Saturday it was db's birthday. db was undecided when I asked him what he wanted for dinner. Then it came to me: Ravioli and db's eyes lit. He suggsted we stuff them with squash and chanterelle mushrooms (no, we didn't actually pick them even though they are in season right now). We planned it out for Sunday night since we both had to work on db's actual birthday.
Sunday we managed to time everything beautifully. Both of us had our long run in the afternoon (the morning was too wet). While I ran my 32 k, db completed his 12 k and then went to pick up an organic squash for the filling. He baked the spaghetti squash and was just taking it out of the oven as I finished my post run stretching. He started the tomato sauce (yes, I know it's his birthday and I should probably do all the cooking, but let's be realistic here, db is the superior cook between us and his tomato sauce is perfection). db pulled out a rather dusty bottle of red wine from his collection, a Southern Italian wine and I started the pasta and uh-oh, no semolina flour. Yes, we could have just made pasta with regular flour, but I really prefer to work with a semolina blended dough that is a bit stronger and the flavour is preferable as well.
Okay plan B. Russet potatoes on hand. I put them into bake and decided to make potato gnocchi. Whew. The birthday dinner was saved. We stored the squash and pre-cooked chanterelles with plans to make ravioli on Monday.
Dinner was delicious. Fluffy pillows of gnocchi in a simple tomato sauce. Mmm. And with a weighty 1998 red wine (D'Angelo Canneto made with Aglianico grapes -- you were right on that one db). We had tomatoes from the garden in our salad and I made a creamy cashew dressing that went well with the greens.
Earlier in the day while waiting for the rain to let up so I could go running, I made a vegan cheesecake as per requested by db. Naturally I made a blackberry topping for the cake since we still have blackberries left over from when we made jam. The whole meal was a nice way to toast db's birthday and a good reward for both of us after two tough runs that afternoon.
The cheesecake recipe is from my sis and is flavoured with lemon zest and limoncello. It's so delicious. The first time sis made this cake I couldn't believe it's similarity in taste to the real-deal. Even the texture bakes up similar. Those who've eaten it and are cheese-eaters are always astounded that there is no cheese in it. It's so delicious and so easy to make I'm surprised I don't do it more often (that' s probably a good thing though).
I was a bit concerned since I have pretty much tried to eliminate soy from my diet and this cake is all about soy with tofutti cream cheese (the non-hydrogenated one) and silken tofu. I seemed to be fine the next day. So I'm not sure what's upsetting my stomach. I'm not diving back into the soy again that's for sure, but I have been eating a little here and there and for the most part I seem to be okay. I'm still watching what I eat to try and find a connection.
Monday we made the ravioli as planned. The two of us pretty much have the pasta making production perfected. db makes the filling, I make the dough and db rolls the dough through the machine while I stuff the pasta with the ravioli filling. It really doesn't take long at all and I really enjoy it. It's nice to work in the kitchen together. Both of us still had tired legs from Sunday's run, so it also helped that we made dinner together.
The ravioli was a success as well. Two nights in a row. I hope we celebrate his birthday this well every year. db extracted another (not as dusty) bottle from the collection and we toasted to his birthday again. Why not eh?
I guess we'll be fasting for a couple of days now.
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I mentioned the package that we received in the mail from my sis. I took some photos of the jewelry she sent. The note has a little "Handmade By" stamp and she signed it. I love it. The piece is actually made of glass. My photography doesn't do it justice though. The piece is quite exquisite.
Sis also included a new bell for my bike with my favorite heroine on it. Actually, I'm going to call her a hero because she is in the traditional sense. WW was never a heroine in the classic sense since heroines in film are the ones who usually need to be saved. WW only saved everyone else. She was a much needed role model on tv for me growing up. I might actually put the bell on the front door somehow.
Sis's beau thinks that these old style bells remind people too much of ice cream trucks and therefore don't take them seriously when you use them. He uses a whistle. I actually find I rarely have to use my bell here. I'm not in the city so encounters with the parked car and its door opening are less frequent than when I lived in whoville city.