Monday, September 17, 2007

dianna is 30!

we had quite a fiesta the last few days celebrating our dear dianna's 30th b-day. i am going to give you a play by play and will include some recipes. if you have requests for recipes that aren't here, please let me know. i found this recipe for chocolate chipotle cakes and thought it would be the perfect combo of deliciousness and utility, seeing as how i have about a million tomatillos. i wanted to have them at the party, but lindsay wisely assessed the difficulty of the recipe and decided that it should not be attempted at such a large scale. she made them last sunday, and they were delicious. however, i think there was a slight (read: huge) misunderstanding about how much an "ounce" of chipotle powder is. so we had REALLY hot cakes. they were tasty and would have been awesome if the kick weren't so intense..

they are pretty, but deadly.

boca negra chocolate chipotle cakes

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus additional for greasing ramekins

1 cup sugar plus additional for dusting

6 medium dried chipotle chiles* (1 oz)

6 tablespoons fresh orange juice

10 oz Valrhona semisweet chocolate (56%) or fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

4 large eggs

4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

Special equipment: 8 (4-oz) ramekins

Accompaniments: sweet tomatillo sauce; vanilla custard sauce


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.

Butter ramekins and dust with sugar, knocking out excess.
Toast chiles in a dry heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Discard stems, seeds, and ribs, then soak chiles in hot water to cover until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving soaking liquid. Purée chiles in a mini food processor or a blender, adding 2 to 3 tablespoons soaking liquid as needed to form a paste. Force paste through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard solids. Set aside 1 1/2 tablespoons chile paste and freeze remainder for another use.
Bring juice and 1 cup sugar to a boil in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour hot syrup over chocolate in a large bowl, stirring until chocolate is melted. Add butter and stir until melted.
Add eggs 1 at a time, whisking after each addition, then stir in chile paste, flour, and salt. Divide among ramekins and bake in a hot water bath, uncovered, until just firm and top is starting to crust, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer ramekins with tongs to a work surface and let stand 2 minutes.
Unmold warm cakes directly onto dessert plates (they will be difficult to move once they adhere).

Cooks' notes:

• Cakes can be made and unmolded (while hot) up to 2 hours ahead and kept at room temperature, uncovered.

• If you have limited counter space and are baking cakes ahead, unmold cakes onto a baking sheet lined with a nonstick bakeware liner (such as Silpat) and transfer to dessert plates.

Makes 8 servings.

we all had to recuperate from the cake for most of the week ...

dianna's actual 30th b-day.

she had to work the overnight...freakin' npr! so at 9:30 she came over and we opened presents.
included was a calendar with photos of tunisia, that can also be found on this fine blog.

phone calls poured in with well wishes for a new decade

we decided to go shopping. it was dangerous!
this is nordstrom where this guy sang an american idol version of "happy birthday."

they didn't give her a birthday discount on her shoes, and they're uncomfortable.
i am not sure what message nordstrom is trying to send?
but the soulful singing made dianna happy
we then went to vietnamese food then for mani/pedis at my favorite spot on columbia pike ($35/mani-pedis with the best massage chairs ever), then to rei for some cycling gear.
we were supposed to eat sushi, but dianna had been up too long and started getting really tired. we ended up at pizza--it was good, but not as good and lindsay missed sushi again

dianna and i have been training in our heart rate "zones" ever since taking a vo2 test this spring. we're supposed to get retested every 3 months, but it's expensive and we're lazy. we finally got retested on friday.

dianna getting tested--this mask is measuring how much oxygen goes in and out of her lungs. her heart rate is also being monitored.

notice those blurred legs. she's really flying!

me and my bike getting VO2 tested.
that is sue at the computer. i'm thinking that she may be my new coach.
i am so excited about my test! this is the warm up--no oxygen-measuring mask, yet.

the 15 minute test begins.

it is very rigorous, because you have to reach your maximum heart rate..


we went on a 50 minute ride in virginia in our new zones

it totally changed my riding -- i think it will be tough but great.

then we went to costco to get stuff for the party and i, like a genius, locked us out of the car.

we lost an hour of our perfectly timed day--we missed the play we were planning to see and kinda got crazed from hunger.

we spend friday night deep cleaning my and dianna's houses--her parents were staying with me, and her brothers mike and tom and her sister jo were staying with her. they were delayed 3 hours in atlanta, and didn't get in until 12:30
it was good to have extra time to clean, but we got super tired we didn't get to sleep until 2.

back up at 7:45 to make more food for the quinceanera.

1 comment:

deidra said...

I'm going to the District to visit old roommates next week. Pampering was on the menu; where is your favorite mani-ped place? I'd love to have the inside scoop!