Tagged: dinner party

brunch

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Summer is finally over. I LOVE summer. The only thing I hate about it, how busy everyone is. It’s hard to get together with anyone, let alone 4 others (my besties and their perfect and wonderful other half’s …. 6 actually, including Poppy and Chris).

We did it. Finally after the heat was long gone and the leaves were changing color we locked down 3 of them (sadly we were minus one, do to some stupid wisdom teeth). We got together in the morning with warm latte’s, bubbly mimosa’s and of course a huge brunch.

We woke up early, grabbed coffee, turned up some music,  straightened up the place and started chopping up our fresh fruit. We made a baked french toast (which was perfect, all the work was done the night before), apple/cinnamon smoked sausage from St.Lawrence Market and threw the pile of bright fruit on the table and we were set! As soon as everyone arrived and we were ready to go! We chatted (mostly with my mouth full), laughed and watched poppy and our puppy. Before we knew it, it was time for them to head home to put beautiful Poppy down for a nap. It was such an awesome time. Within the first couple hours of them leaving we had our next brunch date set! Just a couple weeks from now. I love them all so much! I CAN’T WAIT!!

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Ricotta, Pancetta French Toast
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 pound pancetta; diced
  • 1 baguette, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon; divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar + 2 tablespoons to sprinkle on top
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup half and half
DIRECTIONS:
Butter a casserole dish and set aside.Heat a saute pan over medium heat and cook the pancetta 5-7 minutes until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.Fold together ricotta, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup and dark brown sugar. In a separate bowl whisk together the 5 eggs, half and half and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.

Place a layer of ciabatta in the prepared pan. Spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the bread. Sprinkle cooled pancetta over top. Layer the remaining bread slices over top. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the casserole from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with extra sugar. Preheat the oven to 350 F and bake 40 minutes or until the custard is set. Serve warm.

* I think it was a little dry. If I were to do this again I would add 2 more eggs and a little more cream (yup, TWO more!)

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sunday ribs

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So we’ve been in the early planning stages for our next video (so super fun). I’ve been talking to one of my oldest friends about helping/teaching me to make something and be in our next little project. He’s definitely on board (yay!!). But, when we are all available to get together and spend the day cooking is becoming quite a challenge . We’ve discussed some different recipes but haven’t made a decision yet.  A week or so ago he mentioned ribs…and that’s all it took for me to start craving ribs. Two of my greatest friends annnd my boyfriend all make the most incredible ribs (seriously incredible)! All of them completely different! All of them AMAZING. I’m a huge rib fan, I’ve tried tons of ribs from all different spots around Toronto. The best ones I have eaten are theirs. These ones are from Chris’s recipe collection and has become a summertime staple for us. We’ve made them for just us and for wonderful big group gatherings, they are so great! Personally…I can’t make ribs. I’m not really “there” yet. I don’t like the raw meat thing, like touching it, ….oh! and I never ever would ever remove the rib stuff. Although I have just recently found out you can ask the butcher to do this, which makes me far more comfortable. So when I’m finally feel ready to do the entire rib thing on my own, I can at least get help with the grossest part.  I now know how to make them, and I can be very helpful mixing the spices for the rub and will even brush on the BBQ sauce if asked.

I’m so happy summer is around the corner. My favorite thing ever is sitting with Chris outside after work with a beer, a glass of wine or coffee, chatting about our day with the BBQ smoking in the background (after dinner we will sit out there long after the sun goes down soaking up every minute of summer we can). Sadly, it was pretty grey, chilly  and cloudy and we were not able to hang outside, but soon!

So here you go…The first of hopefully many rib recipes:

INGREDIENTS:

2 racks of ribs

1/4 cup ground cumin

1/4 cup chili powder

1/4 paprika

2 tbsp garlic powder

2 tbsp brown sugar

salt & pepper to taste

1-2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce (depending on how saucy you like’em)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat a gas grill for  250 -300° heat, or arrange charcoal briquettes on one side of the barbeque.
  2. UGH!!!  Trim the membrane from the back of each rack. Run a small, sharp knife between the membrane and each rib, and snip off the membrane as much as possible…I am TOTALLY UNABLE TO DO THIS… Its so gnarly yuck. yuck. yuck.
  3. Combine cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. in small bowl or jar.
  4. Sprinkle as much of the rub onto both sides of the ribs as desired. **Do not thoroughly rub the spices into the ribs.
  5. Store the unused portion of the spice mix for future use.
  6. Place aluminum foil on lower rack. Lay the ribs on the top rack of the grill (away from the coals, if you’re using briquettes). close lid, and leave undisturbed for 2 1/2 hours.
  7. Brush ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce, and grill an additional 5 minutes.
  8. Serve ribs as whole rack, or cut between each rib bone and pile individually

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Thanks for sharing your rib secrets babe!! I love you XOXOX

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