March 12, 2015

Dinner at Deb's; Burgers, Flatbread and Birthday Cake!

After a hectic few days of snow, work, and overall busy schedules, a few friends and I were able to get together to celebrate our dearest Deb's birthday (a week late but better late than never)! With all our crazy schedules and distance (Kim moved to Baltimore, I was coming from Virginia, Jenny was in Hawaii for school), it was nice to finally get together again for the amazing dinners and conversation. As evening approached, I made my way to Deb's always inviting home for another great night.
Although this warm weather is a little unbelievable (I was just snowed in last week!), our plans to grill burgers outdoors fell through because of the rain the night before. Regardless, Deb already had her famous burgers marinated with all kinds of delicious ingredients and spices and started grilling them on the hot cast iron. 

As an appetizer, Deb crafted some beautiful flatbreads topped with caramelized red onions, thinly sliced zucchini, fresh roma tomatoes, basil, parmesan, bleu cheese crumbles, cracked pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. (The finished dish is pictured above)
While this was getting toasty in the oven, the chef already set up bacon strips on an oven rack and a bowl of sweet caramelized onions as additional toppers to our burgers. Look how beautifully laid out the bacon is!
Soon after a bit of catching up, we sat down to assemble our burgers. They resemble the perfectly crafted "Krabby Patties" on Spongebob Squarepants, haha! The spicy burger patties laid on soft french brioche buns.

After quickly devouring our burgers and flatbread (maybe everyone else enjoyed their food at a moderate speed, mine was gone within minutes), we prepped for dessert. I wanted to surprise Deb with her birthday cake so when she asked me about dessert, I pretended to know of no such thing. It worked out since she made her amazing chocolate molten lava cakes with Kim's raspberry reduction as a perfect pairing. Here are a few photos of previous times she's made this amazing dessert:
At this point we were all pretty full (as Deb proceeded to instruct us on how to engage your core for hip bridges from her personal training sessions, haha!) we started setting up the cake to sing for her birthday.
No secret to anyone that knows Deb, is her favorite gelato. I wish I'd have taken a photo of her freezer since everyone gifts jars and jars of Talenti gelato (the selection is more extensive than a supermarket)! I had to make a cake that reflected one of her favorite flavors, Mediterranean Mint.
Needless to say, she really loved the cake! Under the vanilla and chocolate fondant is a simple butter cake (intended to be drizzled with tres leches to match her cupcakes). After a few silly photos and admiring the gold candle that miraculously burned clean without drips, Deb showed us her beautiful whiskey gifts!
(As you can see in this photo, the candle was burning without a drip with absolutely no problem!)

Although I much rather prefer wine, Deb has an appreciation for well-crafted whiskeys. I just admired the beautiful design and clean type!

After more attempts to recover from the incredible meal we just finished, we somehow ended up taking a time lapse of silly photos (okay it was 100% my idea). There were some issues getting the photos to show up on this post, so here are the links! Any easier suggestions for making gifs? I used, but the size limitation was a bit of a bummer.

Silly Gif 1

Silly Gif 2

Silly Gif 3 (my favorite, Kim's action gif hahaha!)

We all could have goofed around for hours but finally made our ways back home early into the morning hours. Happy happy birthday to such an incredible soul, we love you!

Until next time!

Stay hungry,

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