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Ninja's Birthday, Peach and Mozzarella Salad with Lime Vinaigrette, Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, Apple & Smoked Gouda Bites

The first forty years of life give us the text: the next thirty supply the commentary.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Yesterday was Ninja's 40th birthday!!

That is HUGE :) So huge in fact, his sister and brother both came into town to help us celebrate! 

Dad worked SUPER hard to have the backyard "finished" (the grass needs some help and we still need to accessorize) and all the furniture bought so we could host a proper 40th birthday bash!

HBear, SBean and I decorated and made 40th birthday fun facts & trivia,

Made special gifts,

This is a gift that HBear worked on for weeks! She picked out all the pictures, cut them and picked out the funny think bubble stickers! It turned out Ah-Mazing!

We had appetizers. We made my famous Pico De Gallo with tortilla chips, Peach and Mozzarella Salad with Lime Vinaigrette, Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, Apple & Smoked Gouda Bites and we surprised Ninja with his favorite... Manitoba Pickerel!! I wrapped it in bacon and put it on the grill :) ***See recipes below***

and made a special dinner of Steak, Lobster, Mushrooms, Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus, and Italian Pan Bread.

Dad surprised him with... a ticket to LAS VEGAS!!!!

We leave tomorrow! I have the whole thing planned... and it is all about HIM :)

The rest of our family gave him American money and we are SET for 4 days of FUN!!!!!

Happy Birthday Darlin’ I hope you had a wonderful party J

This is going to be a GREAT week and I can’t wait to tell you all about the MANY surprises I have planned for my Ninja!! Check back soon for all the Deats J

Peach and Mozzarella Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup olive oil
4 ripe peaches, unpeeled
1 tub sliced boccacini
12 large basil leaves

In a small bowl combine lime juice, vinegar, water, and honey. Slowly whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Slice peaches into ½” slices.

Layer peach slice, cheese, basil leaf, peach slice, cheese, basil leaf and top with a third peach slice.  Season salad with freshly cracked pepper; drizzle with vinaigrette, and serve immediately.

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Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, Apple & Smoked Gouda Bites
Adapted from Table for Two

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
½ cup Cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ granny smith apples, cubed into ½" cubes
1 teaspoon sugar
1½ oz. grated smoked Gouda cheese
2 tablespoons chives, minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 package of frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400.

Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats. Set side.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and cook the onions (with 1 teaspoon of salt) until they're golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Remove and set aside in a large bowl. 

In the same skillet, sauté mushrooms until tender, about 5 minutes. 

Remove and set aside in the bowl with the onions.

In the same skillet, melt the butter and add in the apples with the sugar. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes.

Remove from pan and add to the large bowl with onions and mushrooms.

Add the cheese, chives, and thyme to the bowl and stir to combine the mixture well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

(I did all this in the morning and set aside)

With a pizza cutter, cut the puff pastry into 2 ­inch squares and place them on the lined baking sheets. Using a pastry brush, brush beaten egg on the squares.

Using a tablespoon, place filling in the middle of each puff pastry.

Bake for 25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. 

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