Birthday Goodies

Yesterday was my birthday… the big 23! Not one of those get down and crazy birthdays, but one of my best friends came over for dinner, and that was just fine for me. Not everything has to be extravagant, right?

I decided that I wanted to make dinner on my birthday. Confused mom a little bit. But I like to cook, and I don’t get to do it a lot anymore, so it was a treat for me.

I started off making a Berry Coffee Cake. Now, what I haven’t told you yet, was that this was the second try on this cake. I made it a couple days ago and much to my dismay and frustration, it came out way undercooked. I followed the instructions, may have added a little too much liquid, and the cooking time just wasn’t adequate. Teach me to just eyeball amounts when baking.

What’s cool about this coffee cake is that even though it’s light and fluffy (when you cook it right), and tastes like it should be utterly fat-filled and unhealthy, it came out of a fantastic new cookbook by Marlene Koch, called Eat What You Love. She takes every day recipes that people love (it’s a book filled with comfort food) and makes it healthy. What’s super cool about this cookbook is that she doesn’t substitute flavor for calories. There’s even a paragraph in which she goes into detail about how if substituting a “low-fat” versus “non-fat” item will decrease the level of flavor, she’ll opt for “low-fat.” I like this lady. Thank you Grandpa for introducing me to my new favorite cookbook!

Anyway, I had the first piece with my coffee this morning, and it was delectable and believe it or not, filling! Score for low calorie items! I’ve put in the bibliography and the recipe on the appropriate pages for your cooking pleasure.

And on to dinner. Once again editing one of my favorites, I made a creamy version of my Medling. And since the recipe was requested by my best friend, here it is… Mom said it was a little too spicy for her tastes, but she ate her portion worth, which means it was good enough to overcome the¬†spiciness. The difference here is that I added artichoke hearts, a little bit of parmesan cheese (freshly grated of course) and more sauce than I normally would. Let’s just say there was more goodies than pasta and I was totally OK with that. And of course, I made my favorite garlic bread to go with it. Like I would have it any other way with my obsession for garlic.

Oh yeah, and thanks dad for cleaning up the disaster I made in the kitchen. I really need to learn how to be a cleaner cook. Though it’s not quite as much fun that way…

Roasted Veggie Lasagna

In an effort to find something super tasty for dinner with Lady Luck, I found this – pulled from BunsInMyOven.com, a blog I read all the time.

There, it was called Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas, but after careful deliberation, we decided that lasagna is layered, and enchiladas are rolled. This dish is layered. Therefore, it can’t be an enchilada.

There are so many veggies in this dish it’s ridiculous! There’s cauliflower, three types of peppers, two types of potatoes, corn and spinach. Oh yeah, there’s also cilantro infused salsa, tortillas and sooo much cheese! I love it! It’s spicy and crunchy and savory and amazing! Lady Luck was doing back flips over the flavor.

This is so simple too! Chop up all the veggies, and roast them with olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper in a dish for 30 minutes. Then layer in a casserole dish starting with the cilantro infused salsa (we actually used salsa verde), then cheese, then veggies, spinach and corn tortillas. Repeat process. Simple, right?

To go on top, we made up some guacamole, and got some sour cream, and topped it with green onions. I’m pretty sure Lady Luck and her daughter couldn’t wait to dig in again the next day because I got a very happy text message.

For dessert, we put together a twist on sopapillas, and it satisfied the sweet tooth rather well. Mix an 8 ounce package of sour cream with a cup of sugar and some vanilla extract. Open a tube of croissants, roll it all out together, and then layer the cream cheese and put another rolled out layer of croissants on top. Pinch the edges together, top with melted butter and cinnamon sugar and bake until golden at 350 degrees.

Repeatable? Definitely.