Wednesday, July 10, 2013


It was a fun-filled Fourth of July weekend, we ended the celebrations with a birthday gathering at our house on Sunday evening. My children were just returning from five days in Colorado that afternoon so I knew I wanted a simple and delicious menu that wouldn't take time away from them while I prepared for the party. I turned to Giada de Laurentiis who always delivers super simple yet tasty recipes. 

We started off with delicious champagne cocktails, and an appetizer of brie with fig jam and marcona almonds. Simple to put together in moments, and so delicious. Has anyone tried Domaine de Canton? This ginger liqueur is absolute heaven, I tell you!


1 part Domaine de Canton
3 parts champagne

Squeeze the juice of a lemon wedge
or add a dash of lemon bitters. Serve & enjoy!


Salad of Mixed Baby Greens with Vinaigrette
Lemon Spaghetti
Salmon Baked in Foil
Fruit Tart

Lemon Spaghetti

2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about two lemons)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried spaghetti
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest (from about two lemons)

1. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper to blend. Set the lemon sauce aside. (The sauce can be made up to 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the spaghetti to the lemon sauce, and toss with the basil and lemon zest. Toss the pasta with enough reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. Season the pasta with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to bowls and serve.


3 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 can diced tomatoes in juice, drained
2 shallots chopped
2 Tablespoons plus 2 Teaspoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 3/4 teaspoon dried
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, stir the tomatoes, shallots, 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. In the center of each of four large sheets of aluminum foil, spoon 1/2 teaspoon of oil. Place 1 salmon fillet atop each sheet of foil and turn to coat with the oil. Sprinkle the salmon fillets with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Spoon the tomato mixture over the salmon. Fold the sides of the foil over the fish and tomato mixture, covering completely, and seal the packets closed. Place the foil packets on a large, heavy baking sheet. (The salmon packets can be prepared up to this point 6 hours ahead. Refrigerate until ready to bake.)

2. Bake until the salmon is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Using a large metal spatula, transfer the foil packets to plates and serve. (You may will want to unwrap and plate the fish in the kitchen before serving.)


1. Drive to Whole Foods
2. Retrieve fruit tart from bakery counter
3. Slice and serve!


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