Monday, September 14, 2009

Project Play Date…ready, set, GO!

I think I’ve mentioned recently that Ty had a new best friend, and his name is Brayden. Well, Ty and Brayden, his mom and I, have been making pretty regular trips to Springfield for shopping, and sometimes a play day at Chuck E Cheese. We’ve gotten to know each other pretty well (and Brayden’s mom and I have a frighteningly large number of things in common….she even has the tattoo I’ve been wanting to get for the last four years!) so we decided it was time for our grown-up boys to get acquainted as well. With Matt having this new love affair with his charcoal grill, and considering the fact that we having properly christened our new deck by having a party of any kind, we invited the “Braydens” over for a cookout. Matt has been learning how to smoke ribs, so we made a game plan. This also gave me a great excuse to use the holiday weekend to clean up my house, which it desperately needed, and get the yard in order (kind of).
So, Sunday afternoon, the Braydens arrived and the adults lounged on my new patio furniture, snacking on appetizers and getting to know each other while Matt manned the grill. In my hostess-zone, I completely forgot to take food pictures after they arrived, so you’ll just have to take my word for it when I say that the smoked ribs (courtesy of Tyler Florence), Basil Grilled Chicken (a la Paula Deen), Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash, and French Onion Rice were uber-tasty. What I do have for you are recipes and pictures of the appetizers I put out for noshing.
I got the idea for the Pizza Pinwheels on Tastespotting and couldn’t resist such an easy snack. Basically, you take pizza dough (the tastespotting link recommends making your own, but I was lazy and used a can of Pillsbury dough. Next time I will use a better dough, as the canned dough was too soft and didn’t roll well. They still turned out tasty, just a little sloppy to cut and lay on the pan.) and roll it out into a rectangle. Then, spread lightly with either pizza sauce or pasta sauce, sprinkle with cheese and layer a few rows of pepperonis.Its important not to cover the whole surface with the pepperoni, as the cheese is the “glue” that holds the rolls together. Then, starting at the long end, carefully roll it up into a log. It helps to do this on a piece of foil, or in my case, a Silpat, so that you can use the foil or sheet to roll the log evenly. Once the log is rolled, use a pair of kitchen shears to cut it into ½ inch discs. Lay the discs a couple of inches apart on a baking sheet (lining the sheet makes cleanup much easier!) and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the dough is done, and the cheese is caramelized on top of the rolls. YUMMY!! Makes about one dozen, depending on how large you rolled out your dough. The other appetizer doesn’t have a snappy name. I thought about Bacon Snacks, but thought that sounded too much like a dog treat. Another super simple recipe, this one only has five ingredients! Cocktail weenies, bacon, butter, brown sugar and honey. Cut strips of bacon into thirds. Wrap one piece of bacon around each sausage, securing with a toothpick.When you have all the sausages wrapped, lightly fry them in a skillet until the bacon is just done on all sides.Transfer them to a 9x13 baking dish. Mix together 1 stick of melted butter, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons of honey and pour over the sausages. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the sausages are caramelized and glazed with the sugar/butter mixture. Serve hot! Makes about 48.


Kim said...

Sounds like you all were able to have a great time : ) I bet you made life-long friends with your menu. I haven't seen the pizza rolls before, but they look marvelous:) I have to try them!

ARLENE said...

I think your menu sounds wonderful. I can almost taste that bacon!