A Real Birthday Treat


I swear, after this, no more posts about my birthday.
I’ll have milked the subject for all it’s worth.
Birthdays are big things in my household.
My daughter’s birthday festivities last one whole month.
Mine lasts a week. While my son and husband have a more reasonable birthday duration.
So, what great treat did I get for my birthday?

Amongst other things, I got an awesome new cookbook.

But really, I got a weapon.
A weapon that will help me to conquer my number one enemy.
It’s the Excalibur that will allow me to defeat Lady Eggplant.
And I did. However, the story of that conquest is a story for another day.
If I told all my secrets in one day, you would not come back.
Now would you?

So, stay tuned my friends. And see what mad recipes I can pull out of the 751 pages of recipes.

Let’s open the floor for discussions:
If you got your wife a cookbook, would she like it?
If you received a cookbook, would you be as happy as I am?
Which cookbook would you want?
Do you also have long birthday festivities?
Is it just a girl thing in your household as well?

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4 thoughts on “A Real Birthday Treat

  1. Hello all,

    I want to comment on cookbooks. On my side, I have a little less than 20 different cookbooks; Indians recipe, fish recipe, salads, technique cookbook (those are my favorites), etc. For the last years, I used almost only internet for getting all my recipes. But at last new year eves, we hosted a small diner with some friends and I had an epiphany, a cookbook rebirth. While not necessarily used the cookbooks for their recipes, I used them to get meal inspiration, put a little bit of “new” in my mouth. Our diner was as follow : Appetizer of coconutted scampies with citrus salsa, followed by a roasted red bell pepper and feta salad. As for main dish, we had chicken breast in a litchi and ginger sauce sided with a nice asparagus and shrimp risotto. This very nice meal was concluded with an Orange and ginger crème brulée! Just writing about it still gave me a craving.

    Nevertheless, I don’t really want to write about my culinary experiences, but more to answer to the first two question : I don’t think that my wife will be as happy as I am receiving a cookbook or anything kitchen related tools, even if she does like to cook. For me being in a kitchen is more like a hobby, and it is always very rewarding when seeing my three kids eating all their dishes and asking for more!

    • Ian, your meal sounds absolutely amazing.
      I have pangs of hunger just thinking about that.
      Invite me over next time.
      I agree with you, there’s nothing like seeing family members gobble up a meal.
      Did you take pictures?
      Could you share them with us?
      Would you like to contribute the recipes?
      You could do a few guest entries.
      Let me know what you think of the idea.
      Thanks for commenting, keep on cooking and let’s keep on sharing.

      ps: I’m extremely intrigued about the ginger and litchi sauce. It did not taste too sweet?

  2. Unfortunately, I did not took any picture of those plates. One of the reason is that I have still to work on my presentation skills (which are better every time, but still there is a lot of room for improvement). About guest entries, I would love to, but for the next 4 and a half month, I will be in Italy for work, since I have found this website in “Mark’s blog” you probably get an idea why I will be travelling! :). However, since I will be in Italy, there is probably some interesting things that can be said about Italian cooking. Time will tell!

    As for contributing for the recipe here is the main dish recipe:

    First of all, I need to tell you where I found this recipe. I was at my local mechanic shop, waiting for my tires to be changed. There was this nice magazine with article on activities with kids, so while I was going through it, I got to the “recipe” pages. I found all those recipe so mouth watering, that I took pictures of them with my cellphone.

    So here it is :
    (I’ll try my best to translate it, since it was took from a french magazine)

    Chicken in litchi and ginger sauce
    Preparation : 30 minutes
    Cook time : 30 minutes
    Portions : 4 (in my experience, you can make it 5 maybe 6, depending of the side dish)

    660g of cubed chicken breast
    30ml (2 table spoon) of canola oil
    5ml (2 inches) of fresh ginger, grated
    5ml (1 tea spoon) of salt
    30ml (2 table spoon) of saké *optional*
    25ml (5 tea spoon) of sugar
    1 can of litchis (reserve 75ml of the syrup/juice)
    175ml (3/4 cup) of orange juice
    45 ml (3 table spoon) of corn starch delayed in 60ml of warm water.
    60 ml (1/4 cup) of marinated ginger (sushi style)
    250ml of red bell pepper, cut in small dices

    Marinade:
    1ml (1/4 tea spoon) of salt
    10ml (2 tea spoon) of corn starch
    30ml (2 table spoon) of water
    3ml (1/2 tea spoon) of soya sauce (I have put 1 full tea spoon)

    In a marinade bowl, mix salt, corn starch, water and soya sauce and add cubed chicken. Make sure that the chicken is completely covered by the marinade. Let sit in the fridge for 20 minutes (an hour is better in my opinion)

    After marinating, heat some of the canola oil and seize the chicken, to get a nice golden color on its surface, then reserve.

    In a wok or pan, gently cook the fresh ginger in canola oil until it release its perfume. Add the garlic (in my opinion, don’t overheat the pan, since you don’t want your garlic to burn and get bitter, medium-low is the way to go when dealing with garlic and onions). Add the chicken, saké, sugar, salt, litchi and orange juices. Let simmer until the chicken is well cooked (10-15 minutes)

    If not already done, bring the sauce to boiling point. Add the delayed corn starch while stirring vigorously. When incorporated, stir gently until the sauce gets thicker. Cut-off the heat then add the marinated ginger, litchis and red bell pepper..

    This is nicely sided with white rice, and steamed (but crunchy) green vegetables (asparagus are my favourites)

The floor is now open, you have the mike

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