I waited for her for a gazillion of hours (yeah–likely felt longer for seester that actually birthed her)…..and then she popped out.
Our chubby little bebe girl….our first munchkin.
Kind of magical how that can happen right?
But that’s our Nina girl…..
Bright, compassionate, silly and a ‘SC fan (of course I had nothing to do with that!…not!)
And our other munchkins just adore her.
Our latest Family Dinner was all about Nina — all her favorites — in honor of her birthday. We’ve held some memorable Fam Din themes in years past for her like our full blown lu’au or when V took on Alton Brown’s chimney method to cook dry aged steaks.
But this time, she opted for some low key options.
This month we went for a family fav — fresh Mango Mojitos!
These beauts are made with lots of muddled mint, limes, fresh mangoes, mango nectar, lots of light rum and a splash of club soda. Soooooo lovely!
Did I mention that it happened to be the season opener for ‘SC?
So what was the first thing Nina asked to be on her menu that night?
Yup, chicken wings.
Hey–how could I say no to that? I love me some wings and it was game day and all.
And since I’m obsessed with my Anova Precision Cooker, I sous vide the wings first.
Once they were done, I patted them dry with lots of paper towels and tossed them in a blend of AP flour, cornstarch and seasonings. The wings then went into a deep fryer for 2-3 minutes until they were golden brown.
The Garlicky Parmesan batch were tossed into a butter-garlic sauce.
The Hot Buffalo Wings were tossed into a butter-hot sauce mixture.
Chicken loves butter.
And so do I.
Just throw some blue cheese, mayo, sour cream, buttermilk, white wine vinegar, garlic and some seasoning into a food processor. Let it whirl for it a bit and voila!
Yup, kind of a mess.
But hey! Foodventures are messy sometimes.
Delicious but messy.
V made these ooey-gooey Mozzarella Sticks with Homemade Marinara. Mozz sticks are actually pretty simple to make (especially since we already had the deep fryer out) but are such a fun hit–particularly around football season.
All you need to do is freeze mozzarella string cheese for about 30 minutes. You then dredge them into seasoned breadcrumbs before deep-frying until golden brown. V made an awesome marina sauce that is a favorite with his youngins’.
And they love Family Dinner too! It’s where the action is…but mostly because they get extra goodies.
I freaking love this thing.
As in tenderoni.
Or more like 3.
Brother is showing off his knife skills on some pears.
R wanted in on that action too.
Brothers will always be brothers….
They were crunchy, gooey, and beefy.
And college football.
Some of my favorite things in the world.
Nina requested this Chocolate Raspberry Tart. It’s a fantastic tart with a shortbread like crust and a filling that tastes like rich chocolate truffles. I used to make them often but now N makes it all the time so I don’t have to. Perks of having a seestrah that likes to bake.
This Month’s Family Dinner Menu
Cocktails: Mango Mojitos, Various Wine
Appetizers: Parmesan-Garlic Chicken Wings, Spicy Buffalo Wings, Fried Mozzarella Sticks with Marinara
Entrees: Ciabatta Ribeye Paninis, Crab Cakes with Tartar Sauce
Sides: Gorgonzola-Pear Salad
Dessert: Chocolate Raspberry Tart