All Hands on Deck!

Brandi came up with a wonderful menu for the 2nd night of our stay and allowed us to assist her in the kitchen! This meal was a great way to come together after a full day of shopping and site seeing and really summed up our friendship: Laughter and food! There is nothing more personal to me than sharing food (ok, maybe a few things more personal) and when you get to share your own food with your very best friends, that’s even better! The following photos will never completely y capture the energy of the evening or the swell of my adoration for everyone in the room, but hopefully they convey just how much fun we always have when we are all together!

Ok, enough sap, LET’S SEE THE FOOD!

The dinner Brandi had planned was fantastic! Here is the breakdown…

Cheddar Cheese Grits topped with…

Blanched collard greens, red bell pepper and red wine, garlic chicken sausage. I believe a shallot or two made it way in there as well. It was at this moment when I realized my friends and I have so much more in common than I thought. We tend to enjoy similar movies, laugh at similar jokes and like similar art, but who knew our philosophies on food could be related as well? Simple, clean food with fresh ingredients will get me every time and it’s exactly how I love to cook!

Let me show you a little bit of the process. Please store all carry-ons in the overhead compartment and keep all limbs inside the blog while it is in motion. The emergency exit is just through that wardrobe.

First we gathered any spices we needed from Brandi’s ALPHABETIZED spice rack!

Prep, Prep, Prep

Richelle Blanches the greens.

Looks like Brandi uses flake kosher salt. More reasons we are all friends! That’s right, I draw the line at table salt!

Sautéing is easier if you laugh while you do it. Oh and it makes the food taste better!

We decided to use Irish Butter (a Whole Foods splurge) and learned the following: Irish butter is a darker yellow color because their cows are grass fed and not grain fed like ours. It has a higher fat content which makes it spreadable directly from the refrigerator and a faster melt in the pan. Other than that, the taste is the same!

Voila! I did not follow directions and served myself the grits on the side. As a grit novice, I was unsure of the etiquette, but now that I know, I will be piling high! This meal is sure to be a staple of my home from now on.  There are meals we make simply because you are always chasing your mothers recipe or the way your grandfather grilled that burger. Food and family seem to go hand in hand in just about any culture. I think, just as importantly, food between friends can be handed down and passed out to generations.

Oh wait, did I mention she made ice cream? ::record screeching to a halt::

Homemade ice cream with cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom with toasted pecans! We all agreed that we could have eaten a gallon a piece!

I want to thank Brandi and Tim for letting us crash at their pad and Richelle and Steve for letting us throw a week-end out of whack! As always, they were wonderful hosts is a wonderful city!

Here is to our next adventure!

And may it involve food! (and it probably will)



Filed under Ice Cream, Pittsburgh, Sausage

2 responses to “All Hands on Deck!

  1. Kathlene

    LOVE the Irish Butter..but then as Kathlene Mary Carroll Sullivan…I would, would’t I!!!!

  2. Brandi

    Thanks for the shout out, Eric. We loved having you at our home!!

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