Birthday Snacks

Yesterday was my birthday.
40 something years young.

I had the night off from cooking.

Our friends Sally & Scott hosted a birthday dinner for me, so today will be a guest chef post!
Sally Snacks.

We started with champagne and hors d'oevres. Lots of beautiful cheeses and great crostini w/ caramelized onions, blue cheese & candied walnuts.
Homemade baba ghanoush with warm pita bread.

The main dish was a fantastic cod & shrimp stew over vinegar mashed potatoes. A Rachel Ray recipe. This would be another terrific Christmas Eve dish for the Feast of Seven Fishes. Can't wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow!

Rachel Ray's Cod & Shrimp "Stoup" (bad name) w/ Vinegar Mashed Potatoes:

4 large baking potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
3-4 ribs celery from the heart, with leafy greens, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
One can diced or stewed tomatoes (14.5-ounces)
1 1/2 pounds thick cod fillets, cut into chunks
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons butter

In a deep pot, add the potatoes and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, salt the water and cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.

In a Dutch oven or a large, deep skillet with a lid, heat the olive oil, 3 turns of the pan, over medium high heat. Add the onions, celery, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and lemon peel; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are softened, 7-8 minutes.
Pour in the wine and cook for 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup chicken broth and the tomatoes with their juice; bring to a simmer. Add the cod in a single layer, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Gently stir in the shrimp; season with salt and pepper.

Cover and cook until the cod and shrimp are just opaque throughout, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice; discard the bay leaf.

Mash the potatoes with the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth, the vinegar and butter; season with salt.

To serve, mound the potatoes into shallow bowls. Ladle the stoup around the potatoes.

For dessert we had a fantastic layered carrot cake with butter cream frosting and the best card trick!


K said…
oh how delish! glad you got to feast yesterday! :)
Patsyk said…
Happy, Happy Birthday, Stacey! It sounds like you celebrated with a fantastic meal!

Happy Holidays!
Peter M said…
Stacey, glad you had a wonderful B-day and I'd have said..."29 Forever"!
happy birthday to you.....I hope these past 29 years were as happy as your next 50....(ps you dont look a day over 27)
Pam said…
Happy birthday Stacey! I hope this year is filled with fun adventures and lots of laughter.

The birthday meal looks amazing. I love the appetizers - drool worthy.

Happy holidays.
Anonymous said…
That shrimp and cod soup looks incredible! By the way Stace, have you tried Giff's shepherd's pie? You would LOVE it!
Joyeux anniversaire, et très joyeux Noël!
LaDue & Crew said…
Happy Birthday! I'm a December gal too- 45 last week. You look fantastic!! The 40's are nothing to fear for us anymore!
Jeni said…
Happy 40th Stacey. It looks like you did it up right! All the food looks way tasty :)
Maria said…
Stacey I hope you had a great birthday! It sure looks like you did!! All of the food looks wonderful!
Anonymous said…
Happy Birthday from your #1 fan! I hope you're enjoying those leftovers today! EllenB
Alexa said…
Happy Birthday young lady!
My bday was last weekend...
Joyeux anniversaire!
Joyeux anniversaire!
Best wishes,
Sara said…
The food looks great - happy birthday and happy holidays!
Anonymous said…
Happy Birthday to you! What great friends to make such a feast! It all looked and sounded delicious!
Melissa said…
Happy Birthday!!

But wait, 40??

I would NOT have guessed you at 40. You look... well, not 40 hahaha.

Have a wonderful holiday!
Anonymous said…
Happy Birthday! The crostini with caramelized onions, blue cheese and candied walnuts make Sally and Scott my new favorite guest chefs!
And Happy Hannukah! (I hit the button too early:)
Maris said…
Happy birthday!!

I am shocked to hear that you're 40, I'm 25 and I wouldn't have guessed you all that much older than I!
Lori Lynn said…
Happy Birthday Stace!!!
Giff said…
happy birthday! and have a very very happy new year :)
Anonymous said…
Happy Birthday! A night with no dishes to clean... great birthday present with your friends hosting.
Happy Birthday Stacey. Sounds like it was a good one!
test it comm said…
That crostini with caramelized onions and blue cheese looks so good!