Friday, May 8, 2009

Star Gazing

Today's post is a total bonus!!! I am giving out tons of fabulous recipes.

So, this evening, my sweetheart took the kids to work out at the gym. I currently have shin splits, so I went and luxuriated in the library. I returned home three minutes before they returned and I knew they would be hungry. I decided that it would be the perfect night for a star gazing party.

To begin, I cooked the quickest meal I could find that would hold everyone over till late when I woke them up for our midnight snack. Grilled Cheeseball Sandwiches!!! A lovely blogger posted a great cheeseball recipe for this snack, but hey, I'm in a hurry here. So... three ingredients, 3-4 minutes, and dinner! There aren't any side courses because... Shhhh. I want them to be hungry, for later.

Grilled Cheeseball Sandwiches
Favorite cheeseball (homemade would be to die for... but hey! I'm in a hurry)
Whole grain Bread

Heat the griddle. Slather cheeseball onto bread, butter top and bottom, Cook, flip, cook and eat! How's that for simple!

At 10:00, the full moon lit up the sky. We set up our evening meal under the stars and went to wake our small ones.

They clung to us like sleepy Koalas until we deposited them outside, wrapped in blankets. Immediately they wakened to the charm of the night sky and the novelty of a night revel.

Briz pointed out constellations and the North Star. We watched a shooting star. We smelled the freshly cut grass. We listened for owls. We snuggled to get warm. (It was 38 degrees). We spoke in whispered tones so the night magic would stay. We dipped apples in Carmel cream dip. We bit into savory Pizza Pockets. We toasted the night sky with a Butter Punch.

The children were loathe for their special night to end, so we went on a moon lit walk. The moon lit up the pastures and we watched horses sleep, and ducks protect their ducklings under their wings. We returned home and warmed up with Amaretto Hot Cocoa and slipped our little people back into bed. We decided to make this a monthly tradition during the summer months- It was too magical for the children.

Here are some of the elements of our stargazing party.

Butter Punch
(I call it this because of it's unique smooth flavor. It is soooo simple, yet it is the perfect drink to match a savory meal as it doesn't detract with its own strong flavor.)

2 liters Diet Shasta Grapefruit Soda
1 can frozen white grape juice concentrate
lots of ice

Yep! That's it. I have substituted Fresca for the Shasta in a pinch, but it's not quite as good. This punch is great to serve at weddings.

Caramel Creme Dip
(As an apple dip lover, this is maybe the best- I'm not sure if I like this one best or the one with toffee bits. ) This is another EASY recipe.

Mix equal parts of Tom's Gourmet Caramel Sauce and cream cheese softened. I'm sure you could use a cheap Caramel sauce but you would get a cheap tasting dip. Tom's tastes like the best homemade Caramels. I guess you could make your own!!! I've got to try that.

Pizza Pockets

Pizza Dough- you can use the cans- I make my own
Pizza Sauce
Veggies -I used red and yellow peppers and onions
Meats - I used pepperoni and Canadian Bacon
Olive oil
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
kosher salt

Saute the veggies in a little olive oil till tender crisp. Mix with pizza sauce. Roll the pizza dough out into 7x4 inch squares. Place 1/4 cup of the sauce/veggie mixture on the dough. Layer meat
then cheese. Roll dough over filling then pinch and seal. Brush the top with olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan, kosher salt, and rosemary. Bake at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Castle Pizza Sauce

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. olive oil
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. honey
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Saute' garlic in oil until tender. Stir in tomatoes, honey, salt, pepper, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until sauce reaches desired thickness. Sauce may be refrigerated for up to 1 week.


  1. What a magical, joyful way to celebrate family and food! Thanks, Midori, for your amazing blog! I can wait to make your punch and pizza sauce.

  2. Hey, I recognize that cheeseball sandwich. Too cool that you used it on such a wonderfully fun night with your family! Hooray!!

  3. What a fun magical night! I can't wait to try this!

  4. Chef Tess, Thank you so much for checking in. I am so glad to remember you. I couldn't remember exactly where I got that idea. Now, we'll all be able to enjoy your site as I linked you as a favorite!!!