Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tonight's dinner

Well tonight was a rare occasion. Connor and Lillee had been gone all afternoon with Grandma and I spent this time baking a pear preserve cake and biscuits for my cultural cooking meeting. By the time I cleaned the kitchen and the kids got back home I was running out of time. Lillee said she wanted pancakes for dinner and, I NEVER do this, but I gave in to the exhaustion, being behind schedule and wanting to be out of the kitchen. Pancakes it was...for the kids.

I went to my cultural cooking group and had some really delicious food! Our theme this month was pears, apples and cheese...anything you can do with one or all three of these components. I chose pears. I had canned spicy pear preserves last month and one of my favorite foods growing up was hot biscuits and pear preserves. So I made some fresh biscuits and also put together a pear preserve cake (think spiced bundt cake with layers of pear preserves and pecans).

The other ladies had brought wonderful contributions that served to be a delicious and not too unhealthy dinner. I had 7 different kinds of favorites were:

1. Parrano - think Parmesan but softer...a texture like butter that's between fridge cold and room temperature

2. St Andre - think intense brie, but buttery

3. Port Salut - this is a very mild cheese with a soft texture, but with substance. I'm not sure how to describe it, you could poke it with your finger and see an indentation, but it would return to it's original form, yet not rubbery. Loved the texture and the mild flavor, a good cheese to serve to a crowd without fear of it being too overwhelming.

We had several different varieties of apples and pears. A wonderfully balanced salad with spinach, avocado, apple, walnuts and some Paul Newman dressing...LOVELY! There were several truly divine baked goods including an apple cake and an apple, pear and cranberry crumble...YUM!

However, my favorite is something you can easily replicate without a recipe! Take some good friend Gloree suggested a Bulgarian Feta instead of a Greek Feta, but we actually had a nice Greek Feta (not Athenos brand). Crumble the feta on a plate, sprinkle with chopped walnuts and drizzle with honey. The layers in this simple piece are amazing. You get a silky, yet pungent bite from the feta with a sticky sweet honey flavor mixing with the crunch and the slightly bitter, yet not offensive, taste that is distinctly walnut.

So dinner was pretty shabby for my kids, but a HUGE splurge for them. And mine was spectacular and not at all conventional :) My poor husband got nothing. I bet he'll be nuking a can of spaghettiO's later tonight.

UPDATE: I had no sooner posted this when my husband ran to the kitchen proclaiming he was starved and had to eat....he's making Ramen, his other standby.

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