Father’s Day Slam Dunk!

And, I’m back!  So yesterday was Father’s Day, and to celebrate Paul and I invited our folks over for a BBQ.  David and Day Day Chenoweth, Joe (a.k.a. Papa) and Karen (a.k.a. Nana) Darga all came over to enjoy a very easy but delicious dinner.

While watching the Barefoot Contessa a thousand years ago, Ina Garten said that the easiest dinner party is one in which you can enjoy sitting down with your guests, relaxing, and not worrying about dinner.  That was a novel and quite fabulous idea!  I took that to heart and still do to this day.  Whenever I plan a dinner party, I plan one that let’s me hang out with my guests rather than the food that I’m preparing for them.

Father’s Day Menu…  brie and peppered toscano cheese with crackers (thank you Trader Joe’s), bar-b-qued Santa Maria trip-tip (thank you Costco’s ad Paul), grilled corn on the cob, green salad with tons of yummy stuff, bacon and blue cheese biscuits, and a berry cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream.  People were stuffed!

Grilled Corn:  spread softened butter across the cobs and sprinkle salt and pepper (turning as you go), wrap each in foil and throw on the BBQ

Green Salad:  arugula, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped red onion, diced avocado, pepitas, cottage cheese, and dressing (freshly squeezed lemon half, olive oil, salt and pepper)

Bacon and Blue Biscuits Cheese (care of Pauley Perrette)

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INGREDIENTS:  3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 4 teaspoons granulated sugar, 1 stick cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces, 1 cup crumbled crispy bacon, 1/2 cup crumbled dry blue cheese or Gorgonzola, 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley, 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.  Add the cold butter pieces to the flour mixture, and roughly mix with a wooden spoon, making sure not to break up or soften the butter.  Add the blue cheese and parsley, and toss until evenly mixed.  Pour 1 cup buttermilk into the flour mixture, and gently stir with a wooden spoon.  Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk until the dough comes together.  Do not overmix.  With a large ice-cream scoop, spoon 10 heaping mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, gently press down with the scoop while releasing the dough onto the baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes.  Turn the oven temperature down to 325 degrees, and bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 18 additional minutes (my biscuits baked much faster).  Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes before serving.

Berry Cobbler (care of Kristi Lou Harter’s Aunt Ethel)

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INGREDIENTS:  3/4 stick unsalted butter, 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 2tsp baking powder, 3/4 cup milk, 2 cups berries

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter in baking dish (half a 9 x 12) in oven. Mix together all ingredients except fruit. When butter is melted take out of oven and add flour mixture. Add berries to top and sprinkle sugar and small amount of cinnamon. Bake for 45 minutes.

Note from Kristi Lou:  You can use a mixture of half peaches and berries.  I use almond milk for a little less dairy. You can pick your own berries to make a whole weekend out of it.

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