Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tropical Cooking Club

As the host for this year's January installment of cooking club, I decided to do a "tropical" theme. This winter has been so brutally cold, I figured it would be a great chance to escape the chill and pretend we were somewhere warm. Wouldn't you know, we got a winter storm this afternoon!

It snowed all day.

There was lots of texting back and forth about whether or not to cancel the dinner.

We canceled it, we uncanceled it.

But ultimately, we soldiered on and everyone braved the weather to come to my tropical paradise.

WELCOME!!! I had the fireplace roaring and the house was toasty and warm.

Summer got us started with a delicious tropical cocktail. Mango Passion! Mango, vodka, lime and champagne.

Mango Passion cocktail




Yumi brought a delicious pot of soup.

We kicked things off with Valerie's scallop papaya ceviche. I LOVED this. I love scallops the most. This was too scallopy for a few of the ladies at the table, but it was all I could do not to gobble theirs down too! I knew I had to save room for the future, though.

Yumi's Vietnamese sour tamarind soup! This had jumbo shrimp and catfish in it and a delightful sweet-sour flavor. There's pineapple in there!

Vietnamese sour tamarind soup

Nancy made a seaweed salad with carrots.

Yum. We were all in agreement that this was delicious!

Then we took a break for another round of Summer's tropical cocktails! Blue Hawaiians this time.

Blue Hawaiian


Blue Hawaiian

For my dish, I made Thai Shrimp Halibut Curry.

Thai Shrimp Halibut Curry

This was awesome! I love halibut so much. Coconutty and limy – we felt like we were on the beach!

Thai Shrimp Halibut Curry

Emily capped of the evening with a scrumptious coconut flan. Oh, hi!

coconut flan

What winter? What snow? We felt like we were in a tropical paradise!!!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

More Birthday Fun

We had a family dinner party tonight to celebrate Mom's birthday again! Since the surprise party on Tuesday was a grownup party, Little Kate hadn't yet gotten her chance to celebrate this special occasion. And celebrate we did! With Casa takeout! They put all of our side salads in one box. Look at that big beautiful box of salad!!

Casa Nueva side salad to go

Kate had a cheese empanada. LUCKY!!!

Mmm, burrito and salad.

Casa Nueva burrito

For dessert we had a Larry's Dawg House ice cream cake!

Larry's Dawg House ice cream cake

The best the best the best!!!!

Larry's Dawg House ice cream cake

Happy birthday to MOM!!!

Larry's Dawg House ice cream cake

Kate helped with the wish making.

I would dare to say that Larry's Dawg House ice cream cake is the best in the entire world.

Larry's Dawg House ice cream cake

Kate made mom a craft project of the letter "K"!


Happy birthday, Mom!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom! SURPRISE!!!

Today was Mom's 65th birthday, and Dad planned a special surprise party for her at Restaurant Salaam! She was under the impression that she was just going to a small dinner with Uncle Tom, Aunt Sue, Ben and me, and that we'd be having another family party later in the week with Mer, Pete and Little Kate.

Little did she know, Dad had invited a big group of friends to help us celebrate!! Here's Dad with his two party planning helpers!

Birthday girl!

We filled up three tables!

Restaurant Salaam Athens Ohio

Restaurant Salaam Athens Ohio

Restaurant Salaam Athens Ohio

Libby and Mom!

Restaurant Salaam Athens Ohio


Ben's pretty Chicken Bisteeya.

Restaurant Salaam Athens Ohio, Chicken Bisteeya

I got one of the specials – Palak Paneer. It was SOOOOOO good!!!!!!!!!! It was exactly what I was in the mood for and even tastier than I hoped it would be. Delicious!

Restaurant Salaam Athens Ohio, Palak Paneer

Place cards!

CHOCOLATE CAKE!!! Ry made this glorious chocolate cake for the party.

Restaurant Salaam Athens Ohio


Look at the size of that CAKE!

Chocolatey enough?? It was incredible.

Story teller!

Restaurant Salaam Athens Ohio


Libby gave Mom some beautiful hyacinths. She reused a gift bag and forgot to remove the card attached!!!! Hahahahahah!! We got a really good laugh out of that.

Birthday girl!