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Her Recipe:  "Birthday Dinner for two."

Birthday Dinner Lobster Crab

(Four pound lobster, five pounds King Alaskan Crab legs, four pound standing Rib Roast, Grape and Gorganzola salad and two-layer Red Velvet Cake)

On to the rib roast:  See prior post on the subject.  This was equally delicious.


The grape and gorganzola salad remains the best salad that has ever been made.  See prior pots.


And now for the RED VELVET CAKE.  This cake makes me sad.  Not what you expected me to say?  Read on.  It makes me sad for two reasons.  First, it means that all other red velvet cakes, including those bought at the fancy cupcake shops that were trendy and now aren't -- they're just not that good.  Which Means I can never enjoy such a cake unless she makes it for me.  Which leads to sadness #2.  These things have about 1 Billion calories, and I CAN'T STOP EATING THEM.  It's truly terrible.  I end an RVC week 3-5 pounds heavier than I started it.


Anyway, my only advice is to avoid slicing the cake.  This is for amateurs.  Experts eat directly from the cake itself.  Just plunge right in.  It tastes better, and you can eat as much as you want without worrying about how many slices you've taken!  #WIN.

How it feels to eat a four pound lobster your wife has named.

A mythical creature known only as the "Tasty" which, sadly, went extinct last Saturday.

Honey Thaddeus and I have different ideas about birthdays. For him a birthday is “Tuesday,” or “Friday” or whatever day of the week it happens to be. For me a birthday is A Once-In-A-Lifetime celebration not to be taking lightly! You’ll never turn [insert age] ever again will you? No! Why pass it off then?! It’s a big day!


This fits with my dislike of the American hatred of getting older. People complain, people hide their ages, people go to great lengths to pretend they’re younger than they are. Achieving a new age is a good thing! Every year some don’t make it. Young people, old people, etc. Be proud that you’re your age. You made it. And hopefully you’re a better person AND wiser than last year. Celebrate. To get older is a privilege.


With that in mind, Honey Thaddeus had a Birthday Feast. *cackle* It featured Creatures from the Deep, namely a 4 lb lobster and 5 lbs of King Crab legs as well as a Perfect Prime Rib and The Best Salad. Disclaimer: I’m a champion coupon hunter and I found a remarkable coupon that got us the lobster at 80% off. Made it taste that much better, just the same way finding a dress at 80% off makes it that much prettier!=P


Our lobster arrived in a foam crate alive and kicking. A lot of kicking. HT fielded frantic calls from our package receiving (dry cleaners, run by hilariously angry Korean ladies) asking why the box was moving, what sort of creature was inside, how they sent such a creature, what we intended to do with it and when when when WHEN could we pick it up!! When I saw the box it was kind of scootching along the floor. What a spirited animal!


For those of us city dwellers (and even rural supermarket shoppers) we are quite divorced from the origins of our meats. Where does milk come from? The carton, obvi! Where does steak come from? A package, duh! Confronting your meat (even ocean meat!) alive and kicking makes you kind of….sad, honestly.


I named the lobster Candy in hopes it would be a lady with lots of red roe inside. We really felt bad for Candy. She was very large, very majestic, likely very ancient and fought valiantly to get out the entire time we had her. In the face of such effort, we honestly would probably have let her go if we could. We honor such strength and valor in the face of a powerful enemy! Seriously. #respect Despite our substantial monetary investment we would have given her the gift of her life back and contented ourselves with the giant crab legs which were safely frozen and not valiantly fighting.=\ Lacking any seawater we dispatched her in a humane way.


The crab legs were less fraught with philosophy – and came, as usual, pre-cooked.  So after steaming, we peeled peel out the indulgent CYLINDERS of solid, sweet crabmeat. Heavens. Kings didn’t eat better than this!  With respect to butter HT likes it and I don’t. I melted a whole stick and it was mostly gone by the time we were done. That was a lot of ocean meat!

So every birthday, she will do some extravagent nonsense that costs a lot of money and makes me fat.  I call it nonsense not because I don't like it (I do) but because it's just insane.  Take, for instance, this meal.  5 pounds of king crab legs, a four pound lobster that scared me just to look at it (see final pic, it's like an alien) and a four pound standing rib roast.  Plus best salad in the world, plus an entire stick of butter melted, plus an entire red velvet cake -- just for the two of us.  CRAZY.


Anyhow.  King crab is fugging delicious.  You should go buy some right away.  On sale, because otherwise it's absurdly expensive.  It's already cooked, so you just steam it a bit, and then dip in butter.  It's... heavenly.


I truly felt bad about the lobster.  I'm pretty sure it didn't want to be eaten, and after she frigging NAMED IT, I was pretty sure I didn't want to eat it either.  That's the trouble with anthropomorphizing food. 

The Giant Lobster:  This baby was four pounds.  We named her Candy.  Cooking a lobster is pretty straightforward, however, one piece of advice: freezing lobsters puts them in a coma (which is a humane way to kill them), but it apparently makes them explode in the steam bath that follows. This was unexpected.  #gruesome.  Julia Child advises you plunge them headfirst into a hot water bath, which kills them instantly. We recommend this technique. We also recommend you steam, rather than boil to preserve the natural sea-tasting juices. For our Candy, we steamed her 25 min. To honor her life we will use every bit. The tail and claws we ate. The tomalley (green parts), I ate. The shells, empty legs and head will be used to make a rich shellfish stock. Thank you Candy!

The Giant King Crab Legs:  The crab legs were less fraught with philosophy:  Steam 10 min, handle with care, and cut open with kitchen shears.  With respect to butter HT likes it and I don’t. I melted a whole stick and it was mostly gone by the time we were done.  Shells will also be used for shellfish stock!

The Rib Roast:  Detailed recipe available here

The Grape and Gorganzola Salad:  Recipe to be posted shortly.

The Best Red Velvet Cake ("The Best 'Ever,'" he says): 


  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour (I use Swan’s Down)

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (NOT Dutch process! Says “Natural process”)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 cups canola oil à in a pinch can use 3 sticks butter, changes the texture but also delicious!

  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 large 1 oz bottle  red food coloring

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk (can use the buttermilk powder shown in pix!)

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar

  • Use Baker’s Joy to prep three 9 inch cake pans, or 1 giant bundt pan. Or butter and flour the pans. ß messy, I used to hate doing that as a baby baker in Mom’s kitchen! Preheat oven to 350.

  • Put the flour, cocoa, salt (and 5 tablespoons buttermilk powder if you’re using it) into the mixing bowl and mix… better than sifting, which I cannot stand.

  • Pour into separate bowl. Now put the oil, eggs and vanilla into the mixing bowl and mix on med speed till homogenous. Add the red food coloring and mix on low.

  • Add the dry ingredients, alternating with 1 ¼ cups water (if using the buttermilk powder), to the wet mix, mixing in between. If using plain buttermilk, add it now with the dry ingredients.

  • Mix the baking soda and white vinegar together (it will froth and remind you of elementary school “volcanoes”!), turn mixer onto high and beat into the batter really fast.

  • Pour into cake tins – layers will take about 35-40 min, a Bundt will take 60min+, cupcakes about 15-20 min.

  • When cool, frost with……


Cream cheese frosting (Also good on carrot cake! And banana bread! And many other things!)

Oddly both my mother-in-law and my Mom use this recipe….Lesson: all good women make this frosting! #amen

  • 16 oz cream cheese

  • 1 stick unsalted butter

  • 32 oz powdered sugar

  • 2 tspns vanilla extract

Let the cream cheese and butter sit at room temp till softened. Cream them together till light and airy. Add all the powdered sugar and beat slowly till the frosting comes together. Beat more energetically when you run less of a risk of beating up a huge cloud of sugar! Add the vanilla and beat some more till smooth and shiny. Makes enough to frost 3 RVC layers generously, or all the RVC cupcakes you’ve just made!




(says the lobster)



Her Sweet and spicy fish

Sweet and Spicy Fish
(recipe from Chef Evan Branning’s website)


  • 14 oz jar of peach or apricot jam or preserves

  • smallest can of chipotles in adobo sauce (in Latin foods aisle)

  • Soy sauce

  • 1.5 lbs Firm fleshed white fish (we like tilapia and catfish!)

  • Shallow pan lined with foil

  • Oven

  • Preheat your broiler on “High”’ or turn your oven as high as it will go. Take ½ to ¾ of the jar of jam, mix with 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce. Open the can of chipotles and remove one, cut it into 4ths. Mash up one fourth with a spoon or knife and dump it (and some of its sauce) into the jam mix. Stir and taste. If not spicy enough, add more adobo sauce. If too spicy, add more jam. Store the  rest of the can of chipotles in a small Tupperware in the fridge, it lasts a long time!

  • Lay out the fish fillets in one layer in the foil-lined pan and spoon the sauce on top. Broil or roast for 15-20 min depending on thickness of fillets. Sauce should be bubbly, fish should be flakey with some crispy edges.

  • Serve with rice and veggies! Feeds 2 hungry people. Or else 4 with petite appetites…SO not us.=\

­­­­­Every once and a while you come across one of those recipes that’s so delicious it makes you look like some sort of genius. Sweet & Spicy Fish is one of those! It’s also extremely easy to make – from start to finish you can have it on the table in about 20 min and it doesn’t require julienned/finely diced anything yay! Sometimes that’s just too much. Can’t handle. Anyway.


I can’t take credit for this recipe at all, I found it on Chef Evan Branning’s website. I don’t know anything about him…except that he’s a genius for thinking of this! Recipes like this are Gifts to the World you know, they make your life SO MUCH better for so little effort. Thank you Chef Branning!!


Also my dear husband has A Thing for sweet with his protein. Fish and apricot, pork and cherries, duck and orange, etc. You get it. His wife doesn’t have A Thing for sweet and meat, but she’s always looking for nice recipes to feed her man. Because she is A Devoted Wife! So there you go, Sweet & Spicy Fish – make your man happy! #tada


Here’s the fun bit – spoon the sauce over a chicken cut into 8 parts and bake at 350 for 60 min and BOOM! Delicious! Serve with Southern style biscuits to sop up that delicious pan juice! Now take the same sauce and spoon it over boneless, skinless chicken breasts (which are of Lucifer, but I know some people like them), broil 20 min and BOOM! Delicious! You make it look easy this way.=)


Please note that I do not always compliment my wife's cooking.  Sometimes, I sit silently and slowly raise an eyebrow.  And she knows what that means.  Actually, she knows what it means when I "try" to slowly raise an eyebrow, and actually just contort my face a lot.  The point is, sometimes I don't like her food.


This is not one of those times.  So long, long ago, a wise man named that generic taste that all meat has as "ur mommy."  This is distinguished from other fundamental tastes such as salty, spicy, sweet, savory.  And possibly more, I forget.  But the point is that simple food is just one of these.  Like plain broiled chicken breast, or, umm, plain salt.  Really Good Food and the very best chefs learn to combine as many of these fundamental tastes as possible into combinations of deliciousness, much like going on a date with an Asian, a red-head, and a blonde, adds a certain delightful complexity to the evening.


Anyway, sweet and meat is a fantastic combination, and this recipe combines them well.  The asian soy sauce adds some saltiness while the red chipotle peppers adds some spice to the pale white fish.  See what I did there?  Set you up with that whole crazy date thing, and then made the analogy WORK.  Anyway, this is Really Really good.  I recommend having it with the vegetables we've reviewed, and not just your average inferior vegetables.




Standing Rib Roast

Perfect Every Time Prime Rib Roast
(recipe from


  • 1 prime rib roast, with bone

  • Coarse salt (our salt is always Kosher)

  • Cracked pepper (grind it yourself=small change in lifestyle, HUGE change in quality of life!)

  • Oven

  • Large sturdy roasting pan

  • If cooking roast on a Monday evening, remove from fridge Monday morning and leave it sitting on your counter before you leave for work . If frozen, remove from freezer Sunday night and leave it thawing all Sunday night/Monday on your counter. IT MUST BE ROOM TEMPERATURE ALL THE WAY THROUGH!

  • Preheat oven to 500 F.

  • Rub roast all over with lots of salt and pepper. Place in pan bone side down.

  • Roast 15 min at 500 F. Do NOT open the oven. Lower the temp to 325 degrees.

  • Calculate cooking time: 13-15 minutes/pound for rare and 15-17 minutes/pound for medium rare. If you want it well-done you have no business eating such a good cut of meat. Go buy some scraps from the butchering floor.

  • Cook it the rest of the way (using your calculated cooking time) at 325. Do NOT open oven door! Resist!

  • When done, remove from oven and let it sit 20 min. Carve into big slices and try not to moan as you eat them!

The non-meat


Accompaniments? I dislike potatoes but Mariano’s had really cute baby potatoes that were purple, red and yellow. I got them for Honey Thaddeus. Scrub well and pop into the roasting pan before you put the meat into the oven. Asparagus anyone? Just lightly steam some spears (put them in a pan with a little extra virgin olive oil, and turn the stove to medium.  Put some salt and pepper on top (only a little).  Move them around a bit in the pan.  You can tell they’re done when little bits of individual asparag…  asparagi… asparaguses…  start to turn black.  Remove fast, before they burn.  Place eggs in boiling water.  Boil for 6 minutes and then peel carefully. VOILA!  Add a drizzle of 12-yr old Balsamic Vinegar from my Sainted Mother-in-Law and we are in business! #orgasmicyolk 

This gets a 9 out of 10 on my man food scale.  This (just my portion) was about 20 ounces of bone-in-steak cooked to perfection.  It would get a 10 out of 10, but the asparagus ends were a bit tough, and the potatoes (thank you, wife) were a bit crusty.   Hmm.  That sounds worse that it really was.  All I’m saying is that I prefer my asparagus with the ends cut higher than perhaps most people do, and I prefer my potatoes not cooked at 500 degrees (and then 325), because then the outsides don’t cook evenly.  


Some recipe tips for non-chefs:  (1) Put the salt and pepper (a LOT) on a cutting board.  Drop roast on cutting board.  Repeat until covered with salt and pepper.  (2)  If you want it well-done, make it 20 minutes a pound.  Unlike her, I don't always prefer my meat still mooing.


Balsamic vinegar is one of those things many of my fellow Americans seem not to know about.  Or appreciate. Seriously, it makes everything better.  Get yourself a bottle of aged-balsamic, drizzle on most anything, and make her think you have talent. 

You may not know this but I used to be a Vegetarian.
Yup, the Protein Princess and Meat Queen (uhhh..sounds weird now that I look at it!) used to forgo all meats and eat only veggies and carbs! WEIRD. It was another lifetime. I was young and idealistic. A few years later I fainted on a public bus , went back to eating meat and never looked back. Some people do Vegetarianism beautifully. I do not. Some people make running look easy. I do not. #knowyourstrengths

While I love Vegetarian food and find it delightfully challenging to cook a nourishing, tasty, nutritious Vegetarian or Vegan meal, without meat I get tired. I have no reserves and am on the floor. With meat I always have an underlying current of energy, like fast moving water hidden under a frozen Lake of Tired. #poetic


Anyway, when it comes to meat I like my fat. Filet mignon bores me to tears. As the eloquent British food writer Nigel Slater says, it’s “the footballer’s wife - questionable taste and not a shred of fat to be seen” (I paraphrase). With some delicious, wobbly, melting-hot fat I’m in heaven. Ribeye here we come! Ribeye is to Filet as Adele is to Taylor Swift. We have our allegiances.


One thing I like about this recipe is that it’s foolproof. Like a photocopier, you get perfect duplicates every time. When prime rib goes on sale at our local Mariano’s we buy 5-6 big pieces, freeze them and roast them up for insanely indulgent weeknight dinners at home. No you are not invited. Less meat for us. The one thing that’s important is the meat temperature before it goes in the oven. It MUST be at room temperature through and through to the bone or else this will not work. Otherwise please try:


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