Monday, June 18, 2012

Decadent Foodie Weekend

I love to celebrate. I really don't need much of an excuse to celebrate. For example, did you know that today is National Cherry Tart Day and Macadamia Nut Cookie day and Splurge Day?! So you can splurge with a cherry tart and a cookie. No, it's not lame. I like to celebrate. :)

This weekend was Father's Day weekend but it was also very close to Chuck's birthday so we celebrated all weekend. My job was to spoil Chuck. Since we don't have a lot of money for spoiling (darn money tree died in the drought!) I cooked all weekend and gave foot, knee and back massages and waited on him hand and foot.

Here's a "taste" of the weekend.

It started with fish tacos from a place called Fish City Grill. They were great! Chuck got a crab cake sandwich and red beans and rice.
 We splurged a little and got a 70th anniversary limited edition tequila by Don Julio. It's all the flavor of an anejo but crystal clear. It almost looks like melted silver in a glass. It has a nice viscosity and full taste with a very clean finish. I'm very impressed with it. I'd like to have a bottle to put away for special occasion toasts.
 Saturday I came across a recipe I knew I had to try. I'm always bookmarking recipes but rarely make them. Not this time. I got the ingredients that day! Allow me to introduce you to Beer and Bacon Cupcakes!

First, I candied some bacon by sprinkling brown sugar on it and baking in a 400* oven for about 20 minutes.

Remember the "diet" cakes that were such a thing a while back? You take a box of cake mix and add a can of diet soda to reduce calories and fat? This cupcake recipe took that idea but went a different direction. As in, "Screw you, diet! We're breaking up." That direction.  It uses a bottle of beer instead of the diet soda. It works! (It's actually a 12 oz bottle minus 1/4 cup) I went with St Arnold's Elissa IPA.
 The icing is a basic butter cream icing that uses 1/4 cup of beer for the liquid. Top the cupcakes with icing and add a piece of candied bacon.
 Chuck said the bacon was one of the best things he'd ever put in his mouth. It was off the scale. We have a 5 star system of rating recipes. He said this was way beyond that.
 Sunday morning I got up and made some freshly ground coffee and these scrambled eggs in puff pastry. The smell was pretty intoxicating. What a great way to wake up Chuck on Father's Day.
They are filled with herbed scrambled eggs, ham and cheddar cheese. It turned out very tasty but my puff pastry didn't rise as much as it should have. Not sure what happened there. I'll try to troubleshoot it. I may have to make my own puff pastry. I've done it before. It's a real pain in the arse but makes the best.
 Breakfast was a hit with everybody. It's easy to make and makes an elegant presentation. Definitely something to make in the future.

Chuck has a chicken salad that is is his favorite. I used to make it for him all the time but haven't in years and he's always asking for it. I made it for him this weekend as a special Father's Day/Birthday treat. It's called Lemon Chicken Salad. I got it off a recipe card from Kraft about 20 years ago. (20 years ago? Geez. Doesn't seem that long!)
 I put some on club crackers and topped it with slices of candied jalapeno that I got at Kroger. The jalapenos put it over the top. It was a mouthgasm.

Here's the recipe if you'd like to give it a try. It really is tasty. Of course there are substitutions you can make to suit different dietary needs.

Lemon Chicken Salad

1/2 cup Miracle Whip
2 Tbs chopped fresh basil OR 2 tsp dried basil
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel
2 cups chopped cooked chicken OR turkey
1 cup halved red OR green grapes
1/2 cup halved snow pea pods
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

Mix dressing, basil, juice and peel in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, mix lightly and refrigerate. Serve with crackers or on a lettuce lined plate. Serves 4.

I continued to wait on Chuck hand and foot. He received shoulder and neck rubs. He was loving it.

That evening I prepared a big ass ham that I got for only $10, homemade cream biscuits, spinach with garlic and lemon, and homemade mac n cheese. He was in heaven. Everyone enjoyed dinner.
 After a visit at the in laws', we came home, played a board game and had a piece of tiramisu that Rachel made. Her first time to make it and it turned out perfect. Certainly one of the best I've had. It's a recipe from America's Test Kitchen so you know it's good.
Yes, it was a tasty Father's Day weekend. Certainly not low carb.

And today is Chuck's birthday. Happy birthday, Chuck!!! The celebration continues.

All of these fancy treats remind me that it's time to work out. Ha!  It was worth it though.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

7 comments:

  1. And here I thought that was just a regular ol' ham. Turns out it was an ass ham. Oh, well. It sure was tasty.

    Thanks for the special treatment, young lady. I had a fabulous weekend.

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    1. Ha! Well all ham is ass ham but this was big ass!

      Glad you enjoyed it. Happy birthday!

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  2. If you ask me, this looks like the PERFECT celebration. Happy Father's Day and happy Birthday to Chuck. My birthday is October...please send cupcakes with Bacon!!! :) Have a great Monday Kelly!

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    1. October. I might be able to do that! ;) I think you'd love these. The candied bacon alone is worth making.

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  3. Looks like Chuck was pretty well spoiled!

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    1. I sure hope so. There is something very saitsfying about cooking for an appreciative audience. :)

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  4. Happy Birthday to Chuck, and wow, quite the impressive meals!

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