There are big birthdays in our family this year. A few of us don’t want the numbers announced but I am fine with announcing in a few months the Space Needle and I will be celebrating the same birthday anniversary! In the meantime we are celebrating my daughter in laws birthday this week. My grandma and I shared the same birthdate and I always loved having her fried chicken for our dinner. I’m glad she likes the same meal so I know I will get it twice this year. I wrote this while I was prepping the meal, as I’m reviewing it I can see it’s a lot of jumping from ‘I will’ to ‘I did’!

I am trying a new dessert recipe. I think I watch reruns of the Great British Baking Show as often as Seinfeld reruns. I’m kind of a chicken when it comes to fancy desserts but I have been inspired to make a Pavlova. Eeegads, it seems like the chances of failure are huge and I’m tempted to pick up cupcakes as a back up but I found Ina Garten’s Mixed Berry Pavlova Recipe and am giving it a try. So far the meringue is a beautiful crisp white, I wish I’d made one extra so I can try it to be sure it tastes as good as it looks. I will be making whipped cream in my new immersion blender and topping the mounds with fresh raspberries. (The Pavlova was amazing! I heated some raspberry jam and added lime zest and a few fresh raspberries, let it cool then put on top of the whip cream.)

Last week I cleaned out my countertop deep fryer and put in new peanut oil to fry our chicken thighs in. When we were on a road trip from Miami to Brooklyn we stopped for lunch at Martha Lou’s Kitchen in Charleston, South Carolina. We were able to sit with Miss Martha Lou and we talked about how she used peanut oil to fry her chicken and I’ve been using it ever since. I’ve been brining the thighs in pickle juice for about eight hours and will dredge them in flour, dip in buttermilk and then coat in Panko before frying. I love my digital instant read thermometer, it leaves no doubt that the chicken is cooked to 165 degrees.

I made macaroni and cheese yesterday so all I have to do is warm it up tonight. I use small elbow macaroni and cook it for one minute less then the box suggests because it will continue to cook in the cheese sauce. Three tablespoons of butter melted and then three tablespoons of flour stirred in and cooked for 5 minutes before stirring in three cups of milk is the base. I slowly simmer this for ten minutes then temper in one egg and add a teaspoon of paprika and add salt and pepper and then stir in a couple handfuls of shredded cheese and fold in the macaroni. I will melt butter and add panko to cover the top and then bake in the oven to reheat so the top will be crispy and the inside gooey.

Thank goodness for the mandolin to slice potatoes and onions for Potatoes Au Gratin. I sautéed onion slices and leeks then added them to a large bowl with the sliced potatoes, two cups of cream and shredded (Italian blend) cheese before pouring it all into a greased baking dish. Topped the potatoes with shredded gruyere cheese and then popped in a 350 degree over for a little over an hour. I will cover with aluminum foil and reheat at the same time I heat the mac and cheese.

Grandma would cream green beans for our vegetable – I am using canned green beans with the liquid and stir in equal parts of butter and flour, stirring until it is a creamy skillet of goodness. It was definitely not a one pot meal so there are a ton of dishes to wash but it was well worth it.


#birthdaydinner #friedchicken #picklebrine #greenbeans #tradition #newrecipies #pavlova #macandcheese #cookwithlove #potatoesaugratin #cheese #crispygoodness #warmthesoul #wintermeal #celebrate #timetowashdishes #themessisworthit

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