Food Photography

Memorial Day Weekend Saturday

My immediate family {minus the husband who had to work} gathered at OIB late Friday night. Nana & I caught up on the final Oprah’s waiting for the others.

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Saturday morning, Beth, Mom & I went for a three mile walk where even a little rain didn’t slow our strides & chats. We were at the beach from 11-430 staying chilled with Sunset Slush & Firefly pink lemonade. Hungry & a little pink from the sun, I made Jenny’s Sundried Tomato Bagel appetizers {gotta love a 4 ingredient app}. [flickr id=”5792096284″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”center”]

Thanks to call ahead seating, we walked right to our table at Inlet View. [flickr id=”5792096794″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”center”] [flickr id=”5791538767″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”center”]

Mom, Beth, Steven & I waiting until after we’d ordered dinner to check out the top deck. [flickr id=”5792097360″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”center”]

I loved the company, the food, the whole view & those great chairs. [flickr id=”5792097482″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”center”]

Family/Travel Food

Family Saturday Night

After the SPCA Dog Walk, Mom & I ran a few errands. We stopped at Costco for last few ingredients for that nights dinner. We also picked up lunch for four of us for $8 {can’t beat that right?!}.

My parents had offered to host my brother’s future in laws & family to dinner last Saturday. There was a total of 12 of us. So after errands we rushed home to prepare. Mom had made a shrimp & crab pasta casserole the night before {it was awesome! I will be sure to post the recipe when she sends it to me}. We put together a salad with greens, strawberries, mandarin oranges, & mushrooms. We snapped the asparagus so it was ready to throw in the oven while the casserole was baking.

Mom had planned some great appetizers too. We made her famous meatballs {Jason had almost half of them!}. I also put together a recipe she’d told me about last time I was there since she know I love hummus. Crazy enough I saw it posted on one of the cooking blogs I follow this week. {I don’t remember which one but she called it her friend’s famous recipe!} I think her copy of the ripped-off-the-back-of-hummus-container recipe called it 5-Layer Greek Dip.
1 pkg hummus (we used larger size of roasted red pepper)
1 pkg crumbled feta cheese
1/2 c chopped tomatoes {we used quartered cherry}
1/4 c chopped cucumbers
2 T chopped kalamata olives {we omitted because we forgot to buy!}
Spread hummus on the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Cover with the remaining ingredients. We refrigerated for a couple hours then served with pita chips.

Top photo taken in the frig 🙂

Beth’s brother Chris’ wife Emily is quite the cook. Like I’m in awe of cook. She brought a veggie pizza & a made from scratch lavender blueberry pie {see what I mean!}. Since my Dad’s birthday was Tuesday, we had also picked up a Cotco cake for dessert.

Emily & Chris have two awesome children. Marley is 4 and Miles is 2. They were so well behaved even though Miles wasn’t feeling so hot. Mom was a little worried what we’d do to entertain two young children in their not-childproofed-house. She decorated for Easter last Friday & got excited when she found Easter eggs. Y’all, while the guys played pool & watched basketball in the basement, Emily, Mom, Beth, Janie, Marley, Miles & I hid & found eggs for probably two hours!

Marley is quite the ham. Emily has a DSLR, so she’s used to being photographed & loved it while I pulled out mine. I’d show her a photo I’d taken, & she’d say “ok. another one”. {She’s a much more willing model than Moekitty & Jason!}

With upcoming wedding events this summer & fall, it was so nice to have a low key night to get to know everyone better! Can’t wait to hang out with the fam & my brother’s soon-to-be family again soon!

After everyone left the four of us were all smiles over how much fun we had together. Also how cool & bright was the moon that night?!

Everything Else Food

Chi O Dinner Club

Last night, after meeting baby Reagan for the first time {blog post to come tomorrow}, I joined 4 other Chi O alum sisters at a dip themed dinner club.  I planned to make a crock pot spinach & artichoke dip.  Instead, I didn’t have time & picked up Whole Foods spinach & artichoke dip, black bean hummus, pretzel chips & a couple of bottles of wine!  I brought home 2 bottles of wine, some of the pretzels chips & the hummus.  That spinach artichoke dip was amazing!

Rhiannon made her signature Buffalo Chicken dip {aka crack dip for the nest girls}.  Lauren made a spinach dip.  Erin made a beer dip that was unlike anything I’d had before {I’ll share that recipe when I get it}.  Jennifer brought strawberries, grapes, & a wonderful cream cheese dessert dip.

Also, $2.99 Whole Foods wine was good y’all!  I took a photo of it just to remind myself to get it again next time.


Cheese Straws

I alluded to these in my New Years/Christmas post.  But last night was the first time I’d made these on my own.  Admittedly, I called my Dad to find the ingredients from a cookbook, my mom to make sure I was mixing it correctly, then Nana to reassure me later that they’re ok! I halved the recipe from my aunt’s MIL’s (Jean Owens) cookbook.

1 3/4 c flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper
3/4 c butter, softened
1 c sharp cheddar, shredded

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix the dry ingredients together.  Add the softened butter & use a hand mixer to blend together.  Add the cheese then continue to process until soft & leaves the sides of the bowl.  I found it worked better to just take off my rings and use my hands at this point.
I rolled the dough into three logs and wrapped them in plastic wrap and placed them in the frig for about an hour.  After that, I cut them very thin and placed them on thin cookie sheets topped with parchment paper.  I baked at 350 for 11-12 minutes.  I placed them in a 9×13 with paper towels in between the layers.
Can’t wait to enjoy them tonight with friends!


Mexican Momma’s Munchies

Its Monday which means Momma’s Munchies day over at Waking Up Williams. This week is a Mexican theme.

I was going to post this Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe, then remembered I already had. I plan on making it one night this week. Our other favorite Mexican recipes: Creamy Chicken Enchiladas & Crockpot Salsa Chicken.

So instead I’m posting this very simple dip that my coworker brought to work today for snack day.

Cheesy Rotel Dip
Velveeta cheese
Can of Rotel (she used the spicy Mexican variety)
Tortilla chips

Cut up cheese into cubes. Add to small crockpot. Top with Rotel. Heat on low until melted & combined. Serve with tortilla chips. Watch out~ it’ll disappear quickly!