Pepperoni on pizza and cookie dough in ice cream–these are a few of Leo’s favorite things….
So when December’s Fam Din rolled in the day before our family’s big Christmas Party, we knew exactly what we had to make for the the little man’s 6th birthday. He was quite sure of what he wanted— pizzas, fatty steaks and cookie dough ice cream. Everything else, he left up to us.
Dinner also happened to fall on the night of the big game. And as Minnesota Vikings fans (SKOLLLLL!!!), very few other games mean as much as when we meet up with those cheese heads…I mean, those Packers. <barf>
So we had the game streaming in every room.
And apparently we needed more coverage because the boys ran out before dinner started to pick up a new TV. Nothing special…just a ginormous 65inch flatscreen.
I’ve got to admit, it was quite humorous watching all of our men attempt to mount the TV to the family room wall.
But they did it and it worked!
Poor Nina….she wasn’t feeling so hot that day–she had the terrible cooties situation everyone seemed to be getting hit with. And because she’s so caring, she even shared it with me a few days later.
Seestrah P and her fam made it down for the holidays this year so it was a full house!
It’s rare that all five siblings can be together in one place these days so we definitely try to make the most out of it when we are.
I don’t think Dad understood the message below when we said “OK, funny shot!”
While the game was on, the enormous TV was getting set up and the kids were running amok, we assembled a quick Charcuterie Platter…because it’s how we roll.
Truffle Salami from Trader Joe’s, Camembert, Toscano Cheese soaked in Syrah, Heirloom Grape Tomatoes, Olives, Truffle Marcona Almonds, and a few crackers.
In case you’ve ever wondered what down time at Fam Din looks like…..here you go.
Some chatting, some TV, lots of Mind Craft (despite our ban on devices!) and a little bit of dancing hair flips from Kaelani.
Of course, there’s lots of picture taking too.
And if your family is like ours — when we see peeps taking a group pic, we get FOMO and jump in.
Cue in Dad and T.
For the main appetizer (does that sound contradictory?), N made these little Spinach-Artichoke-Crab Puffs. Imagine rich spinach-artichoke dip mixed with lump crab meat—then surround it with flaky puff pastry and top it with more cheese and breadcrumbs.
LOOK! Nina arose from the dead!!!
It’s because she heard “Spinach-Artichoke-Crab Puffs” and shot right up.
Look at these two adorable munchkins.
And then Leia got Christmas’ed by her dad.
The look on her face is freaking hysterical.
Soon it was time to get the kiddos to prep their mini personalized pizzas.
There were lots of toppings from them to choose from — pepperoni, Italian sausage, caramelized onions, cheese, ‘shrooms and of course, homemade marinara.
It’s never too young to get them started with cooking…..because it means I can retire sooner.
Kaelani was so proud of her little pizza!
After the munchkins prepped, baked and ate their pizzas–we assembled larger ones for the grown folks to split.
Which means, throw EVERYTHING on and bake it up!
Which also included the leftover fillings from the Spinach-Artichoke-Crab Puffs.
Talk about decadent! They were delicious but super rich.
L slicing up pizza with flair!
As you may recall, birthday boy also requested steaks.
FATTY steaks to be exact.
So brother picked up a few prime steaks and dry aged them for a few days. He seared them on cast iron skillets that were screaming hot which gave them a beautiful crust.
And while they rested, he threw a bit of butter on top so that it could slowly melt and seep into all that beefy goodness.
Just a smidge of butter, right?
And I have to tell you guys, those were some of the best steaks I’ve had in a loooong time! The combination of great quality steaks that were dry aged to intensify the flavors were just fantastic!
Nina helped put the finishing touches on my Lentils and Arugula Salad topped with Burrata.
The funny thing that Dad often does when we cook for him is to look at the ingredients we use, ask what the name of it is, how to spell it—and then ends up taking a picture of it. He cracks me up.
If you ever have a doubt– throwing burrata on top of ANYTHING will always make it more delicious.
Quick pic of the spread!
So nice, I had to show you twice!
V’s face is hysterical in this pic. Now that’s true appreciation of one’s craft.
Don’t mind me while I stand in the corner taking pics and stealing bites off of people’s plates while drinking my Cosmopolitan (it was that month’s cocktail but of course, I forgot to take pics of them–DOH!).
Minus Kaelani because at that point she was getting a bath to prep for bed. She was NOT happy about missing out on the rest of Fam Din.
Oh the woes of a 3 year old….
Speaking of missing out…..the fur babies were definitely not wanting to miss out on any of the good eats! Here they are patiently waiting for their grandpa to hook them up.
They didn’t get as much as they wanted (Dad can eat!!) so Nini hooked them up with all kinds of goodness!
Yeah…I realize they eat better than most humans but they are our bebes.
And then it was FINALLY time for dessert!
Leo asked for Cookie Dough Ice Cream for his birthday dessert. But here’s the thing, although P did one heck of a job making it from scratch, it’s not a dessert that those of us 13 and older were excited about. So she did us a solid and made us a second dessert – Alice Medrich’s Warm Mocha Tart.
Um, T–hurry up and finish vacuuming or else Maya and Luna are liable to inhale the tart.
Candle perched upon a huge scoop of his favorite ice cream –that he, of course, had seconds of.
And with that–another shenanigans filled, delicious Fam Din came to a close.
Happy, Happy Birthday Leonidas!
This Month’s Family Dinner Menu
Cocktails: Cosmopolitans, Various Wine
Appetizers: Charcuterie Platter, Spinach-Artichoke-Crab Puffs
Entrees: Dry Aged Rib Eye Steaks, DIY Pizzas
Sides: Lentils and Arugula Salad topped with Burrata
Dessert: Homemade Cookie Dough Ice Cream, Warm Mocha Tart