This weekend is a biggie for one 8-year-old about to be 9-year-old in our house. Birthday time!
If you’ve followed be for very long, you know my daughter Smudge prefers pie over cake any day, which means I’ll be making and adorning her favorite Yellow Cake Pie with candles for the third year in a row. This year I’m going to pardon the mousse pudding mix in favor of the homemade pudding I made in Lauren’s Chocolate Cream Pie recipe mixed with some whip cream for loft.
I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a hit once again for the twelve 9-year-olds who are sleeping over. All those girls in one house, high on sugar and water slides and karaoke? Why oh why do I do this to me and my husband? Oh, that’s right. Because I’m a mom to a rock-star-lover-girl! I’d do anything for her, especially on her birthday.
Once we’ve sent the gaggle of girls home with their own parentals, it’ll be time to get the family birthday BBQ into high-speed prep. While we have a few menu ideas on the short list, we haven’t quite made up our minds as to which direction we’re going. Traditional cookout, Mediterranean or something Asian inspired? Any input here readers?
If we go for the traditional grilling route, this Grilled Artichokes with Garlic Butter recipe I created for Go Bold With Butter would be tops on the list. I made them for dinner just two nights ago since my favorite artichoke producer finally showed up in Costco.
I don’t know if I’ll ever eat a choke with plain butter and mayo again thanks to the caramelized garlicky chunks I now scoop up with each leaf. More napkins please.
- For the Artichokes
- 2 large artichokes
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon, halved
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Lemon Garlic Butter
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Leaves from 6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme
- For the Artichokes
- With a serrated knife, cut artichokes into quarters and cut sharp tips of leaves off. Scoop out the prickly center part of the artichoke, and discard. Immediately rub the cut side of the artichoke with a lemon half to help avoid yellowing. Place artichokes in a large stockpot filled with cold water.
- Add peppercorns and garlic cloves. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the water and add the leftover lemon skin/peel to the water. Bring artichokes to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes or until artichoke leaves easily pull from the head and the bottoms of the artichokes are tender.
- Remove from the stock pot and drain.
- Prepare a grill with hot coals or a gas grill over high heat. Drizzle artichokes with olive oil and kosher salt and pepper.
- When grill is hot, place artichokes on grill and cook for 3 minutes each side or until nice grill marks appear. Remove and serve immediately or at room temperature with garlic lemon butter (recipe follows).
For the Lemon Garlic Butter
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and allow the solids to cool slightly, then skim the fat solids from the clear butter below and discard the solids. Add lemon zest, garlic cloves, kosher salt and fresh thyme and cook on medium until garlic browns slightly and becomes aromatic, about 5 minutes.
- Add lemon juice to butter mixture and mix well.
- Drizzle over artichokes or on the side as a dipping sauce.
In the midst of peeling off meaty leaves and wiping the dripping garlic butter from my chin, I’ve been busily working on the summer issue of FoodieCrush along with some super talented food bloggers who’ve created some outstanding recipes, inspired retreats, and just overall summertime goodness.
Look for the summer issue to launch mid-June, and of course I’ll be letting you all know via the usual channels. Until then check out last summer’s issue of FoodieCrush and here’s a little peek behind the scenes of one of the stories soon to come to the summer 2013 issue thanks to Annalise and Kelley.
I know I don’t say it often enough, but thank you all so much for following and reading FoodieCrush in all of its incarnations. If you follow me on Google Reader (shutting down on July 1) be sure to switch over and add me to Feedly (see below), Blog Lovin’ or The Old Reader or if you can always follow me on Facebook where I post an announcement about each post or sign up to receive the posts in your email box by entering your name in the Subscribe to the Newsletter field over in the right hand column. Or, you can always just check in when the mood strikes.
Have a fantastic weekend and happy Friday Faves.
I’m a big fan of Feedly for keeping up on the blogs I read but didn’t feel like I was using it to its full potential until I read this handy Feedly tutorial.
Happy 4th Birthday to Tablespoon! In celebration of the momentous occasion, the Tablespoon peeps asked me to design a an e-cookbook featuring 40 colorful rainbow recipes from some very talented food bloggers. The best part? They’re giving it to you FOR FREE!
Refinery 29’s list of 10 Food Blogs to Bookmark. 6 of them were new to me and are now in my RSS feed. SCORE.
I’m hot on automating some of my repetitive tasks like every time I save a favorite in Feedly, automatically add it to Evernote with IFTTT aka the robust app If This Then That. This could be a time saver times 1000.
What does your kitchen say about you? I’m not sure I’d be so brave to bare my kitchen’s secret side. His next project is in NYC and he’s looking for new victims.
Last week we went to the Best Friends Super Pet Adoption where I wished I could have handed out these Starter Kits for New Dogs. Why didn’t I come up with that?
Only 5 days left to go and for some reason (why don’t they just end school once Memorial Day has come and gone?) I am resonating deeply as a fellow Worst End of School Year Mom Ever. Thanks for the link Kristen.
“We are limping, limping across the finish line, folks. I tapped out somewhere in April and at this point, it is a miracle my kids are still even going to school. I haven’t checked homework folders in three weeks, because, well, I just can’t. Cannot. Can. Not. I can’t look at the homework in the folder. Is there homework in the folder? I don’t even know. Are other moms still looking in the homework folder? I don’t even care.”
On that note, from a wishbone key ring to a leather mousepad in gold, 29 Unique Graduation Gift Ideas.
Fave tweet of the week in the birthday theme: “did i bake my gemini husband two b-day cakes today, one chocolate, one peanut butter? why, yes, yes i did. the twins need not duke it out.” @ashley_english
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