.. food and celebrating ..

It's my mom's birthday today, so I guess it's kind of fitting that I post pics of the food and flowers from Mother's Day!! Hehe, well that's me putting a positive spin on things, since I should've posted these pics a week ago probably.

My mom suggested a more healthy dinner, which is not something I do very often, but I was game! I thought a Mediterranean inspired meal might be nice, and it turned out pretty well.

Flowers from the garden!

 Pasta as a side, tossed with a little butter, olive oil, herbs, and spices.

 A salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, fresh mozzarella, and aged feta cheese. It's tossed with a vinaigrette of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon, honey, etc.

 Snails being cleaned in vats and vats of water.

 These are one of my mom's favorites!! On this occasion, I sauteed the snails in some white wine, butter, onions, garlic, chili flakes, and lots of herbs and spices.

Green beans, Japanese eggplant, and several types of mushrooms come together for a great little side dish.

Do you remember when fish en papillote (fish in parchment) was all the rage?! I recall being a lot younger and watching the food network chefs make countless variations of this! I've never made it, but thought I might try it out this time around. The fish is red snapper, and seasoned simply with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. The fish is also garnished with roasted red and yellow peppers, capers, olives, onions, garlic, and more herbs and spices. This turned out delicious, and so simple to make. I couldn't believe how good!! Cooking it in parchment, on high heat (~400 degrees fahrenheit), for a short amount of time (~10-15 min) was perfection. I had prepped the packets beforehand, and put the fish in the oven right before we were ready to sit down for dinner. The fish is piping hot when it comes out, and I love all the steam that escapes when you tear into the parchment. You can sop up all the great jus as well with some nice crusty bread.

Dessert, which I didn't make, but was delicious all the same. We had a raspberry lemon tart, and an assortment of mini cupcakes and cheesecakes.


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