Monday, February 21, 2011

No Excuses

There is absolutely no plausible cover story I can conjure up that could rationalize my absence from my beloved blog.  Being busy at work and life will not exonerate me from my lack of commitment to sharing good food with friends.  My absence in this forum does not at all mean that I haven't been enjoying dinners with friends, experimenting with new recipes, or just plain forcing something new on my unsuspecting husband.  I should have simply been more diligent in sharing it with you.  My bad.

I should have blogged about my husband's 30th birthday feast.  It was a feast, indeed.  I should have shared my experimentation with the Velvety Beet Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing.  And I should have at least made a small blip on the Sous Vide lamb shanks we had for dinner the other night which were so good, they warranted making it a regular menu item in our household.  It seems I do have a great deal to blog about, particularly the "Best Buttermilk Pancakes" recipe which I have tried a few times and have determined it ought to seriously rethink it's boastful name.

But for now, I will, for the sake of keeping this short and sweet, only choose one of the above....  The Birthday Dinner it is.

I had, for a long while, been wanting to plan a wonderful 30th birthday bash for my dear husband, but all surprises I had meticulously planned fell through for one reason or another.  So I abandoned all hope and decided to do what I do best.  Cook.  Well, shop and then cook.  I hit up a number of different shops around town to make the perfect evening.  And I even ordered fresh, organic, game meat from a local ranch.  Canadian Rocky Mountain Ranch, CRMR Home, Mercato, Bin 905, and Janice Beaton Cheeses set the stage for what would be a night of fine dining in the comfort of our little home.

We began with some finely selected cheeses: Brillat Savarin with truffles, Chimay, Bleu de Basque, an Appenzeller-style cheese which I now forget the name, and a ash-rind goat cheese that was a little puck of yum... all with fresh figs.

We enjoyed some game salami; elk salami and smoked buffalo.  And fresh authentic bruschetta.

Accompanied by a perfect bottle of bubbly, our evening was off to a good start.

The evening was going so well, we could have stopped there, but that wouldn't have been 'all-out' now would it?

What could I possible do to make this evening better?


Beautiful green leeks simmered down to a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth pot of bliss with bacon, smashed soft baby potatoes topped with a mushroom demi-glaze, and a perfectly cooked elk sirloin plucked from the Sous Vide Supreme was just what the night needed.

Dinner was divine.

Unfortunately, my husband had a prior evening engagement that he could not miss, and so our dinner was coming to a close.

Though it wouldn't be much of a birthday if I didn't at least give him a little gift, no?
Nothing a little Eagle Rare Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon won't fix ;)

And while he was gone, I took it upon myself to tie up the night in a pretty little birthday cake bow.  He requested a Black Forest Cake, which I, admittedly, have never been a big fan of but was determined to give him what he wanted.  It was his 30th after all.  So I whipped up the tried and true Nigella Lawson Molten Chocolate Babycakes and made a sour cherry compote as the 'black forest' topping.  With a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream, he'd be as gooey as the chocolately lava-filled cakes.  Mmmm ;) 

All in all, there is little about the evening that wasn't perfect.

And he was in heaven.  

Just where you wanna be when you feel you're over the hill.........

......... on a cloud of culinary bliss with your loved one.

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