Friday, July 17, 2009

A Girlfriend Weekend

I've been busy, busy this week!

Cooking, baking and cleaning - oh my.

Precious old friends are on their way to Boone as we speak.

Nan and Dindy have been dear friends for about 35 years. Since many miles separate us now that Donald and I are living in Boone, we don't see as much of one another as we once did. But, the friendships - as do all truly true friendships - have survived and those lovely and fun girlfriend feelings have not dwindled a speck. I do dearly love these women. And I've worked my buns off this week to prove it! (See now - When you're REALLY good friends, you get away with saying stuff like that and everyone understands it's all in fun).

And 'cause I've been so busy, I've neglected my blog a bit. But I'll be back!! In the meantime - meet Nan and Dindy - -

This is Becky, me and Nan during the summer of 1981. Becky isn't going to be with us this weekend and we will miss her! But. Another time.

And here's Dindy and me (again!), and Beck (again!). This was taken during Christmas 1981.

And here's Nan and me and Dindy this past Christmas.

And I'm betting I'll have a few more pictures to add in a few days . . .

Here's a couple of recipes. Good "Girlfriend Weekend" recipes! Enjoy!!

We're having a Broccoli Chicken Braid tonight since we're not sure what time we'll get around to eating. This is easily made ahead, tastes scrumptious and it's pretty to boot.

Broccoli Chicken Braid

2 cups diced, cooked chicken meat
1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove crushed garlic
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1/4 cup diced onion
2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees F).

In a large bowl, toss together chicken, broccoli, red bell pepper, garlic, Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, dill weed, salt, almonds and onion.

Unroll crescent roll dough, and arrange flat on a medium baking sheet. Pinch together perforations to form a single sheet of dough. Using a knife or scissors, cut 1 inch wide strips in towards the center, starting on the long sides. There should be a solid strip about 3 inches wide down the center, with the cut strips forming a fringe down each side.

Spread the chicken mixture along the center strip. Fold the side strips over chicken mixture, alternating strips from each side. Pinch or twist to seal.

Brush braided dough with the egg white. Bake in the preheated oven 25 to 28 minutes, or until golden brown.

Here's a recipe I love. I cut this out of Gourmet Magazine many years ago. (MANY years - like maybe 30). I only make it for my very most special friends for very special occasions.

Country Pâté

20- 25 servings (if this is too much for your girlfriend weekend, make it anyway - cut the loaf in half and freeze for another girlfriend weekend later on down the road).

4-6 bay leaves
6 thin slices bacon

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped parsley
½ cup chopped green onion
½ cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced

2 pounds sweet Italian sausage
1 1/4 cups beer
1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon butter
1 pound ground veal

1 thin slice bacon, chopped
2 cups crushed herb stuffing mix
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Salt & freshly ground pepper
½ cup shelled pistachio nuts

Put bay leaves in single layer in 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Line length of pan with bacon; set aside.

Half fill a large roasting pan with water and place in oven. Close oven door and preheat to 350.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ½ cup parsley, green onion, onion, garlic and shallots and saute about 2 minutes. Remove to large bowl.

Place sausage in large skillet; add 1/4 cup beer and cook over medium heat, mashing and turning with spatula, just until sausage starts to lose pink color but is only partially cooked. Stir in fennel. Remove from heat and add to parsley-onion mixture.

In same skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add veal and saute until partially cooked, about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup beer and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and add to bowl.

Place chopped bacon in same skillet and saute about 2 minutes. Add stuffing and blend thoroughly. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup beer and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir into onion-meat mixture. Add eggs, remaining ½ cup parsley and salt and pepper to taste; blend thoroughly. Mix in pistachio nuts.
Carefully pack mixture into loaf pan, pressing down firmly. Wrap entire pan in heavy duty foil (or doubled regular foil) as if wrapping a package. Place carefully in roasting pan and bake 1 hour. Very carefully remove from roaster and weight pâté for 3 to 4 hours by placing another loaf pan filled with heavy objects (such as books or canned goods) on top of a cookie sheet on top of wrapped pate loaf.

Remove weight and refrigerate pâté several hours or overnight. To serve, remove foil, loosen completely with knife and unmold onto serving plate. Pat off excess fat with paper towel.

and I've made us a pound cake. But of course! Y'all know how much I adore pound cake!

Blueberry Pound Cake presented by Sweet Biscuit Inn, Asheville, NC

1 lb butter, salted
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tsps lemon extract
1 tsp fresh lemon rind, grated
1 Tbsp baking powder
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time mixing on medium speed. Combine milk and lemon extract in a separate bowl. Combine baking powder and three cups of flour in a separate bowl. While running the mixer on low speed alternately add the wet and dry ingredients. Mix until smooth and well combined. Fold in lemon rind. Toss the blueberries with the remaining 1 cup of flour and gently fold into the batter. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake for approximately one and a half hour, cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a platter. This makes a delicious breakfast bread or a mid afternoon treat with tea or coffee.

And there's a pitcher of Iced Latte chilling in the fridge . . .

Southern Living's Iced Latte

Iced Latte
2 cups ground coffee
12 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 quart Half & Half
1 quart milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extact
Brew coffee using 12 cups o water. Stir in sugar untl dissolved. Stir in Half & Half, milk, and vanilla. Chill. Serve over ice.

okey doke - off I go to get ready for my girlfriend weekend!


Vicki Lane said...

Oh, yummm! And me with only leftovers for dinner. Going to have to try these!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Oh these sound wonderful. Thanks for the recipes!

Are you in Boone, NC? Somehow I didn't realize that. I'm in Matthews, NC and we vacation in Blowing Rock pretty frequently. Beautiful up there...

Mystery Writing is Murder

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

The country pate was my favorite in the line-up. Sounds like a great time was had by all and plenty of good food. Hope you are enjoying this cool weather.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Vicki - I never ever bake a pound cake that I don't think of you, and that's the truth.

Elizabeth - I am in Boone, NC! And my mom is in Blowing Rock. Dindy and Nan, who were here for the weekend, are great buddies with my mom, so a lot of our weekend was spent at her place. AND, Saturday was Art in the Park day in Blowing Rock, which we (of course!) attended ad loved. One of my favorite things to do.

Sam - the Country Pate is to die for. Let me know if you fix it - I'm always interested in hearing how people like recipes that I've passed along. I am LOVING these cooler temperatures! Putting on a light jacket in the mornings pleases me.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Kaye, when you get together with special old friends such as these gals, it seems like time has stood still and you pick up right where you left off - reminds me of a soap opera - you tune in years later and it's as if you were here yesterday. I've got to make that pate, as I said earlier.

Thanks for your fun post on my blog and for introducing me to "Being dead is no excuse - the official Southern ladies guide to hosting the perfect funeral." I know I'm going to love it, because I grew up in south Arkansas, not very far from Greenville, Ms and the Delta. I couldn't help but smile when I saw the deviled eggs on the cover, but inside I could taste the tomato aspic with homemade mayonnaise (the only kind we ever ate in our house). My gosh - the book has six recipes for pimento cheese, a southern favorite.

She describes southern funerals exactly as they were (or still are in some parts of the south). Everyone does go to the house afterwards for the food and company. I'll be buried, along with my Yankee husband, in the same little southern hometown cemetery where my great-great grandfather is buried with his Civil War headstone. Through the years the lawn mowers have nicked its corners, but I know he'd still be proud of it. Thanks for stirring up some great old memories.