Monday, March 7, 2011

Birthday Girl Appetizers

Although her birthday is today, we celebrated my mother's 81st yesterday, when all of us could gather together for the special occasion.  One of her favorites is French onion soup, so I wanted to fix that  for her, but I wasn't sure if the other members of family could stomach that.  Plan B was some sort of pasta dish laced with shrimp and scallops.  It's easy to please all, including the birthday girl, with pasta! 
Plan B pasta

My family knows by now,  I will experiment with them, hopefully with good kudos.  Thanks, my family, for obliging my sometimes quirky recipes!  I'm happy to say the appetizers were a hit and very simple to make.  They looked like I spent alot of time preparing them, but the secret is out.  These caramelized onion and pear tidbits only have a few key ingredients making them so easy to prepare.  It was also nice to have some feedback on how to improve these little bites, which I'll surely do in the future!  (and in the book)

Oh my gosh, Italian Rum Cake
The pasta was. to me, okay.  It was not my best.  But, if I could claim credit for the birthday cake, I would.  It actually came from Safeway, of all places.  Everyone loves this Italian Rum Cake!  The filling is a rum soaked custard, the cake extremely moist and the frosting is whipped cream based.  Yum, Yum!  I'm sure glad the leftover 1/2 cake made it out my front door to someone else's home.  It was way too good. (I can't afford to have a slice of this cake calling my name from the refrigerator!)  It might be fun to try and replicate an Italian rum cake.  Does anyone have a cake recipe like this to share?

All in all, it was heartwarming to celebrate a  woman who has unconditionally loved us all during good times and bad.  She has ALWAYS been there for all of us.  I'm thankful that I can share in her ups and downs, vacations together, watching her "love on" her grandchildren, and just being there for her to hold her hand or to have a cup of tea (or dark chocolate)  with in the middle of the afternoon!

On to the "birthday girl appetizers"!


2 T butter
1 c onion, thinly sliced
1 pear, peeled and thinly sliced and cut
1 T fresh thyme, minced
1 puff pastry sheet
1/4 - 1/2 cup Parmesan, fontina or Gorgonzola would be good

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Thaw and unwrap pastry.  Cut into 16 squares and then cut again diagonally, making 32 triangles.  Place them on a sheet pan.  In a frying pan, melt the butter and add the onions.   Cook until caramelized or barely browned.  Add the cut up pears and half of the thyme.  Cook for about 10 more minutes.  Set aside to cool a bit.   Spoon a small amount of pear/onion mixture onto each triangle.  Sprinkle with remaining thyme and cheese.  Bake for around 15-20 minutes.  Cool slightly and serve.  These disappear quickly!


  1. Baby the appetizers were excellent.

    I love You

  2. Happy Birthday to your mummy! To live happy and healthy years!

  3. Thanks, katerina. She is happy and healthy!