Al Fresco Dining: Recipes

Nothing says summer like dining outdoors. And here on the ranch, we like to do it as often as possible. Sometimes simple (just take the plated food out and go), sometimes more festive (hung lights, decked out table, set bar) - either way, it makes summer meals with friends and family so much more memorable.

The following recipes are from Food Network, and are a perfect way to kick off your summer nights.

Grilled Vegetables

Total Time:
40 min

Yield:
6 servings


Ingredients

3 red bell peppers, seeded and halved
3 yellow squash (about 1 pound total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
3 zucchini (about 12 ounces total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
3 Japanese eggplant (12 ounces total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
12 cremini mushrooms
1 bunch (1-pound) asparagus, trimmed
12 green onions, roots cut off
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Directions

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush the vegetables with 1/4 cup of the oil to coat lightly. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper. Working in batches, grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over, about 8 to 10 minutes for the bell peppers; 7 minutes for the yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms; 4 minutes for the asparagus and green onions. Arrange the vegetables on a platter. The key to getting those great grill marks is to not shift the vegetables too frequently once they've been placed on the hot grill.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil, and rosemary in a small bowl to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the herb mixture over the vegetables. Serve the vegetables, warm or at room temperature.

Steak Florentine

Total Time:
1 hr 25 min
Yield:
6 servings


Ingredients

2 large garlic cloves, halved
3 T-bone steaks (each about 1 1/2 pounds, and 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches thick)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved
2 teaspoons olive oil
Grilled Vegetables, recipe follows

Directions

Rub the garlic cloves over the meat and the bone of the steaks. Sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator and allow seasoning to permeate the meat, for about 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before grilling, allowing the meat to come to room temperature.

Place a grill pan over high heat or prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill the steaks until cooked to desired doneness, turning once, about 5 minutes per side for rare, 7 minutes per side for medium-rare. The key to getting those great grill marks is to place the steak down and not move them. After you flip them, do not shift the steaks.

Allow the steaks to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing, otherwise all the juices will be run all over your cutting board. Run your knife along the bone and carve the meat off the bone. Slice the meat into 1-inch slices. Transfer the slices to a platter. Squeeze the lemon over the steaks. Drizzle with the oil and serve immediately with Grilled Vegetables.

Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone Cheese

Total Time:
35 min
Yield:
6 servings

Ingredients

Olive oil
3 firm but ripe peaches, pitted, quartered
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dry white wine


Directions

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat). Lightly brush the grill pan or rack with oil. Place the peaches on the grill pan and do not move the peaches, otherwise you will not have those great grill marks. It takes about 2 to 3 minutes per side to get those grill marks. Grill the peaches until the grill marks are formed, slightly softened and heated through, about 5 to 6 minutes total.

Meanwhile, stir the sugar, brandy, and lemon juice in a medium bowl to blend. Set the brandy mixture aside.

As the peaches are ready, remove them from the grill and place them in a shallow baking dish. Top them with the brandy mixture, and toss to coat. Set aside for 15 minutes and allow to marinate, tossing occasionally.

Meanwhile, stir the mascarpone and vanilla in a small bowl to blend.

Divide the grilled peach mixture equally among 6 coupe dishes. Pour the wine over the peaches. Dollop the mascarpone mixture atop the peaches, and serve.


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The perfect day for Mom

She gave birth to you. She put up with everything from your Terrible Two's to your less-than-stellar rebellious teen years. 

She deserves a day to be spoiled.

Make this Mother's Day extra indulgent for Mom with these tips.

1. Start with this breakfast (here are the recipes) - Serve it in bed? Even better!

 

  • Blood Peach Bellini
  • Crêpes with Strawberries and Muscat-Yogurt Sauce
  • Soft-Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Sablefish and Trout Roe Total

 

2. Gift her.  Something that she'll enjoy - and that she can keep treating herself with.

This Happy Trails gift set is a Mom-favorite: a luxurious cowhide purse filled with indulgent lotion, wash, and two of our triple-milled goat milk soaps. Get mom one in her favorite scent here.

 

3. Dine al fresco.

Treat mom to her favorite meal (don't forget her favorite wine!) in the fresh air - and don't you dare let her clean up after.

 

3. Pamper her one more time.

If you still have young children, take over bed time duties and send mom straight to the bath tub for some quiet "me time" (something she probably rarely gets). Better yet, have this amazing brown sugar and shea body scrub there waiting for her.

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Mother's Day Brunch Menu

Crêpes with Strawberries and Muscat-Yogurt Sauce

Active: 40 MIN Total Time: 1 HR Servings: 4

The Good News Nichole Birdsall tops these crepes with strawberries, a superfruit high in vitamin C and potent antioxidants, and a creamy, orangey sauce sweetened with a splash of Bonterra Muscat dessert wine instead of sugar.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 large egg
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Muscat dessert wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 24 strawberries, sliced
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the salt. Add the milk, egg and 1 tablespoon of oil and whisk until smooth. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. In another small bowl, whisk the yogurt, honey, Muscat and zest.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet. Rub the pan with an oiled paper towel. Add about 3 tablespoons of the crêpe batter, swirling the pan to coat evenly; pour off any excess. Cook the crêpe over moderate heat until the bottom is brown in spots and the sides are crisp, about 2 minutes. Flip the crêpe and cook for 1 minute longer. Transfer to a baking sheet; repeat to make 7 more crêpes.

Fold the crêpes into quarters and bake until hot, 4 minutes. Place 2 crêpes on each plate. Top with the yogurt sauce and garnish with the strawberries. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.

Soft-Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Sablefish and Trout Roe Total

Time: 20 MIN Servings: 2

Andrew Carmellini's luxurious, creamy eggs are heavenly on their own, but serving them with smoky sable, briny roe and rich sour cream puts them over the top.

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 ounces smoked sablefish, sliced 1/4 inch thick (see Note)
  • Trout roe (see Note), thinly sliced scallions and sour cream, for garnish
  • Toasted sesame, everything or plain bagels, for serving

Directions

In a medium nonstick skillet, combine the beaten eggs with the heavy cream and 1/2 tablespoon of the butter. Cook the eggs over moderately low heat, whisking them constantly, until small curds form and the eggs are creamy, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Gently stir the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter into the eggs and season them lightly with salt. Spoon the eggs into 2 serving bowls and top with the sliced sablefish. Garnish with trout roe, sliced scallions and a dollop of sour cream. Serve right away with toasted bagels.

Notes If smoked sablefish and trout roe are unavailable, smoked salmon and salmon roe can be substituted.

Suggested Pairing Fragrant, vivid Chardonnay-based Champagne: NV Pierre Moncuit Hugues de Coulmet Blanc de Blancs Brut.

Peach Bellini

Blood Peach Bellini

Servings: makes 1 drink

The Blood Peach Bellini was originally made using super-seasonal summer blood peaches. This variation combines Campari, grenadine and white peach puree to approximate the rare fruit's flavor and color.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces chilled Prosecco
  • 1/2 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce white peach puree (see Note)
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine, preferably EO (see Note) or homemade

Directions

In a pint glass, gently stir all of the ingredients. Pour the drink into a chilled flute.

Notes Les Vergers Boiron and the Perfect Puree of Napa Valley (perfectpuree.com) both make high-quality fruit purees, including white peach. They're available online and at specialty food stores.

EO grenadine, made by the team at Employees Only, is available at employeesonlybrands.com.

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Spring Brunch: Open-Face Bacon-and-Egg Sandwiches with Arugula

Ingredients

Servings: Makes 2
  • 5 bacon slices, halved crosswise
  • 1 4-inch square ciabatta or focaccia bread, halved horizontally
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 large thin tomato slices
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup (packed) arugula
  • 2 large eggs
  • Parmesan cheese shavings

Preparation

prep: 30 min total: 30 min
    Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain.
    Wipe out skillet. Brush cut sides of bread with 1 tablespoon oil. Place bread, cut sides down, in skillet. Cook over medium heat until golden, about 3 minutes. Place 1 bread square, golden side up, on each of 2 plates. Top each with half of bacon, then 2 tomato slices.
      Whisk 1 tablespoon oil, shallot, and vinegar in medium bowl to blend. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Add arugula and toss to coat.
        Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until whites are set and yolks are cooked as desired. Top each bread stack with egg, then arugula and cheese.
          Recipe by Nick Vidargas
          Photograph by Brian Leatart
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            In store only! End-of-Winter SALE

            We're gearing up for spring (and are SO ready for some green grass and sunshine) - but need to make room in the store. This weekend only (Thursday - Saturday) we have sales through out our Steamboat Springs store, up to 50% OFF EVERYTHING, including:

            30% OFF robes & pajamas
            20% OFF all seasonal scents

             

             

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            Valentine's Day Dinner: Linguine with Shrimp Scampi




            Total Time:
            25 min
            Prep:
            10 min
            Cook:
            15 min

            Yield:
            3 servings

            Level:
            Easy

            Ingredients

            Vegetable oil
            1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
            3/4 pound linguine
            3 tablespoons unsalted butter
            2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
            1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
            1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
            1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
            1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
            1/2 lemon, zest grated
            1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
            1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
            1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

            Directions

            Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.

            Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.

            When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.

            Copyright 2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, All Rights Reserved
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            Ways to treat mom (or yourself) this Mother's Day

            Sunday is Mother's Day - a day all about treating mom. Spoiling her, because she does so much for everyone else on those other 364 days of the year.  Here are some great ways to make mom's day special this year.

            Breakfast in Bed
            Whether you have young kids or older, get them involved in making Mom breakfast in bed. Don't let her get up and check!  Either instruct her to sleep in, or bring her a book or her iPad.  And don't forget the fresh coffee!

            Mimosa? Yes, please.
            It's only one day a year - let her enjoy a late morning/early afternoon with brunch at her favorite restaurant.  And let her enjoy it - Dad can chase the 3 year old around this time.

            Me Time.
            Sure, mom wants to spend Mother's Day with her family, but she might also enjoy a little "me time." Let her indulge in her favorite activity - a yoga class, a spa facial, or maybe just a quiet (no interruptions!) bubble bath at home. Whatever it is, give mom some time to herself.

            Girls Night or Date Night.
            Does mom want a date with dad? Or a night with the girls (because you know that never happens)? Or maybe both? Whatever it is, indulge her! Let her enjoy a happy hour with her friends, or set a reservation at her favorite restaurant (or that new place she's been wanting to try, but you guys can never get away to...).

            Bottom Line: Treat Mom!
            You know your mom/wife better than we do, so treat her to a day you know SHE will enjoy. 

            Gift Idea for Mom: Happy Trails Pouch in Rose Geranium (to enjoy during that bubble bath...)

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            Spring Instagram Contest!

            HOW TO ENTER:

            1. Follow @ranchorganics on Instagram; 2. Post a
            photo that shows what you think is a “ranch fresh"
            spring; 3. Tag the photo @ranchorganics
             #ranchorganics and #ranchspring.

             

            WINNERS:

            The three photos with the most likes
            by April 19th will win! Winners announced via
            email April 20th.

            (You choose the scent!)



             

             

             

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            Benefits of Lavender

             

            From fighting stress to calming skin, lavender is more than just a pretty scent.

             

            It helps you relax

            You may have heard that breathing in the smell of lavender makes you drowsy; turns out, it's true. Research shows that the scent lowers heart rate and blood pressure, putting you in a relaxed state. To set yourself up for zzz's, put a handful of dried lavender in a vase on your nightstand—or use a diffuser with lavender oil. Also try a bubble bath with our lavender wash or treat yourself to any of our lavender collection.

            But note: "Lavender isn't a game-changer unless you practice other sleep-promoting habits," says Joseph Ojile, MD, founder of Clayton Sleep Institute in St. Louis. Start to avoid caffeine 10 hours before bed, keep gadgets silent, and turn in at the same time every night.

            Calm itchy skin

            So you're a mosquito magnet? Get the itch out with lavender essential oil or our calming lavender lotion or barn balm. "It's a natural anti-inflammatory, so it helps reduce itching, swelling, and redness," explains Naila Malik, MD, a Texas-based dermatologist. Dab a drop or two on the area and wait about 15 minutes for it to seep in (but stop if skin becomes more irritated). Apply as needed every six to eight hours for the next 24 hours.

            Healthy up your meal

            Add lavender's phytonutrients (good-for-you plant compounds) to any meal by using herbes de Provence (available at grocery stores). Sprinkle the lavender-based spice blend onto sauteed or grilled meats, poultry, vegetables, and even whole-grain pilafs (barley, couscous, brown rice), Dr. Gerbstadt suggests. Voila!

            Bust bloating

            Bloating and poor digestion can result from an overgrowth of "bad" bacteria (which can happen when you take antibiotics). "The polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) in lavender can help reduce the 'bad' bacteria in your gut," says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, author of Doctor's Detox Diet and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For its de-puff perks, sprinkle dried culinary lavender onto Greek yogurt (also gut friendly).

            Shop lavender >>

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            4 Natural Spring Beauty Tips

            Spring is a lovely time of year: fresh scents, more sunshine....and shorts weather.

            Wait, shorts? Right - time to work on that dry winter skin. Here are 4 tips to get your skin in shape for spring and summer.

            Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub

            The first step to spring-ready skin is to literally shed you winter skin! This exfoliating scrub does a great job, plus it incorporates natural beauty superstar, coconut oil. Mix 3 tablespoons of virgin, unrefined coconut oil with ½ cup sugar. I use this evaporated cane juice organic sugar ,  In the shower, use your hands to scrub the mixture vigorously all over your body. Rinse off with warm water then towel dry. Your skin will feel silky smooth and hydrated, as some of the coconut oil will stay on your skin and act as an intensive moisturizer.

            Dry Brushing

            This is a great daily tip to carry with you from winter to spring. Purchase a special brush made for dry brushing, and gently run it over your entire body every morning. This will help remove dead skin cells, which contribute to dry, flaky skin. It will also give your body a chance to detox daily. 

            Nourishing Hair Mask

            Your hair might just be the biggest victim of winter weather! It’s been exposed to harsh elements for months and is probably looking pretty dry and lifeless. To help it out, massage a few teaspoons of olive oil, combined with 2 or 3 drops of tea tree essential oil, into your scalp. Leave it in for 20 to 30 minutes, and then wash out using your regular shampoo followed by conditioner. Do this one or two times a week for healthy, shiny hair!

            Nighttime Foot Mask

            Don’t overlook your feet as you get your skin and body ready for spring. They are about to make their annual sandal debut after all! Try a thicker cream like our Barn Balm, or even plain old Vaseline, a couple times a week to soften the skin on my feet and moisturize them to prevent cracked heels. Just apply a thick layer to both feet, slip on some thick (and preferably very fuzzy) socks, and hit the sack. In the morning, your feet will feel brand new!

            With warmer weather right around the corner, now is the perfect time to spring clean your beauty routine. It’s a great time to get rid of your chemical filled beauty products and create your own quality solutions to get your hair, skin and face ready...

            Read More at www.deliciousobsessions.com/2015/03/4-natural-beauty-tips-spring-clean-beauty-routine/ © Delicious Obsessions
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            New Year Resolution: Healthy Skin

            If you don't already have healthy skin habits, now is the time to start. Here are 5 tips we snagged from Health.com to get you on track in 2015 and beyond.

            Avoid heavy-duty cleansers

            Unlike your pots and pans, “your skin needn’t be scrubbed or squeaky to be clean,” says Jeannette Graf, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center. So don’t overdo it. Mild, nondetergent cleansers—milks, gels, foams, or cloths—are your best bet. Scan the ingredient labels of products to see if they contain gentle, plant-derived surfactants (the prefix coco- equals coconut, for example; gluco- equals fruit sugars). “The natural source is often hinted at in the name,” says Jim Hammer, a cosmetic chemist with and product-development manager at Pharmasol Corp.

            Ditch the toner

            These were originally invented to restore the natural pH of skin after it had been washed with an alkaline-detergent soap. “If you’re using a pH-balanced cleanser, there’s no need for toner,” Graf says. “It’ll only dry your skin.”

            Make sure acid-laced products are pH-balanced

            This means their pH is in sync with skin, so “they gently remove sebum (an oily substance secreted by the skin) and makeup without stripping natural oils,” Graf says. Look for the words “pH-balanced” on cleansers that contain glycolic or lactic acids and on exfoliators, she adds, because some have a low pH, which can cause dryness.

            Opt for fragrance-free for sensitive skin

            Fragrance is the most common cause of skin-care-related allergic reactions. If you’re sensitive, be sure to choose products that are labeled “fragrance-free.” The ones that are marked “unscented” typically contain small amounts of fragrance to help mask the odors of active ingredients.

            Choose multitasking moisturizers

            A good day cream juggles two jobs—hydration and protection. Pick one that has plant-based moisturizers (natural oils, butters, and essential fatty acids penetrate skin better than man-made emollients like petroleum, Graf explains) and antioxidants (those from natural sources may also contain bioflavonoids and other beneficial compounds not found in synthetic versions, Hammer says), plus nonirritating physical sunblocks, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

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            Holiday Health Tips: Part 2

            Drinking Responsibly

            Practice moderation (really). Drinking too much may not just mean a terrible hangover. Around this time of year, doctors report seeing a spike in erratic heartbeats—dubbed “holiday heart syndrome.” It is more common among people who usually aren’t heavy drinkers but drink in excess for a short time. “Alcohol may be toxic to enough cardiac cells that it disrupts the coordination required to maintain a normal heart rate,” says Kenneth Mukamal, an internist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston. “Women should have no more than three drinks on any occasion and seven per week,” says Michael Weaver, an associate professor of internal medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, in Richmond. “So a woman can have up to three drinks in a night and go out two nights, but that’s it for the week—or else the chances of problems go way up.”

            Keep it on the rocks. Melting ice dilutes a cocktail and creates more liquid. So order your drink on the rocks to try to avoid a quick buzz—and to sip longer before a refill. Use soda water as a mixer for liquor (a cocktail with liquor and club soda is only about 100 calories), and don’t be ashamed to add ice cubes to bubbly. In France, it’s called a piscine. Très chic.

            Put a cork in it early. Alcohol may help you to conk out quickly; the problem comes when it starts to wear off. The period in which your body is metabolizing the alcohol is when sleep is disrupted. You may wake up frequently in the middle of the night (even if you don’t remember doing so) and miss out on restorative rest. The best strategy is to allow time for the alcohol levels in your body to drop before going to sleep; at the very least, retire your flute several hours before bedtime.

            (via Real Simple)

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