23 August 2008

Birthday Party Recipes

Today is the last day of my forties. It’s been a good last day. Went to the Farmers’ market, which was jumping. (The college students are back in town and are buzzing about, getting ready for school to start.) Then I picked up a friend who’s escaping the Phoenix heat, and we drove up to Trinidad for lunch and a brief walk on the beach. From there we went (organic!) blueberry picking at Wolfsen Farm – picked 3 pounds of blubes, all of which are now washed and in the freezer.

And then I began cooking for my birthday party tomorrow. Made three dips: spinach (sour cream, spinach, and Simply Organic’s onion soup mix); a smoked salmon spread (salmon smoked by one of the local tribes blended into cream cheese, seasoned with fresh dill, the juice of half a lemon, and a teaspoon of horseradish); and baba ghanouj. I apologize upfront for the inexact measurements, but I didn’t measure when I made it. Still, it came out so good that I thought I’d share this recipe with y’all.

Baba Ghanouj

Bake two whole eggplants and one large red bell pepper at 350 until they’ve collapsed (about an hour). You’ll want something underneath them – they get juicy/drippy/messy. (Save the juice!)

Once the baked veggies are cool enough to handle, remove their meat and put it into a blender. Add in:

3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon (the juice of)
¼ cup (approximately) sesame tahini
¼ teaspoon salt
2 (or so) Tablespoons olive oil
the juice from the baked veggies

Blend until creamy. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.


The other thing I made, last night, was a White Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Swirl.

Melt ¼ cup of butter. Mix in a heaping cup of graham cracker crumbs and 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon. Pat into the bottom of a springform pan, then put in the fridge to set while preparing the rest of the cake.

In a Cuisinarte, blend:

20 ounces cream cheese
4 eggs
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
8 ounces white chocolate, melted at a low heat in a double boiler

Pour this on top of the graham cracker crust. Swirl in a few Tablespoons of raspberry sauce (raspberries cooked over a double boiler with just enough sugar to take away the tartness).

Bake at 325 for 45 minutes to an hour – until the cake has set.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before refrigerating.

Serve with the remaining raspberry sauce (which you reserved and kept in the fridge) drizzled on top.

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