Eleventh Month Menu

So these monthly anniversary dinners were a fun dinner affair for us to look forward to. When we first began this dining adventure I wasn't sure it was going to happen. We knew after the wedding that we would be moving in the spring and I thought it would be much easier to keep wedding gifts in boxes and not begin the adventure. But boy am I glad we didn't! Looking back on our monthly anniversary dinner will be a great memory for us! I'll do a recap of all of them at the end of the week. Today is the eleventh month menu and the first one in our new house! We decided to go really wild and try mussels. And like last month, click here for a menu printable.

Spaghetti and mussels with tomatoes and basil
Blueberry crumb cake
Served with Joel Gott Chardonnay (served at our wedding)

Spaghetti and mussels with tomatoes and basil from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast
Coarse kosher salt, to taste 
6 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
2 Tbs. olive oil  
1 large shallot, minced 
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes 
1 lb. mussels 
1/3 cup dry white wine  
1 tsp. grated lemon zest  
3/4 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved 
1/2 cup slivered fresh basil 
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

   Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, stir well and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes. 
   Meanwhile, in a large, heavy fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallot and red pepper flakes and sauté until the shallot is almost tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mussels, wine and lemon zest. Cover the pan and cook until the mussel shells begin to open, about 4 minutes. 

Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until they start to soften, about 2 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open. 
   Drain the pasta and transfer to a warmed large shallow bowl. Pour the mussels and sauce over the pasta. Add the basil and the extra-virgin olive oil and toss to coat the pasta. Season with salt and black pepper and serve immediately.

For the streusel
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
For the cake
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling

For the cake
   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.
   Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.
   Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. 

For the streusel
Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

   With your fingers, crumble the streusel topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

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