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!
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.
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.
Once it was thick enough, I packed up my ice cream and got started on the next lemon dish.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
And finally, the last thing I did was make the 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.
Again, I apologize for the dark pictures!
We finished the night off with our homemade lemon ice cream.
It was dreamy.
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...