Review & Prevew: 7/24/16

Review & Preview is a weekly post that features a review of last week’s blogs, a preview of upcoming posts and a random assortment of food-related thoughts, discoveries, and experiences that happen between posts. My hope is that this will serve an “in case you missed it” purpose, as well as give you a glimpse of what will be in store for the week ahead.

REVIEW
Mothers-in-law. Oh the jokes and stories that start out with these words. I’m not going to lie … I had a few of those. This past week, however, I chose to highlight one of my fondest memories of my mother-in-law. The key, I believe, to getting along with your mother-in-law (or anyone for that matter) is to find common ground. Ours was books. Cookbooks to be exact. A particular set that I received as a Christmas gift and the Hot Italian Roast Beef recipe from one of them were the subject of my first post last week. I typically make soup from the leftovers, but since we are in the middle of July’s nastiest heat and humidity, I experimented with pizza!

img_3770

Italian Roast Beef
Banana Peppers
Sun-dried Tomatoes
Kalamata Olives
Pesto
Fresh Mozzarella
Arugula

 

Even my husband, who is a pizza purist, said it was delicious. Because it was without traditional pizza sauce, he doesn’t think it actually counts as “pizza”. Whatever.

I let my son/editor, Nick, take over the blog for our Summer Sangria! He may question my curiosity over trying a pineapple-jalapeno sangria next time, but I am pretty sure I can make him a believer!

IN BETWEEN

TCSC101Fresh, Bloomy Rind, Washed Rind, Semi-Soft, Firm, Hard, Blue … the seven types of cheese that C.J. from The Cheese Shop Des Moines featured in his Cheese 101 class last Monday (clockwise from the top of the plate). Samples came from here in Iowa, the west coast, east coast, France and Italy. Served with a wedge of La Mie’s ciabatta, a couple glasses of wine and a great sense of humor, our host shared his passion for quality and variety.

TWO THUMBS UP

img_3788I have all kinds of pepper in and on my cupboard, but if I had to keep only one, it would be Coarse Ground Black Pepper. The peppercorns are not ground as finely as typical table pepper so the flavor is more concentrated. You can find it in any grocery store. Try it on burgers and steaks, roasted or grilled vegetables, or on salads to get a “bite” of pepper. If you like subtle pepper flavor, stick with finely ground pepper. But if you like that bold hit of pepper on your taste buds, you will like the coarse grind.

PREVIEW
My basil is still waiting to be made into pesto so that is priority number one for this week.

It also looks like this will be the week for the first beet harvest, roasting, and freezing. This means that I will be feasting on roasted beet salad with arugula, blue cheese, balsamic vinegar, and walnuts … do not knock it until you try it!

I think it’s time to open up “The Meatball Files” again. This humidity has me thinking about my relatives in Miami which leads my food-brain to Cuban Sandwiches and, therefore, Cuban meatballs!

img_3781After hosting Book Club this past week, I have the perfect opportunity to write about a group of women who are extremely special to me. We read and laughed and cried over a book called “The Secret to Hummingbird Cake” and I discovered a new favorite cake (bananas, pineapple, pecans, cream cheese frosting)! Oh, and there might have been a little wine too.

 

GRATITUDE

“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” 
Proverbs 17:1

Crackers and cheese, chips and salsa, pita chips and hummus … keep it simple, relax with your family and guests, and give thanks.

Have a great week!


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Anita Hinkeldey McVey

From the farm in Alta ... to college in Ames ... to the suburbs of Des Moines in Waukee ... I am an Iowa girl through and through. I married the cute, but quiet, guy who made me laugh out loud in Statistics class and we have two awesome, but terribly sarcastic, boys. In 1999, I quit my research job to be home with those active boys. Staying home allowed me to spend more time preparing meals, trying new recipes and striving to serve healthier options for my family. Now that my boys are men ... well, "adults" anyway ... and my husband still appreciates what I accomplish at home, I have time to explore my creative side and knock "writing a blog" off my bucket list. I love trying new things, traveling, gardening, reading and clean countertops. I love baseball (watching, not playing) and concession stands. Choosing a favorite food is impossible but if I was forced to pick just one, it would be pie! I thank God that He has led me to this place. Here's to a new adventure and hopes that others will be able to use what I post to discover the benefits of family meals and living a picnic life.

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