Sunday, July 15, 2007

Teacher Shower~

I love summer parties! This weekend we gathered at my mom's place to celebrate my sis landing her first teaching job! It's a year-round school so only one more week of summer for her. Since the schools have such tight budgets these days we threw her a little shower to help her start her career off right (and with plenty of fun supplies!) It was a day-time event with buffet-style appetizers.
I made Goat Cheese Stuffed Grape Tomatoes and Shrimp & Veggie Couscous (both easy to make here at my house and traveled well on the hour trip to my moms)

~Cherry Tomatoes Filled With Goat Cheese~
This is the Original Recipe from Williams Sonoma Recipes Online (my mod's below)

24 Cherry Tomatoes (a mix of red & yellow
1/4 Lb fresh goat cheese (chevre)
1/4 C. Fresh minced basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Cut the top off each tomato & scoop out pulp to make a hollow yet sturdy shell, drain any juice that accumulates in the shells.
Combine all other ingredients in a bowl, mix well with a fork.
Fill each tomato with cheese mix, plate & serve
(original recipe makes 24 cherry tomatoes, serves 6)

I used grape tomatoes, and doubled this recipe.
Also I used 1 14oz package fresh chevre (plain) and one 8oz package fine herb coated chevre, then added a little less than 1/4 c. finley minced basil, pinches of Kosher salt & pepper to taste....
I used the tip of my potato peeler to hollow the tomatoes out & fill them.
I had about 1/4 c cheese mix leftover that we're spreading on crackers today!

Shrimp Couscous Salad
From All Recipes Online

2 C couscous
2 C water

3/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp ground cumin
1 clove crushed garlic
salt & pepper to taste
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 lbs cooked shrimp, peeled & deveined
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

My mods~
I winged it with the dressing mix, added more mustard & more cumin and added 2 cloves of finely minced garlic until I liked how it tasted..I may add a bit of lemon zest next time.
I also did one only one tomato and added some chopped orange bell pepper.
The shrimp seemed a bit large since this was an appetizer-type salad to be served in smaller portions I choped them in half. I used 1/2 reg feta and 1/2 fat free.
I refrigerated overnight & I am using the extra dressing as a marinade for chicken.

Pour water into saucepan, bring to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover & remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes and immediately fluff with a fork (otherwise it will clump) set aside to cool.

In a small bowl wish together olive oil, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, Salt & pepper~ set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together shrimp, cooled couscous, bell peppers, tomato, parsley & feta. Whisk vinaigrette blend, the drizzle about half over couscous & toss to coat. Add more dressing to coat with out drenching. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

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