a birthday party...

whgilleFebruary 9, 2013

We went to Roy's last week and learned how to make a pineapple martini that we like, they had the recipe printed and it is strong but delicious!

Made the red velvet cake and garnished with roses from the garden

I marinated the pork overnight with a bottle of red wine, garlic, crushed peppercorns, rosemary. Add new potatoes at the end

Shrimp ceviche was a hit with all the guests!

Spicy curry carrot soup

The arugula and raw kale salad was marinated in a vinaigrette for a few hours, added roasted beets and cooked lentils, add more dressing and goat cheese.

Basmati rice with carrots was also on the menu. Party was great! all the guests enjoyed the food and the company.


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You had me at the peonies!

It all looks amazing. I'm now wanting roast pork and a pineapple martini. Recipes? Red velvet cake always looks a bit alarming to me and I can't quite get over the amount of food coloring required but I know it is a favorite with many and yours is beautiful.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 8:48AM
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Wow!!! I am blown away (and since I'm still under blizzard warning, there's a bit of literal meaning there!). Everything, and I mean everything, looks fabulous.

But, if I was forced to chose a favorite while being threatened with a sharpened ski pole, I'd have to go with the kale salad. Particularly with the addition of beets and lentils. Recipe, please?


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 9:20AM
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That's my kind of pork roast!!

Gee, any leftovers? I'm only an hour 15 away.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 10:03AM
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YUM! My invitation ust have gotten lost in the mail! LOL

You certainly know how to put on a feast! I bet there were no leftovers.

I've never made shrimp ceviche, but after looking at yours I may have to try it!

Now about that pineapple martini.....care to share the recipe?


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:01PM
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Eileen - Thank you. The red velvet cake is not on my favorite list, but the birthday girl wanted one.:)
The pork was one of the best I ever made, it was a pork shoulder marinated in one bottle of Santa Rita red wine, I stuck about 20 cloves of garlic, about a 1/4 cup of crushed peppercorn, 4 sprigs of rosemary and leave it overnight in the fridge. Next day I took it out of the marinade and rub some kosher salt and put it in a 300 oven for about 6 hours.

Roy's Hawaiian Martini
1 ripe pineapple
2 cups Skyy vodka ( we used Kettle One)
1 cup Malibu Coconut rum
1 cup Stoli Vanil
2 oz. simple syrup or baby sugar (we used simple syrup)

Slice pineapple into 1-inch pieces, store in a gallon container. In separate container, thoroughly blend Skyy vodka, Malibu coconut rum, Stoli Vanil and simple syrup. Pour over pineapple slices. Let stand at room temperature for five days to infuse mix with Hawaiian flavor. To serve, fill martini glass with ice and 4 oz. of Hawaiian martini mix. Shake aggressively. Strain into chilled martini glass, and garnish with fresh pineapple wedge

Thank you Arabella and I hope that you are nice and safe from the blizzard.
I made the beet and lentil salad based on the recipe below. When I was making the vinaigrette, I realized that I didn't have sherry vinegar, so I use champagne vinegar instead. For the bottom layer of greens I change to arugula and kale, torn into bite sized pieces and no hard stems, I marinated them for a couple of hours with the vinaigrette. Everyone was impressed with the salad.

Cathy - Next time you have to come, we are always celebrating something.:)

Linda - Thank you, next time you have to come to party at my house.lol.
And I recommend the martini, it is so good! after the pineapples are marinated, they are not for the faint of heart.:)


Here is a link that might be useful: beet salad

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 2:28PM
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What a wonderful birthday party with all those delicious food.

Pork shoulder marinated in one bottle of Santa Rita red wine and all the guests were marinated in pineapple martinis; a very spirited party for sure, LOL!

You have lovely serving plates.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 3:00PM
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Hi Dcarch, LOL, I didn't even think about the wine and the martini. I tried to do my own fusion cooking from all sorts of styles of cooking, trying to use what is available from the garden now, and even my mistakes were celebrated with joy from the guests.:) I left the cooked basmati rice and carrots sort of pilaf heating in the stove and I forgot about it till I saw steaming, I thought for sure that I burned it, but no it had a crunchy bottom and they were asking me how I made that and that it was really good.

The spicy curry carrot soup was kind of very spicy because I made it before and put it in the fridge and the flavor got stronger, they all love it! I gave them ciabatta bread so they would not cried from the heat.

They raved about the shrimp ceviche and I served it with popcorn that I made and season with salt, sugar, cayenne pepper, lime peel and butter, they asked what did I put in the popcorn.

Thank you for all your compliments.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Everything looks devine!!!


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 5:14PM
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As usual Silvia - everything looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing your good times with us. You have been a wonderful addition to this forum.......keep the pictures of the parties coming!


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:21PM
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Everything looks delicious to me, although I'll pass on the martinis, LOL.

I also noticed the peonies, one of my favorite flowers, and the copy of Mes Confitures in the background. Great book, BTW.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:27PM
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Thank you Linda

Teresa, thank you for all your nice words, if you were living any closer you would be invited too. I will have some pictures coming up from a trip that I am planning to sample different foods...

Thank you Annie, you know that you are my inspiration for canning. I love to preserve the harvests and I learn a lot of things from you.

Cathy, I hope that I can meet you some day since you live closer. We are planning a trip to Tampa to Ybor city to a restaurant that we went in Celebration called Columbian and they said the oldest one is in that city, do you lived closer to that town? I am also going to Land Of Lakes to drop some tomato seedlings for my friend soon...You can always send me an email if available.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 5:05PM
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Today I am enjoying the food and the drinks in Key West...

On Sunday we drove to Miami, I saw in an Anthony Bourdain episode that he recommended a few places in Miami to eat. We stopped in one El Palacio De Los Jugos, and it was unbelievable! so many options of food to choose that we almost lost the appetite when we saw the big portions!

Paella rice with an enormous Mahi Mahi

Driving to Key West

We had dinner at a Colombia restaurant, I could eat there every day, they had the best sangria and empanadas! I ordered the typical bandeja paisa, that really had everything.

Today we went to the Audubon society and tropical gardens and the butterfly museum, had some drinks at Sloppy Joes and lunch at Kelly's. Tonight we will continue with more places to visit....

While I was at the butterfly museum, one was riding with me,lol


    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 3:15PM
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Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures! I copied the lentil salad recipe - it sounds fantastic! I'm going to have to try lime zest on popcorn - I already put cayenne on it, and I think the lime zest would give it a Mexican flavor, since I've had lime and cayenne on corn in Mexico.

I'm looking forward to giving more parties myself, but it seems that my friends keep growing further apart, and I don't see them as often as I would like. Maybe we will have a party for Kevin's birthday this year. This thread has been very inspiring!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 6:50PM
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Sylvia, I am 1 inch from Land O'Lakes! Don't you dare go there without letting me know you are in the area!!

Columbia Restaurant is outstanding, the one in Ybor is the original. I have been to the one in Celebration (I love Celebration) but it's hard to beat the ambiance of Ybor. I think I talked LakeMayor and Steve into going to the Columbia while they are here.

My favorite pic is the butterfly.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:25PM
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Silvia, everything looks wonderfully-delicious! The lentil salad caught my eye as well.

Did you get a chance to try Guarapo (sugarcane juice) while you were in Miami? It's the one thing I'll pull the car over for, when I'm down there.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 12:37AM
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Sol, I just had Guarapo last week at the state fair. The exhibit showed how the syrup was made a century ago. It was nice.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 12:45AM
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Lars, thank you for all your nice words. And we all should try to get together with friends more often, I believe that company keeps us young and happy. And you can always find more friends, it is great to change ideas like we do here in the forum. And please post pictures if you make a party for Kevin. I know that you can throw a great party, with all the talent and experience that you have.

Cathy, that is great to know that you are close to Land O Lakes, I will let you know when I will go to my friend to drop the seedlings, I also go to an Indian restaurant in the area and I buy the best basmati rice there.
Did you try making the Columbia famous salad? It comes out so good, I made it for a party and my friends guessed it right, they all knew about the salad....
All the time that I walked in the butterfly conservatory, the butterfly didn't move. The people working there said it was good luck, so I guess that I am going to have a happy snake year! lol.

Querida Sol, how could I not have guarapo! of course I did, and what I love about here is that in all the bars they can make an authentic Cuban mojito. It is a good thing that I have to walk everywhere, parking and driving is out of question. And here are more pictures for you.....

The Audubon Society museum had a nice table setting

The people at Sunset Pier watching the sunset...

Conch fritters and mojito for me,lol

The sunset

Dinner at Meson De Pepe (the oldest restaurant in town, served Cuban food) Rice, yuca,beans, yellow rice, grouper. I am afraid that I am not going to sample the famous Key Lime Pie.:)


    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 7:54AM
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Fabulous pictures! You captured the sunset beautifully. Love conch fritters.

Yes, I have made the Columbia's salad. I have had their cookbook for a long time and cheat with it when I have friends and want do a Spanish menu.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 8:42AM
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Thank you Cathy.

The history on Hemingway House was very interesting.

Lunch at the organic cafe La Petit Paris, had one of the best spinach salads! the candied walnuts, cranberries, goat cheese and homemade vinaigrette were very tasty.

After we did the "bar crawl" and stopped at about 6 bars. At night we were glad that we did the Commodores, we had the captain table overlooking the sea and the food and ambience were perfect!

Had a seafood medley


    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 7:12AM
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It is great to spend a $1,000 per meal per person and wait 3 months for a reservation in some of those famous trendy restaurants, but Silvia, you have shown that there are more reasonable ways to have a great memorable food experience.



    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:08AM
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