I have had the laziest of lazy days today. About the only things that I expended any effort on today was bathing Ginny (always a workout) and making dinner (Cheeseburger Crescent Pie & Salad). Oh yeah, and there was this mess that I had to clean up...
Yesterday I promised you all a play by play on my fancy V-day dinner, and here it is...
I didn't have a recipe for the mushroom caps, so I just sort of threw them together at the last minute. I removed and finely chopped the mushroom stems, sauteed them in a touch of olive oil, and then melted in a bit of softened cream cheese. I had some leftover caramelized onions in the fridge, so I chopped them up and added them to the mix, then stuffed the mushroom caps and topped them with a bit of seasoned bread crumbs. I popped them in a really hot oven (450F) for about 8 minutes. I only made 6 for the two of us, but really I could have eaten a dozen all by myself.
The rack of lamb was the element of the meal that I was most nervous about. It was tough to find a rack of lamb at a regular grocery store around here, but I managed to find a nice cut. I marinated the lamb in the juice & zest of two lemons, a bunch of minced garlic, a lot of fresh chopped dill, and some olive oil. I let it marinate in the fridge for a few hours. About a half hour before I was going to cook it, I took the meat out of the fridge and patted it dry. Then, in a very hot (oven safe) skillet with a bit of olive oil I browned both sides, then covered the exposed bones with foil, and transferred the whole thing, skillet and all, into a hot oven. It took about 12 minutes at 450F to get a beautiful medium rare.
I got the recipe for the potato salad from a Food Network Canada show, Chef At Home. I saw it on an episode over the holidays and it was the starting point for this whole meal. It was super simple, just some baby yellow potatoes quartered and boiled until tender, combined with a dressing made of sour cream, lemon juice & zest (1 lemon), chopped fresh dill, chopped green onion and a tablespoon of capers. At the very end, I added in some strips of smoked salmon. Super yummy and different!
The asparagus was super simple, and I'm sure I've told you all about roasting asparagus before. Just trimmed up the spears, drizzled them with a bit of olive oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper. I put them in the oven along side the rack of lamb and they were done in 7 minutes.
Dessert... oh my heavens! I came across this on Pinterest, and I was so amazed at how easy the recipe sounded that I had to try it. Anything with pastry has always intimidated the snot out of me, so I confess that I cheated and bought a pre-made pie crust. Then I combined a small bag of frozen sliced strawberries with a tablespoon of cornstarch and two tablespoons of Spl.enda (my concession to the GD). I rolled out the pie crust and loaded the strawberries into the middle, leaving about an inch around the outside. Then I folded the edge over, folding a bit as I went. I brushed the pastry with a bit of eggwash and then sprinkled sugar (yes, real sugar) lightly over the whole thing. I baked it on a parchment lined baking sheet for 35 minutes at 350F. Then I grated some semi-sweet chocolate over the top.
Honestly, I usually do like my own cooking, but I was amazingly impressed with how this meal turned out. Usually after I make a fancy dinner like this, I'm so worn out by the time it's ready to eat that I don't want to be bothered eating. This meal was so easy, I barely felt like I was doing any real work. And if it's just our wee little family for Easter this year, I'm so doing rack of lamb again. Much less work than a leg of lamb.
Jem asked a question about yesterday's post...about the pizza proposal. Here's the backstory...
I knew that my Beloved was going to propose, I just didn't know when. He had had 'the' conversation with my Dad, which I felt was important, a couple of weeks before. We had actually already set the date and even booked the hall.
I knew he was coming for a weekend visit (he lived on the flatland, and I lived in the mountains), but I wasn't expecting him that particular night, which was a good thing as I was in a terrible mood after a difficult day at work. All I knew was that I was going out for dinner with my parents and some friends. When we got to the restaurant (Pizza H.ut), there he was, waiting for us. I was surprised, but him popping the question was the furthest thing from my mind. We ordered two pizzas for the table and some appies. I munched a few chicken wings and we were just chatting away. One pizza came out, but it wasn't one that I wanted (ham & pineapple, ick!) so I was waiting for the second. It seemed to be taking a ridiculously long time, and I was getting grumpy because I was hungry.
When the pizza finally came out, the waitress set it down right in front of me. And spelled out in green peppers across the pizza were the words "Will You Marry Me?". My mom, who was across the table from me, didn't see the words, and was going on about how it took so long to come out and then they didn't even cut the silly pizza. I was just a bit speechless and finally I told her to read the pizza. In the mean time, my Beloved had pulled out the ring (a beautiful oval cut blue sapphire with two little diamonds on either side, in white gold) and popped the question. Of course I said yes, and here we are, almost at our 5th anniversary.