A birthday to remember...

My mother turned 50 last week.  And as a part of her birthday celebration, my mom's best friend, Janea and I put together a menu fit for a queen. It started with a molten chocolate cake, and quickly turned into a conversation about lobster tails, beets, and barbecued peaches.

To make matters far more decadent, we then became inspired after watching "Julie and Julia" to make Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon ('one of the best dishes concocted by man', is I believe how she put it?!)

Our menu was mouth watering.

On a personal note, this wasn't just a celebration about turning 50 (at least not in my eyes).  Even though turning the big 5-0 does generally call for a big to-do.

My mother was diagnosed with type 2B breast cancer back in November of last year.  She weathered through surgery, chemo therapy and radiation all within the last 10 months - and she is doing great now!  Her hair is growing back, her energy and sense of adventure is thriving (possibly more than it ever has been before - don't even get me started on what she did with her friends on her birthday!), and there is a sense of strength within her that is hard to ignore - she was always a strong woman in my eyes, but now, I think she knows it too.

This wasn't just a birthday celebration - this was a celebration of life, a celebration of sticking to your guns and staying strong through all of the battles and all of the hardships that life can throw our way, this was a celebration of my mom, Laurie Leigh Wilson-Smith.

So, nothing was too good for this dinner - we wanted epic - we wanted "my mouth is doing a happy dance x 10 100".

The meuu for the evening:

Raw oyster shooter in a lemon cucumber cup with shallot and champagne-vinegar mignonette

Chili-lime crab salad with fresh garden grape tomatoes and avocado

Roasted rainbow beet salad with frisee, candied maracona almonds, and a hard nutty cheese (never can remember the name!) with a Dijon/vinegar dressing

Lobster tail bolognese pasta

Lobster tail with a decadent butter sauce (it has such a long list of ingredients, I won't even try to remember it all - but it was gooooooood)

Boeuf Bourguignon

and as a palette cleanser aka taste explosion...

Date filled with chorizo wrapped in bacon accompanied with an oven broiled peach coated in cinnamon and rum sauce paired with fresh mint.

for dessert...

a dark chocolate raspberry fallen souffle'.

And everything had a pairing of wine/champagne - it was fantastic!

and of course, I took a few pictures...

littlethings

salads

lobsterpasta

Janea went to Pike Place Market to retrieve the lobster tails, and asked the guy there "which one of these says 'I LOVE YOU!'?"  This is the one he chose:

Lobster1

lobster2

lobsteroven

presenting_lobster

dessert

Oh yes, and it didn't stop there.

For breakfast (!) we made smoked salmon deviled eggs (I will never use Mayonnaise again - this was a recipe from the Herbal Kitchen cookbook that called for sour cream and it was AMAZING!), raspberry and strawberry fruit cups with honey, cinnamon, and fresh mint, freshly peeled shrimp paired with lemon cucumbers, and a lovely vidalia onion tart served with Fran's hot chocolate.  Once you get us started...we just can't stop :)

eggs

berries

details

shrimp

oniontart

It was a very nice weekend.  All about food, family, and celebration.