And now for the rest of the story.
You know that Valentine’s dinner that was in the last post? Well you need to know that it wasn’t actually on Valentine’s Day. Nope – that dinner was the night before Valentine’s Day.
And why was that, Kelly? you might ask.
Well you see, my husband left. (collective gasp here) He left me and ran off to the mountains of North Carolina.
On Valentine’s Day??
Yes, on Valentine’s Day. And do you know what was even worse than his leaving on Valentine’s Day?
What could be worse than that?
His birthday was the day after Valentine’s Day!
Oh my! He better have a good explanation for doing such a thing!
Well he does.
My husband loves to ski, and he loves our church youth group. So he ran away to the mountains of North Carolina (Boone to be precise) to be a chaperone for their ski trip, and they did indeed leave on Valentine’s Day. And yes, he was not at home for his birthday either.
We had a birthday dinner last night when he returned home.
While I was running around like a chicken-with-my-head-cut-off getting all the Valentine’s Day things done, I was thinking about plans for his birthday in the back of my mind. (Major multi-tasking!) Originally, I was going to have some of his friends over for a barbeque dinner, but his friend with the-crushed-ankle-that-has-had-surgery still could not make it, so I am postponing that idea. Instead we had a little family birthday dinner out on the back porch (since you know it is now spring here in crazy-weather Georgia.) And you know I have to share the menu with you.
This menu is actually kind of important. When we got married looong long ago, shrimp creole was prepared by my mother-in-law for our rehearsal dinner. It was one of our favorite dishes. My husband still loves it (a lot!) but since I have developed a serious allergy to shellfish, I can no longer eat this divine dish. And boy did I loooove me some shrimp. It was my all time favorite food. I loved it even more than chocolate, even more than fresh summer tomatoes with salt and pepper, even more than…coffee! Yes, that much! And I have not even prepared anything with shrimp since my first shellfish allergic reaction years ago. So for me to make this dish, and to sit at the table with it right in front of my face, well… they should just go ahead and nominate me for sainthood or whatever it is that you do to become a saint (and I am not even Catholic.) Don’t you agree?!
It is not a difficult dish to prepare. In fact, it would make an easy Sunday supper main dish. All you do is chop up the holy trinity of vegetables (bell pepper, onion, celery) and cook them in a little oil.
Then you add canned tomatoes and spices.
Simmer that for an hour, and finally you mix in the shrimp and simmer for 5 more minutes. Viola! You have yourself some delicious shrimp creole.
Do you see that small bowl above? I love the sauce with all the vegetables cooked in it, so we pan fried some chicken tenderloins sprinkled with garlic salt and pepper, cut them into bite size pieces, and mixed them in a couple of cups of sauce (before we added the shrimp) so that I could have Chicken Creole. It was a great substitute for this non-shellfish eater. Here is the recipe for the real deal dish.
Since I was being so kindhearted to risk my life with the preparation of this dish, I thought I would just go ahead and go all out by adding steamed shrimp to the dinner since my husband loves it so much. See it there below on the right? Oh my gosh did that ever smell good! (Further assuring me my nomination into sainthood.)
That salad had to be one of my favorites that I have made around here…spinach leaves, strawberry slices, bacon pieces, chopped pecans, purple onion slices, and crumbled goat cheese. I bought crostino slices and broke them up as croutons on the salad. For the dressing, we just used a grocery store bottled orange poppyseed dressing.
And that French bread was simply loaves from the deli that you bake. It was very delicious dipped in melted butter. I tried to find a recipe for a dish called Paradise Shrimp that we get at Bayou Bill’s in Destin, Florida. The shrimp are cooked in a lemon butter with a heavy dose of pepper, and it makes some great dipping for the French bread with which it is served. That butter sauce is what I wanted for dipping our bread, but I had no luck finding that recipe. Anyone out there have it??
And now for the dessert. I thought about making a cake, but I knew my mother-in-law was going to be making one for my husband, and we didn’t need two cakes around here. One of his favorite desserts is banana pudding, so I decided I would make it. As I started looking for recipes, I came across Paula Deen’s recipe for Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding. It looked a little fancier than your traditional one, and it sounded delicious, so I gave it a try. In case you are not familiar with it, you begin by layering Pepperidge Farm chessmen cookies in the bottom of a casserole dish.
Then top that with a layer of banana slices.
On top of that you put a layer of a mixture of Cool whip, sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, French vanilla instant pudding mix, and milk.Then you put one more layer of the chessmen cookies as the “icing” for the pudding, and refrigerate it for several hours. And if you add birthday candles to it, you have yourself a banana pudding birthday “cake.”
You can find the recipe on Paula Deen’s site by clicking here. I loved the taste of it! My husband says the traditional version tastes better to him when they are both freshly made (especially if the traditional one is warm,) but the Paula Deen version is far better than the traditional one after they have both been refrigerated. You will have to make it and decide for yourself I guess.
And here is the table all ready for serving. (Sorry for the blurry photo. Everyone was ready to eat!)
I totally forgot to take a photo of a plate during dinner, so I took one of the leftovers tonight.
And that was the birthday dinner for my husband who ran away on Valentine’s Day.
And now you know the rest of the story.
Thanks for stopping by today!