Friday, October 21, 2011

Fall Birthday Celebration: Squid Ink Pasta with Mussels, Dark Chocolate Cake and Cheezy Pizza Bread

Don't you just love Fall? Nothing makes me want to cook more than that change of seasons!   All of those pumpkin recipes!  I have already made a pumpkin roll, pumpkin spiced lattes and an apple pie, apple sauce and apple crisp.  Love it! 

One of the other things that comes with fall is our whole family's birthdays.  We go from September through December... one per month.  I had a gamer birthday party for my oldest 11-year-old son as seen here.

Today is my husband's birthday, so I am making a cheezy pizza bread and some great squid ink bow tie pasta with mussels... his favorite. 

For the pizza, I do nothing terribly fancy.  Make a pizza dough using the THIS recipe, spread the dough on a greased pan, and then top it with olive oil, chopped garlic, 5 different cheeses of your choice and then sprinkle with paprika and white pepper.  Delicious!
The special dinner of mussels and squid ink pasta is a great birthday dinner for my husband.  He loves mussels and it is fairly simple to make. 
Aren't these cute?  How could I resist a striped pasta???



So, I cooked the pasta according to the package directions. 

Add some chopped garlic to 1 cup of canned, chopped tomatoes and 1 cup of chicken broth and 1/2 cup of white wine {or just 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth if you have no wine}.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add the mussels and cover to steam them until they open.  If any of them fail to open, throw the unopened ones out. 

Top pasta with the mussels and the sauce and sprinkle with cilantro or parsley.  Dig in!

The other thing I made is my husband's favorite cake, Hershey Dark Chocolate Cake.  YUM! The recipe is on the back of the cocoa box but instead of using the boiling water, I used freshly brewed espresso.

Seriously, this is the best chocolate cake ever.  You really only need a small piece.  It is really rich.  My little one was home from school today until his antibiotics kick in.  He was feeling so much better that he wanted to help decorate the cake, so he picked his dad's favorite candy and told me how to put them on the cake.  {I wouldn't let him touch it.... germy little thing!}  Then he picked the candles from my candle stash {blush... yes, I have one}.  This is what he came up with. 



Happy birthday, Sweetie!
Enjoy what is left of Autumn!  I know I will!
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