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Dinner decadence made simply. or dinner around europe

September 27, 2008

I love to cook. I specifically love to cook for my family. I love that my daughter follows me around the kitchen and tries to help. (my boys do to, but they are more interested in “spinning” batter .. i guess an egg beater is akin to power tools lol)

Last night I was pleased with our culinary efforts. No, it doesn’t follow one cultural cuisine, but we all enjoyed ourselves immensely! I hope that you all enjoy as much as we did.

Baked basil chicken (italy)

1.5 lbs of chicken breasts

fresh basil

campari tomatoes

extra virgin olive oil

fresh mozzarella cheese

salt and pepper

casserole dish (i prefer the pampered chef stoneware casserole dishware)

preheat oven to 375

slice chicken breast to the portion size that you prefer (i cut mine into thirds)

rub olive oil into chicken

salt and pepper them to taste

bake for approx 15 minutes

while chicken is baking slice tomatoes (enough that you have one tomato slice per chicken portion)

put both the tomatoes and basil leaves into olive oil to marinate while the chicken is baking

slice mozzarella cheese (once again one per portion of chicken)

once chicken is done place one basil leaf, one tomato, and slice of mozzarella cheeze on top of each individual chicken

bake for an additional 10 minutes

serve with pasta that has been tossed with olive oil, herbs, and salt and pepper

I also served this with a salad made with arugula and spinache with more of the delicious campari tomatoes and carrots. (my family loves vidalia onion dressing)

For the adults we had a yummy Riesling from Germany to enjoy.  The kids enjoyed whole milk from the cow (and by cow I don’t mean their mum!!)

For once my family took time with dinner. We actually had a cheese course (france) before dinner. I found this wonderful goat cheese that was wrapped in cranberries w cinnamon. We each had a small piece of french bread and cheese to “cleanse our palate”  *side note I love the assortment of produce, baked goods, and cheeses found at the Wegmans in Hunt Valley. *

Now onto dessert

TRIFLE (England/Ireland)

this is a modified version of the recipe that my sister in law Jo gave me when I was desperate for a “genuine English dessert” for a baby shower that I was going to. Yes, I pulled the English in law card for that event. 😉 My sister in law’s version, of course, is killer but this one is rather yummy.

loaf of sponge cake

strawberry jam

1 pt blueberries

1 pt rasberries

1 pt blackberries

1lb strawberries

table sugar

birds custard (2 pkgs prepared as directed on pkg)

1 qt whipping cream

chocolate shavings

1/4 cup sweet sherry (i have also made with 1/4 cup amaretto)

punch bowl

slice enough sponge cake to form a layer on the bottom of your bowl

apply a thin layer of strawberry jam on the sponge cake

chunk the cake and put into bowl

rinse berries, hull stawberries.

mix berries in separate bowl with the sherry and 2 tbs sugar

place berries on top of the sponge cake

prepare your custard and allow to cool

pour custard on top of previous layers

place in fridge for approximately 15 to 20 minutes

in the interim start whipping your whipping cream (adding powdered sugar to taste. personally i just add about 2 Tablespoons.) I think that manual eggbeaters work much better than a whisk. whip until peaks form.

Once trifle is cooled remove from fridge and add the whipped cream. Now you add the chocolate shavings, or chocolate chips, on top. I also like to arrange some sliced strawberries around the edge of the bowl and a few whole berries artistically on top.

This is not only a beautful dessert but also wonderfully tasty.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. evenshine permalink
    September 29, 2008 9:34 am

    Ahhhh…English trifle. It’s been a long time! For those of us across the pond, what’s a good alternative to “bird’s custard”? Would Jello pudding do as well?

  2. September 29, 2008 9:39 am

    I actually do live in the states. I just happen to be married to a wonderful Irishman whose family still reside in Ireland and England.

    That being said, vanilla pudding would do fine. If you feel like doing a scavenger hunt,in some bigger grocery stores ( such as Wegmans) you can find Birds Custard.

    another alternative is to use a chocolate sponge cake, chocolate pudding and cherries (or cherry pie filling) with the rest of the recipe intact.


  3. September 29, 2008 10:16 am

    THat trifle sounds amazing! I made a trifle for Easter from the Barefoot Contessa that was orange pound cake, orange cream, and raspberries. SO good!

  4. September 30, 2008 7:29 am

    It’s been a while since I’ve visited your actual blog (I faithfully read it through google reader 🙂 ). So I don’t know when you did it, but I love your new headers. What a cool pic!

  5. October 2, 2008 9:24 am

    Danielle, I think it is HIGH time for a HIGH tea. Don’t you agree 🙂
    Laurie, you need to get your bum out here to enjoy tea scones and trifle with us.

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