Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Loved, and Strawberry Almond Dream Cream


Wow.  I don't know what to say, but that I am blessed with a wonderful husband and fabulous friends.  There are so many adjectives I could use here, but it suffices to say that I feel so loved. 

This post might not begin far from the facebook status updates, tweets, and blog posts from many other happy and in-love husbands, wives, friends, children, or parents over the past few days.  After all, most of us celebrated love on Monday. 


My husband and I joined in these amorous festivities.  On Saturday night, I prepared an elaborate menu for two, in the comfort of our own kitchen.  I served a Pomegranate Arugula Salad to start, an entree of Passionfruit Glazed Salmon and Green Beans followed by a cheese course, and Strawberry Almond Dream Cream for dessert.  We ate, talked, danced to a jazzy mix of Harry Connick, Jr., Michael Buble, and Norah Jones, and oogled at each other across the candlelit table.  And, for as much as I cook for him, it always delights me when he says, "this is spectacular." 

Our celebration of love didn't stop there (and I hope it never stops, ever).  But on Monday night, I returned home from an afternoon full of classes to a wonderful smelling apartment and a delicious meal, cooked by my sweet husband.  He prepared a stuffed pork loin, roasted winter vegetables, green beans, and a divine bourbon panna cotta.  It was a treat and a blessing, and I was very impressed with his culinary skills! 


This two-part celebration of love is enough for me to express how blessed I am, what a wonderful husband I have, and how much I love and am loved by him.  But I cannot leave it there.  I have to tell you about Sunday night. 

You see, on Sunday night, we were invited to a birthday celebration for a friend.  It was a surprise party, and there were a few glitches with the timing of the event, but we finally arrived, pulled our cameras out and went to join the others in anticipation for the birthday girl to arrive.  I came around the corner to join my friends who I knew were waiting in the living room, and SURPRISE!, the birthday party was for me!  I was completely blown away.  One of my friends, a fabulous artist, painted a "Belle of the Kitchen" sign; everyone prepared a recipe from the blog (recipes posted below); and best of all, I was so honored by all of these sweet friends who took their time to bless me (not to mention messages, texts, and cards from those near and far).  Yes, I am honored and blessed, and feel so completely loved, and the older I am, the more I realize and appreciate this. 


With all of this love around, I wanted to share with you a recipe that expresses the same.  This Strawberry Almond Dream Cream is a sweet treat to share with those whom you love, whether you are celebrating Valentine's day, a Birthday, or just love, in general.  It is best served the day it is prepared.


Strawberry Almond Dream Cream

Adapted from The Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook

1 1/4 teaspoon plain gelatin
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup amaretto
1 cup half & half
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
4 strawberries, sliced
Strawberries and Basil or Mint sprigs, for garnishing

In a small bowl, whisk together the gelatin, milk, and amaretto. 

In a small saucepan, combine the half & half and sugar.  Heat to about 175 degrees (when you can just see steam rising from the pan, but not to a full simmer).  Remove from the heat and whisk into the amaretto mixture until combined.  Whisk in the extracts. 

Divide the sliced strawberries among four parfait or martini glasses.  Pour the warm mixture over the strawberries and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.  Garnish with a strawberry and basil sprig just before serving. 

This is best served on the day it is prepared, particularly when it is just set and very tender. 

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Want to know what my friends prepared for my surprise birthday party?  Here are the recipes:
Aniversary Shrimp and Grits
Mixed Green Salad with Pecans, Goat Cheese and Fruit
Artichoke Bruschetta
Cheese Straws
Hummus
Tomato Salsa
Peanut-Peanut Butter Brownies
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6 comments :

Amanda said...

Happy Birthday Dorothy! What fun friends you have, what a great idea for a surprise party. And, that Almond Dream Dessert looks wonderful!

Kristen@PrettySweet said...

What a fun post! You most certainly are very blessed. =) I love cooking husbands - and what a sweet surprise party! That's really awesome!!

Intriguing dessert, too. I love anything with almond flavoring. =) It was even our wedding cake flavor!

ELC said...

How lovely--what a great celebration!!

Jennifurla said...

wow, great post. Lovely pics and super dessert

Chandra said...

Dorothy, your photography is at least as beautiful as your cooking is wonderful. You should put together a cookbook...

CookiePie said...

What a lovely post, it really made me smile! Happy, happy birthday!! And that is one beautiful dessert, too.