Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happy Birthday! (and a recipe)

Today is my cousin Melissa's 20th birthday. Thankfully, she is not 21 yet, or I would feel really really old... but I'm also kind of anxious for that big day to roll around so I can give her a birthday shot without my gramma shaking her head at me ;). To celebrate this year, I threw a little "Laper Ladies" get together at the house as a joint Melissa's birthday and Mother's Day dinner party. This being quite possibly the ONLY time ever that all of the girls in the family have gotten together with "no boys allowed", I have to say - while I love the guys, our testosterone-lacking party was a blast and definitely something we'll need to do more often in the future.

Here's a few pictures that I stole from Melissa's facebook this morning, since I haven't uploaded my own yet.

Gramma and all of her granddaughters. A cute picture regardless of how incredibly huge my arm managed to look in that shirt.

Melissa and Lauren with the birthday cake.

The empty stack of jello shots. 90% of which Melissa and I polished off ourselves. (Note to self: Not a good idea to have that many jello shots. Stop pretending you are still in college.)

And since no party post of mine is complete without a recap of the food, here's what was on the menu -

Spinach, goat cheese and roasted garlic dip (New recipe!)
Veggie tray (thanks to Aunt Sharon)
Mini crab cakes (New recipe!)

Grilled chicken caesar skewers over salad
Pulled chicken sandwiches (New recipe!)
Mini BLT's with dijon mayo (New recipe!)
Baked mac & cheese (New recipe! Courtesy of Dan's friend Teresa)

Layered strawberry cheesecake bowl (Tried & true family favorite)
Angel food birthday cake and ice cream (thanks to Gramma)

For drinks, I made the aforementioned jello shots and one of those frozen cosmo buckets, and my Aunt Renee made a DELICIOUS bourbon slushie I will have to get the recipe for - - Even Dan had one before he left for the night and liked it, so it could be a new summer favorite.

Both the mini crab cakes and the pulled chicken sandwiches were from Noble Pig, an amazing blog full of simple recipes that I found via Lauren & Tom. The mini crab cakes seemed to be a favorite, so here's the recipe straight from Cathy over at Noble Pig -

Mini Crab Cakes
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Makes 24

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1 large egg
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
4 teaspoons plus 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Large pinch cayenne pepper
6 ounces fresh lump crabmeat, picked over, patted dry, coarsely shredded
1-1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
Fresh chives cut into pieces

1. Beat cream cheese in a medium bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Add 1/4 cup parmesan and egg; beat to blend.
2. Beat in sour cream, citrus zest, 4 teaspoons chopped chives, coarse salt and cayenne pepper.
3. Fold in crabmeat with a spatula. (This can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill.)
4. Toss 1-1/2 cups panko, 3/4 cup parmesan and 4 tablespoons chopped chives in a bowl. Drizzle melted butter over, tossing with a fork until evenly moistened.
5. Press 1 rounded Tablespoon panko mixture into bottom of each muffin cup (makes a well with your thumb), forming crust.
6. Spoon 1 generous Tablespoon crab mixture into each cup. Sprinkle more panko mixture over each.
7. Bake crab cakes in a 350 degree oven until golden on top and set, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Gently lift each crab cake out of the pan with a fork onto a serving platter. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Arrange on baking sheet, let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in a 350 degree oven for 5-6 minutes.)

Since even with a fancy camera I can't seem to take a decent food shot, I'm giving credit where credit is due and posting Noble Pig's for you to see how delicious these little bites look -

A few things I learned while making this:
1. I have no idea if there is a difference between green onions (which I used), and chives (which the recipe calls for). Apparently if there is a difference it doesn't matter much, because my crab cakes were still delicious.
2. I also have no idea if there is a difference between red pepper (which I used) and cayenne pepper (which the recipe calls for). Again, not sure if it matters... but if anyone knows, please do enlighten me!
3. I need to take a knife skills class. Seriously.
4. It takes forEVER for cream cheese to come to room temperature. Thankfully, I see nothing wrong with helping it along in the microwave for a couple minutes.
5. Apparently I also need to take a cooking class, so I will know the answers to things like #1 and #2 above.

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Happy Birthday, Melissa! I hope you enjoyed your party. Love you!

1 comment:

The Immatures said...

Yummy! I'm sure she had a great time!

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