February 2017

Birthday months seem to come in pairs with us. And as our tradition goes, the birthday girl gets to choose the menu. Donna loves, loves, loves the color purple (which leaves most food out) and chocolate. February is a good month for a chocoholic to be born. She nailed that.

Her menu choices were vaguely specific: Soup, that tuna that we had at the Cape, something with jicama and chocolate chip cake. This is what she got:

DRINKS:
Chocolate Martini: After all, she’s a chocoholic. For added deliciousness in each sip, rim the martini glass with melted Dove chocolate mixed with about a tablespoon of light cream and let set. Then take some Hershey dark syrup and make a thin drizzle all around the inside of the glass. (Add a little to the drink recipe too!)  Then spear a Harry and David’s chocolate covered cherry for the ‘olive’ and dive right in.

SOUP:
Lentil Soup: (serves 6)
1 1/2 c. lentils, picked over and washed
cold water
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. sesame oil or soy oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 small onions and 1 lg. rib celery chopped
1/4 c. chopped celery leaves
2 carrots thickly sliced
1/3 c. raw brown rice (barley was substituted)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 Tbsp sea salt or to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce or miso to taste
bok choy
Directions: Soak lentils in water. In heavy kettle, heat butter and oil. Add garlic, onions, celery, celery leaves, carrots, rice (barley) and parsely. Cook stirring for 5 mins. over medium heat. When onions are wilted, drain lentils and add to kettle. Add 1.5 quarts of fresh water, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender and liquid begins to have brownish color (1 1/2 hours). Remove 1/2 cup broth and mix with soy or miso until smooth. Return to kettle with bok choy and cook 20 mins. longer.

SALAD:
Jicama Salad: An interesting crunch of jicama, beets, carrots and oranges that was refreshing and complementary to the tuna it shared a plate with.

ENTREE:
Tuna Steaks with Avacado and Spinach: An amazing dish that works just as well with many other types of fish (says one of us) but I am sticking with the tuna. Please try this … now.

DESSERT:
Chocolate Chip Cake: As simple as it sounds, it is still yummy. To any cake mix add chocolate chips (use mini ones so they don’t fall to the bottom). Bake according to directions. Cool. Use the icing flavor of your choice and top with chips.

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