Casual Monday Night Birthday Dinner for Madame!

Today, July 25th is my Darling Wife’s Birthday.  One year ago we were celebrating her 65th Birthday with friends and family in our apartment, it was billed as A Summer Evening in Paris (Briarwood Style) and you can refresh your memory here:

We’ve been celebrating all weekend, Friday a visit to Ocean Beach, Fire Island with Charlie, Tiffany and Eric, a wonderful day outdoors.  Friday Evening the RI Huffs arrived for a quick visit.  Saturday Burke, Monica, Kris and Connor, Tiffany, Eric, Charlie and Nana & Poppa enjoyed an amazing brunch at Tacuba Cantina Mexicana in Astoria, Queens, NY.  After our 3 birthday celebration: Charlie on the 23rd, Nana on the 25th and Eric on the 26th we crossed the street and visited the Museum of the Moving Image which had an exhibition of Vintage Video Games focused on the age of Atari!  They actually had the games available to play and lots of fun was had by all!   Even the X-Box generation enjoyed  themselves!!

Sunday was recoup day!

So tonight I planned a simple, casual meal for the two of us for Madame’s Birthday.

The very disjointed menu could have been a disaster, but happily the flavors were perfect compliments to each other.  On paper they sounded like they’d be at odds with each other. They were also selected based on pantry/fridge items some of which needed to be enjoyed soon!  But surprisingly they worked perfectly, especially on a HOT summer evening.  The heat and humidity were suggesting salads and nothing hot.  As you will see the menu was one very cold salad, one room temperature side dish and a barely warmed entree!

The salad was a favorite:  Watermelon Salad–Lime Pickled Red Onion, Kalamata Olives, Crumbled Feta Cheese, Chopped Mint with Lime Juice and Olive Oil drizzled as a dressing. Refreshing and cooling compliment to the heat factors of the rest of the menu.

Watermelon, Lime Pickled Red Onion, Kalamata Olives, Feta

Watermelon, Lime Pickled Red Onion, Kalamata Olives, Feta

The Entree was Sauteed Chili Spiced Shrimp Lettuce “Tacos”  We spread a yogurt based guacamole on the lettuce topped with Shrimp,  Avocado. Jalapemo & Tomato Salsa, Red Cabbage Slaw dressed with Cilantro/Cayenne Aioli and dollops of Sour Cream!

Sauteed Shrimp Lettuce "Tacos"

Sauteed Shrimp Lettuce “Tacos”

The side dish was Edamame Succotash–Red Onion, Red Pepper, Corn, Edamame with a Scallion/Cilantro/Lime/Chipotle Vinaigrette!

Edamame Succotash

Edamame Succotash

Amazing that the Lime was the unifying ingredient in each dish and made the meal cohesive!

Dessert was Nutella Mousse with Frangelico and Chocolate Biscotti!

Nutella Mousse with Chocolate Biscotti

Nutella Mousse with Chocolate Biscotti

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Eat Well…Be Well!!


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Summer Dinner for two


Coffee Spice Rubbed Baby Back Ribs baked in the oven and slathered with a bit of bourbon BBQ sauce!

Side Dish from heaven:  Roasted Baby Potatoes and White radishes with Radish Green Pesto!  Recipe from a fellow Personal Chef, Carol Borchardt can be found on her blog here.

We scored the white radishes at the Farm we enjoy visiting in Brookville, Long Island.  The stems on thiese 3-4 inch radishes were over a food long with huge beautiful leaves.  The people at the farm wanted to cut the greens off and DW said NO-he’s gonna make Pesto with them!  They were impressed!  And that’s exactly what I did!

Eat Well…Be Well!


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Dinner for 10 in Great Neck, NY

Wow, what a great group I cooked for tonight, it was an awesome dinner party!

Here’s the menu:

Amuse Bouche:  Watermelon Cube with Balsamic Reduction (I scraped the mint–decided it could be choking hazard!


Appetizer: Cucumber & Avocado Rolls with Sun-dried tomato tapenade and heirloom cherry tomatoes skewers.


Salad: Classic Spring Mix with Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Slivered Almonds and Dried Cranberries with Roasted Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette


Entree:  Spice Crusted Rack of Lamb w/Cilantro and Mint Chutney with Rosemary & Garlic Roasted Baby Potatoes


Mini Dessert Trio:  Chocolate Hazelnut Mouse w/Toasted Hazelnuts; Lemon Curd & Raspberry Shots w/Whipped Cream; Dulce de Leche Ice Cream with Butterscotch Chips and Chocolate Drizzle


Ooooops snapped the pic before plate cleanup!!

Clean plates were returned to the kitchen and seconds on dessert requested!!!!

They certainly enjoyed their food!

Always a pleasure to see clean plates and hear the oohs and aaahs from the dining room!

Eat Well….Be Well!!

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