Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Rosie Finishes Party Prep For Mr. Hawthorne's Partay.

It's Sunday morning and I'm making the final preparations for Mr. Hawthorne's surprise birthday party. It's today. At 4 PM.
First, I started on our favorite cake.
The pineapple cake. If you ever need a quick, simple, delicious cake, this is the one. The Recipe: 2 cups flour 2 cups sugar 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 eggs 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, with juice 1 cup pecans (optional) Icing: 1 stick butter, softened 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 2 cups confectioner's sugar 1 TB vanilla
Mix the dry ingredients and add in the eggs.
Add in the pineapple with its juice and stir until just moistened. Pour batter into a buttered 9 x 13 baking pan and bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 35 minutes. But lookie. I preheated the oven before I started on the cake and now the batter is ready but the oven isn't. It's only gotten up to 205 degrees. I told you this was quick and easy.
Let cool before frosting.
Ta daaaaaa. Next, I'm making a pesto pizza. Yes. Another pizza. Because it's that good.
Remember, I had an extra crust in the fridge from Friday night when I doubled up on my pizza dough. My cheeses were a combination of Pepper Jack, Monteray Jack, and Mozzarella.
Little plops of pesto.
I cooked up some sausage and crumbled that over top.
Onion slices.
Black olives, red and green peppers.
Tomato slices.
More cheese on top, a few sprinklings of oregano, and bake in a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
Mr. Hawthorne cut the pizza into 2-inch squares.
Pizza. Pizza.
Next up is my crab meat boule.
I cut the dome off my boule ...
... and hollowed it out.
I put in about 4 ounces each of butter, cream cheese, and brie cheese. Or abouts.
Add in the juice of one lemon ...
... and heat over very low heat to melt. I added in a pound of crab meat. Be careful not to break up the chunks of crab. I used the cheapest crab available. It's claw meat and it's $9.00 a pound. Don't bother with the expensive jumbo lump ($20 +/pound) for a dip. Heat through. Add in a splash of sherry or white wine. I prefer the flavor of the sherry.
Spoon the crab meat mixture into your boule and sprinkle with paprika and/or cayenne. Bake at 350 until the torn bread pieces are crusty and strong enough to dip.
And ... dip away.
This is one of my favorite appetizers. Sweet crab meat, rich, creamy, cheesy goodness, a touch of citrus, a hint of sherry. What's not to love?
I unmolded my pesto/sundried tomato cheese loaf.
The corn bean tortilla pie is cooked and ready. Just slice into wedges. I'm done. I 've set up the bar. The beers are in a cooler of ice. I have plastic plates and plastic forks, spoons, and knives, and paper napkins. I spare no expense for my guests. Only the best. Now, a little anecdote to interject: I've been asking Mr. Hawthorne for the past 6 weeks: R: "Do you want to have a party for your 60th BIRTHDAY?" (Read: I'm totally having a partay.) Mr. H.: "No. I don't want to have to entertain anybody." (Read: WTF? You're not having a party?!!!??!!!) R: "You sure??" (Read: Idiot.) Mr. H.: "Yeah." (Read: Bitch.) So, the other day, "Ryan" calls me. I tell him it's Mr. Hawthorne's birthday on Monday. "Well, we need to have a party," he exclaims! He'll call Zack and Nan down the street and they'll all come up and we'll party and play music. Since Mr. H. doesn't want to "entertain" anyone, I figure this is perfect. He will be entertained, amused, and well-fed. I ask Ryan what he and his wife and Zach & Nan like to drink. He told me Zach & Nan would want beer. And he would like margaritas with Patron Tequila and Jeanette would want Grey Goose Vodka. I headed out to the ABC store (which, by the way, my father always called the Agricultural Business College, when he stopped there on the way to the farm) to pick up the requested libations. Holy CRAP! Do you know how much that shit costs? High twenties. Each bottle! Well, sorry, Ryan and Jeanette. You're gonna be slummin' tonight with Jose Cuervo and Aristocrat. And Zack and Nan didn't drink the beer. They had the white wine. And, Ryan, you had the vodka, not the tequila. What's a hostess to do? Just have plenty of everything. As I did. Back to the day: The hot food is warming in the oven. The counter has a nice spread on it. And Mr. Hawthorne and Daughter Hawthorne have gone to WalMart. A ploy. A diversion. Mr. Hawthorne is easily amused. When Mr. Hawthorne got home, he looked around at the spread and asked if we were having company. Man, I just can't get anything past him. "Who's coming," he asked? " Xmaskatie and Glowria," I responded. "That looks like a lot of food even for the two of them." "Xmaskatie said she's really hungry."
Here's part of the spread. Some peanuts and almonds on the left. That was Mr. Hawthorne's offering - the peanuts and almonds - when he finally realized he was having a party. With real people. He also went and Windexed the sliding glass doors to get off all the dog drool. Step back, ladies. He's all mine. Pesto/sundried tomato cheese loaf in the back with assorted crackers, and chips and homemade salsa. I made the salsa Sunday morning. It's in the front in that cute little ceramic red jalapeno. I took a stroll through my garden and picked a bunch of tomatoes, a red pepper, a cuke, and jalapenos. A quick way to peel tomatoes is to drop them in boiling water for about 10 - 20 seconds. Then drain and cool. The boiling water splits the skin and you can easily pull it off. Slice the 'maters in half, stick your fingers in the jelly pockets, and squeeze with the other hand to seed and juice. Only use the pulp. For the salsa, I combined the tomato pulp (of about 8 'maters), 1 chopped onion, 6 minced jalapenos, chopped cilantro to taste, freshly ground salt and pepper, 1 TB cider vinegar, 1 TB sugar. Daughter Hawthorne, with the young crowd, mugging for the camera. It's partay time!
Now you can check out pictures of total strangers.
Good picture of Ryan and Jeanette. Last party we went to, Jeanette was with Ian, with a long I, as in eye. Not EE-un. But EYE-un. But Ian turned out to be a bum so she kicked him out and now she's with Ryan. Pronounced REE-an. And she's much happier. Last time I saw Ian, he was mustachioed-less and when I went to answer the knock on my front door, I thought it was John McCain.
I'm getting the distinct impression that Glowria and Xmaskatie do not want to be photographed.
Another party going on in the kitchen. What is Glowria doing? Why, I think she's absconding with one of my wine bottles! The birthday boy appears to be enjoying all the attention. I don't know, Mr. Hawthorne, but you might be getting a lap dance tonight. Stay tuned for live entertainment (much more preferable than dead entertainment) and incriminating videos. The names have been changed to protect the guilty and you know who you are.


Anonymous said...

OMG Rosie, that food looks absolutely amazing. I had to wipe the drool off of the keyboard.

Amy in NJ

Mr. P said...

Happy Birthday to Mr. H. It looked like a nice spread of food.

Rose II said...

Kinda cheeky of your friend to request the spendy booze! Nice spread, looks like everyone enjoyed themselves!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Nothing like that, Rose II.
He knows I don't know about the $ and the brands. And he knows Mr. H. and I are cheap ... er ... frugal.
It was a joke. And he brought his own booze.
Everybody had a great time.

Marilyn said...

Hee, hee, hee. Happy Birthday a few days late.

Rose II said...

Ah,I see! :)