Elizabeth’s Birthday Dinner

My friend Elizabeth’s birthday was last week, but we didn’t get a chance to celebrate until last night. Better late than never, right?! This birthday celebration was a little different than most birthday celebrations though. Elizabeth was actually cooking her own birthday dinner, with my help of course. But we like to cook together and she always wants to learn new things, which makes cooking with her a lot of fun. Some might think cooking their own birthday dinner would be a drag, but we had a great time together, as we always do.

Usually when Elizabeth is the sous chef in my kitchen, we are not on a time crunch, but I had a special dinner planned that required a lot of prep work. And work we did too. She actually got a small taste of what it’s really like to work in a professional kitchen, with seemingly a million things going on at once; there is always a lot to do and not a lot of time to get it done. But she came through with flying colors, and we got everything done on time, before our first guests arrived too, though just barely. šŸ™‚

Because we were so hurried, I didn’t get any pictures of the actual finished results, so you’ll just have to trust me that everything was enjoyed by all and we all had a great time. šŸ™‚ The menu was chicken filled crepes with a creamed roasted red pepper coulis Chicken Crepes, buttery herbed melting potatoes Herbed Melting Potatoes, a green salad with tomatoes, olives and cucumber (provided by Janet), asparagus topped with bacon and Parmigiano cheese (provided by Lauren) and some chocolate pasta with macerated strawberries for dessert. Everything was a big success and we were all completely satisfied after. After dinner and dessert, we all played a game of Farkle. Bob skunked us all, and won by a huge amount, but we all had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. šŸ™‚

Before we started doing all our prep work, Elizabeth had to get some cuddles from my assistants, Vinnie and Juneau.

After cuddles, it was time to get to work. We are starting to make our crepe batter. We needed to make that and the chocolate pasta first since both had to rest in the refrigerator for a time before we could proceed any further with them.

After making the crepe batter, we started on the chocolate pasta. I got this idea from one of you (though I am embarrassed to say I can’t remember who at the moment. My sincere apologies.) and ETSY. I followed the recipe exactly, but believe it or not, I do not own a pasta maker, so it didn’t come out exactly as I was hoping, but it still tasted good. There is always room for improvement though. šŸ™‚

Elizabeth is beginning to make her chocolate pasta dough.

Once we had the crepe batter and the chocolate dough prepared and in the fridge, it was on to the other components of the meal. We roasted our peppers and had to let them sweat too. Next came our chicken crepe filling. We cut up the chicken breast, and then sauteed some orange bell peppers, onions, garlic, herbs and seasoning, then combined them all together.

By the time we had the filling done, the crepe batter was ready and it was time to make the crepes. Our crepes were savory crepes, and the batter had garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and chives in it.

Once all our crepes were made, we had to fill them. Then we topped them with some of our sauce and a little jalapeno jack cheese before baking them up to perfection.

When the crepes were finished, we started on the potatoes. We had to brown them first in butter and olive oil, cooking them about 9 minutes per side. Then we added the garlic, herbs and chicken broth to roast them for an additional 30 minutes.

We still had to cut the pasta into strips and set the table, and the clock was ticking fast.

After cutting the pasta, we put it back into the fridge, where it stayed until we were ready to boil it up. When we were ready, i boiled it in boiling hot water for about 3 minutes, per the recipe.

Luckily I had the strawberries already made before hand. They were super simple and super tasty. It was a pint of strawberries sliced, combined with 2 TBSP of Grand Marnier, 1 TBSP sugar, 1 TBSP of chocolate orange port and 1 TBSP of orange zest, gently combined together and put back in the fridge until we were ready.

PHEW!!!!!!! What a relief! I had just finished setting the table and we had just finished everything (except for all the cleaning) before Janet, Bob, Mike and Lauren arrived. Success! We pulled it off, and we did it in style. šŸ™‚

Janet and Bob arrived just a couple of minutes before Mike and Lauren, so we had a minute to take a picture in front of Janet’s colorful salad.

And this was the last picture before we sat down to enjoy our simple birthday feast. After we let our dinner digest a bit, it was time to start the dessert. Like I mentioned above, it didn’t turn out exactly as I was hoping, but it was still very good, and definitely different, especially when I added a bit of chocolate balsamic vinegar on top of the strawberries as a finishing touch.

Even Vinnie got dressed up for the occasion and was sporting a blue bow to say Happy Birthday to Elizabeth. šŸ™‚

So from all of us, including all the fur babies, Happy Birthday Elizabeth. I hope you had a good time and enjoyed our celebration of you. šŸ™‚


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

11 thoughts on “Elizabeth’s Birthday Dinner”

    1. I will give you the recipe, but I am going to tweak it more before I make a full post for it. You know, I have to learn from my mistakes and then correct them first. šŸ™‚ I found the recipe on the Food Network website, My printer is acting up, so when I printed it, it came out all blurry.

      2 1/2 cups flour
      1/4 cup cocoa powder
      1/4 cup powdered sugar
      pinch of slat
      3 eggs, beaten
      1 TBSP chocolate syrup
      1 tsp either vanilla or chocolate extract – I used chocolate extract

      Mix and knead like you would for bread, adding a little bit of water as needed. Once you have a dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before rolling it out. Roll it out as thin as you can. If you have a pasta maker, put it through the pasta maker a couple of times, then cut it into strips like fettuccine. This is where I messed up. I do not have a pasta maker, and I didn’t roll it out thin enough. Boil it in boiling hot water for about 3 minutes. Then serve.

      Liked by 1 person

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