Monday, September 17, 2007

Matt's Birthday Celebration - Apple Cinnamon Multigrain Pancakes, French Onion Soup, and Peanut Butter Cake!!

Today was my husband Matt’s birthday, so I spoiled him rotten with all types of goodies. On the menu today was:
1. Apple Cinnamon Multigrain Pancakes
2. French Onion Soup and Field Green Salad (with tomatoes, mushrooms, toasted almonds, golden raisins, and a white wine and balsamic olive oil vinaigrette)
3. Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Ganache Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting

Matt and I haven’t enjoyed a yummy, home cooked breakfast in I don’t even know how long! We attended a wedding the night before, and were both looking forward to a day of eating, cooking (for me), and relaxing. Apple Cinnamon Multigrain pancakes were a perfect way to start the day.
I started with this recipe from and added a few things to it. Here is a list of what I added:
Extra oats (1/3 cup additional)
Omitted the sweetener
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
added slightly more milk
Apple mixture (recipe to follow)

For the apple mixture, I cored, peeled, and sliced 6 apples. I placed apple slices in a small pot, added cinnamon and nutmeg to taste, and cooked over medium heat until they were warm and somewhat softened. I then poured the mixture into the batter, spooned onto a hot griddle, and cooked about 2 minutes on each side. The pancakes were FANTASTIC and were very filling! I served with warm, pure maple syrup, regular and also a cinnamon spiced variety. This recipe doubled made enough for 4, we had leftovers that I froze, and we will see how that goes!

Matt’s parents and my mom came over for an early dinner on Sunday. We skipped lunch as we had eaten a filling breakfast rather late in the morning. I began with Ina Garten’s recipe for French Onion Soup (here is the recipe) and made a few substitutions and additions.

Here is a list of what I added:
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Omitted the veal stock and used additional beef stock
Fresh thyme
Omitted the brandy (didn’t have any), so I added a little more sherry and slightly more white wine

I one-and-a-halved the recipe to be sure we would have enough, and it was plenty for 5 people, we even had leftovers to enjoy one night during the coming week.

To make the toast floaters, I sliced a French baguette on a diagonal and brushed each side with olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese. I put under the broiler to brown each side, and then placed two toasts on top of each crock of soup. I placed a slice of Swiss cheese on each toast, followed by freshly shredded mozzarella and provolone, covering the top of the crock. I finished it off with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese, and placed under the broiler to brown.

I served the soup with a field green salad. Here are the ingredients:

Spring mix greens
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Mushrooms, sliced
Toasted slivered almonds
Shallots, diced
Large shavings of asiago cheese

White wine vinegar
Balsamic olive oil
½ clove garlic
Shallots (I threw in a few I had diced for the salad)
Sprinkling of parmesan cheese

I began by creating the dressing. I combined the white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, shallots, thyme, and parm cheese in the food processor. I pulsed a few times, and then drizzled in the olive oil. I poured the dressing into the bottom of the salad bowl. I added the greens next, followed by the tomatoes, mushrooms, and shallots. I tossed the salad to coat with dressing, and topped with the golden raisins and almonds. I finished it off with large shavings of asiago cheese.

Matt’s 2 sisters and their families came over for cake to help us celebrate, and for that I created a peanut butter cake with chocolate ganache filling and cream cheese icing. Matt LOVES peanut butter, so I thought this would be a fun choice! I found this recipe on epicurious that I followed almost exactly. Here are the additions I made:

¼ cup sour cream to batter mixture
Slightly more buttermilk than called for
Omitted the peanut butter from the ganache filling and subbed more chocolate
Used crushed Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups and mini chocolate chips as a garnish instead of the Butterfingers

The cake turned out really, really well! It looked nearly perfect and tasted so yummy! I thought of adding a combination of peanut butter and chocolate chips to the batter, but decided not to. The cake was not overwhelmingly peanut-y, which was good since I am not the biggest fan of PB! The filling was a little too thin, as I made it first thing in the morning instead of the night before. I would STRONGLY suggest making it the night before. Also, I am not sure if I would do the cream cheese frosting again. The frosting itself was delicious, but I found it too sweet and not the right contrast for the cake. But, that was just me, everyone else loved it. I would do a simple whipped frosting next time perhaps, light on the sweetening.

Hope you enjoyed your yummy treats, Matthew!


Sarah said...

would you come to my house for my birthday? :) everything looks wonderful!

Carrie said...

How sweet of you to make all those yummy treats for your husband's birthday. I looove french onion soup! Looks great!