Monday, September 17, 2012

Girl Time – Refreshing Fun!

Watermelon, Feta and Basil Skewers and Sparkling Wine - An afternoon of friendship!

Seriously, he knows he's too cute!
One of my besties, Richelle, recently came for a short visit. It had been a while since we’d gotten together, so some serious catch up time was needed for both of us. I’d been a bit off for a few weeks, so a visit with her was just the right medicine to perk up my mood.   Even though her beautiful baby Kade took much of our attentions (he’s 7 month’s old and too cute for words) we got some real girl time in, catching up on what’s been happening with each other and a little venting. Thank goodness for girlfriends, who else but a true friend can you vent and confess to without judgment!  

Bubble, Bubble - no toil, no trouble
Girl time calls for bubbles and tasty snacks. On her way down, Richelle texted to ask if I had something chilled, and I replied, “I’ve got a bottle of sparkling wine on ice”.  Her response... “Perfect!” Trust me, it was! I had picked up a bottle of Domenico de Bertoil Prosecco from Italy at Casa Italia, a little gourmet market in Sarasota. It was creamy, with a slight crispness, and bright with tons of bubbles, or “beads” as the description read.  I don’t think the beads stopped rolling up the Champagne glasses until we finished. I love sparkling wine - it makes me happy!  

I wanted to make some appetizers that would we could enjoy without a lot of fuss, both in preparation and enjoyment. I remembered a wonderfully refreshing appetizer my husband and I had tried at a wine tasting a couple of months ago - Watermelon, Basil and Feta skewers. I thought that might go well with the bubbly, and it did! The recipe is so simple, watermelon, feta and basil on small toothpicks. It might sound like a strange combination but believe me - it’s not!

Bejewel your appetizers with these gems
Watermelon, Basil and Feta skewers are a great appetizer, and as I said, they’re super easy to assemble. Three ingredients and some toothpicks, a little prep time and voila, they’re done! The first time I tried to make these was quite humorous! The feta was a little crumbly, so when I tried to pierce the squares of cheese, they broke in half. UGH! My husband, who is very ingenious, pulled out the Dremel drill and tried to drill little holes in the center, some worked, some not. The cheese still split in two -double UGH! I even tried to squeeze the cheese together to give it a “fake” hold, but when we picked up the skewer, plop - the cheese fell off, and the watermelon square slide up and down the plastic pick.

Cheery appetizers - colorful pink and green
This time, I tried a different feta from the local Amish market, it seemed creamier, and I placed the cheese in the freezer while I cut the melon. That may have been the trick because it worked well, no splits, no crumbles, and the cheese stayed firmly on the toothpicks. These colorful appetizers are quite refreshing when you eat them. The basil adds an element of earthy greenness, the melon is sweet and rejuvenating and the feta offers a sharp tanginess. All three eaten together is really enjoyable. By the way, I found the cutest bejeweled party picks along my travels, and they add a little bling to the food.   

Recipe for Watermelon, Basil and Feta Skewer
SRQ Foodie’s Version

Small Seedless Watermelon – cut into bite size cubes
Creamy Feta Cheese – Cut into bite size cubes (keep cold until ready to cut)
Fresh Basil Leaves 
Small Toothpicks or Skewers

Cut melon and feta into bite size cubes (approx. ¾ inch each). If the basil leaves are huge, cut to no larger than a ½ inch each.  Pierce a cube of melon onto toothpick, then add basil and finish with cheese. That’s it!  I chilled for an hour before my girlfriend came over.

I wanted to do a second treat, and thought some mission figs with goat cheese would be a nice addition, and they were! I’ve seen a lot of photos of figs and goat cheese on Pinterest, and since I had some goat cheese and figs in the fridge, I decided to make up my own creation... figs sliced in half with a dollop of goat cheese placed on top. YUM!  Nothing fancy and certainly, not a lot of effort. There are some really great recipes for mission figs online, one in particular that has caught my eye, is from one of my blog idols; Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy. Here’s her recipe for Roasted Chevre, Honey, Walnut Stuffed Figs. It’s definitely on my list to try!

All in all, my afternoon with my bestie was like the hors d’oeurves, refreshing and rejuvenating.  And the girl talk was just what the doctor ordered, so to speak. My advice to you - if you’re feeling blue get together with your girlfriends, chill a bottle of sparkling wine and make these appetizers... I promise, you’ll be better in no time at all!

Until later... May life be as delicious as your dishes!
SRQ Foodie

By the way, I welcome feedback, comments, suggestions or your recipes you want to share! Message me at srqfoodie

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