This was a celebratory dinner for Jen and her mom, who was visiting for the weekend from Washington state. Their birthdays are a day apart in December, but they didn’t get to celebrate them together this year.
It turned into a Downton Abbey finale, belated birthday celebration, completion of my longest run in months, absolutely EPIC Sunday dinner and dessert.
- Julia Child’s French Onion Soup, complete with cognac (do people even drink this anymore?) in the soup. Topped with toasted bread rubbed with garlic and layered with Gruyère cheese, then broiled until all gooey.
- Giada de Laurentiis’ Brussels Sprout-Leaf Salad. For some greens. I also can’t get enough Brussels sprouts.
- And red wine.
And for dessert….
Quadruple chocolate, Triple Layer Cake. This was Jen’s brilliant concoction. Let me break it down.
- Epicurious double chocolate cake. This is Jen’s favorite chocolate cake recipe to date. You melt the chocolate in hot coffee. Let’s just sit with that for a moment. It’s magical.
- Dark chocolate ganache. This is the easy step. Just melt dark chocolate with heavy cream. I like this recipe.
- French silk filling. Her mom’s friend’s recipe. Must get it from Jen. It’s easy to make – except I had to use the mixer FOREVER – and tastes like a fluffy light chocolate cloud (or what I imagine a fluffy light chocolate cloud to taste like).
- White chocolate buttercream.
It was a sight to see all together. Check out how tall it was! (I used my hand for reference.)
We ate our cake while we watched the Downton Abbey finale. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen the show and/or discovered its brilliance yet. Of course, I am happy how it ended with Mary and Matthew. Matthew believed Mary when she told him about the Turkish fellow, “It was LUST Matthew!”
I also think Daisy redeemed herself in the end. That was sweet, the way things went down with William’s father.
My friends and I were in unanimous agreement that season one was much better than season two. It incorporated more of the history of the time period, and allowed for richer character development. It wasn’t so choppy and random.
Like, what was the point of the Patrick character in season two? He appeared and disappeared randomly. He had fake amnesia and a fake Canadian accent? Whhhhat? Edith’s storyline was beyond weak. I sort of forgot about her. Why did Lavinia have to die so dramatically and with a broken-heart? Come on. I hated Jane. I didn’t even know who she was, much less how she seduced Lord Grantham. Was her sole purpose to make me not like Lord Grantham? It got all soap opera on us.
I’m being knit-picky. I still watched, most eagerly every week. I just hope that season three gets back to the awesome elements of season one.
How long must we wait for season three? The torture.
For now, I’ll just keep watching my favorite Maggie moments.