...turned out pretty much right on the money. Rather than go out for dinner this year, Jen wanted us to stay in and cook.
Jen found an awesome recipe on allrecipes that came out just right: Crab-Stuffed Filet Mignon with Whiskey Peppercorn Sauce. I should have taken pictures. Anyway, it came out great, although we now agree with the people who commented on the recipe, stating that the listed duration is pretty optimistic. We were pretty close: I think it took us about 2 hours, and that included me running out to Bed Bath & Beyond to pick up a large cast-iron skillet (somehow I didn't own one yet). I thought I'd find a bunch of Lodge cast iron stuff at L&T and BBB...but no! It seems cast iron is more scarce than I thought: L&T only had an Emeril cast iron square grill that was only available as a freebie when purchasing a whole Emeril set. I ended up finding the same item for sale separately at BBB (but still no Lodge). Cheap, in any case: $20 for a 10" skillet, $25 for the square grill version of the same thing.
We also made a spinach salad that we make often (toasted pumpkin seeds, red onion, dried tart cherries, and -- this time -- avocado (normally peppered goat cheese, but I forgot to pick it up), all in an oil and dijon dressing.
I also got out a nice Chateauneuf du Pape that I'd had on the rack for years. I tried to bring it to my birthday dinner at The Driskill this year, but they don't allow corkage anymore. It turned out to have mellowed nicely. It was a 1996 Paul Coulon et Fils 'Boisrenard':
I then mentioned that I had a hankering for ice cream, and was about to grab some vanilla out of the freezer. Jen told me no, and made me go read at the computer for 'about 10 minutes'. When she called me back in, this was on the counter:
It is a chocolate ginger bundt cake with a bourbon sauce on top and was damn good. I had forwarded this recipe along months ago when I first saw it, and I guess Jen filed it away for later use! All of the flower petals around it for decoration were apparently courtesy of Matt (apparently he had some fading tulips at his place...maybe from the big weekend prior? ;)