Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Celebrations

On Saturday we celebrated Andrew's birthday (oh to be 24 again...I can barely remember). His food choices for the day were wonderful; French Toast with Turkey Bacon (his choice) and regular bacon (my choice). Lunch was Shrimp Po' Boys with an assortment of chips. Dinner started with a Scallop appetizer, followed by a salad, steamed mussels, oven baked fries, and nice crusty bread slices. Dessert was simply Peanut Butter Blossoms.

The French Toast were the classic eggs beaten with milk, a little sugar, a pinch of salt and a little vanilla. I bought both a white bread and a wheat bread from the bakery department of my grocery store and lightly dipped and fried the bread slices. Served with real maple syrup, these were fabulous!

The Shrimp Po' Boys started with a 6" piece of a baguette, sliced, buttered and toasted in the oven. The toasted bread slices were smeared with a sauce made from mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and a little Tabasco sauce. The fresh shrimp were treated to the usual breading process; a dip in flour, then beaten egg and finally in bread crumbs which were seasoned with salt, pepper and a little cayenne pepper before being fried until golden brown. The final touch was some shredded lettuce and a couple of fresh tomato slices. Yummy!

The appetizer for dinner was a sea scallop wrapped in prosciutto around the side. The prosciutto wrapped scallop got a brush of olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper before going on the grill for a couple of minutes per side until done. The scallops and the plate were finally drizzled with a balsamic glaze which was simply a cup of balsamic vinegar cooked down to about 1/4 cup until thickened and almost syrupy.

The mussels had been scrubbed, soaked and de-bearded before being steamed in white wine with the usual blend of chopped onion, carrot and celery. The oven fries started with russet potatoes that were sliced lengthwise into thick slices and drizzled with olive oil in a bowl before going in a single layer on a baking sheet and getting a sprinkling of salt and a little pepper. They were baked in a 450 oven for 10 minutes and then flipped over to cook for another 10 minutes.

Andrew is really not a dessert person, but he did choose Peanut Butter Blossoms which are peanut butter cookies that are rolled in sugar before being baked and then topped with a Hershey Kiss as soon as they come out of the oven. I'm not sure how this one cookie recipe slides under the not too sweet radar, but the rest of us were glad there was something sweet to end the day with.

For Father's Day, Gerry chose blueberry pancakes with a side of sausage. I made my classic buttermilk pancakes and added fresh blueberries to each pancake as I poured them on the griddle. He requested his favorite sausage (Pederson's brand which we discovered at Kerbey Lane in Austin). I have found the Pederson's brand of breakfast sausage before at our Central Market in Plano, but I had to settle for a popular brand after being unable to find his request at two separate stores.

Jason's request for lunch was to go out for Ethiopian which most of us really love. We loaded up the cars and headed to the Queen of Sheba in Addison which is always delicious. Once again the food was superb and I know we will be craving it again in a couple of months.

Gerry's choice for dinner was a light Caesar Salad with grilled chicken and Jason's choice for dessert was a Peanut Butter Pie. I made Elie's healthy Caesar dressing which I love because it starts with a pastuerized egg product to which I added anchovy paste, fresh lemon juice, fresh minced garlic, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and a slow drizzle of olive oil until thoroughly combined and thickened. I made my dressing in my salad bowl so I just tossed in the Romaine lettuce when I was ready. Once the salad was plated, I added the grilled chicken slices, some shredded Parmesan cheese and homemade croutons.

The peanut butter pie has become a family favorite with good reason. A chocolate crumb crust holds the filling of cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, a little butter, vanilla and freshly whipped cream; all combined until smooth. The pie got a shaving of a chocolate bar as a garnish. This pie is better made ahead, so I made it on Saturday night after everyone left.

A family-filled weekend of celebrating the oldest and soon to be youngest man (not counting our grandson) in our family. Of course it all revolves around food!

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