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Wednesday, May 12, 2010


We hosted a Mother's Day party this past week-end and I came up with a menu where I could make everything before my guests arrived.  There is nothing worse than a host or hostess that works and works and works and does not take at least a few minutes to enjoy her guests.  So that being is the menu with recipes following for our special Mother's Day Party:

Speciality Cocktail: 
    - Viognier Fruit Spritzer (see Mother's Day - Part 1 post for recipe)

   -  Grilled Lemon & Oregano Chicken (see Mother's Day - part 1 post for recipe)
   -  Honey & Orange Marinated Pork Tenderloin Kabobs
   -  Orange Salad with Basil & Feta
   -  Fresh Bean & Bell Pepper Salad
   -  Orecchitte w/ Fresh Mozerella, Tomatoes & Garlic Chives
   -  Red Potatoes Roasted with Garlic & Dijon Mustard
   -  Eggplant Capanata
   -  Flatbeads:  Tomato & Basil  and Artichoke & Green Olive

   -  Lemon Layer Cake w/ Raspberry Curd & Whipped Cream
   -  Cherry Baby Cakes
   -  Store bought Brownie Bites


* I found a recipe in my May/2002 Bon Appetite where they marinated boneless country style ribs in honey, orange juice and rosemary.  I wanted to use a better cut of pork so I decided to use pork tenderloins cut up into 2 inch cubes.  The meat was nice and tender and had the best mixture of honey and citrus flavor.  I made this for about 16 to 20 remember if you want to make it for a smaller party just decrease ingredients as necessary.
  • 6 pork tenderloins - cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 4 TB. fresh rosemary leaves
  • 8 - 2 inch long strips of orange peel
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 12 TB. honey
  • 12 TB. orange juice
  • 5 TB. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves - crushed
  1. Combine rosemary and orange peel in a large bowl.  Using a wooden spoon, press down on mixture to release the oils. 
  2. Add olive oil, honey, orange juice, lemon juice and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  3. Place pork in large zip lock bags ( I used 2 - one gallon bags).  Pour the marinate mixture over the pork and close the bag.  Mix to coat pork well and place in fridge for about 4 -6 hours turning the bag every once in a while.
  4. Heat outdoor grill.  While grill is heating thread pork onto either metal skewers or wooden bamboo skewers (make sure you soak the wood ones in water for at least 20 minutes to prevent burning of the wood).  Reserve the marinade.
  5. Arrange skewers on grill and turn frequently - grilling time about 12 minutes or so.
  6. In the meantime heat the marinade to a boil.  While meat is grilling brush with marinade.
  7. Arrange skewers on platter and serve.

* This salad is meant to be made with blood oranges, but since blood oranges are out of season I used tangerines and juicy naval oranges instead.  You could use any kind of orange - but they have to be fresh and juicy.  This salad is a knock out!  You may think the combination of the ingredients may be weird, but it tastes fantastic.  By far this was a favorite among my guests.

  • 1 t o 2 tablespoons red onion, cut into tiny bits
  • 4 pieces of citrus - I would recommend using at least 1 or 2 blood oranges - they are awesome! You can also use pink grapefruit, cara cara or mineola oranges or tangerines.
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) feta cheese, chopped  or crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped or cut into tiny slivers
  • 1-2 TB. high quality olive oil

  1. Prepare your citrus fruits by beveling the stem end of one, cutting enough off that you reveal the pith-free flesh of the fruit. Repeat on the other end. Rest your fruit on one of its now-flat surface and begin cutting the peel and pith off in large, vertical pieces. You want the fruit’s exterior to be “white”-free
  2.  Turn the fruit back on its side and cut it into 1/4-inch thick wheels, removing any seeds and thick white stem as you do.
  3. Spread the fruit slices out on a platter. Sprinkle onion over them, then the feta and then the fresh chopped basil.
  4. Drizzle a high quality olive oil over the top and season with salt, fresh ground pepper and some crushed red pepper.


* This salad is bright, colorful and full of flavor.  Make sure you do not over cook the green beans, because they "snap" of the fresh green beans adds to the dish.  Also, you can either wait to add the crunchy crumbled bacon until ready to serve or you can add it with the rest of the ingredients so the bacon flavor permeates the salad.  It is up to you want crunchy bacon or a flavorful salad?

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, yellow wax beans or a mixture of both - trimmed
  • 3 bell peppers (red, orange and yellow) cut into paper thin strips
  • 2 TB. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp. tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 slices lean bacon, cooked util crisp and drained - crumbled
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the beans for only 2 to 4 minutes - just until crisp and tender.  Immdiately remove them from the boiling water and place them in a large bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking.  Remove from water and lay to dry on  a paper towel.
  2. In the meantime; in a large bowl whisk together the vinegar, mustard and the oregano.  Add the olive oil in a stream, whisking until vinaigrette is emulsified. 
  3. Add the beans, peppers and bacon into the large bowl of vinaigrette.  Toss the salad and season it with salt and pepper. 
* May be made up to 8 hours ahead of time.

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