Birthday Dinner (long over-due…)

Tonight I am preparing a birthday dinner for my husband….whose birthday was in December. Yes, I am a little behind the times, but in my defense he was traveling during his birthday, and we left town a few short days after he returned (meeting other pre-planned obligations during the time he was home). So rather than rush to have a birthday dinner at the appropriate time, I suggested we hold off and have one when we returned from our holiday travels. And this brings us to today…

First of all, it is frigid here in TX, perhaps the coldest I have seen it here in my 19+ years. I rather enjoy this weather as it results in a wood fire, sending the aroma of mesquite wafting throughout the house. It’s rather festive if I do say so myself! Here I sit, blogging away, in front of this hypnotic wood fire while drinking my Manhattan (a must if you are sitting by a cozy hearth)…we have finished the pre-meal appetizers, consisting of a smoked trout spread on endive leaves with a tropical salsa on the side. Oh, yes, and a cheese and cracker platter. I have prepped for dinner, so I can sit for a time before I commence cooking the birthday meal.

For the main meal I am preparing linguine tossed with seared scallops and crabmeat. I will mix in sauteed mushrooms and a creamy white wine sauce to finish. With dinner I am serving a salad of arugula, sliced apple, red onion and dried cherries. This will have a mustard vinegrette folded into it, topped with goat cheese. I have some breads from Thanksgiving which were saved in the freezer. I thawed them and will re-heat them to serve with the pasta. And to top it all off, I have a lovely champagne to pair nicely with all of it.

So here’s to birthdays, whether celebrated on time or a bit delayed!! Cheers!!!

Shrimp and Pasta!!!

Today finishes up my freezer ‘clean-out’. I used up the remainder of my shrimp, which I cooked in a sauce of diced tomatoes, white wine, lemon juice (and zest), sliced kalamata olives, and sauteed onions. I tossed that mixture with whole wheat penne pasta and topped it off with a grating of parmesano-reggiano. Delightful!!! I had enough whole wheat penne pasta left to make a healthy lunch for tomorrow: pasta, broccoli, raisins, and walnuts – all of which I drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice (the other half of the one I used for the shrimp pasta), with a sprinkling of red pepper flakes to finish. I will be a very happy gal at lunchtime tomorrow!!!