Saturday, April 18, 2009

That's pretty fresh! (Lobstergram)

Friday nights, we like to wind down with a nice dinner and a bottle of wine. Joe will usually stop and pick up something on the way home depending on the mood. Usually this means something for the grill but sometimes it's pizza, wings, or any other number of things.

This week, he told me "I've got dinner covered for Friday - it will be delivered during the day and then we'll cook it when I get home." Arriving home from work, I found a big white styrofoam box (in addition to a cardboard Amazon box) on the front porch and brought it inside to the kitchen table. My guess? Some sort of steak delivery.

As I waited for Joe to show up, I sat at the kitchen table reading blogs and twittering away.

That's when I heard it. Something was moving inside a package I had brought in from the porch. I assumed it must be the Amazon box making noise so I took that one out to the garage.

Again, I heard the scratching.
Joe: Hello?
me: Are you going to be home soon?
Joe: I'm at the checkout line now with the wine. Why?
me: I don't want to be the bearer of bad news but I think something got into the box of dinner - it's making noises.
Joe: Noises?
me: Yes, like something's moving in there.
Joe: It will be ok, I'll be home soon.
Certain that dinner was ruined, I poked through the pantry for a back-up plan. Fortunately, the backup plan was unnecessary once Joe opened the box and showed me what was inside:

Looks like one of them got sick on the trip. But yes, two LIVE Maine lobsters, overnighted to our door.

Now, I've never boiled live lobster before though it's something I've always wanted to do. Very exciting! I also thought it was going to be a lot of work (and mess). Mostly, I stood back and took photos (and drank wine) while Joe did the cooking.

And after a delicious dinner of lobster (which, yes, I made Joe do all the cracking and dissecting because it was LOOKING at me! I am weak he likes to feel like a big manly provider), Joe presents dessert:

Yes, apparently cooking live lobster wasn't enough adventure for one evening. We needed to finish it up by eating a puppy for dessert. And it was quite tasty. I'm more of a cat person anyways.

And there you have it - my husband, who is far too busy to have read my blog this week, managed to create his very own Lobster Incident. Mo and Blognut would be so proud!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Smurf-Flavored Ice Cream

Thanks for the input on Easter dinner menus. In the end, we went with pasta - I made alfredo sauce, tossed in some cubed chicken, mixed in a box of frozen spinach (chopped) and served it over rigatoni noodles. Add some bread and it was delicious and ridiculously fattening - exactly what a holiday meal should be!

For dessert, we broke out the ice cream maker. We have a Cuisinart that we keep in the freezer so it's ready to go at all times. I made a basic vanilla ice cream, adding about 1/2 tsp of mint extract and an unspecified amount of blue food coloring. After 25 minutes, I added some pastel M&M candies. Joe's a fiend for sprinkles (don't ask) so we topped off with that.

It looked very Easter-y and tasted quite nice. I couldn't resist a quick picture (with my Hallmark chicky candy dish).

I hope you all had a delicious Easter!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Easter Dinner Menu

I'm in the process of planning our Easter dinner menu.  Like most holidays, it will be just me and Joe (supervised by the cats) for our meal.  While this may sound preferable to hosting a meal for thirty people, it brings about its own unique challenges.

Mainly, we always end up with way too much food.  And since we generally eat quite healthy, we allow holidays to be a time for indulgence.  Great, except with only two diners, that leaves a lot of leftovers.  I should really figure out this whole "freezing food" concept.

One of the advantages is that neither of us are die-hard "traditional holiday meal" people.  Sometimes we do go traditional - we had turkey for Thanksgiving, along with all the trimmings.  And froze about ten pounds of bird afterwards.  Sometimes we make our own traditions - the past few years, we've made prime rib for Christmas.  And sometimes, we just go completely outside the box - pasta, pizza, all appetizers.  One year we had an all-bourbon Thanksgiving and every recipe included bourbon as an ingredient.

The one thing we haven't ever done is eat out.  Well, unless you count the Easter we were driving home from Florida and stopped at Subway for a ham and cheese.

Growing up, we always ate ham, snowflake rolls, mashed potatoes, Gramma's mac and cheese, applesauce (my baby brother would only eat applesauce and rolls for most of his meals) and deviled eggs.  Other random dishes also made the table from time to time but those were the staples.  Desserts were more haphazard though there was almost always chocolate pudding pie.  

This year, I'm considering lasagna at this point.  Or something awesome on the grill.  Joe suggested going out but I really do enjoy preparing our meal together at home and relaxing.  Tell me about your Easter dinners and help me plan my own.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

In my basket

I've decided it's Easter Week. I mean, the actual timing of Easter week is caused by planetary alignment and how many times the rabbit sees his shadow in the full moon. I only mean that I've decided any and all posts on this blog this week will relate to Easter.

First post of the week - when you think of an Easter basket, what goes inside? Particular foods or candy? Actual Easter eggs? Non-edible items? Little chickies?

Growing up, my parents the Easter bunny always hid baskets for me and the little bro & sis. However, he left our chocolate on the counter in a special community basket. Supposedly this was because the dog liked to find our baskets and eat the candy. I've been told chocolate isn't good for dogs. Boy must it suck to be a canine. The real reason I think the candy stayed on the counter was because it was easier for my mother eat it that way.

I was always partial to Cadbury creme eggs as a child though now my tastes lean more towards the Cadbury mini-eggs. Another favorite Easter basket addition was always the gift from my grandmother when she came over for dinner. She always bought each of us our own chocolate rabbit and a small jar of peanut butter. That way we could double-dip the bunny without getting yelled at. Oh, the tummy ache I have right now just thinking about it.

So tell me about your Easter basket treasures! I have to imagine there are a lot of individual touches that go well beyond chocolate eggs and purple paper grass.