Well, being that Thanksgiving and my birthday fall so close together, I decided to update on my birthday first because it was so much fun. Then in a few days, I'll do a short update on my Thanksgiving dishes and thoughts.
My sister threw a party at her new apartment on Saturday. It wasn't anything huge and crazy, but it wasn't small and sad, either. My bandmates were there, my family was there, my close friends were there. It was perfect. We popped in some Billy Idol, played with the kids, shot the shat and most importantly- chowed down!
First off, my poor sister was making a pasta salad meal when she broke a dish and the glass shards mixed in with the food. I felt pretty bad, but she seemed cool about having to throw the whole thing away. And speaking of breaking things, I baked some cookies (they came out huge and flat) but no pictures were taken because Mike tripped on the sidewalk on the way in. What does one have to do with another, you might ask? Well, my sister made the party Star Wars-themed because I love the saga. I decided to add to the decor with my Vader cookie jar. You can imagine the rest, but I'll type it anyway because I love teasing him about it. As we're walking up the stairs, I hear a smash behind me. Sure enough, Mike tripped and broke the jar on concrete. So much for the cookies. And I can laugh (I still am) because he didn't actually fall or hurt himself. He just owes me another Vader cookie jar.
I got a lot of good prezzies, mostly cooking prezzies. People love when you get a new hobby. It's so easy to pick things out. I got a wonderous food processor (FINALLY), a heavy-duty mixer, new cutting boards with rubber bottoms, a sharp knife that actually cuts food (don't get me started on my old ones), a new sifter, more measuring spoons and cups (I can NEVER get enough of those), pastry items, a zester, a soup strainer, etc... etc... I was like a kid in a candy store!
Anyway, time for foodie pics. My cousin, Bokoluna and her partner and my friend, Elly Blue, made a terrific lay-out.
Rice balls, capped with mushrooms:
Dips and spreads for our pleasure:
And a beautious lay out it was:
But wait! There's more!
Quesadillas with yuca:
Yummy, buttery bread with a most delicious pesto sauce:
...and a garden salad topped with Annies tahini and tomato dressing.
All of these foods were especially delicious because they were cooked with love. :)
Not to be out-done (but I was anyway), I helped Mike make my favourite lasagna dish. This consists of whole wheat noodles (so you don't feel so guilty about it), organic tomato sauce, sauteed garlic, parsely, steamed carrots, toffuti (I like to cheat sometimes), herbed firm tofu, nutritional yeast and spinach leaves, all topped with garlic and garden pasta sauce.
Later, Michael and I sprinkled some Vegan Gourmet mozzarella 'cheese' on top of the left overs. In my opinion, that is the BEST fake cheese they have on the market thus far.
Okay, here is the part you've all been waiting for.
You know how I've been going on and on about there not being enough white chocolate in my life? Mike fixed that right up! I sent him a recipe for white chocolate cake that I need to veganize. I don't have a printer at work, so he does the printing for me. Little did I know, he stole the recipe and decided to make it for my birthday. ;)
The cake had a chocolate candy-coated layer with an utterly delicious white chocolate inside, filled with strawberry jam. Now here's the BEST part. All week, he kept going on about his great decorating idea and how excited he was to do it. I couldn't imagine what it was. At our Thanksgiving dinner, I had to go in the other room while he transferred the cake into the fridge and all I could hear were 'Ooohs' and 'Aahhs' from the kitchen. You can imagine my impatience.
Finally, the day of my party came. My brother helped to fool me even more by asking his son if he saw the 'Darth Vader' cake when I was in the other room. He even played the imperial battle march while they were bringing the cake out. Right up until the last minute, I thought it was Vader. I was so, so, so wrong.
It was ME!
This came from a Photoshopped (by Mike, of course) headshot of me at one of our Acrasjia shows. Here is the original:
Mike never ceases to amaze me! He is a wonderous artist by nature. With my cooking skills and his artistic talent, we could open up our own cake shop! I'd just have to learn how the heck to work with fondant for those picky brides.
I asked Mike to explain how he decorated in 3d (in case any of you would like to give it a go) and here is his summary:
-Then I lined a flat, round pan with wax paper and
poured the white chocolate into the pan
-I then let it cool overnight (though it doesn't take
-Next I mixed the ingredients and baked the two halves
of the cake.
-Then I let them cool and spread Polaner All-Fruit
strawberry jelly on top of the bottom layer.
-Next I laid wax paper over the image of Suzie and
traced over it with the point of a fork. Not enough to
cut the paper, but enough to leave an impression of
-I then laid the wax paper over the hardened white
chocolate sheet and cut out the design with a fresh,
clean, exacto blade
-I melted some dark chocolate chips in a double boiler
and then poured it over the two layers of the cake
after I had stacked them
-I let the chocolate cool a little then I took the
pieces of the face in white chocolate and placed them
in the still soft dark chocolate
-For the hair I cut thin slivers out of the leftover
white chocolate and placed them in the dark surface
If I were to do it over again I wouldn't have made the
chocolate layers so thick. it was hard to cut through
when carving the cake. I also didn't let it warm up
long enough when taking it out of the fridge. Part of
that was worrying about an impatient and snooping
birthday girl. -;>D
Well, after the party, my friends and I hopped over to a bar in Quincy and had the dance floor all to ourselves. Who could ask for anything more?
All-in-all, I had a kick-ass birthday. I got lots of nice cards and gifts and more importantly, my friends and family were there to make me feel loved. Oh, and great food was had by all! =)