Friday, April 25, 2014

Happy Birthday to My Peeps

April is Happy Birthday Month in Coronado with friends Hillari, Pam, Julie, and Mary all celebrating another year with get-togethers and parties. Mine is coming up in June, and we usually celebrate it at Concert in the Park - I'll have to think of a good theme for the third concert of the 2014 summer season with Cool Fever.

For Hillari's party, I did a test run on a new flavor for my SeaCake side business. I've been making savory appetizer cheesecakes with different seafood combinations and they are gaining momentum and making their way to open houses and dinner parties. The Big Easy features shrimp, andouille sausage, sauteed vegetables and Cajun spices. Another popular one, The Clam Dipper, showcases clams and bacon. The Smoked Salmon SeaCake is yet another.

The Big Easy SeaCake

The next morning, the ultimate hangover-cure breakfast: Leftover Shrimp Étouffée.

Clam & Bacon SeaCake

Smoked Salmon SeaCake

Pam was off on her annual birthday weekend getaway, so I baked her a batch of Chocolate Cayenne Cocktail Cookies for the road. These are extremely addictive, and the dough freezes well for easy slice and bake satisfaction.

I wasn't able to make anything for Julie's surprise party because my invite went to the wrong e-mail address and I ended up at the party last minute. However, there was no shortage of great food, including Pam's Kale and Pear Salad that I must recreate and blog soon!

Here's a pic of Pam and me dressed in cowgirl attire for the country theme. I wore my favorite little pink tee from Tennessee which says on the front: "Tan-legged Juliet looking for my Redneck Romeo" and then on the back: "But I'll settle for a one night rodeo" (lyrics from Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party). Any party where I can wear my Stetson is my kinda party! Unfortunately, Romeo was no where to be found, and rodeo tickets were in short supply ;-)

For Mary's pool party at The Shores, I made more luscious, buttery shortbread cookies. I was inspired by My Baking Addiction's Rosemary Lemon Shortbread Cookies and Lavender Shortbread Cookies posted recently by The James Beard Foundation. I didn't get a photo of my Lavender Lemon version, but definitely plan on adding them to the Cocktail Cookie Collection since they paired so nicely with bubbly!

It's been so long since my last blog post (Pam scolded me), so I have to keep looking back at Newf in My Soup's Facebook Page to see what else I've been up to this month....

In addition to making SeaCakes, I photographed another wine dinner at Leroy's and several dishes at various Coronado restaurants for Coronado Lifestyle magazine's annual Taste of Coronado Dining Guide. The cover photo will feature Nicky Rottens "Bad Ass" BBQ Burger...not exactly what comes to mind when I think of Coronado dining, but I'm excited to have another cover photo!

Trapper and I continue to take our early morning walks, in addition to Jolly Ball outings on a strip of grass by the Marriott and play dates with Cocoa. On one of our morning coffee walks, we were able to get close to this beautiful heron we see out fishing almost every morning. Today, we saw it catch and swallow a fairly large fish on the little beach by Il Fornaio!

Easter Sunday afternoon was spent by the pool at Mary's party. Easter dinner was fairly simple, but very Spring-appropriate with Bon Appetit's Ricotta Gnocchi with Asparagus, Peas and Morels. I made the fresh ricotta for the gnocchi and substituted Shiitake mushrooms. Brian and Kelley stopped by with more bubbly and I baked up a fresh batch of Lemon-Lavender Shortbread Cookies for dessert.

Speaking of Easter and Facebook, Trapper sort of went viral on Easter with one of his carrot photos. He often receives close to 100 "likes" and several comments, but this photo was shared 74 times! Once again, I'm tempted to throw him in the convertible and set out on a "Trapper on the Road" trip.

That pretty much sums up the last few weeks...the Coronado Flower Show will be going on this weekend and I'm photographing one of the Chef Celebration dinners next week. I may get around to cooking this afternoon or tomorrow, but Trapper's bath is long overdue and I must get that done this morning!

Enjoy your weekend...


Ginger Lang said...

Always love to hear from you, Denise. Thanks for your posts, photos and recipes.

Anonymous said...

Boo Hoo, no recipes for the SeaCakes – I want to make them all!!

JC Marc said...

Your SeaCakes look delicious! I want to make them!! Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I hope this new 'cakes' business takes off - it looks like it could be a huge hit - they look & sound fabulous - too bad I live way too far away to purchase.