12 June 2010

A 1/2 Birthday & 3 Recipes

Yesterday was Husby's half-birthday. For the past couple of years, I've made it a point to celebrate this day for him. Since he has a birthday so close to Christmas, the celebration can get lost in the mix. (Although, I try really, really hard to make that day special, as well.) I totally would have taken pictures of our celebration if our air conditioner hadn't been out; my sweaty hair and face with melted-off make-up just doesn't have a place on the internet.

After the week we've had, I just couldn't gather the energy to come up with any meal ideas. Not to mention that our typical Friday night meals are a little easier (read: no cooking involved). Friday nights are a time for us to unwind and debrief about the week, so we hesitate eating out. (Can you say "introverts needing to recharge"?) So, we eat a little more "European"--which I love--with fruits and cheeses and wine and bread as our meal. But I wanted to make it special, so I found a couple of recipes on my Epicurious iPhone app. I had to change one of the recipes up just a bit because Serrano ham isn't available in a city of 100,000. Both recipes called for herbs that we have in our garden, so that saved a little cash. Nice! Both were so, so yummy. On our platter of goods, I also had some dates and farmer's market tomatoes, sliced and topped with big grains of salt and cracked pepper.

Peaches with Prosciutto and Basil
Adapted from Gourmet, April 2007

2 peaches, each cut into 4 wedges
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
8 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
8 small basil leaves

Toss together peaches, sugar, vinegar, and cumin and let stand 10 minutes. Cut prosciutto slices in half lengthwise, then fold them into quarters and place on top of peaches. Top each with a basil leaf and secure with a wooden or metal pick.

Goat Cheese with Thyme, Peppercorns and Lemon Oil
From Bon Appétit, July 2007
Pink peppercorns and peppercorn mélange (a mixture of black, pink, green, and white peppercorns) are available at many supermarkets. They have a milder flavor than black peppercorns, which could be used in a much smaller amount.

1 (5.5-ounce) log soft mild goat cheese
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns or peppercorn mélange, cracked
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 small garlic clove, pressed (optional)
Sliced baguette (toasted, if desired)

Place cheese on plate; using plastic wrap as aid, shape into 5-inch round. Sprinkle with salt, peppercorns, and thyme, and press into cheese. Mix olive oil, lemon peel, and garlic, if desired, in small bowl. Pour over cheese. Serve with baguette.

In celebration of his half-birthday, I typically make and ice (frost, for those not from Texas) a half of a birthday cake. But he requested something with the blackberries bought at the farmer's market. Although we were air conditioner-less, I turned the oven to 350 for my sweet husband to make a Blackberry Cobbler by The Pioneer Woman. It was SO GOOD, but it isn't what I consider a cobbler: lots of juice that's been cooked down with sugar and fruit, layered with pie crust. I think this was more of a Blackberry Buckle, since it was more cakey. I still highly recommend making it.

Blackberry Buckle (Cobbler, whatever you want to call it)
From Tasty Kitchen, The Pioneer Woman

1 stick Butter
1-¼ cup Sugar
1 cup Self-Rising Flour
1 cup Milk
2 cups Blackberries (frozen or fresh)

Melt butter in a microwavable dish. Pour 1 cup of sugar and flour into a mixing bowl, whisking in milk. Mix well. Then, pour in melted butter and whisk it all well together. Butter a baking dish.

Now rinse and pat dry the blackberries. Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle blackberries over the top of the batter; distributing evenly. Sprinkle ¼ cup sugar over the top.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until golden and bubbly. If you desire, sprinkle an additional teaspoon of sugar over the cobbler 10 minutes before it’s done.

Husby just came downstairs with his drill, ready to do some maintenance to our planters that were flooded and don't have proper drainage. I'm off to help or watch.

Have a fabulous weekend!


allison said...

I love the idea of "Euro" style meals. In fact, I read this post at the perfect time, because I am just about to head out to get groceries, and I was trying to think of something low-maintenence for tonight's dinner. Since I was already planning to open a bottle of wine tonight, I now know exactly what to get to accompany it. :) Thanks for the inspiration! :)

-M said...

I just made the PW blackberry cobbler (although I substituted blueberries for the blackberries) this week too! I didn't like it as much as I thought that I would. What was your opinion? I did make her cinnamon rolls this morning before we came up to the Dells w/ Sheley and you were right, they were to die for! I made six tins of them and they were a hit--we polished off an entire one before we left (Andrew helped). I rec'd your email--loved it. I'll keep you posted on any travel plans we have. :-)

Kristina said...

M-I actually liked it more than I thought I would. I'd like to make it with blueberries or raspberries next time. The cinnamon rolls are killer, but SO sweet. I like them better for dessert than breakfast. Of course, Jeremy feels differently about that!

Anderburf said...

Oh, this all sounds amazing! I love goat cheese and the recipe here looks amazing. I got some pink peppercorns from Sustainable Sourcing https://secure.sustainablesourcing.com for Mother's Day this year and have been having fun adding them to different things. I would have never thought of adding some to cheese and I can't wait to try out that recipe. Thanks for sharing!