I just realized that it has been eleven days since my last post. A week and a half!
How did this happen?
Well, I’ve been busy.
First off, I’m on day sixteen of the eighteen-day Red Clay Writing Project Summer Institute, which meets from 8:30am to 4:00pm Monday through Friday. And, as I mentioned before, this thing is intense! I’ve been writing up a storm, pretty much all day every day, even well into the evenings. I’ve written pages and pages and pages of material…just, nothing for the blog.
(I’ll be back with you full time in just a couple more days, so please–stick around! I’ve got a really exciting project to share with you. )
This past weekend was the AthFest Music & Arts Festival. Micah and I had our very first date at AthFest 2006–we walked around downtown Athens together all night, got drenched in a summer storm, laughed over crispy fried okra and creamy feta dip at The Grill in the late evening, and shared our first kiss in a crowded club to the twangy tunes of an Athens band called the Bearfoot Hookers. It was a magical evening, and we love revisiting that magic every year by going back to AthFest, bar-hopping, hearing awesome local music, and (of course) eating at some of our favorite downtown restaurants.
The weekend before that, Micah and I had his entire family (his parents, his three siblings and their plus-ones, and all eight of their children–whew!) over to our house for a cookout, so we of course went a little crazy cleaning the house and cooking way too much food.
And the weekend before that is what I’m going to share with you today. Like I told you a couple of weeks ago, my brother Dave is marrying his fiance Kim in just a few short weeks! Dress fiasco aside, being a bridesmaid in this wedding has been nothing short of fabulous.
The other three maids are Chelsea, Amanda, and Shannon, none of whom I knew very well until very recently, but the four of us have been working together to plan Dave and Kim’s French-themed shower since April.
The end result was simply lovely! The weather was gorgeous, Memorial Park was a beautiful venue for our summery shindig, the decorations and flowers were simple and pretty, and the food…well, the food was amazing.
I am glad the shower turned out so beautiful. I wouldn’t have wanted anything less for my little brother and his bride-to-be! ♥
* * * * *
And now…the food!
Amanda brought crackers, a delicious assortment of cheeses, fresh fruits and veggies, and an array of yummy dips to go with them. Simple, refreshing, perfect.
Feast your eyes:
Besides being in charge of tablecloths and all of the plates, napkins, cups, etc., Shannon also made macaroons and creme puffs, which were lovely, delicate, and tasty:
Chelsea rocked our tastebuds with these fantastic dishes:
If any of these wonderful ladies sends me the recipes they used, I will make sure to pass those recipes on to you! Their food was fantastic.
I brought flowers, paper fans and lanterns, and yes, even more food.
Micah actually constructed these guys from soft white dinner rolls from the Earth Fare bakery, some excellent uncured deli ham (sliced paper-thin), slices of double-creme brie, and my own homemade grainy mustard.
These were also super easy:
- Thaw two packages of frozen puff pastry for a couple of hours, then cut the dough into two dozen little rectangles.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Roll up the edges of the rectangles so you have a little pastry boat.
- Pre-bake the boats for about 25 minutes or until they are puffy and just starting to brown. (They’ll deflate a little when you take them out.)
- Dice six or seven fresh pears. Saute the pears in a large skillet with a couple of tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and a sprinkle of dried marjoram. Cook them until the liquid is reduced to a nice, thick syrup.
- Pull your pastry boats out of the oven, top each one with some pear filling, and stick them back in to bake for another 15 minutes or so.
Last, but not least:
I don’t mean to brag, y’all, but these little quiches were great.
Here’s the recipe:
What’s in it:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 ounce dried chanterelle mushrooms, rehydrated in warm water for 30 minutes (or use 8 ounces fresh)
- 3-5 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced (about 1 cup total)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces shredded parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- Preheat your oven to 375°F and get two 12-cup muffin pans ready with cooking spray or paper liners.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, leeks, salt, pepper, and thyme, and cook for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms and leeks are tender.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, and flour.
- Fill your 24 muffin cups in this order:
- Cover the bottom of each cup with a layer of shredded parmesan.
- Add about two tablespoons of leek and mushroom filling.
- Add about 1-1/2 tablespoons of egg filling.
- Top with crumbled goat cheese.
- Bake the quiches for about 15-20 minutes or until the eggs are set and the goat cheese is a little gooey.
These were delicious right out of the oven the night before the shower (yes, Micah and I had to sample one!), but they were also yummy at the shower the next afternoon (where they were served at room temperature), and reheated later in the week (because we were lucky enough to have leftovers).
To sum up: we enjoyed delicious food, a gorgeous day, and a celebration of love with two of my very favorite people.