I love having fresh flowers in the house. Early on in our cohabitant years, I would occasionally buy bouquets or be semiannually gifted them from Hubs to decorate the house. Since then fresh flowers have fallen into the 'unnecessary expense' category. Hubs is like my Superman when if comes to finances and so at some point in the last few years I decided flowers were not a 'necessary expense'.
The white peonie above was rescued from a snapped stem from our flower beds...the cost was nothing and look at just how fabulously it decorates our coffee table!
Though fresh flowers might be an unnecessary expense when you're trying to save, it becomes a mood lifter when you're trying to just get through life one day at time. With Hubs gone, I fall into the later category and figured the smile these bring is well worth the cost.
When it came to the cooking I had my right hand gal on hand to help. Better known to you as my Redneck BFF (let's call her Blue Light), she had her sleeves rolled up, drinking hat on and dove right in...
Of course I had the menu already roughly planned (remember I am a constant planner by nature), but Blue Light decided at the grocery store that she really wanted to contribute a dish of her own. Aiding her with the inspiration, we decided on a pizza-app...
The go-to Shipyard store bought crust topped with fresh mozzarella and prosciutto, served with a side of tasty bottled marinara...BIG HIT!
What added to this pizza's specialness was the use of the pizza stone...works like a charm every time :o)
Quick summary of the pizza -
Preheat Oven the 500 degrees with pizza stone in the middle of oven.
Place refrigerated dough in large bowl, coat with flour and allow to come to room temperature (it will rise a bit during this time).
Stretch dough and place on cornmeal covered pizza peel or cookie sheet.
Brush the top of the pizza with a wee bit of olive oil (garlic olive oil is my fav).
Top with mozzarella and prosciutto.
Transfer from peel (or baking sheet) directly onto the pizza stone and drop the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Cook until cheese is melted and begins to brown.
Nice work Blue Light :o)
Inspired by The Future Mrs. Creature's Mother's creation, I was determined to create spring rolls at home as another app for this Girls' Night.
Peanut Sauce (Nuoc Leo):
1 tablespoon peanut oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken stock or water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, finely chopped
1 fresh red Thai chile pepper, seeded and thinly sliced, optional
Sriracha sauce, for garnishing, optional
Heat the oil in a small saucepan and, when hot, add the garlic, chile paste, and tomato paste, and cook until garlic is golden, about 30 seconds. Add the broth, sugar, peanut butter and hoisin sauce and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly before serving. Serve in small bowls, garnished with the peanuts, sliced chiles and optional hot sauce. May be served warm or at room temperature.
Perfectly grilled asparagus.