19 July 2009

Birthday Bliss

Did I mention I had a birthday recently? This past year of life has been absolutely amazing, going through a time of personal growth, developing in my day job, deepening in friendships, and becoming a first-time homeowner. As I look forward to the new year of life ahead, I am eager and expectant for the good things in store. To celebrate, the gardenia bush along my front walk has burst into bloom. Every day, the evening sun draws out the fragrance of the flowers and bathes the garden with a delightful, summertime aroma. Beautiful.

What's also beautiful is green goddess dip. Surrounded by colorful crudites. And fancy drinks served in the classic champagne coupe on a silver tray. With a softly swaying rumba playing in the background. And the whisper of a summer breeze.

So here are my latest recipes for you, dear reader, to set you up with your own moment of bliss.

Green Goddess Dip
2 ripe avocados
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup (packed) fresh basil, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend together with an immersion stick blender until dip is smooth and basil is minced. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, and transfer to serving bowl. Serve with an assortment of crudites, such as baby carrots, sugar snap peas, jicama and red bell pepper spears, and cooked shrimp.

Sparkling Blush
2 ripe white peaches, peeled and chopped
2 cups chardonnay
2 cups white zinfandel
club soda, chilled

Place peaches in a large mason jar and gently crush with a wooden spoon to release some of the juices. Add chardonnay and white zinfandel and chill overnight to allow flavors to meld. To serve, pour out 1/2 cup wine into a champagne coupe, holding back peach solids, then add a splash of club soda.

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