Last night a few of my girlfriends and I celebrated J's 29th birthday. It was quite a celebration of life...since we are getting older, much more beautiful, wiser, etc., with ever passing year. It was another perfect day in town, so we decided to dine outside in the back yard. Dinner was full of lots of laughter and conversation, and it was a great night.
Following our meal and dessert, we moved to the other side of the patio and decided to break in my fire pit. That was an adventure in itself. At first I wasn't going to use one of the 2 hour logs...who knew we had that much life to cover in our fireside chat? I first attempted to burn old bills and papers. Well, that didn't go over so well...so I got out the fire log, lit it up, and covered it with the only slightly burned papers, and sat back to enjoy the warmth.
It was a great time! I hope J enjoyed her birthday party as much as I did! I thought it was a blast. In honor of the event, I have posted the recipes for each menu item below. We will definitely have to repeat this night again soon! : )
salmon (amount and size dependent on who you are cooking for)
Colorado Spice Salmon and Trout Rub (**Use your own desired seasonings. This is what I used. It contains BLACK PEPPER, SALT, BELL PEPPERS, GARLIC, ORANGE PEEL, THYME, BASIL, ONION AND SPICES 100% Kosher.)
1-3 twigs of fresh rosemary
Create a foil pouch for fish. (Typically I lay two 1 foot to 1.5 foot pieces down and cover with an additional one at the end.) Lay salmon on foil and rub in spices. Lay rosemary on top of salmon, and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Cover fish with additional foil, and fold up sides to create a pouch. Cook on grill for about 10 minutes, flip pouch, and cook an additional 10 minutes. (Cooking time may vary on amount and thickness of the fish.)
Cilantro Lime Rice
1 cup jasmine rice
2 cups water
3 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
Boil 2 cups of water. Add rice, 1 tbsp butter, a dash of olive oil (EVOO), and about 1/2 tbsp or so of Kosher salt. Bring to a boil, cover and let cook for approximately 20 minutes (or until rice is done).
Transfer rice to a bowl and add additional butter, to taste. Squeeze the juice of 2 limes over rice, and add chopped cilantro. Stir and serve!
Squash and zucchini
2 yellow squash
2 tbsp butter
salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning, to taste
Slice squash and zucchini in rounds of about 1/8-1/4 an inch. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Add butter and seasonings. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling for about 10 minutes, or until soft.
Spinach Strawberry Salad
4-6 oz. fresh baby spinach
6-10 strawberries, sliced
shaved Parmesan cheese
Poppy seed dressing
Add spinach in bowl. Top with strawberries and cheese. You can add the dressing and toss...or...to keep the leaves fresh and crisp, let each individual dress their own salad.
**Also good with chopped walnuts and/or sunflower seeds.
Chocolate Chip Pound Cake
Another version can be found here.
1 box yellow cake mix
¾ cup oil
¾ cup water
1 box instant chocolate pudding
8 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1/2 tub chocolate icing
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cake mix, oil, water, eggs and pudding. Once smooth, fold in chocolate chips. Pour into greased/floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 50-70 minutes, depending on how quickly your oven cooks. (Look for the cake to spring back when you gently touch it, and for it to begin pulling away from the sides of the pan.
Remove cake from oven and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. Transfer cake to plate or cake stand and let cool for about an hour.
Spoon out about 1/2 of a tub/jar of chocolate icing into a microwavable cup or bowl. Heat for about 20-30 seconds. (Be careful not to burn it though!) Remove from microwave, stir chocolate, and drizzle with spoon or spatula over cake. If desired, put about 1 tbsp of powered sugar in a strainer, and lightly tap/dust top of cake.