Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

Alright, so I said I was going to take pictures of all the food I made today for Mom's birthday.  In all the bustle of cooking, I only took a couple of pictures, and then when it was all done and on the table, I only remembered the photo plan after it was completely devoured!  The meal was a lot of work, but it turned out great.  I made salad, herb & cheese breadsticks, spaghetti and homemade marinara, chicken rollatini with spinach alla parmigiana, and chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting.
The marinara is sort of a little of this, a little of that kind of concoction. I don't really use a recipe.  But here is a list my ingredients and some measurements:
2 large cans crushed tomatoes
2 small cans diced tomatoes
2 medium onions
1 large bell pepper
5 cloves garlic
parsley
oregano
basil
black pepper
salt
pinch of sugar

Here are the recipes I found on the web:
Chicken Rollatini with Spinach alla Parmigiana
This was delicious and easy!  I didn't use exact measurements, and mine turned out fine.  I used my homemade marinara. Also, I melted the cheese on top with the broiler on, so it browned up a bit and got a little crispy on the edges, unlike the picture.  YUM!  The photo is from the site where I found the recipe, via Pinterest, because I forgot to take my own photos until after it had all been gobbled up!

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
The cake was good, very moist, and just as a warning...the batter is quite thin but the cake turns out fine.  I had my doubts when I was pouring it into my pans!  Also, let the cakes cool in the pans for longer than the recipe recommends because the cake is so moist.  The frosting tastes amazing!  Also, I doubled the frosting recipe, and still ran short, so it wouldn't hurt to triple it.  The recipe says to use the frosting immediately after making it, and you really should because it begins to firm up a little very fast.  A little tip, as well, you don't need to heat your chocolate for the frosting on the stove...you can do it in a microwave safe bowl in fifteen second increments, stirring in between each.  It takes about a minute or a minute and a half, depending on your microwave.

I made up the recipe for the breadsticks.

Herb & Cheese Breadsticks
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup corn meal (plus approx. 1 tbsp for pan)
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp butter or margerine, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients with a fork until a soft dough forms.  Turn out onto a floured board and knead a few times until a ball forms.  Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into 10 inch strips.  Twist strips twice and place on a cookie sheet dusted with corn meal.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush breadsticks with melted butter/margerine.  Makes about 10 breadsticks.

Meg got a nice bottle of white wine that complimented the meal really well and we all ate way more than we really needed!  Happy Birthday Mom!

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