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Berry Picking & A Dinner Party

July 18, 2012

A bunch of things happened this weekend, but we only  have pics from a two of them: berry picking and our first dinner party in the new place!

On Saturday, we went sea kayaking at Crane’s Beach in Ipswich. Loved it! It was my first time on the ocean in a kayak. A word to the wise: it’s green fly season. So take precaution.

On Sunday, we went over to Smolak Farm in North Andover, and in the epic heat, picked blueberries and raspberries. I will say: it was much less buggy than I remember! After Saturday’s trip, I was prepared to swat a lot more. Not so!

I made handpies for the dinner party with these beauties but…they didn’t last long and alas! No photos. So you can just use your imagination. 🙂 I also made fresh whipped cream (mainly because I wanted to eat it with strawberries while everyone else had their handpies!).

Michelle and Craig came over for dinner! I made: beet salad with goat cheese, shakshuka, polenta tart with zucchini and summer squash, handpies, whipped cream and put out a bunch of berries.

You know it’s a good evening when no one wants to go home!

Shakshuka is an Israeli dish, made with tomatoes, eggs and feta. You can check out Smitten Kitchen’s post right here.

Here’s how I made it:

  • small onion, diced fine
  • jalapeno, diced very small
  • 40oz crushed tomatoes
  •  1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup diced feta
  • 6 eggs
  • salt, pepper, smoked paprika (I adjust all to taste. Prob about 1tbsp of the paprika.)

In a large saute pan, saute onion and jalapeno in a little oil of your choice. When fragrant, add papkrika. Add tomatoes, and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. When sauce is simmerng, add eggs. You can crack them into a small bowl, then pour right on top of the tomato mixture. I put them in a circle for better/more even cooking.

With a lid askew, continue to cook about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle parsely and feta on top. My folks liked it with some Portuguese sweet bread that we picked up from Winter Hill Bakery.

This polenta tart…I had no recipe for. I just kind of made it up as I went along. I used a mandolin for the slices, to help with uniformity. Also, I want to cut everything with that! I love it.

Here’s how I did it:

  • 2 cups cooked polenta (I didn’t need all of it, but I made that much to start with, adjust as you’d like or make a thicker crust)
  • 1 cup each: zucchini/summer squash, cut into rounds
  • 1/4 cup smoked gounda, finely chopped or shredded
  • basil

Preheat oven to 350*. Press cooked polenta into a 10″ springform pan. I gave it a quick swipe with oil to keep from sticking.

Arrange zucchini and summer squash on top, in whichever pattern you’d like. Top with cheese. I think really you could put the cheese under the veggies (or over, like I did) or use any kind you prefer. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven, top with basil.

When springform cools, remove and cut. That’s it!

Here’s the table:

Thanks for coming, newlyweds!

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