A Crazy Week! Dadchlor Party BBQ and our first Catering Gig!

Not only has this been an insane week of pure social engagements and welcomed obligations, but we got a cat.  We never thought we would get a cat. Never.  He has a name, but we're not sure that its going to stick.  He's a sweet little guy that we learned is very social.  He loved it when we had people over.  I thought he'd run and hide or runaway with the backdoor open, but instead both of our furry kids were out and about.  Debo loves parties and having people over.  His favorite, just like mine, is sitting around the fire pit.  You MUST be outside in this weather.  Its out of control beautiful!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!  I don't want to do anything but be outside and most of all I want to be camping and hiking.  

Dadchlor Party BBQ.  I had nothing to do with this.  I just showed up and all of this was here.  Matt was grilling and Nick Mettry and Thomas Bowman were cooking peppers and making potato salad.  What's a Dadchlor Party?  I thought I had coined the phrase, but apparently its a thing.  Our great friend Thomas, he lives in Chicago, was in town with his lovely wife and mother to be Katie.  We decided Thomas needed a pre fatherhood  day.  I'm not sure if a baby shower is exactly calling it even.  The guys spent the entire day doing fun outdoor things and came back to grill tons of meat.  Matt chose his favorite cuts such as del monaco and flat iron, and Thomas chose prime steaks.  They also had the Korean style cut ribs. It was all grilled to perfection, seasoned well and the ribs were marinated slightly spicy and really tasty.

For the sides Thomas sautéed shisito peppers in a wok with sherry vinegar. There was also butter poached radishes and Nick made a mustard and mayo based potato salad. Yum!  Happy to spend the entire night outside.

Next day, our first catering gig! Our Aunt Julie Tibbs had her house on the kitchen tour this year.  The Kitchen Tour of Nichols Hills raises money for the Food Bank.  After the tour ended, we headed over to cook for her party outdoors. 

Here's the team!  The Caterers.  Our awesome friend Annah joined us for this great occasion of fried chicken dinner in Oklahoma City.  Help much needed.  Thanks Annah!  Good job team!

Fried chicken on premises.  Come on! Now THAT is a great caterer.  

And pretty entertaining for guest.

You with me?

The request was to recreate the meal we had cooked for Easter.   Fried Chicken has always been the most memorable meals we have fed people.  Its such a casual meal that people seem to have more fun. We had a fried chicken taste test many many years ago.  That was a lot of fun.  We tried many different methods of frying chicken.  From soaking it in buttermilk, to different types of oils.  We have finally nailed it.  You can get the recipe by searching Fried Chicken on the blog.  

We heard that this was the best fried chicken and mac n' cheese they had ever had! This recipe can also be found on the blog by searching mac n cheese.  I made a slight alteration with the cheeses, but not much.  Its just as good without the ham.

The Meal.  A creamy, yet citrusy cole slaw, dream creamy mac n cheese with ham, fried chicken, pickle bar, and fried biscuits.  The fried biscuits were inspired from a one of the first food trucks that Matt and I had ever been to together. Also one of the firsts I can remember of in Okc.  Bobo's fried chicken is this great chicken wing truck that also has these fried breads covered in honey.  Matt fried up good ole Grands! biscuit in a can.  We had some big fans of those lil guys.   Great meal if I do say so myself.

  Frying chicken on the spot instead of just showing up with trays of casseroles or cold chicken is pretty hardcore for a first gig, or any gig.  I'm gonna say it was a success! Also a lot of fun to do, besides the washing of the dishes.  Have a great week!  It feels like Sunday instead of Monday today.  So, I treated it like it was a Sunday.  Thank you peaceful day.

Dumplings and a German Inspired Meal

We enjoyed the last (hopefully) hot day this year with dumplings and wine.  I love sitting in the kitchen making dumplings of all sorts. I also love being outside.  Also, I realized that I haven't made arancinis, raviolis, pierogies, or egg rolls in ages.  There's something therapeutic or meditative about making the lil guys.  You know what isn't therapeutic?  Seeing commercials for gun shows.  Going to a gun show sounds like a nightmare.  

I made 2 types of dumplings.

Turkey Dumplings have ground turkey, sautéed baby greens, onion, bean thread, carrot, black fungus,  oyster sauce, fish sauce, and soy sauce.  The tofu dumpling has firm tofu, grated potato, carrot, onion, bean thread, fungus, soy sauce, and oyster sauce.  

Shumai are the open topped ones. I normally don't add the bean thread to the dumpling fillings, but was thinking about egg roll filling and ended up putting it in there.  It makes it way harder to shape the dumplings, but shumai shapes are perfect for all those little strands trying to poke through.

What you don't fry up, you can freeze.  To pan fry, you add oil to a hot pan.  Place your dumplings in the pan.  Add a good splash of water in the pan and lid it.  It should be done in about 3 minutes.  You can open the lid and add more water if it doesn't seem done.  Once the bottom is crispy, its usually done and ready to eat.  I served these dumplings with a soy sauce with ginger, my dad's chili garlic sauce, and sesame oil. 

This past week Matt and I have been "dropping" by the Seikel's casa to pick up things from their house.  Our dropping by, turns into us eating their dinner.  Jeary is creative and stretches their dinner for two out to a dinner for four perfectly.  So it would only be right that I was going to cook Matt and I dinner for 2, and our friends come over and we manage to stretch it out to four perfectly.  I think it may be a healthier way of eating.  You don't over eat cause there's nothing left to eat.  I'm a piggy and if there's food family style in front of me, I will continue to eat.  

I had purchased some hippy thick cut pork chops and didn't have much to work with on sides.  I thought, pork chops...Germany.  

Mustard Potato Salad

2 lbs potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick (cooked in salted boiling water until tender)

1/4 white onion diced small
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard 
5 tablespoons vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil

1 celery stalk chopped

Mix it all together and serve warm or room temperature.

Matt lightly breaded the brined pork chops and cooked it in the cast iron with some butter and canola oil.  Perfect cooked with a crispy outside.  The brine kept it moist and the garlicky marinade came through.  

The baby brussel sprouts were oiled and roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  Then in a pan, I sautéed thinly sliced onion until caramelized.  Add the roasted brussel sprouts and add quartered mushrooms into the pan until the mushrooms are cooked.  Add a splash of white wine and finish it with a dollop of French butter.  So good!  The last of my parent's garden okra was roasted and were delicious.  Cheers to a wonderful meal!  Busted out the jackets for our night outing.  We actually walked from destination to destination in Oklahoma City.  OKC was semi walkable.  You never could have said that 10 years ago! First cold weather meal of the season.  

 I've embraced the wonderful wet and gray day by changing the sheets on the bed ( i LOVE fresh sheets on a bed), drawing, reading, and cuddling my pup.  We didn't leave the bed much that day, but I felt like it was a good day for it and well deserved.  Today is a sunny beautiful Sunday and its feeling like a cell phone free Sunday on a bike and in my studio.  Enjoy these wonderful days before the drabby crispy days arrive!  Eat well!

A Hectic Comeback, but the Kitchen is Rockin!

Its hard to remind myself to pull out the camera to take pics in the kitchen when I have not been doing it for so long!  We should be here for awhile.  I've got an art show coming up and very dear friends coming into town.  The weather is getting cooler and wonderful things happen when it cools down.  Cool clothes, warm foods, and chilly fire pit nights.  I can't wait!

Debo and I enjoying our Sunday at the Food Truck Park in Okc, Bleugarten. 

This past weekend my best friend and I have our biannual garage sale.  When setting up the first morning, you regret the idea of putting on this party.  You wonder, is anyone gonna show up?  Oh god, I have to put up signs.  Oh shit i never bought the permit.  But, this garage sale was smooth sailing.  IT better be!  WE've been doing this together for WAY too long.  It all started in 2003 in Norman, Oklahoma.  Emily's vintage collection was at its prime.  We were both jobless and ready to get rid of all our stuff.  She was about to take off to Europe and I, a journey across America with my thumb.  We sold hotdogs at this one.

Here we are today.  Well this was early Spring  She's got a kid and I've been to Europe and back a few times.  We had smoked bologna by Matt at this one!

A toast to our regulars!! Debo, our biggest supporter.

This week of painting, music, garage sales, and having an Ou party?  Whoa, ok it wasn't really an OU party.  But we did have it on for our football fans.  

Made some sparkle cookies inspired by Little Dom's in LA.  I'm sure they tweaked or got their recipe from Thomas Haas.  We added more sugar and chocolate to ours.  It is the BEST chocolate cookie you will ever have.  Its dark chocolate and instead of flour its ground almonds.  Yes, its amazing.

For dinner, Matt grilled hamburgers!  He went simple and delicious.  American cheese all melty, iceberg lettuce, onions, grilled jalapeños, and good ole hamburger buns.  Condiments of your choice. The most popular was Grey Poupon and ketchup.  Mayo and French's were the runner ups.  I apologize for the pic, as I was done with the garage sale and starving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It was amazing!!  I love the simplicity.  I think that there is such a thing as too much on your burger.  I prefer burgers that are compact and don't fall apart when you eat it.  Not saying I don't like crazy burgers.  Keep in mind, I can eat a greasy Nic's burger without it falling apart in my hands.  Even huge construction workers can't do that! 

Back Again! Come Back Meals Galore

Back home from Toronto!  I love Canada.  I always end up in this country when the weather is perfect.  Its hard not to love where you travel when the weather is perfect, the gardens are lush, and the people are nice.  I stuck with the tradition this summer of traveling to other countries with bike riding and hot dog eating.  

I wasn't home long enough to sit down and talk about food, so here we are playing a little catch up.  We are spending an immense amount of time in our studios.  Thus, the simplicity of the food.  Simple and delicious.

A fluffy one egg omelet filled with black truffle cheese from Amsterdam, sautéed mushrooms, and parsley served with a side salad lightly dressed with a dijon, lemon, honey, and olive oil dressing.  I crave this all the time since I had it.  It makes for a great breakfast or lunch.

I LOVE a bowl of pasta and tomato sauce.  This is made with my dad's homegrown tomatoes. 

This lunch reminds me of eating dinner at my uncle's house in Paris  They made a salad with dijon dressing, which I made with the omelet above, and I am hooked.  I want my salads to be dressed with dijon every time.  The steak cut that Matt got at Wholefoods is called delmonaco.   Its one of his newest favorite cuts of beef.  

A beautiful and delicious salad by Matt.  Greens on the bottom, sliced orange bell pepper, shredded carrot, tomato, avocado, olives, porcini vinegar marinaded mushrooms, and slice aged goudas.  The salad is simply dressed with some porcini vinegar and olive oil.  This salad is one of the best I've ever had.  

Lastly, steak spring rolls.  Another favorite among us and the Duong's.  This is such an easy and most delicious meal.  Its still hot in Oklahoma, so these light and bright meals have been perfect.  I'm starting to get back into the groove of things.  Besides spending as much time in the studio as possible, I spend my time eating imported cheeses, devouring fruit, and falling asleep to Chevy Chase movies.  Lets get cooking again!