Sunday, September 24, 2006

Birthday Celebration

Saturday we celebrated Joe’s birthday with his parents, his aunt and my dad, stepmom and sister. Fun day!

We started the day with some simple appetizers.

A cheese plate with the following options: baked Brie, Gouda and Stilton with some basic whole wheat crackers and tart apples.

Joe’s birthday meal request was chili. I did oblige with my mom’s recipe, the only traditional chili recipe I’ve ever made and, as far as I know, the only chili recipe she ever made.

Mom’s Chili

1 lb. ground beef (Joe loves it with ground venison)
1 large onion, chopped
1 or 2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
6 or 7 fresh tomatoes (or 2 large cans)
2 cans red beans
1 12 oz. can tomato paste
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
4 tbsp. vinegar
5 or 6 tbsp. cumin
5 or 6 tbsp. chili powder

I couldn’t stomach traditional chili once again since Joe’s requested it a lot lately. I satiated my cravings with this excellent white bean chili recipe. I did add a lot more cumin than the recipe suggested; about double, actually, and I also used fresh green chili peppers opposed to canned. It wasn’t quite as thick as I imagined it might be, but I think adding a bit less chicken broth might help. It had some kick to it and I really enjoyed it.

Diana, my stepmom, contributed some delicious cornbread that she made and some tasty whole grain bread from our newly opened Whole Foods.

I also threw together a tossed green salad with balsamic vinaigrette and some fresh cucumbers from Joe’s aunt’s garden.

Here’s what my dining room table looked like. Yes, that’s me in the first one and the birthday boy in the second.

Here’s the gang:

Joe’s cake request was an apple upside down cake, which is pictured here:

I made the apple topping part of the cake with a recipe featured in an old issue of Gourmet and used the Joy of Cooking’s basic upside down cake recipe for the cake part.

I topped it with whipped cream and crystallized ginger. Yum!

Joe received a lot of really nice presents and all around a really nice birthday week, which began on Thursday.


angieoh! said...

Wow, look at you go!!!! Everything sounds delicious! I love white bean chilli and will email you my fave recipe to add to your arsenal. Glad you had a fun party!

Fabulous Chaos said...

you domestic diva. looks scrumptious, and I will be trying the white bean chili this fall. made some last year & forgot about it. speaking of posh and civilized things, I'll see you at the golden arches tomorrow!!! :)

beecher said...

This looks like a fun celebration! Happy birthday to Joe. I am going to try your white bean chili this week. Here is a chili recipe that I've been making for years from the _Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook_. I always substitue black beans for the kidney beans and garbanzos (probably only had black beans on hand the first time I made it, and it became a tradition). It is meatless, but since the eggplant is so "meaty" in texture, you really don't notice...

sixty-five said...

A happy looking group! I had forgotten about those pretty green and gold dessert plates. I have never made chili the same way twice, so have no recipe to contribute.

ibby said...

I don't make much chili, but am always glad to try any version presented to me! These sound extra good.

Happy (belated) birthday Joe!

JoeOlson said...

Thanks to all who sent birthday wishes! And a bid thank you and I love you to the Supermom. As usual she out did herself and put together a wonderful meal and a wonderful day. There is no "wanna-be" about it she is a supermom and and superwife!