Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Twin Peaks Dinner

Diane, it's 7:46pm on February 23, 2016. Tomorrow is Twin Peaks Day, and today is the anniversary of Laura Palmer's death. 25 years later, just like she said. To commemorate this important event, we made a themed dinner of delicious foods straight out of Norma and Shelly's kitchen. "I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange..." We hope you enjoy!

We had an abundance of table decorations!

"There was a fish... in the percolator!"

The dictaphone with many entries to Diane

Windom Earle's chess pieces, Bob's Wanted Poster and the Log Lady's Log.

And then of course, we had to dress up!

Tim is, of course, Agent Dale Cooper and I tried to give my best Audrey impression (hence the eye mole). 

I did wear a Chevron skirt to represent the waiting room in the Black Lodge!

Okay, enough with the table decor!  For dinner we had The Horne Brothers' Brie and Butter Sandwich, The (Beef) Log Does Not Judge (Wrapped in Plastic), Garmonbozia (creamed corn), The Leland Palmer Cocktail, Agent Cooper's Damn Fine Cup of Coffee served as Black as Midnight on a Moonless Night, Lucy's Donut Spread, Ben Horne's Cigars, and RR Diner's Cherry Pie.  

The Horne Brothers' Brie and Butter Sandwich

French Loaf of Bread
Brie Cheese

1. Cut the loaf of bread in half and then in half again so you have open faced halves.
2. Place on a cookie sheet and spread with butter. 
3. Then add desired amount of brie slices
4. Broil sandwiches for 4-8 minutes until cheese starts bubble and bread is golden brown.

The (Beef) Log Does Not Judge (Wrapped in Plastic)
Tim got this summer sausage from a coworker and it is pretty darn tasty!

Garmonbozia (Creamed Corn)
Tim followed the instructions on the can.

The Leland Palmer
Tim found this recipe here and we adapted it a bit.

1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of hot water
3 cups of freshly brewed Green Tea
1/2 cup of Tanqueray Gin
1/2 cup of Limoncello 
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1/2 cup of Grapefruit Flavored Sparkling Water 
1 cup of chilled club soda

Mix all of the ingredients in a large pitcher and serve over ice with one of Audrey's Tongue Tied Maraschino Cherries. 

*Obviously I didn't drink any of this...  I just had the coffee. 

Agent Cooper's Damn Fine Cup of Coffee served as Black as Midnight on a Moonless Night

This is actually David Lynch's Coffee and it was pretty tasty!
*Also note the Twin Peaks Coffee Mug! 

Lucy's Donut Spread
Tim got donuts from Albertson's and picked up a jelly donut and a long john (my favorite!)

Ben Horne's Cigars
I found some chocolate cigars at Target!

RR Diner's Cherry Pie
We bought Cherry Pie in the freezer section and Tim baked it according to package instructions for about forty five minutes

We had such a fun time, and we eagerly await the new season to come out next year!

Happy Twin Peaks Day!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Chocolat Dinner

For our last holiday before baby arrives, we celebrated Valentine's Day with a decadent Chocolat Dinner.  It was amazing!

For dinner we had Armande's Birthday Choc Au Vin, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Vianne's Spiced Hot Chocolate, and Chocolaterie Maya Chocolate Truffles.

Armande's Birthday Choc Au Vin 
I found this recipe here and changed it a bit based on what our grocery store had.

4 strips of bacon cut into small pieces
4 chicken thighs
3 stalks of celery
1 teaspoon of onion powder
3 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
3 tablespoons of Cognac
2 cups of Malbec
2 cups of Chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of thyme
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of flour
1/2 pound of Crimini mushrooms, quartered
1/2 pound of Shitake mushrooms
2oz Dark Chocolate (80+ percent Cacao)
Parsley as garnish
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. In a large pot, fry the bacon over medium heat until the fat has rendered but before it gets crispy.  Remove the bacon with tongs and place on a paper towel lined plate.
2. Place chicken thighs skin side down for 6 minutes until golden brown and then flip until the other side is lightly browned, about four minutes.  Transfer to a plate
3.  Remove 2 tablespoons of fate and place in a small bowl.
4. Add onion powder, celery and garlic and cook until soft.
5. Add Cognac to deglaze the pan, allow most of the liquid to evaporate.
6. Add Malbec, chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme, and tomato paste.
7. Return the bacon and chicken to the pan and turn a few times to make sure the chicken is well coated. Cover with the lid slightly askew (so steam can escape) and simmer on medium low heat for 35minutes (until chicken is tender).
8. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover with foil.
9. Add flour to the fat and stir together, set aside.
10. Add mushrooms to the pot and turn the heat back up to medium and simmer uncovered for fifteen minutes.
11. Add a few tablespoon of the sauce to the fat/flour mixture.  Mix together until it makes a thick roux.
12. Add roux back into the sauce mixture which will thicken it up a bit.
13. Add salt and pepper to taste
14. Add baking chocolate and add the chicken back in and serve with some parsley.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
We got these from the grocery store and boy were they tasty!

Vianne's Spiced Hot Chocolate 
I found this recipe here which is actually from the author of the book "Chocolat."

1 and 2/3 cups of milk
1/2 of a vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 of a cinnamon stick
1 hot red chile, stemmed, halved, seeded
3oz of bittersweet (70%) chocolate
Whipped cream and chocolate chips
A little nip of Cognac if you are not pregnant

1. Place the milk in a saucepan, add vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, and chile and bring to a simmer for one minute.  
2. Break the chocolate into pieces and whisk it until it melts. (we tried to grate it.... and it was ineffective, just break into small pieces)
3. Take off heat and allow to infuse for 10 minutes, then remove the vanilla, cinnamon, and chile.  Return to heat and bring back to a simmer.  
4. Transfer to a mug and serve with whipped cream, chocolate chips, and cognac (optional)

*this drink was fabulously tasty!!

Chocolaterie Maya Chocolate Truffles
In our "Try the World" box we got, we got a box of Truffettes de France and boy, were they perfect for this dinner!  They were very rich without being extremely sweet. 

Tim also got me some sparkling juice and made up a label so I wouldn't feel left out!

We had a great dinner and a romantic date night.  It was a nice way to focus on each other before the little lady joins us. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Zoolander Dinner

To prepare for Zoolander 2 or 2oolander (or whatever you want to call it), we did a dinner for Zoolander!  

For dinner we had "Serve Me Up A Piping Hot Dish of Hansel" Hot Dish, Black Lung Bean Dip and Corn Chips, Orange Mocha Frappuccino, and J.P. Prewitt's Hand Cookies.  We had a great time!

"Serve Me Up A Piping Hot Dish of Hansel" Hot Dish
We made up some Beef Stroganoff Hamburger Helper and made it according to package directions.

Black Lung Bean Dip
I found the recipe here and tweaked it a bit! 

15oz can of black beans, drained
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
14.5oz can of petite diced, drained
1 cup of cheddar, shredded

1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a ninja (or blender... we just really love our ninja!), blend together black beans, sour cream, salt and pepper.  
3. Pour bean mixture into baking dish and mix in tomatoes and cheese.
4. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes.
5.  Pull off the foil, add a little more cheese and bake for 15 more minutes until cheese is bubbly.
6. Serve with chips!

Orange Mocha Frappuccino

Believe it or not, Starbucks actually did make an Orange Mocha Frappuccino drink for a while when Zoolander first came out.  It wasn't super successful so they discontinued it.  We bought Starbuck's Mocha Frappuccinos from the grocery store.  For Tim's drink, he drank a bit of the Frappuccino and added a small shot of Grand Marnier for the orange flavor!  I added a few drops of Orange extract (and don't worry... I've been cleared to have one caffeinated beverage a day)!  We used a Cutie orange wedge as a garnish!

J.P. Prewitt's Hand Cookies
The sugar cookie recipe is the one I've used for many dinners, can be found on the Toy Story 2 dinner.

It wouldn't be a Zoolander dinner without showcasing our "Blue Steel"

We had a fun dinner and it was nice (and sad) to see David Bowie!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Casablanca Dinner

My brother Jake got us a three month subscription to "Try The World" where they send you fun food items from all over the world.  In our holiday box, we had a box of Croquants A L'Ecorce D'Orange cookies from Morocco.  So I made a dinner around that themed to Casablanca! 

For dinner, we had Moroccan Meatballs, Garlic Herb Couscous, Dates stuffed with Gournay Cheese, Rick's Gin Joint Gin and Tonic, and Croquants A L'Ecorce D'Orange cookies. 

Moroccan Meatballs: 
I found the recipe here and sort of melded it with our Lady and the Tramp meatballs and the results were amazing! 

Ingredients for meatballs:
1.25lbs of ground beef
1/2 onion, diced 
1 clove of garlic, minced
a pinch of chili powder
2 tablespoons of Tandoori spice
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper 

Ingredients for sauce:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 14.5oz cans of diced, peeled tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of coriander

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and use cooking spray to cover the baking sheet. 
2. Mix together all of the meatball ingredients in a bowl
3. Roll into golf ball size meatballs and stick in the over for 22 minutes (or until golden brown)
4. In a small pot, add olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 onion, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of coriander and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
5. Add tomatoes, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. 
6. Serve with sauce over the meatballs

Garlic Herb Couscous:
We just found some boxed couscous at the grocery store and it was quite good!

Dates stuffed with Gournay Cheese:
We bought pitted dates and Tim cut them lengthwise.  He then stuffed them with Boursin Gournay Cheese spread.  Yummy and SOO easy!

Rick's Gin Joint Gin and Tonic:

1 part Gin
2 parts Tonic Water

Croquants A L'Ecorce D'Orange cookies from our Try The World box:

We had an excellent and cohesive dinner!