Birthday time!

Drew’s birthday was on Sunday and he wanted to have a party to celebrate, so we invited friends over and got busy in the kitchen! Drew put together a tasty, tasty taco bar with fillings for three different tacos (pulled pork, shrimp, and tofu with greens), three different salsas (a mild roasted tomatillo salsa, a medium roasted tomato salsa, and a skull-and-cross-bones mango habanero salsa), and lots of toppings (queso fresco, lime wedges, red onions soaked in sour orange juice).

And I forgot to take pictures.

I’m so bummed that I did that because the kitchen looked gorgeous and the tacos were a big hit! We had some leftovers (though not as much as I originally thought we did), so I can also attest to the fact that the shrimp filling is very good over greens and Drew has been eating the pulled pork over greens with a balsamic-mango-habanero dressing.

The cake was my job and since red velvet cake is Drew’s favorite, I made this Lincoln’s Red Velvet (Cheesecake) Cake which was also a big hit! I have a picture of the outside of it, but forgot to snap a pic once I sliced into it, but it turned out very well, if I do say so myself.

You’d think a cake with a layer of cheesecake in it would be super rich, but it really wasn’t – the cheesecake was surprisingly light and the red velvet is less sweet (and far less chocolatey) than I was expecting it to be. Even the cream cheese frosting wasn’t overwhelming!

Drew managed to get rid of most of the leftover cake the next day at school, but I’m still picking away at the remaining cake tops that I had after leveling the cakes. Yum!

My man is back where he belongs…in the kitchen!

Getting home to make dinner tonight was going to be tight (I had to run to the market to buy a lottery ticket – on Wednesday, I won baseball tickets from HK’s winter fitness incentive program and yesterday I won a personal cooler and insulated cup at a raffle at the HK health fair, so I figured I really ought to see if my streak holds out tonight for the MegaMillions lottery), so Drew volunteered to make dinner for us. It really is nice having someone cook for you (and he even loaded the dishwasher when he was done – what a good boyfriend!) on busy evenings like this.

And it doesn’t hurt that he’s quite the whiz in the kitchen! He made us these delicious tacos with catfish nuggets and kale – lovely and spicy and tasty!

Tacos!

I had my first tap class of the new session tonight so Drew threw together his go-to, lovely, quick dinner – Mexican Scrambled Egg Tacos. We also had a miscellany of tortillas hiding around the fridge and this was a good way to use them up. They’re super easy – scramble some eggs with onion and maybe some tomato? I’m not sure what he put in it tonight, it’s sort of a fridge-clearing recipe.

When you top it with some salsa and cilantro, who cares what’s in it anyway?! Yum is all that matters.

Dinner party!

I feel so sophisticated! The other night Drew and I had a couple of his friends over for dinner (they live just one street over and neither of us have had the others over since they moved in). They brought chips and salsa for appetizers and Drew made his super delicious Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce from Rick Bayless’ Fiesta at Rick’s. He’s made it before, but he likes to experiment with the filling – this time he used butternut squash, mushrooms, black beans, and red onions and it was oh, so good!

His friends gushed over it and he’s been inundated with requests for the recipe. Yum, yum, yum! Dessert was left to me and I decided to make the final recipe from my lazy, lazy Christmas menu, the Yeasted Pear Tart With Chamomile Creme Anglaise. I think my springform pan is a 10-inch pan and the recipe called for a 9 1/2-inch one. Knowing that, I thought I was being clever and checked on it when it was only 25 minutes into its baking time, but alas, I was not clever enough! It was still good, but it was a little bit overbaked and with a yeasted dessert, that translated into reaaaalllllly dry. The biggest success, though, easily went to the chamomile creme anglaise which was amahzing. I think I might try making it into an ice cream – it was so good!

And even though it was a bit on the dry side, it certainly didn’t keep me from eating almost the rest of it all by myself the next day.

My boyfriend cooks!

The title makes it sound like this is a rare occurrence, so let me clarify – Drew is a very good cook and we manage to split the kitchen duties fairly evenly around here. For Christmas, I got him The Sriracha Cookbook along with a giant bottle of sriracha – there are some really interesting recipes in there including one for a peach-sriracha sorbet which sounds very intriguing! His brother got him a package of white grits along with lots of other yummy goodies, so for dinner earlier in the week, Drew made Three-Cheese Grits from his new cookbook. I don’t think I’d ever had grits before, but they were really good! Creamy and cheesy and spicy. Yum!

The recipe made a TON of grits, though, so he took the cookbook’s advice for leftovers and pan-fried slices to serve along with a little green salad for dinner the next night. Also yummy!

We’ve even had them cold – I like them cold on a bed of salad greens which make a cool and crunchy contrast to the creamy, spicy grits. A very successful start – I hope there are many more sriracha-based meals to come!