Sunday, January 01, 2012

A Low Key, Relaxing Birthday (Plus Recipe for Ginger Butter and Sweet Potato Pancakes)

Yesterday, New Year's Eve, was my birthday. He was very thoughtful about making my birthday great. We began at Snooze, a very hip breakfast joint on 2263 Larimer Street in downtown Denver. Larr and Shawn ate there a while ago. Larr had this gem tucked away for a special occasion.

The food was wonderful. We started out with coffee and Chia. They serve Third Street Chia, which is great stuff. I thought it was interesting that it was served in a pint glass with a cozy.
Ellie was too much of a sleepy head to join us. We had to roust Ethan out of bed to join us, but we had his permission. It is a very popular place and so we aimed to be there at 7:00 a.m. when the doors opened.

Ellie would have appreciated the decor. It was very fun.

It was difficult to decide what to have. Here's what we ordered:

Snooze Spuds Deluxe A heaping portion of our hash browns, covered with melted cheddar & jack cheese, scallions plus two veggies , meats, or combo of your choice

Corned Beef Hash Snooze’s signature shredded hash mixed with locally made corned beef, caramelized poblanos and onions. Topped with two eggs your style & toast or tortillas.

Breakfast Pot Pie Snooze’s homemade rosemary sausage gravy smothers a flaky puff pastry, topped with an egg your style (we’d say sunny side up!). You’ve reached breakfast bliss, complete with hash browns.

They also gave me a special birthday sweet potato pancake topped with caramel sauce, chopped pecans and ginger butter. It sounds weird, but is really very wonderful. (I'd like to figure out how to make them at home.)

That evening we watched a few movies on Netflix while the kids were out doing their thing with their friends. Ellie went to the 16th Street Mall New Year's Eve party and fireworks display with Ariana. Ethan hung out with friends and took photos of the fireworks display.

"Balzac and the Little Seamstress" (with subtitles)

"Amadeus" (This is one of my favorite films. I did a cutting from the script for dramatic interp. in forensics in high school.)

Ginger Butter
via Epicurious

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons finely chopped drained stem ginger in syrup,* syrup reserved

*Stem ginger in syrup is available in Asian markets and some supermarkets.
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Beat butter and chopped ginger in small bowl to blend. Beat in 2 to 3 teaspoonfuls ginger syrup to sweeten to taste. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

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Sweet Potato Pancakes


3/4 pound sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, melted

Place sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan of boiling water, and cook until tender but firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, and immediately immerse in cold water to loosen skins. Drain, remove skins, chop, and mash.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Mix mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, milk and butter in a separate medium bowl. Blend sweet potato mixture into the flour mixture to form a batter.
Preheat a lightly greased griddle over medium-high heat. Drop batter mixture onto the prepared griddle by heaping tablespoonfuls, and cook until golden brown, turning once with a spatula when the surface begins to bubble.

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