Tuesday was my 24th birthday, and rather than getting food from Dinosaur BBQ like my mother suggested (which I did for my graduation party last year, I am by no means knocking the deliciousness that is Dinosaur), I wanted to do a more personal dinner.
I asked a few friends over and together we made and ate dinner. My mom, ever the helpful one, lent her kitchen and her cooking skills. She made (above) shrimp sauteed in olive oil with loads of garlic.
I had the master of Syracuse alcohol, Fernando, take care of the drinks.
Sangira a la Fernando
One bottle white wine
1/2 C raspberry rum
1 C orange juice
2/3 C sugar
1/2 C raspberries, smashed
1 mango, diced
1 lime, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced
Put sugar, rum and orange juice into pitcher, stir until sugar is dissolved. Add all of the fruit, let sit until you are ready to serve. The sugar allows the fruit to soak in a lot of the alcohol, so the longer it sits, the more potent the fruit will be.
Add wine immediately before serving.
Fernando made a red wine sangria for last Christmas dinner, and it was amazing. I like white wine better, so I asked him to try one for my birthday, and it turned out even better than the last. Very fruity, very sweet and very strong. Fantastic.
My mom also made an amazing salad/appetizer from her favorite Tapas restaurant in DC, Jaleo.
Apple and Manchego Salad
1 Granny Smith apple
Vinegar or Lemon juice
Slice the apple into long, thin spears. Slice about as much of the cheese into similar pieces. Toss together in a bowl, sprinkle with vinegar or lemon juice to give it a kick and so the apple doesn't brown.
I made the crepes, the recipe for which can be found elsewhere.
Also on the table are bowls of Spanish olives, baked brie, roasted peppers, cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto, a salad that no one touched, and a Spanish dessert bread.
For dessert we had a vegan chocolate cake that Sally won at a silent auction
and the traditional lemon cake, my favorite. We also had a second pitcher of sangria that Fernando was good enough to make - this is a family of wine drinkers, in case you hadn't guessed that already. We were all quite full and tipsy by the end of the evening, and ended the affair with a story from one of the guests, a former children's librarian.
All in all, a pretty good birthday.
Final photo credit: Hannah Nast