Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Dinner

Ooops, I meant to post this yesterday...just pretend its the 19th :)

Happy Birthday to the greatest husband on Earth! Its my hubby's 25th birthday and I am making him his favorite meal. He LOVES Stromboli and his great aunt's no-bake cherry cheesecake so I of course offered to make it for him. I can't believe he's 25....I met him when he was 16 (I was 15) so its almost been 10 years since we met. Time certainly does fly when you're in love.

These recipes are SUPER easy. There are a few steps involved but the basic recipes are very easy. You could also make it easier on yourself by buying a pre-made pizza dough from the grocery store or your favorite pizza place, but pizza dough is so easy to make it is definitely worth it to do it yourself- just make sure you have time. Lets get to the birthday dinner recipes!

Stromboli (serves 2)*

1/2 Pizza Dough (recipe to follow)
toppings of choice:
shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg - for egg wash
pizza sauce for dipping

On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 10 x 14 inches. Spread  with desired toppings leaving a 1 inch border. On one of the long edges, brush with egg wash. Starting with the long end with no egg wash, start rolling up into a long roll, tucking in edges. Seal pressing together the edge with the egg wash. Let the Stromboli rise 20-30 minutes. Place on greased baking sheet and brush the top of the Stromboli with egg wash. Bake in a 375 degree oven about 20 minutes until golden. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired, and return to oven for about 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Slice and serve with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.

Basic Pizza Dough**

1 C warm water
1 (1/4 oz) packet of active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 T plus 1.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 C all purpose flour
1 tsp salt

In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and 1 T oil and stir to combine. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1.5 C of the flour and the salt mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 C at a time, working the dough after each addition, until all the flour is incorporated but the dough is still sticky. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky, 3-5 minutes.

Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 1 1/2 tsp oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, 1-1 1/2 hours.

* Borrowed Heavily from Emeril Lagasse's recipe on
**Credit Emeril Lagasse from

Adam's Favorite No-Bake Cheesecake

1 Packet Dream Whip, whipped using only 1/3 C milk and 1 tsp vanilla
1 oz Package Cream Cheese, softened
1 C Powdered Sugar
Graham Cracker Crust*
Cherry Pie Filling

Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add dream whip and fold to combine. Spread into prepared graham cracker crust. Top with cherry pie filling. Voila!

*To make your own, just combine 1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs, 6 T butter and 1/2 C sugar in small bowl. Press into pie dish making sure to evenly distribute the crumbs on the bottom and sides of the pan.

So there you have it! That's the hubby's birthday dinner! Since I am posting this on the 20th (again, oops) I can say that it was a hit. Happy eating!

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