I am back! And I made tacos...
Garden Dinner

birthday treats

The other day I found myself desiring a birthday cake. I wanted it to taste a bit fancy without much effort. Effort is for other people's birthday cakes. So I looked around for ideas and pieced this together from two or three sites. 

I used a Duncan Hines fancy cake mix, and made two 8-inch layers, coated with ganache. I made raspberry-lime sauce for the plate. 

The ganache has 8 oz dark chocolate chunks melted with 6 tbs of butter, 2 tbs Chambord, 2 tbs heavy cream, 2 tbs corn syrup, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.  I poured it over the cake layers after they cooled for a few minutes and put them in the refrigerator for about half an hour. 

Then I put a small package of raspberries in the food processor, squeezed in a couple of limes' juice, and some sugar, and then it wasn't enough sugar, so I added more. Maybe 1/4 cup altogether. Next time I'd splash in more Chambord, as well. 

Here's a phone pic of cake slices.

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I also made dinner, which was not a perfect success, but a good trial for another effort sometime. 

This is a Vietnamese farmed fish I probably won't buy again, but it was there, and okay. It's firm and light. 

I made a pistou, processing basil leaves from the garden with garlic and olive oil, then stirring in a handful of shaved Grana Padana, and some pepper. And spread it on the fish. 

They're rolled up with bacon. I baked them at 350º for about half an hour, then broiled them for a couple minutes. 

The phone pic is awful. And you see I didn't trim the green beans, but I was tired of things just then. The salad is made of things from my garden; some lettuce, greens, and early onions, and white balsamic vinegar and olive oil. 

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It was all very nice, and the nicest thing of all is that I picked my first tomato. I don't know why it ripened so early, but maybe it was just a birthday gift from the universe, or some such fun notion.