Monday, September 14, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Fête - Part 2

On Friday evening before the picnic, I made the Barefoot Contessa's tabbouleh. I made this for Easter Dinner this year so you can see that post with the recipe here. This is a very simple side dish and the bulgur wheat is very nutritious!


With all of the Roma tomatoes we grew, I decided to make bruschetta. I seeded and chopped a ton of tomatoes and mixed them with chopped fresh basil, a few minced garlic cloves, salt, pepper and olive oil. For the bread, we sliced baguettes in 1/2 inch slices, brushed them with olive oil & sprinkled them with salt and put them in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.

A very easy snack that you can whip up in no time! A great way to use up your garden tomatoes.


Next, Mary recommended these yummy nuts for a snack. Sweet and spicy, these are a special treat.

Spiced Mixed Nuts (from Cooks Illustrated - from a chopped salad recipe)

Makes about 2 cups

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups pecan halves
1 tablespoon sugar *I used a bit more than this*

Melt butter in 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, then stir in pecans. Toast nuts in skillet, stirring often, until color of nuts deepens slightly, 6 to 8 mins. Transfer to bowl, toss with sugar, then spread out on a plate to cool.

Remember, watch the nuts VERY closely because as you can see in the photo, they can get brown very quickly.

While shopping for the picnic, my mom picked up the new Barefoot Contessa Family Style Cookbook. This iced tea recipe is in there - it's so sweet with the apple juice it needs no further sweetner.

Makes 8 cups

4 Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger tea bags
4 Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger tea bags
4 cups pure apple juice

Steep the 8 tea bags in 4 cups of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Discard the tea bags. Combine the tea with the apple juice and refrigerate until cold. Serve over ice.

This is the iced tea dispenser I bought at the Amish Auction earlier in the summer. A classic vintage glass container I snatched up for $6!


Photos by Bec.

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