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Probably one of my favorite things is being invited over to my Aunt Tricia’s house. She is the Master Entertainer, her husband is the Ultimate Bartender, and her dogs are always ready to “clean” the dishes for her…if you know what I mean!

She always executes the perfect menu and everyone always has so much fun. Needless to say, I’m pretty proud to be related to her, and I hope one day I will be able to entertain like she does.

Below is a look at last week’s dinner…Recipes included!

Recipe
The Perfect Manhattan

Fill cocktail shaker 1/2 full with ice.

  • 2 shots knob creek bourbon
  • 1/2 shot red vermouth
  • dash of bitters…there are all sorts of flavors out there these days…
  • Shake 10 times and strain into a frozen martini glass. (I leave a little water on the glass before freezing, so I get a nice frost on the glass)
3 Luxardo brand cherries on a pick.  Add and enjoy!
Both Recipes below are from Ina Garten’s How Easy is That? Cookbook.

 

Recipe
Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad

Ingredients

  • 10 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded, cored, and 1/2-inch-diced
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and 1/2-inch-diced
  • 1 can or jar (12 to 16 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 8 ounces good feta cheese, 1/2-inch-diced
  • Toasted pita bread, for serving

Directions

Place the scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley, mint, and basil in a large salad bowl and toss to combine.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing gently to coat all the vegetables. Add the feta, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss gently. Serve the salad with the toasted pita bread.

Recipe
Lemon Chicken Breasts

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 1 lemon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.

Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.

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