Mom's Birthday Luncheon

We love my mom! She celebrated her birthday back in the middle of January and we invited her up to Durham for a luncheon in her honor. It was so nice to bring out the colorful Chirp linens and entertaining pieces to brighten the room during the cold bleak month of January. I tried to put together a menu of things she loves since she was the guest of honor! Read on for her menu and more details.

The Table

The bright Chirp table linens allow us to use our everyday white bone china; this transitional ensemble can be dressed up or down. We are able to use our crystal stemware to dress up things! 

Aren't these napkin holders the cutest accessories?!
The Meal

Appetizer: Balsamic strawberry goat cheese crostini
Salad: Crunchy apple salad with seared scallops
Entrée: Black bean soup with cheesy crusty bread
Dessert: Eggnog ice cream with dulce de leche and ladyfingers

Balsamic strawberry goat cheese crostini adapted from cooking for keeps
2 cups strawberries, thinly sliced 
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
1 tsp brown sugar 
2 tbsp basil, cut into a chiffonade 
Pinch of salt 
Pinch of black pepper 
½ baguette, cut into ½ inch slices 
4 ounces goat cheese 
   Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
   Combine strawberries, vinegar, sugar, basil, salt, and black pepper together in a small bowl. Let set for 30 minutes to an hour. 
   In the meantime, place crostini slices on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until slightly crisp about 8 minutes. Let cool. 
   Spread goat cheese on toast and then layer balsamic strawberries over. Sprinkle with more basil.
Since fresh basil is not in season I substituted a basil goat cheese spread for the goat cheese.

Crunchy apple salad with seared scallops adapted from wholesomely homemade
6 large scallops 
1 green apple, cut into matchsticks
mixed greens
2 tbsp evoo
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper
   Dressing Ingredients
juice and zest of half a lemon
3 tbsp evoo 
salt and pepper to taste 
   Heat oil in pan on medium-high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper and lay them clockwise, so you can remember which ones to flip first.
   Flip scallops when they turn golden brown on the bottom. When both sides are a nice golden brown color, add lemon juice to pan, making sure to coat the scallops with the lemon juice.
   Place mixed greens and apple sticks in a bowl. Combine dressing ingredients, mix well and add to salad.
   Plate scallops with salad and garnish with extra lemon zest. 

Cheesy crusty bread from the comfort of cooking
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour 
1 3/4 teaspoons salt 
1/2 teaspoon Instant or Rapid-rise yeast 
1 1/2 cups water 
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
   In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, yeast, and cheese. Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours. Overnight works great. 
   Heat oven to 450 degrees. When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating. Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough. Cover and return to oven for 30 min. After 30 min remove the lid and bake an additional 15 min. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack. 

Black bean soup from chef pablos
1 medium onion 
2 garlic cloves
2 celery stalks 
¼ red bell pepper 
1 tbsp cooking oil 
1½ cups chicken broth 
2 – 15oz cans black beans 
½ tsp ground cumin 
½ tsp salt 
lemon juice (approx. ½ a lemon) 
   Chop the onions, celery and bell pepper and mince the garlic. 
   Add the oil to a large pot over a medium high heat. Add the vegetables and saute until your onions are translucent. 
   Add the chicken broth and raise the heat to high. Add your black beans along with the salt and ground cumin Bring to a boil. 
   Reduce heat to a slow rolling boil and let cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
   Using a potato masher, work the beans until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Add the lemon juice and let simmer for about 5 minutes. 
   Serve in individual bowls with your favorite garnish (sour cream, chopped green onions, etc.) 

Eggnog ice cream from allrecipes
2 cups eggnog 
2 cups heavy cream 
1 10oz can sweetened condensed milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
   Mix eggnog, heavy cream, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions until it reaches "soft-serve" consistency. Transfer ice cream to a one- or two-quart lidded plastic container; cover surface with plastic wrap and seal. For best results, ice cream should ripen in the freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight.
We served the eggnog ice cream over a dessert shell brushed with coffee and drizzled dulce de leche over everything.

The Birthday Girl & Her Presents

What are some of your favorite foods you like to have for your birthday?!

1 comment:

  1. This was one of the best meals ever. Your home was beautiful and the table was picture perfect. All the food was delicious, especially liked the scallops and then the dulce de leche. I did do scallops one night here. Mine were not as good as yours. Thanks, too, for my gifts. You spoil me!