Author Archive | Christine

Roasted Eggplant Dip with Pantry Gremolata

I love entertaining.  You would think I’d tire of it, since cooking for parties and events is my job, but I never do.  I love researching the perfect menu, making trips to five different stores for the right ingredients, and spending all day holed up in the kitchen preparing.  Dare I forget the moment, thirty minutes before anyone arrives, when you crack open a bottle of wine and start the celebration alone.  Except that you can’t really spend all day doing anything once you have a little one in tow. You generally end up frantic during the last minutes before your guests arrive, cursing the fact that nobody is home yet to help (ahem),  gulping down that glass of wine just to stay calm.          

 

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Entertaining as a mother is a double-edged sword.  On one hand it’s ideal because your child is obviously invited, can go to sleep at the proper time, and you don’t have to worry about driving home because hey, you’re already there!  On the other hand, said home is in a constant state of disarray. Every time something is put away it is immediately returned to the floor, sofa, dog dish. Use your imagination!  And you have to plan, shop for, and cook a nice meal.  Make that an especially nice meal, if it is what you do and want to continue doing for a living.       

 

After one too many transformations into a party prepping grump,  I have admittedly scaled back on the elaborate meals I prefer to serve at dinner parties.  One fortunate evening, the stars aligned (aka my son napped for an extra hour) and I found myself with copious time to sneak in an appetizer for the upcoming event!  Since I hadn’t actually planned to make anything, I scoured the pantry and thus, this eggplant dip came to be.  Not to worry, it doesn’t require much hands-on time.  While an extra hour can seem comparable to hitting the jackpot these days, there’s still that play mat to puzzle back together.

Continue Reading 0

Pecan-studded Pimiento Cheese Sliders

Football season is upon us and, with it, and endless supply of Saturdays devoted to sports watching.  If the daddy of your house is anything like mine, he truly believes that sports do not fall under the television category and are totally appropriate to play all day, meanwhile teaching the little man of the house to yell “Touchdown!” and “Go!”  I’m pretty sure most southerners believe these to be very valid life skills and ones that cannot be learned at too young an age, but I’ve always been more into the aesthetics of it all.  Sign me up for the snacks, beer, and brightly colored dresses!

If the mommy of your house is anything like me, she’s spending her “game days” in the kitchen and entertaining.  What better excuse for some grown up conversation, even if it is interrupted by child-like screams and cheering.  If you’re going to be entertaining, however, it’s nice to have something that can be mostly made in advance and that pleases big and little tastes alike.  

This recipe hails from my mother-in-law who was born and bred here in Georgia.  I love the addition of pecans for local flair and crunch.  She serves it the traditional way, on rye toasts, but I wanted something a little different and more portable to use in my catering business.  The apples really complement the pecans and cheddar and, together on a bun, make you feel like you’re eating a semi-balanced snack.  If you really want to splurge, I recommend trying it with candied bacon, but country ham works well too.  You can even put together a platter with all three and let people build their own slider.     

Here’s to the return of GameDay and a touchdown addition to your snack repertoire!  

Continue Reading 0