Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cherry Chocolate Birthday Candy

Happy birthday to my mama! Tonight we are taking her out to dinner at Elfo’s Restaurant. It’s owned by the Grisanti family. The Grisanti’s have a culinary dynasty here in Memphis, owning several Tuscan Italian restaurants around the city; and one of my favorites is Spindini. They have a wood fired lobster pizza that is to die for. It has lobster meat, bacon, mozzarella, fresh spinach and tomatoes, and chipotle aioli. Mmm...I can almost taste it. Click here to see Elfo’s menu. I’ve not dined here before, but I love trying new restaurants. And I’m hopeful that this one will not disappoint.

For Cinco de Mayo, our Mexican fiesta dinner turned out beautifully. I made fajitas to go with our salsa and sangria.

Ironically, Rosemary Clooney found her way into my beats again this week. I guess she found my cooking skills amusing on Monday night with the cheesy bread incident that she wanted to come back. My mom is X years old this year. Now you didn’t think I would reveal a woman’s age did you? However, I will give you a clue if you want to figure it out. In the year my mom was born, Rosemary Clooney had a number one hit on the Billboard charts with her song “Come On A My House”. I love the lyrics to this song, and the tune recently made its way into our pop culture when “Come On A My House” became the theme song for E!’s show The Girls Next Door. Rosemary Clooney sings "come on a my house I'm gonna give you candy", and candy is exactly what I'm making. Furthermore, we’re eating at an Italian restaurant tonight, so what more of a reason did I need to pick this song?

For the true “Queen of Everything”, I decided to make my mom some home baked goodness with this recipe for toasted almond and cherry chocolate bark. I tell myself that this is actually healthy for me because there are fruits and nuts in it. Let’s go with that. Indulge me.
Ingredients:3/4 cup of dried tart cherries
3/4 cup of toasted almonds
*To toast almonds, spread them on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in the over at 350 degrees for 10 minutes; stir occasionally.
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

In a small bowl, combine almonds and cherries; set aside. In a saucepan, melt semisweet chocolate over low heat, stirring. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in half of the almond mixture into the semisweet chocolate. Spread semisweet chocolate mixture to about 1/4 inch thick on a large, ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with remaining almond mixture.
Refrigerate until firm, about an hour. Break bark into pieces. Layer between wax paper in airtight container. You can refrigerate this up to one month.

One more day until the weekend is upon us!

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