Well, we’re back into the swing of things here…the postal strike is over! I’m hoping to add some new items soon, and have been putting some things on sale to clear out some stock.
I’ll post more on that later, but this post is for my friend Nat.
This weekend I celebrated my birthday. I spent it with friends, including one from out of town. Which means, I got to be the hostess-with-the-mostess. I love entertaining and cooking for people. With busy schedules and many friends living in other cities, I don’t get to do it as often as I would like. Nat, knowing my craftiness in the kitchen, wished me a “happy birthday” on Facebook all the way from British Columbia and said she couldn’t wait to see what I made for dinner and for dessert.
I had a menu planned, but I didn’t have any intentions of posting pictures on my FB page, but I had to after Nat’s desire to see what I was cooking up. After I posted a few pictures, she told me I should start a blog….little does she know…
It’s been quite a while since I posted recipes here, so here we go!
I started out with great ambitions for the afternoon cocktails. I decided I wanted to make pina-coladas from scratch, using this recipe on the LCBO site. It looked simple enough, so I set out to the nearest Asian market and bought some coconut cream. Actually, this was pure creamed coconut and the instructions said to add warm water. The market stored the creamed coconut in the fridge, so I did the same. You add warm water to the creamed coconut to make coconut cream or milk, depending on the amount of water you add. Well, even with a potato masher, the refrigerated creamed coconut was rock hard and was not dissolving. So, I initiated plan B and brought out the Bacardi pre-mixed frozen pina-colada and mixed it. I pulled out my trusty hand blender, advertised as being able to crush ice, and promptly bent the blade. I was not living up to the hostess-with-the-mostess! So my friend and I took a hammer to the ice and ended up with some very tasty drinks. I was back on track!
For dinner, I had hoped to find some lobster tails to grill, but they didn’t look so great. I picked up some garlic and herb shrimp skewers and put the “shrimp on the Barby!” (you were all thinking it, I just couldn’t resist). I boiled some red potatoes, then put them in a foil packet with some butter, garlic, salt and pepper and put those on the BBQ as well. Some fresh cooked green beans, and dinner was served!
What I was most excited for, was of course, my birthday dessert. I will take pie over cake any day of the week, so I knew I wanted to make a pie. Fruit pies are delicious, but also time consuming. After seeing her smores in a jar recipe, I was seriously jones-ing for some smores. But I was nervous about putting jars in the oven, and then I found Jessica’s Smore’s pie recipe! It was o-so-simple to make and I knew it would awesome!
And. It. Was.
I had one more meal up my sleeve, the after-birthday-breakfast. Which after a fantastic, and random night downtown (anyone watch The Bachelorette? We met Craig from Season 6 of the Bachelorette at the bar…my friend recognized him as I don’t watch the show. He was very nice!), the birthday breakfast turned into birthday brunch.
One of my favourite, (and incredibly simple yet completely impressive) breakfast recipes is for Individual Toads in a Hole. I’ve adapted it from this recipe by Christine Cushing. I’ve made this recipe many times, and it’s always a hit. I use mega-muffin tins and wrap ready-cooked bacon around the sides of the muffin tin and then pour the batter in the middle. For these ones, I added green onions, mushrooms and grated cheese. I served them with hashbrowns fried in olive oil and a touch of butter, garlic, cayenne pepper and some more shredded cheese. YUM!
Good thing calories don’t count on your birthday, right?