2 sisters 2 cities

August 21, 2010

Nantucket Birthday Clam Chowder

The day before we left for our 10 day vacation in Nantucket, Husband M had his 30th birthday.  Since we were pretty busy packing and tying up loose ends before we left, we were only able to have a small celebration.  I made one of his favorite easy summer recipes…Martha Stewart Everyday’s Grilled Steak with tomatoes and scallions and a brownie from the farmer’s market.  His Aunt T had thrown him a big birthday party in Maine the weekend prior and I also had plans for a lobster bake while we in Nantucket.  His work also threw him a afternoon party with freshly baked cookies, so all in all, he had 4 birthday parties this year.

For the Nantucket lobster bake, we ordered pre-cooked lobsters and steamers from Sayle’s fish market.  Our little cottage did not have air-conditiong and the day of the party happened to the hottest day we were in Nantucket.  Thank goodness we bought pre-cooked lobsters…I can’t imagine how much hotter the place would have been if I had been cooking lobsters for hours.  They did a great job packing them and they stayed warm for quite awhile.

For a starter, I decided to make a batch of clam chowder.  We were having 10 people over in all and this recipe I put together made well over this amount (if served as an appetizer).  I used Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything No-Holds-Barred Clam Chowder recipe as the base and tweaked it based on a few other recipes I have made in the past.

Nantucket Birthday Clam Chowder

Serves 10+ as an appetizer

Ingredients:
-1/2 pound applewood smoked bacon (or similar high quality), chopped
-2 cups minced onions
-5 cups peeled and chopped baking potatoe
-4 tablespoons flour (I used wheat)
-2 teaspoons dried thyme
-7 five-ounce cans of clams
-4  eight-ounce bottles of clam juice
-S&P
-2 cups milk
-2 cups heavy cream
-2 tablespoons butter
-fresh chopped parsley
-oyster crackers

Directions:
Fry the bacon in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove the bacon with a with slotted spoon and put aside.  Cook the onion and potatoes in the bacon fat until the onion softens and is translucent (10-15 minutes).  While they are cooking, drain the canned clams and reserve the drained clam juice.  Add the flour and thyme to the onion and potatoes, and combine.  Add the 4 bottles of clam juice and the reserved clam juice from the cans.  Cook until the potatoes are tender (an additional 10-15 minutes).  At this point, I turned off the heat and put the lid on the pot to keep it warm until the guests arrived.

About 5 minutes before I was ready to serve the chowder, I added the salt, pepper, milk, and cream (put the milk and cream out for about 20-30 minutes to get to room temperature so it does not curdle when you add it).  Add the drained clams and bring to a low simmer.  Add the butter on top of the chowder- the clams will be finished cooking once the butter melts.  I served the chowder with the chopped parsley and oyster crackers on the side.

-m

Advertisements

May 23, 2010

Roof Deck Inspiration

Filed under: Design Ideas, M's post — Tags: , , , , , — 2sisters2cities @ 8:29 am

We are in process of having our roof deck re-stained for the summer and I finally ordered a set of teak furniture for the deck…something I have been wanting to do for a long time.  We had a plastic table and chairs for the past few years that served the purpose just fine.  After some crazy storm last year, a huge hole was blown out of the center of the table.  No idea how that happened, but it was definitely a sign to finally invest in my beloved teak table.

Husband M is having his 30th birthday this summer and I would really like to use the roof deck for a party.  I put together an inspiration board of the design/feel I am trying to achieve this year.  I’m hoping to get the deck pulled together soon and will post before and after shots.  Roof decks can pose some challenges with outdoor designs.  First off, everything needs to be pretty rugged as there is so much exposure to the elements.  I’m hoping that teak will last a lot longer than our plastic furniture.  Secondly, any small accessories need to be pretty portable  or be able to be tied down so you can either remove them or store them before a storm.  Third, forget the candles.  My candles usually stay lit for about 10 seconds before the wind blows them out.  I highly recommend getting a set of candelas.

Roof Deck InspirationFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Roof Deck Inspiration by meaghbarry on Polyvore.com

Items in this set:
Teak Adirondack Chair – Bed Bath & Beyond, $90
Candela Rechargeable Lamps, $85
Galvanized Metal Serving Pieces | Pottery Barn, $29
Globe Paper Lanterns, Set of 10 | Pottery Barn, $25
Ultrasoft 16-inch Navy Blue Throw Pillows (Set of 2) | Overstock.com, $25

What are your outdoor design ideas?  Do you run into any challenges while attempting to decorate the great outdoors?

-m

Blog at WordPress.com.