NOVEMBERFEST!

Friends!

What do you get when you mix Oktoberfest foods with Decemberfest beer?

Novemberfest. Obviously. this is a real thing now.

i love november. It’s my birthday month, it’s Thanksgiving month, it’s Chrysanthemum Month. I love it becasue it isn’t flashy, or terribly pretty, or super festive, or patriotic.November is the “Middle-Child” of the whole year. It is a “Middle of the Road-er”,  the “Every Man’s” month. Average. AND Awesome. how cane you NOT get into it?

This year, i took it upon myself to invent a new holiday for my pal, Nov.

Consider it a rebranding of sorts. (Don Draper-ing this joint UP!)

And thus, celebrated the First Annual Novemberfest! (say this in your best Oprah voice. So. Epic.)

Complete with pseudo-Bavarian garb, grilled sausages, and beer, and that Melancholic Sunshine of November afternoons, this Novemberfest was a TRIUMPH!!!!

Here was the kicker. Grilled Pork and Apple sausages with a homemade Fig Relish. No Buns, just folded inside some lightly toasted sourdough, porter mustard and pickles. I swear… magic has a taste.

Here’s how-

Fig Relish:

1/2 c. fig jam (remember that fig and rosemary jam we made? yeah. use it!)

1 T. good mustard (grainy, dijon, porter, etc. you pick your fav)

Splash of white wine (or beer)

pepper

In a small saucepan, combine mustard and fig jam. on Medium-Low heat. Melt down and reduce. Add wine and pepper. stir to combine.

If the relish is too thick, feel free to add some water or beef broth. A majority of the liquid will burn off, so don’t worry. Just be sure your don’t let the relish burn because the jam has a high sugar content.

taste. if too sweet, add vinegar. too sour? add more jam. It is an easy balancing act.

Take of heat and serve over grilled sausages.

stuff into your face.

Cheers!

p.s. i know its been a while. but i have some good stuff coming up this month. Stay Tuned!

-M

xxoo

Scallop Ceviche Tacos and Bluegrass @ the Mish.

This is what sunday looked like:

So, Mama Guid and I went to a concert at Mishawaka. It was the best.  Mishawaka is this little Amphitheater right on the Poudre river, nestled in Risk Canyon, and on a beautiful day like this, nothing could top bluegrass in the afternoon. We saw Ryan Montbleu.He was Fantastic AND Adorable. Win Win.

But the Pre-Show was equally tremendous. It consisted of Scallop Ceviche Tacos and cocktails.      yesssss…

To those who have never had ceviche, this is a great introduction. This recipe it Citrusy, Bright and totally satisfying. Ceviche derives from ancient Moorish meaning “cooked in vinegar”. Only instead of vinegar, Ceviche is a cold seafood salad that uses citrus juice to cook the fish. The acid makes the flesh nice and firm. It truly is the most lovely Summer dish.

You can use any variety of seafood. Shrimp, cod, haddock, etc. as long as it is  a firm white fish, shell fish, or mollusk it should do really well. Tuna would be absolute brilliant in it as well. I used scallops because they were on sale. Huzzah!

This recipe blows my mind. It’s simple. It’s fresh. It’s light. It’s healthy. It’s impossible to mess up. MIND->BLOWING->AWESOMENESS.

Scallop Ceviche Tacos

¾ lbs. fresh bay scallops (I used 31/40)

½ purple onion, diced

1 Fresno pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. Cilantro, chopped

2 small tomato, diced

1 small mango, diced

4 limes

salt

pepper

12 white corn tortillas

2 ripe avocados

chopped lettuce (garnish)

For the Ceviche: dice and mince all the veg first. Keep it on the cutting board so you can see, ratio wise, how it looks. The chopping is the labor-intensive bit. Now take all that stuff, (chile, 1 tomato, onion, garlic, mango, and cilantro) and throw it into a bowl. Good job.

Now, take those beautiful Bay scallops and quarter them. It depends on the size of scallop you buy. If they are the itty bitty ones, leave them as they are. If they are the HUGE gigantos, cut them in sixths. Basically make them small, uniform pieces. Once you do that, throw them in the bowl with everything else. Yes, I know they are still raw. We’ll fix that. Trust me. Good Job.

Now, remember those limes? Cut them in half and squeeze all 8 halfs into that darn bowl. WARNING: if you have any sores, open blisters, or hang nails this process will hurt. Citrus= your enemy when you have exposed paper cuts. But it is worth the pain. TRUST!

Add a little salt, ¼ tsp or so. And sprinkle some pepper into that bad boy as well. Give it a stir. Cover and pop in the fridge for 2 hrs or overnight. Ceviche gets better the longer it sits.  One rule: keep it covered, keep it cool. I guess that’s actually two rules. Whatever.

Now, fire up your grill. You’s gonna char them there corn tortillas. This makes them nutty, crunchy, and warm. Bless it. If you are one of those people who are weirded out by burnt spots on your food, you can steam them in your Devil box (microwave) or a toaster oven. Or a real oven.

Take those avocados. Destroy them in a bowl. Add 1 tsp. pepper. 1 tsp. salt. And ½ tsp. garlic powder. And some more cilantro. Combine well and squeeze in some residual lime juice. Yes. This is Guacamole. Good job.

When the time comes for assembly, take a tortilla and spread it with a little guacamole or what I like to call “Ceviche Glue”. Take a helping scoop of the Ceviche or what I like to call “Scallops and Friends” and spread over glue. Sprinkle with tomato, lettuce, and maybe a little Cojita (farmers) cheese if you like.

Fold in half. Your taco will not only make the most satisfying cracking sound, it will nearly whimper with deliciousness.  This is a good sign. Devour and never look back.

Wash down with Lemon Creams (recipe to follow) and or Sweet tea Arnolds (also to follow). For dessert, let the Pie-Man interest you in a little Watermelon Chiffon. Oh. Sweet. Lord.

Mix this meal with a little sunshine, a little bluegrass, and a little girl time. Deadly combo for the best day off ever. Fo Real real.

Till next time have some Happy Days,

M

Lady Date: Psych Marathon Sleepover Edition!

>>>Meet my friends: Kaily and Lindsey. They are lovely girls. They are funny, they are witty, and they are deadly quick  after a few libations. (*note: Chocolate martini’s in hand)

These are my “Lady Date”- ers.                                  Say “Hello”.

Kaily and Lindsey watch Psych. Kaily and Lindsey love love love love Psych. Kaily and Lindsey have been trying to get me to watch Psych for forever. Kaily and Lindsey decided that THIS Lady Date was to be a right proper PSYCH MARATHON SLEEPOVER.

Lady Dates are classy as all hell. They’ve been a tradition of ours and require four components: Ladies (duh.) Delicious Cocktails (Brandy is NOT a cocktail) Delicious Munchies (Hamburger Helper is NOT a munchy) and Delicious Men (like Jon Hamm).

Easy right?

Ok, so for this  “Lady Date: Sleepover Edition”  we had the Ladies. We had some Boozey Floozies a.k.a. Big Girl Creamy Cookie Milkshakes. We had Homemade Margherita Pizza with the BEST sauce eva. and We had plenty of the the always Darling James Roday. oh yeah. Yumminess all around. We also had a pineapple.

For those of you who’ve seen Psych. you laughed Really hard at that last one. That was Kaily’s touch.

It was fun. we were full. we were sleepy. we were laughing. we wore sweatpants. we totally loved it.

THANK YOU GIRLS. Twas another Lady Date Success!

The Epic of that Most Decadent Wednesday

Let’s set the Scene, shall we?

We had only 3 days left until our lives would change FOREEEEEVVEEERRRrrrrrr!!!!!!!!! We were Graduating College. Yikes!

“Ok, no, don’t panic! We can do this…right?”

Then we looked at the facts. And the facts were these-

Did we have a Life plan? Nope.

Job offers? Negative.

Any semblance of Direction? Nada.

Student Loans? Hoho! You betcha. (damn).

But SO, what? Let’s celebrate our absolute befuddlement and throw ourselves One Giant Feast! Yes. Before Life and her collectors come a knockin’, we’ll go out with a bang of idealism and denial via gluttonous overload. Totally Worth it.

Here at The Pearl, we like things classy. we like things special. but above all, we need things delicious. We do things right. So the Menu had to be rather extraordinary. Which brings us to,

Le Menu:

Drinkables :

Sweet tea bourbon cocktails with mint and blood oranges.

 Eatables:

Frisee Salad with Pomegranate seeds, Avocado and Grapefruit.

Baked Goat Brie with Dried Sour Cherries

Prosciutto wrapped Melon

Smoked Salmon with Capers and Dill

Balsamic Bruschetta on Garlic Crostini

Endives with a Walnut, Bleu Cheese, Apple, Bacon salad.

 Cake with Strawberries and Cream

(We told you we weren’t messing around)

The day of we had a fabulous shopping experience at Whole Foods (where Megan works) and came home and started prepping, both with the cocktails and with the cutting, dicing, toasting, etc. It was great because then that night all we had to do was assemble the hors d’oeuvres, assemble ourselves, and tuck in!

In a word, the meal was Transcendent. The flavors, the company, the music; everything! We wouldn’t have wanted to make our graceful exit out of the University Circuit any other way.

Celebrations are our favorite. Not only because they are a way to acknowledge how hard we worked, how grateful we are to be done, and to prepare us for what’s to come; but they also are wonderful moments of reflection, of peace, of fun, and of pleasure that we don’t get as often as we should. (this is a Universal observation—People of the World, CELEBRATE MORE!)

After dinner we wanted to see a movie and have dessert at the drive-in, but it was closed. So instead we came home and put on our graduation robes, pretended we were wizards and abused the heck out of PhotoBooth. What, what! We’s got degree’s y’all.

And there it is. The best, the brightest, and the future. Oh dear.