This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mystic Knotwork.
This past weekend I got to put my tablescape styling and cooking skills to the test for a pre-Easter dinner with family. A week before any holiday is always a great time to test out any first-time dishes you haven't made before just in case a few tweaks are needed to be made to recipes. Doing this will also help you figure out just how long you'll be in the kitchen cooking so you know how much time you'll have left to get yourself ready before guests arrive!ha
I don't cook that often, but when I do, I head to my Food Favs Pinterest board! Great way to pair drinks, sides, entrees, and desserts together before hand. I wanted a light meal paired with a nice glass of wine, so immediately thought of doing a fish. Orange roughy has been a family favorite for many years because it's not a fishy tasting meat, it's light, and you can season it any way you want and it still comes out perfect. I decided to bake instead of fry the fish so I could marinate and add in a bottom layer of organic garlic lemon basil sauce to keep the flavor. For the sides, I steamed fresh broccoli and chopped carrots sprinkled with cheese and placed them on top of a scoop of white rice cooked in organic coconut oil. For the drinks, everyone got a glass of water and a glass of white wine to compliment the fish...but not just any white wine. Let me HIGHLY recommend that if you're looking for a half light sparkling/half sweet wine to fancy up a meal, go buy a bottle of Paolo Saracco 2012 Moscato D'Asti imported from Italy and you will thank me forever. I had a glass of Luccio Moscato D'Asti wine at a high-end restaurant a month ago and Saracco is its twin at only $14 a bottle instead. I also found it quite funny that so many people were raving about Saracco on Pinterest, so that enticed me even more to try it out. Its not heavy on the stomach, which made it great to keep around for my brownie bottom cheesecake. YUM! I'm going to give you the recipes so you can also make this tasty meal yourself, so make sure to keep on reading.
With such a light but flavorful seafood meal made with a few organic ingredients here and there, what better tablescape styling to use than a dash of nautical blue over a sand colored stitched white tablecloth with driftwood, shells, palm crosses, yellow roses in cardstock bunny menus (you can get the printable here) and white hydrangeas! I used silver lined white china that had been passed down to me from my dad's parents, crystal glass water and wine glasses passed down to me by mom's parents, and my parent's silver utensils. Everything went together perfectly to use white, tan, and navy blue handcrafted turks head coasters from Mystic Knotwork. The coasters worked great for the glasses. Since they are made out of firm cotton cord, they didn't slide on the tablecloth and adjusted to the base of the glasses so they didn't tip. No spills! The coasters also came in handy when the water glasses were filled with ice and let off cold condensation. No white marks on our wood table! :)
I always recommend Mystic Knotwork for nautical decor and gifts. Every product is so unique and made by a husband-wife team, Matt and Jill Beaudoin in Mystic, Connecticut, 100% American made! Their business holds on to a tradition that goes as far back as the 1930's when their family practiced knotworking as an art. As items became more popular after WWII, selling started a small business and pieces were even donated to the Smithsonian! Generation after generation, the appreciation and craftsmanship of knotworking was passed down eventually inspiring Matt and Jill to continue their family's legacy of traditional cord art. From colorful bracelets, coasters, entry door mats, wedding decor, keychains, and much more, Mystic Knotwork has continued to put a modern touch to historical form of art that never ceases to impress their customers.
To keep things organized, you might want to make your menus first in case you forget what you'll be cooking. I saw a bunny printable on Pinterest that I liked so much I wrote my menu on top of it and printed them off on white cardstock paper. If you punch a hole in the bottom where the tail is you can stick a flower stem through it to give a 3D tail effect, which is pretty cool. I wanted my roses to stay alive for 6+ hours as I cooked, so I took a damp paper towel and wrapped the steam with it and covered it all with foil to keep the water cool. Worked like a charm. Plus, the foil helped keep the bunny menus standing by themselves when they were on the table.
It was fun laying out the styled tablescape! It all turned out so good I was pretty excited for everyone to see it before dinner. A few close-ups before dinner below.
Now on to the food! I'm going to assume white rice and steamed broccoli and carrots are already in your cooking basics, so I'm going to share my recipes on how to make the orange roughy, Tuscan roasted potatoes, and the brownie bottom cheesecake. 3 FREE recipes for you!
First, lets start with the orange roughy dipped in garlic lemon basil sauce. The recipe is for 6 fillets.
1. In a small mixing bowl, put 2 TBSP olive oil, 2 TBSP dried basil, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 TSP lemon juice, and a quarter sized sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix it all up.
2. Pour the mix into a plastic bag and place the defrosted fillets in. Close the bag and cover the fillets with the mix.
3. Place the bag in the fridge for 2-4 hours to marinate.
4. In a glass baking dish, cover the bottom entirely with a thin layer of olive oil.
5. Take out the fillets and pour everything into the dish.
6. Cover the dish with foil and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the fillets are fully cooked and flaky.
7. Spread freshly chopped Italian parsley on top of each fillet and top with a slice of lemon per fillet.
So easy right?! It'll taste amazing.
Second up, the Tuscan roasted potatoes. This recipe can feed up to 7 people.
1. Wash and cut 8 red potatoes into 1'' pieces and place inside a plastic bag.
2. In a small mixing bowl, put 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley, 1 TBSP paprika, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 TBSP ground black pepper, 1 TBSP ground sea salt, and 2 TBSP olive oil. Mix it all up.
3. Pour the mix into the plastic bag of potatoes. Close the bag and cover the pieces with the mix.
4. Place the bag in the fridge for 1-2 hours to marinate.
5. In a glass baking dish, cover the bottom entirely with a thin layer of olive oil.
6. Take out the potatoes and pour everything into the dish evenly.
7. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 60 minutes total, taking out and turning the potatoes every 15 minutes so all the pieces cook.
The blend of spices in this recipe is what makes it taste so good!
And we save the best for last! The brownie bottom cheesecake will impress even the avid cheesecake lover like myself. This was my first time making it, and it was devoured and seconds were in order.ha
1. In a 13x9'' foil baking pan, put a layer of butter and flour on the edges before pouring in Hershey's Ultimate Chocolate Brownie Mix as directed for the pan size.
2. Cook as directed in the oven at 350 degrees for 47 minutes. Then let cool for 10 minutes.
3. To make the cheesecake, in a small mixing bowl put 16 oz. cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 TSP vanilla extract, 1/2 cup sour cream. Mix it all up with an electric whisk beater so no lumps of cheese remain.
4. Pour on top of the cooked brownie in an even layer.
5. Place in the oven at 325 degrees for 35 minutes until the edges start to brown.
6. Put the pan in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight to set.
7. Take the brownie bottom cheesecake out of the pan by pressing down on the pan edges and it lifting up. Since you used butter and flour before baking, you should be able to take it without hardly any sticking to the pan.
8. Cut into square pieces and top with a strawberry slice when ready to serve.
So there you have it! 3 recipes sure to impress during any gathering. A few captures of the finished meal before nothing was left. The key is presentation though. If you decide to serve each plate separately instead of buffet style, place in order on the plate: white rice, steamed brocolli and carrots, orange roughy dipped in garlic lemon basil sauce topped with a lemon - then on the side put a portion of the Tuscan roasted potatoes.
After dinner everyone got to choose one colored Mystic Knotwork coaster to keep!
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