A picnic theme this week, all inspired by the appetizer.
YUM. This gussied up cream cheese spread is very savory. Perfect on bread, a bit of a salt lick on pretzels. It's very addictive. Read the story that comes with the recipe -- it will make you want to go to Austria.
I picked this because I knew that a meal of cheese wasn't the most balanced, but it ended up being quite good on its own accord. The blend of the red peppers, almonds, parsley, and chicken was harmonious. However, I think I prefer roasting bone-in chicken for chicken salads versus poaching like in this recipe. I am biased against poaching because I find it a bit imprecise (letting chicken sit without heat and hoping that it cooks through in the specified time!) and find that times given in recipes don't often match up for good results in my kitchen, since it is all a variation of stove heat, pot insulation, and chicken breast thickness.
Modifications: I omitted the garlic and onion, per usual. I forgot to toast the almonds, but I didn't miss the taste at all.
Honey Herb Soda
I used mint as my herb, since that's what I have the most surplus of in my garden. Unfortunately this recipe doesn't provide the proportions for a pitcher, so I just guesstimated and dumped the honey syrup into a standard 2 quart pitcher with the juice of two lemons and filled the rest of the pitcher with seltzer water. This was pretty good, and I served in it jam jars (how adorable)! I've been saving up jars for various kitchen uses from my favorite preserves.
I think I may have hit a milestone with this one -- I found these to be too sweet. That didn't stop me from eating them, mind you, but I kept thinking "I wish this was dark chocolate". I found this recipe quite confusing -- you lay down graham crackers and then drop rounds of chocolate chip cookie dough on top. It seems like the dough is supposed to melt and spread out evenly on its own, but mine did no such thing during baking. I ended up spreading it out after the five minutes in the oven with a spatula, which of course ruined the shape of the chocolate chips. Everyone at work loved the leftovers the next day.