Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Spur of the Moment Party Food

I've been pretty uninspired in the kitchen for the last couple weeks, with the start of summer and a lack of planning on my end. Usually, I plan a few menus on Sunday and make a complete list before heading out to do my grocery shopping. The last couple weekends have been busy, though, so I've just ended up stocking up on random stuff when I made it to the grocery store. This provides the sustenance Joe and I need to get through the week, but doesn't give me much to share in my blog. Tonight's meal of chicken w/ BBQ sauce and quinoa with sauteed zucchini was an example of the kind of meal we've been eating lately. Not bad tasting or particularly unappetizing, but also not something I feel the need to share with all my foodie friends out there on the web.

Last weekend I did pull out a few tricks, though, when we had some friends over for a housewarming party. Leave it to me in my uninspired state to leave all the planning, shopping, and cooking until the day of the party, but that's just how things have been going lately! I fell back on a couple sure-fire recipes, and also tried a couple new recipes that caught my attention. It was a crazy day of prep, but the party ended up being a great time. The sangria got everyone in partying spirits, and it turned into a great celebration with the awesome friends we've made here in Chicago.

The recipe I need to share with you is one I got from my mom. It is a perfect summery salad that works really well in a party situation. It's simple, and since you serve it at room temperature you can fix it and forget it while you're preping other parts of the meal. I promise, you will make your guests happy if you serve this side next time you have friends over for dinner. Sorry about the horrible picture... hard to remember to use the camera when you're busy with hosting duties :)

Green Bean and Feta Salad

1 1/2 lbs green beans
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup toasted walnuts

1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

1.) Plunge the beans into a pot of boiling water. Cook until tender crisp- about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water. Drain the beans and plunge into ice water until cold. Drain beans and pat dry with paper towels.

2.) Whisk together ingredients from lemon juice through olive oil, making a vinaigrette.

3.) Place beans on a platter and drizzle with vinaigrette. Top with red onion, feta, and walnuts. Serve at room temperature.

And since it was a housewarming party, I guess you might want to see a picture or two of our new condo!


Phivos Nicolaides said...

Nice place and lovely food. Lucky you are!

suze said...

i love love love the exposed brick!

Linds said...

Congrats on your new place- it's stunning :)

Elly said...

Oooh yum, that salad looks so good! And thankfully for me, no mayo :) Your place is so cute. Our last apartment (and one of the condos that we went to see a second time) had exposed brick and I just LOVE it.

needle in the haley said...

just so everyone knows... the salad WAS delicious and everyone there asked for the recipe (hence the blog post). again, erin thanks so much for having us over (tell joe too). we love your new place.

Kristen said...

Oh I love your new home. It looks very cool!

Now, feta cheese I LOVE. This looks fantastic!