Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Birthday Dinner And Soil-Building

Well, Husband turned a year older a few days ago and I tried to be a good wife and give him a good dinner, especially as a present hasn't happened yet.

There's not much more Husband likes than a good potsticker, so I reprised a version I made a few months ago with a scallop and shrimp filling. I kept it very simple: scallops, shrimp, ginger, and a ton of green onion. I really wanted to cook them all at once, so I pulled out my monster electric griddle and panfried both sides instead of steaming one side. It worked; they were delicious.

I served them with a modified version of the cabbage-and-raw-ramen salad. I read a bunch of recipes online, but none of them really thrilled me. I took the best-looking of them and replaced some of the "salad oil" with toasted sesame oil, subbed sweet chile sauce for some of the sugar, added about a cup of chopped cilantro, and just generally gave it more Asian flavors and heat. It was good. For dessert, I made a lemon cake with lemon-cream cheese filling and frosting. Husband's a citrus lover, and the cake went over well. I'm not much of a decorator, so no picture of my not-ugly, but not-pretty cake.

Today, the morning featured bearable temperatures during BabyGirl's nap, so I went out to start doing some soil-building in my future garden. BabyGirl and I made a trip to Starbucks before the nap to pick up some used coffee grounds. There was a big pile of grass clippings I'd had my eye on for a while, so I raked those into roughly the size and shape of the raised bed that will eventually exist. Here's my lush, green garden area.

Ah, the desert in springtime!

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