Monday, October 13, 2008

Joe's Birthday Dinner

Joe's late grandmother's Wedgewood china pattern, Sparrow, inspired a lovely fall table. Fresh flowers in autumn hues, leaf candles nestled in candy corn, and a little bird nestled atop Joe's birthday cake celebrated the warmth of the season.

The Menu:

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Spinach Salad with Mandarin Oranges, Dried Cherries and Croutons with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Green Beans


Birthday Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream


Chicken Cordon Bleu

My mother's recipe, this is a wonderful special occasion dish.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 slices thin ham
6 slices Swiss cheese
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter
3 ounces fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 tablespoons flour

Beat chicken breasts until 1/4-inch thick. Place ham and cheese slices on chicken. Roll in jelly roll fashion; secure with toothpicks. Roll in flour, and brown in butter. Remove from frying pan and place in baking dish. To butter add mushrooms and saute. Add bouillon cube and 1/2 cup water, and stir. Pour over chicken and cook 1 to 1 1/4 hours at 350, or until tender. Remove chicken to serving platter. Pour drippings from baking dish into frying pan. Add 2 tablespoons flour, and cook until thick. Pour over chicken. Garnish with almonds.


Suzy said...

Mouthwatering!!! What a great job and so beautifully decorated it looks like in a restaurant - no even better. I love the warm fall colors. You are wonderful hostess and an amazing cook.
I will sure try out this recipe.


Felicia Eis said...

Ooo So Lovely :D

Laura said...

You are showing us all up, Mel! And making me - in particular - feel awfully guilty for not being a better wife!

How do you do it with FOUR kids?!?! Yikes! I don't even want to think about it! I was on the couch most of the day Saturday with a migraine!

The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...

Melissa, this is lovely. And that cake! Did you take a course in cake-decorating, or do you just have a talent for cooking? It's so beautiful. I also appreciate you giving us your chicken recipe. Your family is very blessed to have someone so special as a "mom." :-)


Three plus Me said...

Sounds delicious! Can't wait to try it. I'm sure Joe felt very special and loved.

Live.Love.Eat said...

This looks beautiful & delicious. I can only imagine how happy your husband was. Happy Birthday to him!

Melissa Lester said...

Sheila, I took the Wilton cake-decorating courses offered at craft stores. My mother always decorated our cakes growing up, and it was special for us to choose our theme each year. So I knew I wanted to do that too. A couple of times Christian has looked longingly at a grocery store cake and said longingly, "Why do we never get to have a cake like that?" But overall, I think they feel pretty special when they see their cakes!

Mamasphere said...

Chicken Cordon Bleu- already copy and pasted and placed in my recipe binder. This sounds like something I can totally do! Hopefully my husband doesn't drop dead from shock and can enjoy it with me, lol.

LOVE your site!

Pennies In My Pocket said...

ohhhh I just love this recipe! I'm going to have to bookmark it! Thanks for sharing! The photos are amazing, too!

Thanks for coming by on Friday when I was featured on SITS! I just got back in town and having a blast visiting everyone who stopped in! LOVE your blog!


dddiva said...

Looks gorgeous and delicious.

Karin @ 6ByHisDesign said...


I am so inspired, knowing you took the Wilson classes! My friends and I have been discussing doing these for years but have never convinced the dads to watch all the kids while we go play. Maybe if I shared the financial benefits --- fewer dollars spent out on store-bought cakes! Wait...I may have used that same logic when buying stamps over the last 10 years. I think I spent more on stamps than I would have if purchasing gold leaf HallMark cards! *sigh*

I'll keep thinking on how I could achieve those classes...

AND, in the meantime, I'll thank my lucky stars you saw the humor in my words the other night! I woke up thinking, "What if she thinks I'm being catty when I was trying to be FUNNY" ... sometimes I assume I'll be funny in somebody else's head when it sure sounded funny in mine...anyway, thank you for hearing it the way I said it in my head. If that makes any sense. And if it doesn't, I'll blame it on late night intruder sleep deprivation. (*see blog*)

Sydney said...

Beautiful table and fabulous menu! Yum!

christie said...

Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous!

Me said...!! whoohoo!! Melissa Lester is in my life!!

The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...

Melissa, I had thought about taking a cake decorating course at the community college here, but life got in the way. After seeing this, I wish I had perservered.

Thank you for sharing where you took classes. Your cakes and your tablscapes are just as pretty as a picture. My grandmother loved to bake, and her cupcakes are one of my fondest childhood memories. Your children's will be, too... "And they will rise up and call her blessed." :-)

Again, thanks for letting us know where you learned to do this. I would love to learn. You're such an inspiration!


Jennie said...

who are you??? you are amazing... cooking, sewing, baking, decorating, crafting... I bow down to you....beautiful!

Joy said...

Yum, this sounds and looks great. I hope he had a wonderful bday!

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