This is Amy + Michelle

This is Amy + Michelle

This A.M.

Amy and Michelle became instant friends because of the common interests they share in their love of fashion, food, music and traveling. In This A.M. Amy and Michelle will share recipes, thoughts on eats, their unique fashion style and lifestyles from Toronto to Tampa...... 1,098 miles apart!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Girls Night

This A.M. I realized, not only do I love fashion and food, I love spending time with the girls! Especially my friends who I met in university.  We have a very special bond.  We don't always get to see each other with our busy lives but when we do, we just pick up where we left off.
So here is where we left off last Saturday at our friend Shyla's.  And to bring you an even closer glimpse, Shyla, personally shares her story of getting ready for out fun filled foodie night!

Amy put the finishing touches on this dish. It looked and tasted delicious!
Basil & Strawberries
Sevi Stirs it Up!
Love Potion #9
When Robyn and Amy arrived….
We popped the sweet potato fries into the oven to bake.  Robyn mixed this super simple and fast aioli for us.

Aioli and Sweet Potatoes
Herbed Monkey Bread
Thank you Shyla for sharing your recipes with This A.M.(Amy and Michelle)
To read more of Shyla's writing you can visit her personal blog (

To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, olive oil and mustard. Stir in the chives and season with pepper.Spoon about 2 Tbs. of the dressing over the asparagus and let stand while tossing the salad.In a large bowl, gently toss together the green onions and the salad greens. 
Last night was girl's night with Amy, Robyn and Jaime.  Since we usually hang out in the hostess' kitchen and gab, I decide to assign a few tasks to guests.  It turned out to be a lot of fun.
Prior to the 6:00pm arrival time. My daughter and I prepared two menu items.
The first was an herbed monkey bread , courtesy of my friend Jo, the vixen in the kitchen. As I am normally foodie challenged, Jo took pity on me and kindly shared this simple, no fail recipe with me. (Yes, even a kid can do it.) In exchange, I promised not to ever reveal her secret.

Main Course
While, I prepared the main dish, Chicken Pancetta, and once the chicken was on the grill. Robyn made the salad.  I just roasted the asparagus. We used this Roasted Asparagus Salad with Herbed Chèvre, courtesy of  Williams-Sonoma, to be a perfect warm Spring or Summer salad.
Meanwhile, Amy was busy making the salsa to compliment the main course, which was Chicken Pancetta. The recipe is courtesy of my dear friend Courtney, a.k.a. BC Wine Girl. 

Next Sevi and I prepared a mocktail called Love Potion #9.  Unfortunately, I can't find the source of this recipe. The good news is that I forgot, and couldn't find some of the ingredients, and inadvertently picked-up a wrong ingredient. This tasty result is shared below. 

Love Potion #9 
3 large strawberries, quartered
5 basil leaves
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup  balsamic glaze
1/4 cup  fresh lemon juice
1 cup cranberry raspberry cocktail juice  
Soda water (we made our own)

In a mixing bowl, mash the strawberries, basil and balsamic into a pulp. Add to your serving pitchers. This makes enough for two pitchers. Add the lemon and cranberry/ raspberry juice. Top with soda water.  Add the soda water very slowly, otherwise you may end up with a volcanic eruption. Trust me. Chill until ready to serve.

Serve in tumblers and garnish with basil or strawberries.

Monkey Bread Etymology
If you are like me, I found the name monkey bread to be curious.  According to wikipedia, it may be named after the monkey puzzle trees found in South America. The most startling find is that monkey bread seems to be a whole category of bread. Most common are breakfast monkey breads and savoury monkey breads. Check out these recipes for a cinnamon & maple syrup breakfast pastry found on Dashing Dish and this savoury dill & butter salivator found on Ashley Brouwer.

Smoked Paprika Aioli
1/2 cup of mayo
1 minced garlic clove
1 tsp smoked paprika
Mix and serve to taste.

Chicken Pancetta
4 lean chicken breasts (fillets would work too)
2-3 slices of pancetta per breast (depends on the size of the deli's rotolata)
Clean and slice the chicken breasts. Stuff with pancetta. Grill until juices run clear.

1 ripe peach or nectarine
sweet red pepper
chili flakes
 ground pepper
balsamic  vinegar

Put the balsamic vinegar into a saucepan and simmer on medium low until syrupy. Keep an eye on it. If it burns, it will bond to the pot and be impossible to get off your pot. While the balsalmic is reducing dice the cucumber and peach and mix the salsa.

Roast Asparagus Salad with Chèvre
1 1/2 lb. asparagus 
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.
About 1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

For the dressing:
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 
1Tbs. Dijon mustard
3 to 4 Tbs. snipped fresh chives
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 green onions, including about 2 inches of the  green portions, chopped 7 to 8 cups mixed baby salad greens 
2 cups cherry tomatoes, red or mixed red and  yellow, stems removed1/4 lb. herbed goat cheese (chèvre), cut into  6 slices

Preheat an oven to 400°F. 
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with olive oil.
Snap off any tough ends from the asparagus spears and trim the break with a sharp knife. 
Using a vegetable peeler and starting just below the tip, peel the skin off each spear, down to the end. Arrange the spears in a single layer on the prepared pan, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil. 
Roast until tender, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the tomatoes. Drizzle just enough of the dressing onto the salad so the greens glisten and toss again. (You may not need to use all of the dressing.) 

Immediately mound the salad in the center of large individual salad plates. Place a slice of chèvre on top of each mound of greens and arrange asparagus spears around the perimeter of each plate, dividing them equally. 
Drizzle a few extra drops of the remaining dressing over the chèvre. Serve immediately.
Serves 6.

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