During our tapas dinner, Nick played with his cars. Gigi (Nick's great-grandmother) was kind enough to let her legs be the road.
One of the tapas I served was Magdalena cakes, which are light, lemony cakes that melt in your mouth. They were actually pretty easy to make. You can find the recipe here.
Greg made several dishes to contribute to this fancy dinner. First, here are grilled plantains with a spicy sugar glaze.
On the grill, Greg made flank steak marinated in garlic and hot peppers. Yum!
Our dinner was not completely bereft of vegetables--Greg made a green bean and cabbage salad.
He also made lemon-thyme wild rice, which turned out pretty well. I thought it was delicious.
Oh, dessert? Of course we had dessert! My mom is a big fan of chocolate, so I chose a bittersweet chocolate tart on a hazelnut crust. It's one of the more challenging dessert recipes I have tried, and I had to carmelize the sugar twice. The first time it burned, and nearly set the house on fire. Then, I got chocolate all over my nose.
The recipe involved crushing hazelnuts and grinding them into a powder for the crust, carmelizing sugar (which is somewhat dangerous for absentminded people like me), and separating eggs. But it was worth the trouble. It was chocolatey and rich but not too sweet. I did, however, forget to buy birthday candles. So we improvised. . .
Yes, that's a scented candle. Hey, we had to have something for my mom to blow out after we sang. Here's what the tart looked like up close:
It was definitely a filling trip to Spain. By the end of the evening, everyone was sprawled out watching the Cars movie with Nick, barely awake. I think my mom had a good birthday, though, and that was the point. Maybe next year we'll go to Italy. . .