watermelon, feta & mint skewers

August 17th, 2012 · 5 Comments

I can’t believe we’re already halfway through August — this summer has seriously flown by!  For my first Texas summer, there haven’t been too many terribly hot days, amazingly enough.  Most of the time, between our air conditioned cars, home, restaurants, and stores, it’s pretty easy to forget how hot it is outside! 

But this season still calls for some beautiful summer recipes, even if they’re served in our air-conditioned living room.  Watermelon and mint are perfect mid-summer flavors, so savor the few weeks we have left while they’re fresh!

I love serving bite-sized food like this — easy to make for a crowd and totally gorgeous.  Do any of you guys have Labor Day parties coming up?  This would be a great addition to any menu!

Watermelon, Feta and Mint Skewers

8 ounces feta cheese, cut into small cubes
3 cups fresh watermelon, cut into same-sized cubes
24 small mint leaves (torn in half to uniform size)
Fleur de sel
Freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp good balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Wooden toothpicks

Thread a cube of watermelon onto a skewer, add a mint leaf and finish with a cube of feta cheese.  Repeat until you have 24 skewers, and set the completed skewers on a platter.  Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground pepper and balsamic vinegar.  Serve.

Tags: appetizers · food

roasted tomato tart

August 10th, 2012 · 5 Comments

There are a few items I always keep on hand, in case of guests coming over: cheese and gourmet crackers, roasted nuts and olives, and frozen puff pastry.  Because, seriously, when you have puff pastry on hand?  A beautiful tart like this is only a few minutes away.

And the genius thing is that you can make them with anything that’s in season!  Earlier this summer I was all about the asparagus — now I’m mixing it up a little with cherry tomatoes, chives, and minced shallots.  But anything from zucchini to eggplant to sliced brie and honey?  Throw them on some puff pastry, and suddenly you have a meal that’s fit for guests.

And what better way to serve it than on my Noritake platters?  This one is actually from the Evening Glow Collection, and it mixed in perfectly with my other Colorwave Graphite and Metaal place settings

If you love them as much as I do, be sure to use the coupon code SUGARLAWS on their website for 10% off any order!

Roasted Tomato Tart

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 shallot, minced
2 tbsp chopped chives
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Fleur de sel
Fresh ground pepper


Defrost the puff pastry and roll it out onto a baking sheet.  Brush with olive oil and pierce with a fork.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the puff pastry, leaving approximately a 1/2″ border around the edges.

Toss the t

Tags: appetizers · food · sponsored

veggie stacks

July 17th, 2012 · 6 Comments

I made these for the party Chad and I threw a few weeks ago, and it was amazing to find an appetizer that could be made ahead of the time, served at room temperature, and would still be completely beautiful and delicious. 

And these are so easy, I bet they’d be fun to serve to kids!  Somehow vegetables are always more interesting when they’re in a cool form. 

I feel like I’ve lost track of the seasons a little bit, since it’s basically been summer for me for 14 months, but everything in this recipe should be in season right now!  So head out to your local farmer’s market or favorite grocery store, whip out your mandolin (I always forget how incredibly time-saving and easy they are) and go make these!  Yum.

Veggie Stacks

2 zucchinis
4 large plum tomatoes
1/2 cup shaved gruyere cheese
10 leaves basil, julienned
Olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Using a mandolin or a steady hand, cut the zucchini and tomatoes to about the same width.  Stack one slice of zucchini, one slice of tomato and drizzle with olive oil for each stack.  Then add another slice of zucchini and another tomato, and sprinkle salt and pepper over the top.  Add a few slices of shaved cheese and a tiny slice of basil to each stack.  Serve.

Tags: appetizers · food