Monday, April 09, 2012

birthday treats!

Last Friday was John's birthday! We celebrated with some special activities (hiking and a trip to the Science Museum,) and most importantly, some special treats!

 "Spanikopita," from The Cheese Factory Restaurant Cookbook:
I haven't made this since Christmas, and since John had been frequently demanding requesting it since then, I thought it would make a fine birthday meal. :) I made the right choice! While devouring leftovers last night, John said, "I think this might be my favorite thing EVER to eat." (Or something along those lines, anyway!) What's not to love? A stick of butter, a pound of filo, three pounds of spinach, a couple of eggs, an onion, some herbs and spices, half a cup of heavy cream, and a pound of feta!  Pictured in the background is a gigantic, steamed artichoke.  I love artichokes SO much, and John is also a fan.  We have been eating a lot of artichokes lately, as I've been able to score jumbos at Costco for a reasonable price.  John announced last night, "it's official -- we've become artichoke people."  We have.  And it's a good, good thing.

 A special birthday breakfast:
Brie and apple butter-stuffed french toast. Hell yes. You, too, should try this at home.  Pizza Luce brunch, I kick your butt.

Who needs cake when you can have birthday pie?
This Lemon Cream Pie from Real Simple was FANTASTIC. Sweet, slightly spicy cookie crust filled with a sweet-tart, creamy, light lemon filling. I may have baked the crust a minute or two too long, as it was impossible to cut in the pie plate. Solution? I pried the entire pie out of the plate and cut it into wedges on a cutting board. Problem solved, pie devoured, and I'll remember to shoot for a shorter bake time next time.

"Whole Wheat Fusilli with Swiss Chard and Balsamic-Roasted Onions," from The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, by Peter Berley:
Anybody else out there own this cookbook?  I picked it up used a while ago, after a lengthy library preview, and although this is my first recipe to try from it, I can't WAIT to dive further into this cookbook.  Berley's ethic seems to be right in line with my style of cooking, and the recipes are new and fresh -- just the breath of life I need in my cooking these days.  Back to this recipe . . . so simple, yet so fantastic!  Proof that all you need are a few high-quality ingredients, a good knife, and a little skill to put together an amazing meal.  Balsamic-roasted onions?  Possibly my new favorite food group.  ;)

Last weekend, I made a batch of chocolate chip cookie bars to take to the reception for our church choir concert; John was sorely disappointed that they weren't sticking around for him to eat!  So, I figured I better make another batch for portable birthday treats:
We enjoyed these, along with some sandwiches, apples, and other snacks, on trail during John's birthday hike Friday.  I think I might like chocolate chip cookie bars BETTER than chocolate chip cookies.  They seem to stay softer, somehow, and I love how thick they are!  Mmmm.

Almost all of the leftovers are at John's house, so the question begs: what on EARTH am I going to have for dinner tonight?


John Torgerson said...

Spanikopita? Even the name makes it more awesome.

Eileen said...

I don't have that Peter Berley book, but I do have Fresh Food Fast, which is quite good--there's a radish, orange, and avocado salad and a red lentil-sweet potato curry that I particularly like.

And I may have to make us one of those lemon pies...even though it's no one's birthday until October. :)

Anonymous said...

It sounds like birthday weekend was a success! Were you pleased with the brie stuffed french toast?

Anonymous said...

PS you changed the blog font--it is nice!