Simplicity. A Birthday Dinner

This past weekend my family and a few special guests celebrated my mom’s 50th birthday. My mom didn’t want to too much attention this year, so we opted against hosting a large party and decided to keep things intimate with a family dinner party at the house. My sister and her boyfriend live 4 hours away, so we had to celebrate my mom and her 50 wonderful years of life on Saturday. *(Recipes and photos from Saturday to come!)* On Tuesday, August 9 – her real birthday, I decided to buy a nice bottle of wine, cook a simple meal, and re-celebrate her special day at home with gifts and cake.

Appetizer

. Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip with smoked paprika cucumber slices

. Cheese board and crackers

Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip Recipe:

Ingredients

1 eggplant

1 red bell pepper

2 garlic gloves

3 teaspoons organic Tahini paste

Salt & pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

5 mint leaves, chopped

1 tsp lemon juice

Method

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut eggplant and bell pepper in half and put them on a baking sheet. Roast until the eggplant and bell pepper skin becomes black (about 45 minutes). Place the bell pepper in a plastic bag, and cool for about 15 minutes. Peel the peppers, remove the seeds and stems and put in a food processor. Let the eggplant cool off a little and then scoop out the flesh into a food processor.

Add tahini, olive oil and garlic and process until smooth. Add lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with mint.

Dinner

. Heirloom Tomato Salad with avocado

. Baked Herb and Garlic Salmon fillets

. Roasted Asparagus tossed with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Dessert

. Cast-iron skillet cookie cake

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