Sunday, July 8, 2012

Matt's birthday feast

I'm SO very thankful for my dear husband Matt.  The Lord has blessed me richly in him, and in God's work through our marriage.  His life is a true testimony of the Lord's goodness and grace.  Matt is a loving and kind husband and father, who is wonderfully patient with my shortcomings and flaws,  yet full of godly encouragement to me as I fight sin.  The Lord has been especially gracious to us this year as He has brought about astonishing healing and comfort during a lengthy trial due to extreme anxiety.  I'm especially grateful for Matt, his growth in the Lord, and his continued faith and perseverance as we look back on this trial rejoicing in God's goodness.  I'm also looking forward to all the Lord has in store for us in the upcoming year as Matt will complete his Master's of Divinity at Southern Seminary next May 2013, and begin pursuing the Lord's plans for our future life in pastoral ministry, Lord willing.  I am honored to be Matt's wife, and hoped this little birthday dinner would be full of enjoyments for him!

Matt asked for fish which we hadn't had in quite awhile, so I chose to make him a salmon favorite...

Pecan Crusted Salmon
3 TBSP Dijon mustard
3 TBSP butter, melted
5 tsp honey
1/2 c cracker crumbs (like Ritz)
1/2 c chopped pecans
6 (4oz) filets salmon
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix mustard, butter, and honey
In another bowl mix cracker crumbs and pecans
Season salmon filets with salt and pepper
Squeeze lemons over salmon to season as well
Place salmon on lightly greased baking sheet
Brush with honey mustard mixture, then cover with pecan and cracker crumbs
Bake salmon for 10 min per inch of thickness at 400 degrees

*I only make 2 salmon filets at a time, using the small frozen salmon that comes frozen in individually sealed bags at ALDI so I adjust quantities of other ingredients accordingly, just estimating.  This is the original recipe without those modifications

We also enjoyed these yummy sweet potato fries which we all love, my friend Carrie shared her recipe
with me...

Sweet Potato Fries
3 small-medium sweet potatoes
1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp salt

Peel potatoes and cut into "fries" (if you need to work in advance the fries can be covered in a bowl of water and stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to finish preparing them)
Mix remaining seasoning ingredients together and toss with sweet potato fries in a large bowl
Arrange fries in a single layer on a baking sheet
Bake fries at 450 degrees for 30 minutes, turning once in the middle

*You can experiment a bit on the oven temperature, especially if you're trying to cook your fries with another part of your meal at the same time (I often need to cook them at about 425 degrees instead), some ovens may tend to be hot and the fries will burn faster than you might expect, just keep your eye on them!  I've also used dried rosemary from time to time when my fresh rosemary plant isn't producing quickly enough

Matt LOVES this pasta salad and asks for it year round!  I think it's most fitting in the summer, which is also when we have plenty of fresh basil growing.  You might have seen this circulating on Pinterest, though we've been enjoying it for a few years since it was published in Better Homes and Gardens.

Avocado Basil Pasta Salad

Finally, everyone needs a birthday cake :)  Matt told me he had nice memories of his grandma making strawberry cake for his birthday every year.  I decided to make a strawberry cake as well and got the recipe from my friend Carrie again.  She's a great source for yummy inspiration!  This makes a big cake which we were happy to share with our community group!  I think it's also going to become our go-to birthday cake as Moriah insisted the pink cake was hers, in a month it will be.

Strawberry Cake
1 box white cake mix
small box strawberry JELLO (not pudding)
3/4 c oil
1/2 c thawed strawberries (the kind that are frozen and sweetened, with their juice)
3 TBSP flour
1/2 c water
4 eggs

Beat all ingredients (except strawberries) for 2 minutes.  Add drained strawberries and beat an additional 1 minute.  Pour batter into 2 (8 or 9") round cake pans.  (I greased and floured them first.)  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Let cakes cool completely BEFORE icing and stacking together, the icing seems especially quick to melt with even a bit of warmth left in the cakes and you'll end up with a mess!)

Strawberry Icing
1 stick butter, softened (not melted)
1/4 tsp salt
1 lb powdered sugar
1/2 c thawed strawberries, drained (you can also supplement with some fresh in the icing)

Cream butter, sugar and salt.  (If your mixture is like mine and doesn't start to cream as you'd expect add milk in tiny amounts and it will quickly "come together".)  Add strawberries.  Beat until smooth and spreadable.  Refrigerate icing until ready to use.  Garnish cake with fresh strawberries as desired.

1 comment:

Indy said...

This is such a sweet post.