't get them fresh)
1 cup wild blueberries (also frozen!)
1 cup blackberries (yep. you guessed it- frozen, baby!)
1/4 cup strawberry jam
1/4 cup apple cider
sugar to taste
bring all ingredients to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for about 8 minutes, or until thickened. Pour warm over ice cream. Can be made ahead, just heat it up in the microwave.
Here's the happy and very full Kennedy family:
I had the greatest time being able to serve my friends. Look forward to my 2ooth post giveaway... I'll do the same!
I did have a very favorite moment of the evening. Blake was weirded out by the food (most kids think it looks like an alien landed on their plate...let's not talk about aliens, though, they really freak me out...) So, his sweet daddy got him a hot dog to munch on. Kaitlin looked right at Dave and said, "Can I have a hot dog, too?!" Poor kid... she didn't stand a chance being my daughter... I don't do kraft macaroni and cheese either...but I digress. As Dave put Kaitlin's plate in front of her, April reached over with the bottle of ketchup and said, "Kaitlin, does your mommy do it like this?" and proceeded to put ketchup around the plate in a very animated and exaggerated flourish, much like the way I did with aioli on our plates. I'm glad I didn't have anything in my mouth, or this post would be written by a family member mourning my loss because I choked to death.