Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring Lunch With The Ladies

It can be difficult to find time to get together with friends.  This is especially true with my fabulous neighborhood ladies.  We all keep very different schedules with family, work, and travel, but this week we are making it work, and finding a few hours tomorrow to have a late lunch/early dinner.  I have been especially excited about this falling during my spring break.

Today I set the table, finalized my menu, and got my shopping done.

I had most of the ingredients on hand, so it was a pretty quick grocery trip to town.  I got a lot of the food prepped and ready so I won't need to make a big mess tomorrow, starting with my salad dressing (which is better if it marries over night anyway).

Greek Dressing scaled down to 8 servings.
1/3 cup + 1 tsp olive oil
1/3 cup + 1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp Dijon mustard

I also got all my vegetables chopped up for the salad.

Tomorrow I will mix the peeled and seeded cucumber, chopped celery,  halved cherry tomatoes, thin sliced red onion, dried cranberries, and crumbled feta cheese with salad greens and tossed them with the Greek dressing.

While I was at it, I sliced the brussel sprouts and onion for the flat bread and chopped the peppers, sliced the fresh mozzarella, and shredded the chicken for the spicy chicken and peach flat bread.

With all that done I could focus on dessert; a Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread I have been wanting to make for a long time.  3 layers of fabulous.

Layer 1 is shortbread made with butter, sugar, and flour that is baked and cooled completely to ready it for more greatness.

Layer 2 is caramel made from everything wrong and wonderful: sweetened condensed milk, butter, and corn syrup poured over the shortbread.  Hold on to your fillings.

Layer 3 is made of melted bittersweet chocolate which is then . . . wait for it . . . sprinkled with Fleur de Sel.

Fleur de Sel are fancy shaved salt crystals.

Can't wait to cut this into bars.  I hope they look and taste as great as I hope they will.

All I need to do tomorrow is make the fruit salsa and cinnamon chips, make the flat bread and assemble the salad.  I think I'm ready.