family dinner

2019 - Feeding Body & Soul

One of my goals this year is to keep on cooking. Surprised? Of course not- anyone who knows me is aware that it’s part of my chemical makeup to work and play in the kitchen. In the Butterfield Gourmet shop we were cooking for the holidays right up through the Friday before Christmas. After we hung the “Closed for the Holidays” sign on December 21, the cooking didn’t stop, though the venue changed. Here’s a look at some of the culinary endeavors that occurred when we were NOT at Butterfield Gourmet.

December 21 - Chicken Vegetable Soup

December 22 - Korean Cooking Class*

December 23 - Grilled Lamb Chops, Double-Baked Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli, Salad, Tiramisu*

December 25 - Cinnamon Rolls for Breakfast; Roasted Prime Rib Roast with Bourbon Sauce and Horseradish Cream, Butter Poached Lobster Tails, Potato Pavé, Creamed Spinach, Winter Citrus Salad, Homemade Butter Rolls and Chocolate-Espresso Buche de Noel for dessert

December 29 - Beef Stroganoff (leftover rib roast!), Roasted Broccoli, Homemade Butter Rolls

December 30 - Baked Potato Soup, Green Salad

January 1 - New Cinnamon sweet roll recipe - fabulous; Glazed ham, Au Gratin Potatoes, Roasted Vegetables

January 2 - Italian Feast: Sausage, Rosemary & Pesto Pasta, Meatballs on Polenta Crostini, Caesar Salad, Garlic Spinach*

January 3 - Butterfield Beef Pot Pies for my daughter’s freezer

January 4 - Smoked Beef Brisket experiment in the Green Egg, Creamed Corn*

January 5 - Asian Feast: Pot Stickers, Spicy Chicken Wings, Pork Fried Rice, Sesame Chicken with Broccoli*

January 6 - Grilled Salmon and Asparagus, Roasted Red Potatoes*

January 7 - Nashville Hot Chicken, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Most of the meals/menus listed above were cooked/baked by me alone. Sometimes I feel like I can’t escape the kitchen; when I’m at work, I’m at the stove making soup or rolling out pie crust. While at home, I’m “fixing dinner” while my husband and son are catching a game on TV. But the best experiences from the above list are marked with an * and signify the meals that I worked with one of my family members to create.

So what I really want to do differently in 2019 is I want to cook fewer dishes alone and more meals with my loved ones. There was a time when my experience at the stove was at a medium level and working solo was the best way to successfully complete a meal. In those early days, if anyone—kids, dinner guests, parents—tried to help, they were often delegated to make the salad because a) you can’t mess up a salad and b) it ensured the helpers stayed clear of my prep zone. Nowadays, I direct my staff in helping me create the menu items that grace many familys’ tables on an everyday basis. I have become accustomed to cooking alongside employees, friends, and family.

One especially fun experience from the holidays was the Saturday that my son and I attended a Korean Cooking Class in a couple’s home. The session was a birthday gift from James to me—so thoughtful because 1) he knows I love to try new things and 2) I love spending time with him! We spent three hours learning a few new techniques, but mostly eating some diverse items. But it was a great way to spend an afternoon, chatting, cooking, and absorbing with my son.

Two things came out of that experience that I hope to bring to fruition in the new year. First, as I already mentioned above, I am making it a goal to be in the kitchen with at least one family member on the regular. Rather than be in separate rooms of the house, I will include my DH or any of my children in the preparation of meals. Second, I’d like to begin to share what I’ve learned from my time in the kitchen over the years—not only through Butterfield Gourmet meals—but also with instruction. I’d like to help YOU, my customer, reader, follower, take on the challenge of stepping out of YOUR comfort zone to

  • create an organized, workable kitchen space in your home,

  • develop weekly menus that fit with your busy lifestyle and/or,

  • learn new cooking and baking techniques to bolster your confidence in the kitchen.

This second goal/plan/resolve will take my love of all things culinary to a new level in assisting others, thereby bringing more satisfaction and joy surrounding food. I want to feel full in Body & Soul! I’ll keep you posted on how this goal is shaping up in the next few months but feel free to reach out with questions!

Cheers to a delicious 2019!

a brunchin' we will go

a beautiful day at the Dallas Arboretum

a beautiful day at the Dallas Arboretum

Spring has been an absolute whirlwind. Maybe because I have been sleep deprived beginning with Daylight Savings or perhaps it's due to trying to schedule FaceTime sessions with a son on the other side of the world. Whatever the reason, I feel constantly behind, always running to catch up. 

Long weekends spent with family are usually a great way to slow things down. In that spirit, our Easter week began on Palm Sunday with church services alongside our son and his pregnant wife. Oh wait. Haven't I told you? Our family is being blessed in 2018 with new babies. My eldest daughter (residing in Arkansas) is expecting her fourth child, due in May and our eldest son (lives here!) is expecting his first....TWINS! SO. EXCITING. I. MAY. JUST. WRITE. LIKE. THIS. UNTIL. SUMMER. Jk. But we are indeed overjoyed by all of these tiny blessings headed our way. 

Back to Palm Sunday. After mass, the four of us came home for brunch because a leisurely meal accompanied by mimosas is a surefire way to slow time. The menu was Eggs Benedict as requested by my DH. It's a timeless breakfast entree, isn't it? Crisp english muffins topped with canadian bacon, a pillowy poached egg and rich, decadent hollandaise sauce. In the Butterfield house, we like to change things up and sometimes replace the muffin with hash brown potatoes, or even stack the potatoes on top of the toasted bread. Also, we seldom serve the traditional skinny slices of canadian bacon and opt for slabs of smoked ham. Or, maybe a crab cake for ultimate, sinful gluttony. Whatever version, the crowning glory remains the same--bright, lemony hollandaise, and I'm sharing my recipe at the end of this post. 

Dinner that evening was also a feast. Expertly grilled New York Strip steaks, baked potatoes, sautéed spinach, roasted eggplant, a lovely crisp green salad with balsamic dressing. And there was chocolate cake for dessert. That was just for 4 of us! But our celebratory week was off to a good start.

Happily on Thursday, my in-laws arrived from Albuquerque without incident. They have not been in Dallas since 2015, the year of two weddings, a graduation, and a family reunion. We scheduled a number of outings for their visit and tried not to wear out their 80+year-old bodies too much. They were able to see our son's new home and hear the glad news that the twins are GIRLS! (see how I keep sneaking those announcements in..?!) On Friday, our youngest daughter, husband and canine child, Frank, were here with us from Round Rock. We enjoyed a margarita lunch, strolling around the Arboretum and a fabulous meal at 20-Feet Seafood Joint in Lakewood. 

Side Review: If you haven't heard of this little hole-in-the-wall seafood restaurant, I am here to endorse the establishment and send you as soon as your little feet can carry you that direction for the following reasons:

  1. It's BYOB. We brought 3 bottles of wine with us: rosé, sauvignon blanc, and a red blend. Also a premixed shaker of Manhattans (the in-laws go-to cocktail.) (we did NOT consume it all!) And they will uncork your bottles as well as provide stemware in which to enjoy your beverage of choice!
  2. The Lobster Roll. It's amazing. Also, the Green Room Mussels, Fried Oyster Po Boy, Fish & Chips, and any special they're offering that day.
  3. Service is better than any I've encountered in a casual setting. You place your order at the counter, but the servers are patient, pleasant and helpful. The table bussers are young and sweet, also helpful. There's just nothing to complain about. Tables are first come, first served, but they'll help put tables together and find an area, outside or inside for you. 

The weather was ideal Thursday-Saturday so we sat out on the patio and enjoyed our mussels, french fries, Lobster Rolls (3), Fish & Chips (2) and Shrimp Po boy (1). Afterwards we indulged in a little custard from Wild About Harry's and came home to play cards.

Saturday breakfast was 2 casseroles I pulled from the fridge making my life so easy. The kids returned to Round Rock and we prepared for the next round of guests--my brother-in-law, wife and canine arrived from Houston. We supped on homemade lasagna and caesar salad and dined al fresco while watching the NCAA Final Four.

Easter Sunday dawned cool and cloudy and the mass was just beautiful, uplifting and joyful. And then we headed to another brunch, this time at The Mercury, where although our server is the best (Medy?) the food was honestly, just ok. Not that they didn't have variety: prime rib, fried chicken, sushi, salads galore and waffles. But it's really hard to do Eggs Benedict for a crowd because it's always cold and a little congealed, don't you think? So that brunch was a bit disappointing. 

I know right now you're thinking, all those Butterfields do is EAT! And sometimes, it feels that way to us too. I have omitted the boring details of walking pups, gardening, and any exercise that made it's way on to the schedule.

Sunday dinner was a bit of a masterpiece, if I'm allowed to say so. Beef Tenderloin roast, perfectly seared on the grill by my hubby and accompanied by au gratin potatoes, maple-bacon roasted brussels sprouts, spring salad with asparagus, fruit and citrus vinaigrette (on the menu this week!) and finally a luscious Chocolate-Espresso Cream Pie for dessert was shared with my dear friend, Rosemarie and her three girls, making our number 10 for dinner. What a fun evening! After our meal we watched the live production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" and digested slowly.

Monday was so nice and quiet, with just the four of us. The weather turned cold, giving us an excuse to read the paper by the fire and only venture out for a little chinese bistro lunch. They departed on Tuesday morning and it was back to work for my husband and me. Thanks to their visit, we were able to extend those five days and truly experience five days rather than the rapid, whirlwind, collapsed time that I've been feeling is my life. In three weeks we head to Europe to meet my son--can you believe the semester is at a close?

Ruth's No-Cook Hollandaise Sauce

 

Seven days

Recently, we returned from a vacation to the Florida gulf coast with three out of four off-spring and two respective spouses. We were so fortunate to have time with family for our week because it doesn’t always work out that way. Now that most of our adult children are married, they must divide time between us and their in-laws so a week together here and there is a real treat.
So, in brief, here’s a look at our week by the numbers…

1 round of golf, 1 stand-up paddle board, 1 date night

2 days of rain at the end of our week, 2 sheet-pan breakfasts*, 2 martini nights

3 girls on the beach, 3 books finished by yours truly, 3 family meals at the vacation home

4 boys in the water, 4 absolutely-drop-dead-gorgeous days on the beach, 4 delicious dinners in restaurants

5 walks on the beach, 5 days without rain, 5 ways to eat oysters

6 games played, 6 different swimsuits, 6 water bottles consumed each day

7 sunrises & sunsets, 7 days of laughter, 7 cruiser bikes

Countless: inside jokes, photos snapped, snacks consumed, waves ridden, eye rolls, quotable comments by JB, songs shuffled, cocktails created, memories made.

Can’t wait to do it again.

*Recipe for Sheet Tray Pancakes for your next family vacation/reunion!

Ahhhhh, the Salad days

No, I’m not making a reference to my youth, a time of innocence, as the term “salad days”  usually refers to, but I mean THE Salad Days. As in, my consumption of salad Every Single Day for the past two months! Beginning with the Whole30 in June, I have managed to consume some form of fresh green concoction each day to the point that I don’t want to break the streak. Not that it’s become a religious experience for me, heavens, no. However, I actually look forward to my daily salad with some anticipation now.


My sweet M-I-L, Jeanette, was the first to introduce me to the idea that salad belonged on every dinner table, even at home. Sure, you go out to eat at a nice restaurant and you’re offered a salad before your main course but very few families consistently consume  greens with their meals at home. So my family grew up with the expectation that salad graced the table every night in addition to our main meal and possibly alongside other vegetables and bread. It was often a simple mix of red lettuce, carrot slices, diced cucumbers and Good Seasons dressing. Side topic: the joke in our house is that the making of the nightly salad is the first chore assigned to a novice in the kitchen. When someone enters Ruth’s kitchen and asks if they can help, invariably the answer is “you can make the salad.” This is because I am a bit of a control freak and don’t want you in my way as I’m trying to finish getting dinner on the table and truly, how can you mess up the salad? :)

Anyway, I digress. Salads. Lots of them. I’ve had some fabulous ones lately, from salmon & avocado atop arugula tossed in a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette to a romaine, apricot, walnut, avocado, olive number drizzled with a garlic-tahini dressing. A phenomena has started to occur when we go out for lunch or dinner…I think I’m craving a particular kind of cuisine like Italian pasta & pizza or Southern fried chicken and waffles but when I arrive at the restaurant I can’t get my eyes to wander off the Salad section.

I once scoffed at persons who chose salads thinking they were the “diet” choice on the menu when in truth the dressings and croutons made them anything but light. But now I embrace fat as an important part of my daily consumption and realize that the yummy flavors in a good dressing cause me to consume more healthy greens! Win-win.

In short, these are MY salad days. Two salads are on the menu this week. Join me.

 

In Pursuit of Patience

For the month of June, I’m finally getting around to calling out my problem with impatience. As evidenced by the pained look that appears on my face when I’m standing in the express line behind a woman writing a check. Even worse than the fact that I am utterly impatient is the fact that you can read it on my face. So I’m going to try to take calming breaths and assume a look of peace and tranquility.

But beyond my impatience with every day tasks, driving conditions and snail mail, I really need to learn to wait on life. On God to answer prayers. On solutions to dilemmas that will only be solved with time. I must acquire peace through stillness and inactivity. And. This. Is. So. Hard.

Sometimes we think we can make things happen quicker. That if we line up all the chickens, we will be flush in eggs. That if I pray the same prayer every morning, I must get the answer I am desiring. Unfortunately, we are NOT always in control and God may have a different plan. In June, I will try to let go of my expectations about timeframe, and even more difficult to do, let go of my demands for the outcome. I know I will find peace in this act of faith.

This doesn’t mean I will discontinue my prayers and hopes. As long as I’m not impatient and demanding and can remain peaceful. And that’s where I hope to be.

I hope that many of you are around this week to enjoy our fabulous menu. We will be cooking all of June and will be sporadic for most of July, then close completely for two weeks at the end of July and first part of August.

White Wine Romance

Summer has arrived in all of it’s hot, steamy glory. Everything changes for this season. If you have school-aged children, they will transition to camps, activities, summer jobs, or just sleeping in late. Schedules relax a bit with meals at odd times. The patterns of what we eat may change also; some of you may grill every other meal, never turn on the oven, or eat mainly cold food straight from the refrigerator. And beverages! Summer means lemonade, iced tea, frosty beer, sangria, mojitos, and frozen margaritas.
If you’re like me, on a summer evening after work or play, there’s nothing like a beautiful chilled glass of crisp white wine.

{The chilled glass is essential—JB fills mine with ice and adds water to get the melt going. When the glass is chilled just right, he often offers the water to me to drink before dumping the ice to replace it with wine. Gotta hydrate, am I right?}

I have enjoyed many a robust red in my time. Cabernet Sauvignon with my steaks, and Pinot Noir with my Thanksgiving turkey. I like Chianti with my Italian meals and a nice Malbec with brisket. But I always considered white wine as a warm weather beverage that must only accompany chicken, seafood, and meatless dishes.

However, as of late I find that white wine doesn’t give me a headache or make me sleepy. I can consume several glasses without getting tipsy and let’s all agree, it can be sooooooooo refreshing. So I must confess that I have transitioned to a year-round white wine drinker. Sometimes I go against all conventional thought and enjoy a Sauvignon Blanc with WHATEVER I’m eating!

Turns out I’m not the only woman trending this direction in wine consumption. I recently read a Wall Street Journal article titled “Why More Women Are Siding with White Wine“ and found I am not alone in choosing the lighter version of the grape’s bounty. Many females cite health issues as their reason but a lot of women just prefer the refreshment quality of the whites. Click here to read the article and see the author’s picks for 5 good bottles to feed a white-wine addiction.

And armed with this justification (hey! it’s the Journal!) I will continue down my white wine path into these hot summer days and beyond! :)

Sniff, sniff. I'm catching a whiff of Fall!

I could never live in a cold climate. NEVER. I’m the girl who has always stated – I’d rather be hot than cold. Any.Day.Of.The.Year. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate it when the temperature begins to lean toward the 60s. Because I suffer from that uncomfortable syndrome which causes my feet and hands to turn numb when my core gets too cold, I tend to prefer heat. But there are also some pretty amazing things I love about cooler weather.
1. Sweaters. Duh-I’m a girl so I tend to think in terms of What-to-Wear when it applies to seasonal changes.
2. Boots. See above. We live in Texas so of course there are the obligatory cowboy boots but Dallasites have an inordinate number of fashion boots that bely our warm weather and cooler temperatures herald the arrival of covered toes!
3. Evening football games. There is nothing like watching the marching band during a half-time show while cuddled under a stadium blanket.
4. Pumpkins. You really can’t put them out in the summer heat even if it’s October 15. They rot really quickly! So it’s nice when the weather cooperates and you can decorate the front of your house with fall bounty.
5. Soup. And stew. I love salads just as much as the next girl but soup is a party in my mouth!!

All of this to say that I am so excited by October being here and actually experiencing an autumnal season. We don’t get a true Fall every year so I hope you will get out and enjoy it.

The menu is fabulous this week (am I allowed to say that?) because it is filled with things I love to eat. Caesar Salad, Pasta Salad, Tortilla Soup and Squash Quiche. I am obsessed with eggplant lately—can’t get enough—and I love this version of non-breaded parmigiana. You can opt to enjoy it with polenta or spaghetti or solo, the choice is yours. And a fabulous brownie rounds out the dessert.

As always, I’m here if you have questions, concerns or suggestions. Have a great week!

Here’s the menu. Order online here. I truly appreciate you when you get your order in early! At a minimum, please order by 10am the day prior to your pickup and be sure to provide your cell number. Pickup schedule at 9800 Preston Road is as follows:

Tuesday 2-4pm
Wednesday 12-5pm
Thursday 11-4pm

The Butterfield Gourmet Mission Statement

Our family lived in the suburb of Coppell for many years and we were very involved in our church there. Our kids grew up in that church and we made all of our friends through the Supper Club, prayer and youth groups and through the community. In 2005, one of my friends invited me to be on the cookbook committee whose goal was to gather thousands of recipes, edit and assemble them and finally send the entire book to print. It was a huge success and the women’s group sold many cookbooks.
IMG_5168

One of my tasks associated with the cookbook was to write the Dedication on the first page. It was an honor to have this assignment and I agonized over what to write knowing it would be read by our entire community of 5,000 families. Here’s an excerpt from the final draft:

“In this day and age of worldly pressures and busy families, we invite you to “gather together” around your kitchen tables to nourish your bodies and your family spirits. We encourage you to bring back the family supper and the neighborhood dinners. Gather together outside church and feed each other. It is in the gathering to share meals, laughter and conversation that we will strengthen and protect our families.”

Similarly, this is the mission of Butterfield Gourmet: to provide you and your families with nourishing meals that enable you to sit down together even given your busy lives and hectic schedules. I thank you for allowing Butterfield Gourmet to be a part of your family gatherings and all of the instances when you have provided our meals to bless other families in your communities.

This week’s menu includes a couple of options for Holy Week and a light entree that manages to satisfy one of my cravings. I hope you have a wonderful week!

Place your order by email to butterfieldgourmet@gmail.com and please do so by 10am the day prior to your desired pickup.

Pickup Times for 3/21-25

Tuesday – NW Hwy & Preston, 2:30 pm, 3pm, 3:30 pm
Wednesday – No Pickups
Thursday – NW Hwy & Preston, 2:30 pm, 3pm, 3:30 pm
Forest & Preston, 4:30 pm

BG Menu for mar 21