Friday night we went for drinks & dinner at Beauty Shop and Do, respectively, with a fun couple who we haven't had all that much one on one time with, of late. I'm still not 100% on Do (a sort of trendy sushi place in the cute, artsy neighborhood down the street from us) - but it was a fun night. And once the huge crowd in the restaurant cleared out, my enjoyment of the atmosphere greatly improved.
Saturday we ran ~100 errands during the day and then stayed in that night.
And Sunday night, we had a fun birthday dinner with Jonathan's parents. This is where "my blog bad" comes in because I had full intentions of photographing our entire delicious meal so I could share. But I didn't even take one picture. Boo. You'll have to take my
When planning the meal, Jonathan wanted to cook lamb. And since mint is a common paring with lamb, everything was sort of centered around mint & lemon.
1st Course: French onion soup (complete with croutons & melted gruyere on top)
I love French onion soup. And I'd never made it before. But after watching a cooking show a couple weekends ago where the cook made it, I realized it's easy enough, and would be the perfect amount of elegance (yet still totally casual) for our dinner party with his parents. It was a big hit. I used the slow cooker, which was perfect when cooking a big meal, because we didn't really have to worry about it and it didn't take up any oven space.
Main Course: Braised lamb shanks, with mint & walnut pesto; quinoa with olive oil, lemon, mint, and italian parsley
The lamb was prepared with port, lemon zest & juice, rosemary, and garlic. Jonathan cooked it "low & slow" in our big roasting pan in the oven. I wanted to make some kind of mint sauce to go with the lamb; and a pesto seemed about right. So I went with this one that was a mix of fresh mint and Italian parsley, and then used walnuts as the nut (which added a lovely flavor that was unique from normal pesto). My father in law loves quinoa, so I went with this simple vinaigrette and tossed it with some of the herbs in the pesto.
Dessert: Toffee cookie bars with chocolate mascarpone sauce; vanilla gelato
I saw Giada make these last weekend when I was watching cooking shows before church. They looked friggin awesome, but I sort of brushed the idea of making them off because I had no need for a decadent dessert. Then I remembered Charlie's birthday! So we did away with a traditional cake and instead served these with gelato.
The base is a sugar cookie mixed with crunched up Skor bars (chocolate-covered toffee). On top of that is a layer of chocolaty goodness (made by melting a cup of chocolate chips and mixing it with a cup of mascarpone cheese). And then it's all topped with chopped walnuts and more chopped Skor bars. Make these. Just do it.
It was a pretty awesome dinner. And on that note, I need my knee to heal properly so I can run about 20 miles to burn off all the calories!
Hope you guys had good weekends, too!