Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Birthday Boy

I really have a hard time keeping surprises from people, especially when they are big ones. And even more so when I am keeping them from all the readers on my blog for quite sometime now. Yes, there is not one, but two surprises that will be revealed sometime within the next week…so hang in there! =)


"Almost Any Man Can Be A Father
It Takes Someone Extremely Special
To Be A Dad"


This past weekend was my wonderful dad’s birthday! So in true daughter/hostess fashion, I invited him down to my house for the weekend! My dad comes to visit every so often, but is pretty busy due to the fact that he is an over-the-road truck driver. For him to take a few days to come stay at my place was a definite treat! I wanted to make his birthday weekend extra special. Judging by his reactions, I would say I succeeded!


First up, we visited my city’s local Science Museum which I have never been to in the three years that I’ve lived here surprisingly. I think it’s always fun to play tourist in your town once and awhile—that way you can always discover new things.


We had fun taking pictures in the fun house mirrors.


Were amazed by some of the science and physics experiments.


I held my first snake—Bo the boa constrictor. Scary, yes.

But of course the food was the highlight of the day, like usual when you’re at my place!!  While I was waiting for my dad to arrive early Saturday afternoon, I got going in the kitchen. I usually bake my bread from scratch in the bread machine, however when I was shopping, I saw this mix and it was on sale, so I figured I’d give it a try!


Hawaiian Royal Sweet Bread Machine Mix


The box included your bread mix and yeast packet—all you do is add water and you have yourself a nice loaf!


I would classify this bread as a cross between a sweet bread and a more traditional bread. However, it served as the perfect balance with a savory meal!

Next I got started on the side dish—homemade garlic red mashed potatoes. My dad loves this recipe and he’s a mashed potatoaholic.


Garlic Red Mashed Potatoes


  • 8 medium red potatoes, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled—equivalent of minced garlic works too
  • 2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine—I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter 
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk, warmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Directions:

    • Place potatoes and garlic in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender. Drain well.


    • Add the butter, milk and salt; mash, or put on low in a stand mixer like I do.

    And lastly, I made a run to our local meat market and got my 2nd favorite (flank being first) cut of meat, T-bone steak! And then I saw some juicy shrimp, and thought hey, why not steak and shrimp?


    But what’s a girl to do when left with two steaks and no grill? Follow this fail-proof indoor cooking method for just-off-the-grill flavor! I love it!


    Pan-Seared T-Bone Steak


    • 1 1/2 pounds bone-in T-bone steak

    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    • 1 tablespoon canola oil

    • 2 skewers of shrimp, uncooked (optional)


    • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. A half-hour before cooking, remove steak from refrigerator.
    • Heat a large skillet over high heat. Pat steak dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Add oil to hot skillet and when it begins to smoke add steak. Reduce heat slightly and cook steak until browned, about 4 minutes on each side.
    • Add one skewer of shrimp on top of each steak.
    • Transfer skillet to the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted sideways into the steak registers 120 degrees F for medium-rare, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes.


    All together now…




    Let’s just say my dad didn’t have words to describe this meal, but the fact that either of us could barely move from being so stuffed was all the reassurance I needed!!

    Oh but wait, don’t go…

    I almost forgot to share the dessert I made!


    Triple Chocolate Cupcakes—words can’t describe!


    What’s the best birthday meal you’ve ever had?


    m said...

    That is some birthday meal girl! You have a lucky dad. :) Those potatoes are making me hungry...

    Krista said...

    Your Dad will remember this b-day forever! As a Mom I can say that nothing makes a b-day better than spending it with my kids so I know for sure that he had a great one!!

    I can't wait to hear about your surprises!! AHHHH!!!!!

    Erica said...

    Surprises huh? Can't wait until they're revealed. You are one rocking daughter. The food, the sites- so fun! I would be all over that sweet bread and those gorgeous cupcakes. I'm a simple girl! My best birthday meals always involve fresh fruits & veggies (usually Mexican style) and froyo!

    katecooks said...

    you are SO sweet. i bet your dad had a great time and really appreciated your extra effort. i love playing tourist in my town too. there are so many things in LA that i've never done! once you live here, you get used to bars/restaurants/beach/etc and dont explore nearly enough!

    The Healthy Hostess said...

    Those mashed potatoes are going on my menu plan soon!! YUM!!