Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Family Time

Sunday was just one of those couldn't have been better days! With several occasions to celebrate---two anniversaries and Father's Day---we invited my parents over to spend the day.

The day was filled with good times and even better food. Mom and I ran a few quick errands, including a trip to Target where she spoiled us by picking up a few more items from our registry list. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Bret was in the zone channeling various Food Network chefs as he cooked up a fantastic menu for us to enjoy. He first whipped up Paula Deen's recipe for hot crab dip as an early afternoon appetizer. It was delicious! Later that evening, Bret (channeling Giaddy--that's Giada DeLaurentis and Bobby Flay combined) grilled up lobster tail with clarified butter while Dad manned the filets on the grill. The dinner menu rivaled that of any restaurant---lobster tail, filet mignon, salad, and baked potatoes. Yummy!

Both figuratively and literally, it warmed me from head to toe to watch my two favorite men working so well together. Forgive me for being repetitive but, life is good!

Mom opening an anniversary gift.

Dad with his Father's Day gift---a Stihl trimmer. Dad just loves toys for the yard! The trimmer was a bit too large to wrap, which bummed me out, but I was able to give it our signature touch, a big fancy bow!

Bret goofing with Dad.


Giada's Lobster Tails with Clarified Butter


* 4 (each 1/2 to 3/4-pound) lobster tails, thawed if frozen
* 1/4 cup Clarified Lemon Butter

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill.

Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut through the top shell lengthwise. Cut a slit through the meat lengthwise taking care not to cut through the bottom shell. Gently pull the shells apart. Thread a skewer, starting at the underside base of the tail, along the inside of the bottom shell. Brush the meat with 1/4 cup of the clarified butter. Wrap the lobster tails in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the lobster meat is opaque.

Place the remaining clarified butter in a butter warmer or dipping bowl. Remove the meat from the lobster shells and dip in the Clarified Butter.
Clarified Lemon Butter:

* 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 3 lemons, zested

In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat. Pour the mixture into a 2-cup glass measuring jug. Let the melted butter stand for 5 minutes. Using a spoon, remove the foam from the top of the butter. Place the lemon zest in small bowl. Pour the clarified butter over the lemon zest and discard the milk solids left in the bottom of the jug.

Paula Deen's Hot Crab Dip


* 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, free of shells
* 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese
* 3/4 cup mayonnaise
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
* 1/4 cup green onions, minced, optional
* 5 to 6 roasted garlic cloves or 2 cloves minced
* 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
* 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
* Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine all of the ingredients in a casserole and gently stir until thoroughly mixed. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve hot with crackers or toast points.