End of Summer Wrap

Summer is coming to a close and I have a few updates I thought I would share.

I've now made the Chocolate "Go-To" cake from Keeping up FIVE times! Fathers Day, my brother's birthday, for a piano family, for my neighbors and for a family desert night on Sunday! It's hands-down a hit! The first four times I made it with the chocolate frosting and this past Sunday I tried the Buttercream Frosting (primarily because I was out of coco!) But I honestly think I liked it better. My next move is to try a cream cheese frosting. Here is a picture of it for my brother Dustin's birthday. I think it looks nicer in the white dish rather than a metal or Pyrex container, but it tastes good no matter what. I do think it's time to invest in the bulk-sized coco container.

Confession, I bought a can of icing for the writing and border. Here is the frosting I used:

It actually wasn't bad, but I would love to get some of these decorator bottles from Pampered Chef. Dont' they look cool?

For this same birthday/4th of July dinner I made a salad Lara made for a gourmet night some time ago (May 2008). I've been wanting to make it ever since that first tasting and finally pulled it together!

Tortellini Salad with Asparagus and Fresh Basil Vinaigrette
(See recipe on May 26, 2008 post)

Rob and I celebrated our one-year anniversary this past weekend by spending two nights at the Marriott City Center and had a fabulous dinner at "Em's" on Saturday night. I had heard great things about this restaurant and have been wanting to try it for some time. I loved it!

Our Appetizer
Bruschetta topped with whole milk mozzarella, Tomatoes, Basil & Balsamic Reduction

My Entree (from the specials menu)
Fresh Halibut topped with Champagne & Herb Vinaigrette, Farmer's Market Vegetables, and served over Basmati Rice

Rob's Entree (I snuck a bite and it was fabulous!)
Marinated Pork Chop in a Maple, Mustard & Bacon Barbeque sauce with Mashed Potatoes and Seasoned Vegetables

My Desert: Farmer's Market Crepe
Sweet Crepe stuffed with Grand Marnier Cream, Local Grown Peaches, Nectarines and Assorted Berries

Rob's Desert: Chocolate Chunk Brownie with Homemade Ice Cream

The patio

Leaving the restaurant . . .