Garlic Butter Scallops Appetizer

This Garlic Butter Scallops Appetizer shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #Chardonnation #NotableSummer #CollectiveBias

Garlic Butter Scallops Appetizer: tender, pan-seared scallops in a light, lemony garlic butter sauce. Serve alone or nestled in risotto.

Summer is probably my favorite time to entertain. Fresh ingredients, beautiful weather ~ it automatically puts everyone in a good mood and entertaining in the summer is about as easy as it gets.

What more do you need for a fun evening than family or a few friends, tasty food, some good wine and music to set the tone?

I like to keep the food simple, yet special like this Garlic Butter Scallops Appetizer and while I used to find the wine aisle a confusing place, that’s no longer so. Read on and see what I’ve discovered.

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Pan Seared Sea Scallops

no-fear pan seared sea scallops

Dinner | March 26, 2015 | By

I didn’t eat scallops, let alone Pan Seared Sea Scallops when I was growing up. No one in my neighborhood did. In fact, a scallop wasn’t even something you ate. A ‘scallop’ was a loopy sort of curved edge at the bottom of your dress. Your very fancy dress. And sear. . .well that was a department store where you bought the aforementioned fancy dress with the scalloped edge among other things like washing machines and tires for your car. I was well into adulthood before I even tasted them in a restaurant. They had a grown-up, special-meal sort of aura. 

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Easy Chocolate Raspberry Tart

easy chocolate raspberry tart ~ light rustic chocolate raspberry tart ~ golden puffed pastry topped with Nutella, homemade raspberry sauce, fresh raspberries dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

Dessert | February 12, 2019 | By

Easy Chocolate Raspberry Tart ~ simple, deliciously light rustic chocolate raspberry tart. Golden puffed pastry topped with Nutella, homemade raspberry sauce, fresh raspberries dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

Today I’m here with a Public Service Announcement: Do not make reservations this Valentine’s Day. For the record, I’m coming from experience(s) that include rushed meals, lost reservations, limited menus and a less than stellar meal.

Let’s shake things up this year and make dinner (heart-shaped pizza excluded) along with this luscious, decadent easy dessert for afterward. Or before . . . no judgement here. Because you’re guaranteed to have room for dessert if you start with it.

I’m not anti-Valentine’s Day. Or even Galentine’s Day. Celebrate to your heart’s content . . . with a dinner at home. Why you ask? Because it’s just a damn good idea. Granted you’ll have cleanup, but the meal will be infinitely better.

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Garlic Feta Dip

Overhead shot of creamy dip garnished with dill sprig surrounded by pita chips and carrots

Appetizers & Beverages | March 22, 2018 | By

Whipped Garlic Feta Dip ~ creamy, loaded with the bold flavors of garlic and feta, balanced with fresh lemon and dill, served up with warm, lightly toasted pita and veggies.

We vacation as a family in southwest Florida every year. My husband and I kick off the vacation and the kids join us a couple of weeks later.

Last week all the kids were in town and along with the volume and craziness they bring a wide variety of appetites. Meals range from Fruit Loops to hot dogs, to Chorizo Queso Dip and Chicken Tacos to and scallops and risotto for seafood night. In between there are rum drinks and wine but that’s for another post. 

We had a great time together with lots of laughs and swimming, kayaking, hunting for sharks teeth on the beach, catching some beautiful sunsets and even celebrating our granddaughter’s second birthday.

Garlic Feta Dip ~ loaded with the bold Mediterranean flavors of garlic and feta, balanced with fresh lemon and dill in a creamy dip. Serve with warm toasted pita and veggies.

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Cranberry Brie Crescent Braid

Appetizers & Beverages | November 13, 2017 | By

This Cranberry Brie Crescent Braid shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #Chardonnation #NotableHoliday #CollectiveBias

Cranberry Brie Crescent Braid ~ golden crescent filled with warm brie cheese, cranberry sauce, pistachios + fresh orange zest. The ideal holiday appetizer!

Fall brings a few of my favorite things ~ crisp, cool sweater weather, an explosion of fall colored leaves, the return of my favorite TV shows without reruns, cute leather boots and scarves. Plus holiday entertaining which I actually do enjoy! Entertaining used to be stressful back in the day and not as much fun, but I’ve learned a few tricks along the way that I’m sharing today.Cranberry Brie Crescent Braid ~ golden crescent filled with warm brie cheese, cranberry sauce, pistachios + fresh orange zest. The ideal holiday appetizer!

One tip is not to get too fancy which makes a Cranberry Brie Crescent Braid perfect ~ warm brie cheese melted with tangy cranberry sauce, finely chopped pistachios and a burst citrus flavor, all beautifully braided inside golden, warm, flaky crescent dough. A glass of Chardonnay makes it even better and with a few other tips below, entertaining couldn’t be any simpler.

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Tomato Basil Risotto

Tomato Basil Risotto with Grilled Lamb Chops from The Hungry Bluebird.

Dinner | July 6, 2016 | By

I don’t read much of the newspaper these days, but every Thursday, I make a beeline (I just dated myself again) for the Food Section in our local paper. It has a classier name, but it escapes me right now. There’s usually a recipe or two I cut out and tuck away in my Little Black Book of recipe inspiration. About two years ago the Food Section shared a recipe for Mushroom Risotto. I had eaten risotto in restaurants but never attempted it at home, so I cut it out, made it and fell head over heels in love with my own risotto. I hate to brag, but, but sometimes you just have to blow your own horn. A couple of my favorite risottos are a version of that Mushroom Risotto where I add dried cherries and the other is a Lemon Parmesan that is ah-mazing with pan seared scallops. Today I’m sharing a Tomato Basil Risotto that had me filling my plate more than once. I’m only slightly embarrassed to say I stopped at thirds because my stomach was ready to burst. This Tomato Basil Risotto just may kick the others to the curb. Risotto isn’t hard to make, but it’s like caring for a toddler, and imagine what happens when that toddler is left unattended. . .

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Creamy Seafood Pasta

creamy seafood pasta

Dinner | February 26, 2016 | By

We’re winding down our vacation here in Key West. It’s been so much fun and we’ve enjoyed some way too much really great food – mostly seafood with a bit of Cuban cuisine as well – and, oddly enough a spicy chicken nacho from a Mexican restaurant within walking distance. #lovemexicanfood. We actually eat a lot of seafood at home as well. My husband makes a mean lightly breaded and fried yellow lake perch dinner (is it still seafood if it comes from the lake?), complete with hand-cut french fries and cole slaw. My Pan Seared Sea Scallops are sort of legendary (in my mind anyway ~ that counts, right?). Today though, I’m all about Creamy Seafood Pasta.

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It’s Winter. Let’s Make Steak

It's Winter. Let's Make Steak.

Dinner | February 4, 2016 | By

We’re already suited up for Super Bowl in our house, but until Sunday when we break out all that amazing touchdown-worthy food and get a good laugh (or maybe a sentimental tear) from the commercials, we really love a good steak. Medium rare. Juicy. Caramelized outside. Pretty in pink inside.  My husband, a true carnivore in every sense of the word and I don’t always agree on the definition of a good meal but when it comes to steak, we’re on the same plate page. Even though we’re in the throes of winter here in Michigan, we still get cravings for a delicious steak dinner hot-off-the-grill. I can easily picture myself outside, the sun warming my skin, the smell of fresh-cut grass, a dog barking, a goose honking ~ but my reality is knee-deep snow and temps in the teens. When I get these cravings, I make It’s Winter. Let’s Make Steak,  an easy recipe for steak made completely indoors and so delicious, you won’t even miss the grill marks.steak 7

No need to shovel snow off your grill or blow warm air into your hands to thaw them with this recipe. No freezing your you-know-what off. I love the grill ~ it’s no longer a “man appliance” ~ and it makes the most delicious summer-inspired food, plus no clean-up — but trust me on this one. Take advantage of this easy to follow recipe inside your own kitchen and you’ll find yourself uncorking a bottle of your favorite red and devouring this delicious steak in no time. It’s Winter. Let’s Make Steak.

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