Friday, February 18, 2011

Lemon Theme Night!

Yes! Lemon was my surprise theme for my first official theme night! Now, at first, the theme lemon might not sound that exciting - but ohhh, it is. On the menu: Homemade lemon pasta with a rosemary vodka lemon cream sauce, a mixed green salad with lemon mustard vinaigrette, all served with a limoncello and orange cocktail. For dessert, we have a low fat/calorie homemade lemon ice cream! A little more exciting, right? On top of it all, I dressed up in my most yellow 50's party dress and had a big pouffy flower in my hair! Theme night was awesome!
All the lemons I used for the ice cream
So, the first thing I actually made was the lemon pasta, which you can read all about here. The next thing I made was my ice cream. I have been making banana ice cream a lot lately, so I decided to change it up. In the fridge, we had tons of lemons, so I went for it. Making lemon ice cream is tricky though, especially if you are using all non-fat ingredients. Lemon and cream can curdle real easy, especially when there isn't enough fat. Somehow, I got really lucky. I was very diligent about my whisking and it all creamed together, so wonderfully.
Making lemon ice cream
I used a lot of lemons, as pictured above, both their juice and their zest. I strained the zest out, before letting my mixture cool. The next day, I added a little more non-fat half and half, then into the ice cream maker it went.
Churning some homemade lemon ice cream
Once it was thick enough, I packed up my ice cream and got started on the next lemon dish.
A pint of homemade lemon ice cream
I started off chopping all of my ingredients, washing the salad, and basically making a big mess. Luckily, I made a lemon mustard salad dressing the night before, so the salad was ready to go.
Cooking...
I really wanted to surprise Brian, but I had less than an hour to get everything done! I started on my sauce, by sweating some sweet red onions and shallots, with a little bit of rosemary.
Sweet onions and rosemary
I added a few shots of vodka, a few squirts of lemon, and my cream. Since I used lots of fat free ingredients (low cal butter and fat free cream), I noticed a little bit of curdling. Gross, I know. To fix that, I just added a big piece of fatty, glorious, wonderful butter, which totally saved the day.
Salmon, Rosemary, Vodka cream sauce
Did I mention I was making my pasta at the same time? Excuse the dark, somewhat blurry photos below. Making pasta, taking pictures, and being in a hurry all add up!
Homemade Lemon Pasta
Making the pasta wasn't bad. Sure, I had to start over on a few pieces, but overall, it was a decent first time, for doing it by myself.
Homemade Lemon pasta
For some reason, the pasta machine didn't fully cut the fettuccine, so a few of them clumped together when I boiled them. I think I might need more flour, next time.
Homemade Lemon Fettuccine
And finally, the last thing I did was make the cocktail.
Limoncello Orange Cocktail
Our friend, Michael, gave us a bottle of his homemade Limoncello - so delicious. I made a little cocktail that was 3 parts orange juice, 1 part Limoncello. It was so light and tasty! And finally, dinner was served.
Homemade pasta with salmon, cream, and rosemary / Limoncello cocktail / Green salad with lemon mustard dressing
Again, I apologize for the dark pictures!
Homemade pasta with salmon, cream, and rosemary / Limoncello cocktail / Green salad with lemon mustard dressing
We finished the night off with our homemade lemon ice cream.
Homemade Lemon Ice Cream
It was dreamy.
Homemade Lemon Ice Cream
All in all, everything was good. The lemon pasta was very subtle and it was cooked really perfectly. The sauce was yummy - though, I might cheat next time and use some real, whole fat cream. The cocktail? Amazing. The salad? Totally good. The ice cream was delicious, though, I might use 1-2 less lemons next time -the flavor was good, but it was strong. I wouldn't say too strong - but it was more strong than I'd like it to be.

Lemon day was awesome. Now, what shall I do for my next theme night? Hmm...

27 comments:

Mia said...

You totally need to do a strawberry theme, either using frozen strawberries or when they come back into season. Maybe something to look forward to this summer?

dailycraft said...

Hey Mariana! I just read on your blog that you had a new baby boy - congratulations! How wonderful!!!! Yay!
Hope you 3 are doing well :)

As for strawberry theme... that would be fun! It'd be tricky fitting strawberries into a savory dish, but I could just make a green strawberry salad... yummm... thanks for the idea! A few summers ago, we went strawberry pickin' - this could be a good opportunity to go back!

Hiroko said...

What a lovely dinner!!!!
Theme dinner idea sounds so fun and delicious! Great work!!!!
Lemon pasta looks so yummm ;P

I know a restaurant in Japan that serves all their dishes with garlic. Even in the dessert!
I've never been there unfortunately... I wonder how deserts taste like...

Alexis said...

Yuumm! Maybe a Lavender theme dinner would be good. Where I used to live they had a lavender festival with all things lavender. It was tasty stuff, not to mention the pretty colors :).

myteemingee said...

hi pannette!
you are totally in the making to be a participant in iron chef! secret ingredient: lemon! :D
xo!

Erika Peterson said...

What a fun theme! I'll have to consider it for a future party.

Desert Rubble said...

omg all of a sudden I am seriously craving lemon ice cream, it sounds wonderful!
Lynn

Mama Bear said...

Yum, just stumbled upon your blog, and you have me craving lemon pasta!

Just thought I'd say I love your blog!

luis said...

just delicious, i want a lemon nigth too!! jejeje regadrs

Aurora Dora Crafts said...

i love lemon ice cream and it looks like you had an incredible meal :)

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Erin Lian said...

Lemon day should be every day (that is not chocolate day). I would love lemon icecream, it so rare to have proper lemon icecream 'cause normally they make it into sorbet! YUM!!
<3

baymacae said...

Fun idea! I think I need an awesome theme night!

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Emerald Hills said...

looks very good! all of it!

Indian said...

Hi ..I just came across your blog ..and boy! I seem to have read the blog of a pro! ..I guess you're very skilled in cooking, and you love it ..don't you? Loved reading :)

24h-betreuung said...

WoW! that was definitely luscious.

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