Posted by Lauren and Nicole
So, about that amazing feast last night…
L: (promise me you’ll at least scroll to the bottom for special limited edition Boo Radley Cupcakes – maybe the best yet!!) Before David left for work, Nicole and I asked him what sort of food he wanted for his birthday dinner. After a little back n’ forth, he said one word that set us in motion: TAHINI. Tahini is a Middle Eastern paste made from ground, unhulled sesame seeds and is a key ingredient in hummus. We brainstormed, consulted our favorite blogs, and created a menu centered around Tahini and Greek food.
N: After going to the gym and grocery store, I got to work in the kitchen. I made a mess, went through a lot of bowls, spoons, measuring cups, and cutting boards, but it was all worth it!
L: whole wheat pita pockets > > split open > > lightly grilled a few minutes per side > > cut into six triangles
Pepperoncini hummus recipe from yours truly(s)
L: the tzatziki was my favorite of the three “dips” – recipe courtesy Kalyn’s Kitchen.
N: We used FRESH DILL from this catch-all herb box.
N: The tabouleh was a hit! Recipe adapted from Marc’s No Recipes.
L: While doubling the recipe, I forgot to double the garbanzo beans, but these falafel burgers remarkably held together! Phew. I put the filling into a 1/3 cup measure, plopped them onto parchment paper, and let them sit in the fridge for about an hour before Kyle grilled them for us.
N: We had a lot of Greek/Mediterranean burger toppings ready to go!
N: The food was good, but the company was better. We had a full table for dinner – our Mom and David, David’s sons Nathan and Sam, Lauren’s boy Kyle, and the two of us.
N: We enjoyed our meal in the perfect summer weather.
L: PURPLE TWINS! She copied me, for the record.
L: Kyle brought over a 6-pack of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, which is mixed with lemonade. Basically it tastes like summer in a bottle.
L: Doesn’t David look older?
N: After our filling meal, we celebrated with dessert. Keeping with the Greek/Mediterranean theme, we chose to make baklava cupcakes.
L: I’ll give you details about the cupcakes in just a second, but first check out this stack of NINE chocolate bars we gave to David. He is a huge dark chocolate lover – aka he offered me a chunk of dark chocolate at 7 am on his birthday!
- Alter Ego‘s Dark Cacao with crunchy cocoa nibs and Dark Coconut Toffee with butter and sea salt
- Chocolove‘s Orange Peel in Dark Chocolate and Pretzel in Milk Chocolate
- Green & Black‘s Hazelnut & Currant Dark Chocolate and Cherry Dark Chocolate
- Divine‘s Dark Chocolate with Raspberries and White Chocolate with Strawberries (< < want to try that one!)
- Moonstruck‘s Dark Chocolate Espresso Bean
The perfect way to end a Greek feast? Baklava.
Solution: Brownie Baklava Cupcakes
We combined and doubled two recipes since there obviously wasn’t anything like this in the Boo Radley archives (it’s like when Katy Perry covers CRJ’s Call Me Maybe)
The brownie, honey syrup, and baklava filling come from Stef of Cupcake Project. I used 1/2 pound of walnuts and shelled pistachios, toasted them, and tossed with cinnamon and brown sugar.
The method of assembling the baklava on top of the pre-baked brownie disks is thanks to Cheryl of Cupcake Bakeshop. How clever is it to assemble the baklava and then use a cookie cutter? You are brilliant, Cheryl! (Also, I’m loving your SF-inspired cupcakes!)
These were amazing.
We considered adding a light, whipped honey cream, but these cupcakes didn’t need it one bit. The brownie was chewy, the baklava had a terrific crunch, spot-on sweetness due to the generous honey syrup, and they held together well in the phyllo dough shell. Perfection!
K, go enjoy your weekends!
-Lauren and Nicole