Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Birthday Lunch For Grandma Dayle

We have been lucky enough to have a visit from Eric's parents and brother for the last week. It's been wonderful to see them and since Dayle's birthday is the 29th, I had the chance to get a little creative and make a nice birthday lunch and cake. Everything was super yummy so I thought I'd share my menu and recipes for these somewhat eclectic dishes :)

Cold cucumber mint soup
A summertime favorite that is light and refreshing on a hot day.
A nice light accompaniment to cold soup for summer lunch
Mother's Chocolate-Maple-Bacon mousse cake
This is one of my creations, mixing three of my favorite flavors. This produced a well-balanced and rich cake that I intend to make over and over again.
Indian-style tea
Great hot or iced, the subtle spice and richness is always a yummy treat!
Cucumber-citrus water
A great refreshment when it gets hot. The cucumber and citrus blend adds a pleasant floral note to the water and eating the cucumbers out of the water is one of Lily's favorite treats.

Cold Cucumber-Mint Soup
1 large cucumber, skinned & chopped
2 cups Buttermilk
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in blender, blend until mostly smooth. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with mint leaves or cucumber slice.

2 strips of bacon for each sandwich, cooked and cut in half
2-3 slices of tomato per sandwich
3-4 slices of avocado per sandwich
Spring mix as lettuce
whole grain and nut bread, toasted

We arranged all of the ingredients on pretty platter and let everyone make their sandwich as they liked it.

Mother's Chocolate-maple-bacon Mousse Cake
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 c butter
1/2 c buttermilk
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c strong brewed coffee
1/2 c maple syrup
1 egg
1/2 tsp. maple extract
1 c flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. bacon cooked and diced
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. melt chocolate with butter in small pan, let cool.
  3. in a large bowl, combine sugar, syrup, coffee, and buttermilk. Stir in egg, maple extract, then chocolate.
  4. In a medium bowl mix flour, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture into wet ingredients. Blend until smooth. Add 1/2 c. of diced bacon into batter and stir well.
  5. Pour batter into lightly greased 8" round cake pan (springform works best) and bake for 25 mins. or until toothpick in center of cake comes out cleanly.
  6. Let cake cool completely, preferably in fridge.
2 c. Heavy whipping cream (divided- 2/3 cup + 1 1/3 Cup)
2 1/3 tsp. maple syrup
8oz semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips (or chopped)
1/2 c bacon (to garnish)
  1. bring 2/3 cup of heavy cream to boil in small pan. In heat-safe bowl combine chocolate chips and maple syrup.
  2. Pour boiling cream over chocolate/syrup and let stand for 1 minute. Stir well then add in other 1 1/3 cup of cream. Stir completely.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Mix with hand mixer until mix has a fluffy, mousse-like texture.
  5. Ice cake with mouse then top with reserved diced bacon.
  6. Refrigerate before serving
Indian style tea
3 black tea bags
6 cups of water
8 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 tsp. sweet curry (Cinnamon, cardamom, and turmeric mix)
1/2 c. evaporated milk

Bring tea, water, and spices to boil in medium saucepan. Remove teabags and cardamom pods with slotted spoon and add evaporated milk to boiling tea. Turn off heat and stir well. Allow to cool for a few minutes and add sugar to taste. You can serve this iced, but be sure to add sugar before pouring over ice.

Cucumber-Citrus Water:
1 cucumber, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced

Combine ingredients in pitcher and add water to fill. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to meld. Serve over ice.

If any of you make any of these I'd love to hear about how they worked out for you. I don't cook often but when I do I usually like to experiment and make something new (at least to me). I am currently thinking about making rice pudding in hollowed-out citrus as bowls. If I can figure out how to get them to work correctly I will post a recipe for all interested parties.