Hello world!

31 May

A week and a half ago my husband, Mike and I had a dinner party at our apartment. But this wasn’t just any dinner party…it was my 30th birthday dinner party. After a week of waffling back and forth trying to get over my mild depression over the subject, we decided the best solution was to surround me with friends and family. And I couldn’t have been happier!

Now most people would think cooking for your own birthday party sounds like torture, but it was one of the things I was most looking forward to. I thoughtfully created a menu that could be assembled with minimal preparation. Here’s how the game plan played out: Mike and I made cinnamon-cumin spiced meatballs early in the day, which simmered slowly in a tomato sauce throughout the afternoon. Easy! Then we simply cut up some store-bought fresh chorizo sausages and laid them out on sheet pans to quickly roast off before eating. In a jar, I shook up some sherry vinegar, olive oil, a generous squeeze of honey, salt and pepper for a vinaigrette that would dress our salad of spring greens, blackberries and shavings of parmesan. Not too bad. Couscous was made and set aside waiting to be tossed with lemon zest, juice and parsley just before serving. Lastly, my mother and I rinsed off a combination of clams, mussels, and shrimp for my Seafood Roast. It essentially cooks itself in the oven, all the flavors of the sea mixing with a little white wine, and finished with a few scoops of herb butter. It is sooooo good!

Along with our cocktail of the evening, Paloma’s Punch (lovingly named by my parents), and a bakery bought cake, we had a fabulous night catching up with loved ones and even sharing some cooking tips. I don’t know if anyone could have asked for more…except maybe a recipe for Seafood Roast? 🙂

30th Birthday Seafood Roast

Rinsed and ready to roast…

Serves 6-8

1 pound of manila or littleneck clams

1 pound of mussels

1 pound raw shrimp, deveined

Olive oil, for drizzling

1 cup of white wine, (something delicious!)

salt and pepper, as needed

1 stick of softened butter

1/4 cup chopped soft herbs (any one or combination of parsley, chives, basil, cilantro, dill or mint would be just fine)

1 lemon, zested and juiced

When you get your shellfish home make sure you rinse everything and drain very well. Take a look at the clams and mussels, if there are any that don’t close when you tap them on the counter, throw them away (they’re already dead). For the mussels, pull out the hairy beards and discard them.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle a large roasting pan with olive oil and dump all the seafood onto it. Drizzle the top of the seafood with more olive oil to coat and season with salt and pepper. With your hands toss gently to combine. Add the white wine. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, or until the clams and mussels have opened and the shrimp have curled slightly and turned pink.

Meanwhile, combine the softened butter, chopped herbs, lemon zest and juice in a bowl. If using unsalted butter, be sure to add 1 teaspoon salt.

When the roast comes out of the oven, dollop a few scoops of the herbed butter over the hot seafood. With a large spoon, stir to combine and allow the butter to melt into the roast. Serve and enjoy immediately!

Ready to enjoy!

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9 Responses to “Hello world!”

  1. Maria Hagerty June 1, 2012 at 3:12 am #

    I can’t wait until the next dinner party at your place. I have never had the courage to try clams or mussels but had the seafood roast you made and loved them! The food was definitely worth the wait and being with everyone (Pete too) sharing your day was the icing on your birthday cake 🙂

  2. Ruby June 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    Thanks for leaving the recipe…it was sooo delicious! 🙂

  3. Shah King June 1, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    nice blog… post pictures of the food.. ! =) and maybe even a short video

    • lifeskitchen June 2, 2012 at 5:36 am #

      Thanks for the suggestion, pictures are now up!

  4. Kristen June 2, 2012 at 1:22 am #

    Awesome! Can’t wait to read more. Sorry I missed the partayyy.

  5. Sonia June 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    I wish we could have shared your special day with you. I’m glad you had a wonderful time. The seafood recipe souds delicious. I’m going to try it tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  6. Steven Moreno June 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    sorry I missed it. This looks amazing!! Nice job Ashley.

  7. Steve Hagerty June 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    I just wanted to tell you I love you and am so proud of you! You turn the simplest events into royalty and I feel like a king when I’m there.

  8. Adam Kramer July 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    That food was amazing. It seems like it would take forever, but you made it seem so effortless.

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