Congratulations Taylor, job well done. College graduation is always a special time. Taylor celebrated her achievement with a Breakfast at Tiffany’s theme, indoor and out. Our 20 x 20 canopy was a perfect set up for this backyard college graduation party. Family and friends gathered to enjoy a lot of different Italian specialties like butternut squash ravioli, “the best” Fettuccine Alfredo, Italian antipasti with a delicious pomegranate balsamic vinegar reduction, Italian deviled eggs and bruschetta. Oh, and don’t forget the special custom made cupcakes made by the best Pastry Chef in Atlanta, I say. Lots of fun, great food, great company and all the guests were happy and comfortable. Chef Giovanni was right at home. We aim to please.
Hello everybody – more news about our pastries from the best Pastry Chef around. I have to say, imagination and great flavor go together here. Beer Run cupcakes. Yes, they are as good as they look. If you like beer and if you like pretzels, you will LOVE these cupcakes! Next time you have a sports event or get-together with your friends, call us up for some of these. . Use your imagination and personal taste to come up with a cupcake that fits your event. Look us up, browse through our site and let us help you with your favorite foods so you can have a great time with your friends. Cupcakes are a great way to taste many different flavors and are very versatile if you are looking for a variety of flavor. Our pastry chef delights in decorating her treats to your special sport event request. And by the way we also make some mean BBQ. Look us up!
There is nothing better than an Italian antipasto. Simple Italian deli meats, cheeses, olives, marinated artichoke hearts, tomatoes and roasted peppers. Drizzle with a reduced balsamic vinegar glaze — Delizioso!!
Of course, to complete this Italian delight, you need some Tuscan artisan bread. You can make a meal out of this antipasto – the only thing missing is your favorite Chianti. Buon appetito!
Bored with veggies? Here is a quick way to have an exciting side dish and easy to do. First of all, get a flat cast-iron grill (which a good investment for any type of cooking). Get your grill really hot and let it sit there on the heat. Cooking these veggies is not complicated science, but it is important how you handle the olive oil and the herbs, otherwise you will make everything soggy and just plain, without flavor. Meanwhile, slice zucchini, yellow squash and peppers about 3-4 inches long and 1-2 inches wide, not too thick (about half an inch or less). You can also slice some red onion into some fairly good-size rings and you can use any type of cap mushrooms. The idea is to put all the vegetables on a fairly dry, very hot grill with no oil and very little salt, and turn them often. While they are cooking and sizzling, make yourself a mixture of 4-5 tablespoons of EVOO, half a teaspoon each of: fresh rosemary dry basil, oregano, dill and parsley. Add a tad of lemon juice and a pinch of Parmigiano Reggiano and whisk. This is the mixture you are going to pour over the veggies when they are done. Cook the veggies “al dente”; some will cook faster than others so you need to monitor them. Spread them out in a single layer on the platter and pour the oil/herb mixture over them a little bit at a time. The idea is to moisten but not to drown the veggies. Buon Appetito! Ciao
Thanks to the folks at CSI for holding a fundraiser to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The desserts we took to the fundraiser
Had a lot of fun weekend before last! Fantastico teamed up with the folks at CSI Laboratories to help with a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The society is sponsoring a Light the Night Walk, and the CSI people organized a bake sale and silent auction to raise a contribution for the cause.
My favorite pastry chef talked me into having Fantastico contribute a sampling of our desserts for the bake sale. She didn’t have to work very hard to convince me, since fighting leukemia and lymphoma is such a great cause. Plus, I got to spend some quality time with her, learning some of the tricks to creating those fantastic desserts.
The cupcake on the left is an apple-nut cupcake with peanut butter cream frosting and toffee chips. I frosted it myself. See the cool spiral design? I did that! My favorite pastry chef taught me how. Not only that, but I also learned how to bake the toffee to make those chips that are stuck into it. It’s pretty tricky, actually, getting it so thin and smooth and even, like stained glass, then breaking it into chips without having it crumble into a big mess. With the help of my expert genius coach, I got it right on the first try.
The best part is, the fundraiser was a big success! The event raised a total of $733. Almost $400 of that came from sales of all the fantastic desserts my favorite pastry chef created. With my help, did I mention?
Thanks for stopping by!
Scenes from our Vacation Trip
In last week’s blog, I mentioned that I would soon post some pictures of our family trip to beautiful Saint Augustine, Florida, oldest city in the US. Here they are, as promised.
We checked out the local eating establishments including the famous La Columbia.
We also visited Flagler College as a possibility for our daughter in a couple of years.
Beautiful beaches, good food, pretty good weather and lots to do.
Hope you enjoy the pictures. We certainly enjoyed the trip!
Views of Saint Augustine’s Old Fort
Here comes the best part – harvest time!
Look what happened while we were away.
I promised to keep you updated on how things are going in our garden.
Well, here is the first update: The harvest has begun!
We were away for a week or so on a recent trip to St. Augustine. (I’ll post some great pictures from our trip soon.) When we came back, some of our veggies were ready!
We picked lots of zucchini. One was almost as big around as a small watermelon!
Lots of grape tomatoes were ready, plus a few regular tomatoes.
We discovered that three of the pepper varieties that we had planted were ready and waiting.
Some of our banana peppers were nice and yellow and ready to eat. Very tasty!
We picked a few of our jalapeños. A lot more that weren’t ready to use yet we left on the vine.
One of our finger peppers had already ripened into a cayenne. We picked it, and also some that were still green.
A pretty good start, I would say, considering it’s still only July. We can’t wait for more! Growing and eating our own sure beats store-bought by a long shot!
Hey, how are things in your garden? Leave a comment below to let us know how your harvest is going.
In my first blog about our garden I mentioned that we have fruit trees, including figs. They’re starting to come in already! A few days ago, we picked a couple dozen.
I cut one open and was about to eat it when my wife, Kaye, stopped me. “Wait a minute,” she said. “Lets get a photo first, so we can show everyone the beautiful, juicy pulp.”
So I put it back, of course. She snapped the picture. Then I ate the first Adriatic fig of the season. Yummy!
Family Gardening, Family Fun, Family Food
This was our garden in early spring. The photos below show how it has thrived in the past several weeks.
Taking Care of the Family Garden Is One Of Our Favorite Family Hobbies
Herbs From Our Family Garden
Veggies From Our Family Garden
Our family is so excited about having our garden growing so well this year.
With lots of rain and lots of sunshine (sometimes both at the same time!) it has been a perfect growing season.
Urban gardening (in our case sub-urban) can be done. Even though the whole family is super busy, growing our garden is one of our favorite activities, and we love the fresh, organic foods. We grow enough to eat and still have plenty left to share. In season, I often use some of our home-grown garlic and herbs to flavor some of my Fantastico dishes. Sure beats commercially processed flavorings any day.
Pictured here are some of the items we are growing this year.
In addition to our herb garden (rosemary, sage, basil, oregano), we should see a good healthy crop of vegetables. We have five different types of tomatoes (including giant beef, plum, grape, cherry and a hybrid), three different types of hot peppers (jalapeno, cayenne and banana); red, yellow and orange bell peppers; pimentos; zucchini, yellow squash, green onions, radishes, and butternut squash. This is in addition to our fruit trees – pears, peaches, plums, apples and figs. PLUS strawberries and blueberries.
I will update you gardeners out there with the harvests and successes (and failures?) of our fruits and veggies.
My Visit with Paul Munyon
Helping a first-time grandpa-to-be with his daughter-in-law’s baby shower
Paul Munyon is like a brother to me that I never had. I have known him and kept up with him since junior high, about 1970. For me, catering the event in Tallahassee last August was much more than a shower for Meredith Munyon, Paul’s daughter-in-law and the wife of Paul’s son Patrick. It was also a tribute to Paul’s friendship and a celebration of the coming birth of his first grandchild.
What a great occasion it was, to see family members, old friends and neighbors, and celebrate nothing but happiness! Colonel Paul Munyon served two six-month tour in Afghanistan with the U.S. Air Force before he retired. We just call him “Grampa” now. He was very proud to see his son and his daughter-in-law happy and ready for the new addition to the family.
We had beautiful weather. About 55 people came. We served meatballs, lasagna, rice with veggies with a touch of oriental style, small sandwiches with different meats and cheeses, mixed green salads and trimmings, bread rolls, roasted peppers for bruschetta. Some pasta, gluten free for Meredith.
I enjoyed meeting Meredith’s friends and family. I would like to personally thank all of the folks, including Norman Munyon, Paul’s big brother, for coming by the kitchen and saying “great food, some of the best I have ever had!” That makes any Chef feel great!
Thanks also to Lafayette Presbyterian Church for allowing me the pleasure of working in their big beautiful kitchen! I felt right at home. They had all the equipment I needed.
I ran into Patrick, Meredith, and the baby at the annual Springtime Tallahasse Festival in April. The proud parents and the baby are all doing fine. He’s happy as a lark! Maybe we will see you when we cater your high school graduation. They grow up so fast…
I hope you enjoy this slide show of scenes from the shower.
More info on the event at The Munyon Baby Shower.
Thanks for stopping by!