As I’m sure I’ve made you all aware, this weekend was a special one. Not only was it the Mr’s birthday but it was also something of a personal milestone. I have been blogging for a whole year! I wrote my very first KitchenMason post a whopping 365 days ago. I remember when I was writing that post and thinking to myself that it was probably just a whimsical thing and assumed I would give up after a few months. But here I am one year down the line and I still have tons of ideas and recipes I want to share with you guys! *one proud lady!*
So to mark these celebrations, we went out to dinner at a lovely local restaurant on Saturday night (See my review HERE) and I made Dan a 3 course birthday meal on Sunday night.
After hours of the two of us searching our favourite food sites & blogs, Dan finally decided what he wanted me to cook for him. It all starts with my new favourite breakfast.
The Breakfast: Eggs In Clouds
This little beaut comes courtesy of Every Day with Rachel Ray. It couldn’t be simpler to make and is probably the tastiest breakfast I have eaten to date! Here is what you will need to serve 2 people. (Easily doubled)
Preheat your oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C and line a tray with baking paper.
Separate the eggs putting the whites in a large bowl and the yolks in two individual small bowls/glasses.
Cook the bacon (using whatever method you prefer) until it’s crispy. Chop into small pieces.
Using an electric hand whisk, whip the whites until stiff then carefully fold in the bacon, chives & parmesan.
Form into two mounds on the prepared baking tray, making a well in the centre to add the yolks later. Put into the oven for about 4 minutes.
Remove from the oven and add the yolks into the wells & season with pepper. Put back into the oven for another 4 minutes or until the yolks are just set.
We had ours on top of a slice of buttered toast and it was delicious!! I can’t believe I have never come across this recipe before but am so glad that Dan found it. I’ll definitely be making this one again, it’s so tasty and easy to make!
Onwards and upwards! Time for the evening meal.
The Starter: Buffalo Chicken Taquitos
This recipe is from the Taste & Tell blog.
I’ll be honest from the start, as an appetizer, this was far to big. (Even though we are greedy gits and ate it all anyway!) If I use this as a starter again I would probably half the recipe and slice the taquitos into smaller pieces. Having said that though, it would make the perfect sized lunch!
Here is what you will need to make enough for 2 as a lunch or 4 as a starter.
Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.
Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt & pepper, place in a tray and cover with foil. Put in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
Place the chicken in a bowl and shred using two forks back to back. Add the cream cheese, buffalo sauce, monterey jack and blue cheese into the bowl and mix well.
Now at this time of year in the UK, i struggled to get a hold of monterey jack cheese so used gouda as a substitute. You could also use muenster or samsoe.
Divide the mixture evenly between the 4 tortilla wraps and form lines of the mix down the centres of each one.
Carefully roll up and place seam side down on a baking tray. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with some salt. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden and crispy on top.
I had mine with a sweet chilli dip & Dan poured lashings of his Franks Hot Sauce onto his. They were really scrumptious! Asides from the minor portion size error, I was pleasantly surprised with this recipe. Another one that will be used again in the future me thinks!
The Main Course: Oven Baked Risotto
This is a recipe that I have made before from the BBC Good Food website.
Dan really liked it the first time around and we haven’t had it for a long time so he requested that I try it again. I have tried to make stove top risottos before but they’ve all ended up being binned and swapped out for a take away! When I first saw this recipe I was intrigued to think I may have found a cheat, fool proof way to make a risotto. And I had!! This is what you will need to make enough for two people.
Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.
Using a large, ovenproof pan or casserole dish (with a lid), fry the bacon and cook until crispy. Then add the onions & butter and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.
Add the rice and stir to coat. If using, (and I highly recommend it!) add the wine and cook until absorbed.
Season with salt & pepper then add the halved cherry tomatoes and the hot chicken stock. Stir to mix well then cover with a lid and place in the oven for approx 20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Stir through most of the parmesan and use the rest for sprinkling on top.
This must be the easiest most fool proof recipe for risotto in the whole world! Having tried so many failed attempts before, I do love this one.
It’s simple, time efficient and super tasty! A good family pleaser recipe.
The Dessert: Peanut Butter & Chocolate Brownies
There are SO MANY recipes out there for peanut butter & chocolate everything that it was so hard to narrow It down to one. If it was up to me, we’d have been having dessert for starter, dessert for main course & dessert for dessert! As it happens, the decision was in Dan’s capable hands and he chose a recipe from the Burn Me Not blog.
Be warned, this makes a lot of brownie! Here is what you will need to make about16-20 pieces.
Peanut Butter Layer:
Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C and spray an 11″ x 7″ tin with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric hand mixer until smooth then gradually beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla extract.
In another large bowl, sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and add the sugar & salt. Mix well.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture until just combined then add in the chocolate chips.
Spread the mixture into the bottom of the prepared tray but reserve 3-4 tbsp for marbling later.
Peanut Butter Layer
In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, peanut butter & golden caster sugar with an electric hand whisk until smooth.
Gradually beat in the egg and milk until just combined then carefully spread over the top of the chocolate mixture.
Drop spoonfuls of the reserved chocolate batter on the top and swirl around with a skewer/knife.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
When cooked, cool completely on a wire rack and then keep in the fridge until needed. This brownie actually tasted better once it had been in the fridge overnight.
This was the perfect end to a perfect weekend of celebration and foodie heaven! I’ve never really been a huge fan of peanut butter but with the sweetness and the gooey richness of the chocolate brownie base, it works really well. I would recommend making it the day before and refrigerating overnight though. It somehow stops it from being quite so sickly and makes it a great deal more enjoyable! I love the marbling effect on the top too, it’s very pleasing to the eye.
Well there you have it chums, Dan’s Birthday dinner cooked by yours truly. I enjoyed every second of this weekend. (Cooking the meal would have been even more enjoyable had I not had so much to drink the night before though!!)
In other exciting news this week, my non traditional Apple Pie recipe has come in amongst the top 10 of the “Bake It Yourself: No.1 Baker – Perfect Pie” competition! I couldn’t believe it! I entered it on a whim and somehow came in the top 10!
I need YOUR HELP though! I haven’t won just yet, I need you guys to vote for me. Head on over to the Bake It Yourself Facebook page, click on the “BIY No.1 Baker” picture at the top then “View Entries.”
Mine is the Apple Pie with a heart in the middle drizzled with custard. I am currently in second place but would love your support! It only takes a minute and I would love you forever!!
Well that’s all for now comrades!
Tags: Bake It Yourself, Birthday Meal, Buffalo Chicken, Buffalo Chicken Taquito, Competition, Egg Clouds, Eggs In Clouds, Oven Baked Risotto, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Brownie, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Taquito, The Cumin