Jul 05 2014

Grown-Up Ants on a Log

I mentioned in my last post that my friends and I made one of the recipes out of The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook: 100 Delicious Heritage Recipes from the Farm and Garden.

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First let me talk a little bit about the cookbook itself. I love that the book is divided into seasons and that the pages are filled with amazing recipes, beautiful photographs, informational tidbits and places for notes.

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I arrived at Paul and Tom’s place and immediately started thumbing through the recipes. Several caught my eye, seasons didn’t matter. I dreamed of sampling everything right then and there. I wanted to grab the Golden Squash, Pepper, and Tomato Gratin right off the page and I pictured outdoor dining and serving the Grilled Steak and Lima Bean Salad to friends.

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I stopped flipping pages when I saw the recipe for “Grown-Up Ants on a Log” – It intrigued me. It didn’t matter that it was Summer, not Winter. I started reading the ingredients to Paul and he kept saying… I think we have that… I just bought currants, oh, we have that… then we got to chatting and next thing you know, Tom came through the door from work. Hi honey, I’m home! I showed him the cookbook and shared a bit about my meet and greet with Josh and Brent and then he started looking at recipes. We chatted about the ingredients for Grown-Up Ants on a Log again and he jumped into action. Kitchen cabinet doors flew open, ingredients started appearing on the kitchen island and I sat and watched in amazement. Dried currants, scotch whiskey, goat cheese, chutney, Dijon mustard, chile powder, celery, pecans – THEY HAD IT ALL! Shocked and giddy with excitement, prep and creation started immediately. Paul and Tom make an awesome team. I grabbed my camera and got some good shots.

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Pecans hit the stove for toasting…

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Mini scotch bottles rock! Scotch was poured over the dried currants – they needed to soak for 30 minutes… Tom mixed up some cocktails for us to wait it out. Sip, chat, wait… sip, chat, wait…

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We did make a few substitutions… regular chili powder since they didn’t have any ancho chili powder. Spicey and smokey denied. Next time for sure.

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We also used peach chutney instead of mango chutney (they actually had mango chutney) but the peach was made fresh from a friend and we thought it would be great.

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We mixed the goat cheese until smooth and then added in the chutney, chili powder, salt and mustard (another substitution – we went with a grainy mustard – we all tasted the Dijon and decided in this case we liked the grainy better.) Could have just been a brand thing… I think it would be fabulous with either. We put the bowl in the fridge for a bit while the currants continued soaking and while we continued drinking.

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The 30 minutes were up and supplies were laid out to create our logs.

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That’s when the big plate debate began… Enter… 2 designers. Blue? (No…food doesn’t look as appetizing on blue) – Green? (We might lose the celery) – How about orange? Yes! Let’s go with orange. Oh crap! – we didn’t get fancy with our celery cuts like they did in the book… OMFG, who cares… these things are AMAZING! And with that, out to the patio we went with Josh and Brent’s grown-up take on a childhood treat – and of course… our cocktails.

These bad boys will be coming with me to parties when I’m asked to bring an appetizer… they were THAT good. I will try them with the mango chutney, Dijon and ancho chile powder next time for a true comparison.

Thank you Paul and Tom for the amazing visit, food adventures, continuous laughter and access to your fully stocked kitchen.

Love you guys!
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1 comment

  1. Fancy! I like eating those with those new flavored peanut butters I keep seeing, but this is kind of a nice way to DIY it a little!

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