One of my birthday gifts presented to me as soon as I got up last Wednesday was this:
And it came with the option to swap out any of it that I liked, should we decide to go out for the day, etc. The understanding was just that Brett was taking charge of cooking meals for me for the day, or taking me out to eat.
So what does one need to make sure they'll be full of energy when heading out for a day of birthday shopping? A HEARTY BREAKFAST!
Seriously, this was a major meal!! And a tasty one at that! Who doesn't love a big plat o' breakfast!? And I don't normally eat much toast, so this was a nice excuse to have some of the black plum jelly I made this past summer (on ONE of the pieces of toast, because you KNOW the other was getting dipped in those runny egg yolks! MMM!).
Since we decided to head out shopping for the day, rather than have the lunch Brett had proposed, I asked if we could try PF Changs. Now years ago I went with my parents, and I'm pretty darn sure we had "fresh spring rolls" with the translucent wrapper. I ordered the "made fresh daily!" spring rolls from the menu, and the guy brought out two fried spring rolls. I asked him about the other kind, and he said they don't have them and that this is what's on the menu. Okaaaay....greasy, but they WERE very tasty, with a nice blend of onions, cabbage, carrots etc inside. Hm, ok, well in addition to that I ordered the cantonese chow fun with chicken, which I envisioned to be similar to this dish... It LOOKED good, but wasn't very saucey, and the wide noodles were incredibly tough. Like maybe they'd been cooked earlier in the day, and then individual servings were reheated at the last minute? Only mine had clearly dried out, and were tough - I actually had to gnaw on some of them. In addition to this, our waiter seemed very disinterested in any of the table he was waiting on...just going through the motions, little interest in explaining dishes, etc. So for a place that looked like it was supposed to have nice service, it was a real let down for me.
So by the time I realized my food wasn't very good, I didn't even feel like asking for it to be "fixed". Brett really enjoyed his super spicy chicken and potatoes dish, so at least it wasn't all a flop! Plus we were having so much fun the rest of the day....
Brett really wanted the giant horses - instead we settled on having my picture with one of them...
After a hearty breakfast and then a really late lunch, we decided dinner would probably be later than usual as well. Brett took over the kitchen, and it looks like Doogie wanted to help a bit:
While we didn't have all the stuff Brett thought he needed for the chicken parm, what he whipped up was INCREDIBLY good! Seriously this stuff rocked! Here he is with the freshly pounded/breaded/fried chicken breasts, topped with a little of the sauce he concocted and cheese, working on getting the cheese melted.
I don't know exactly what he did to make the sauce - I think he started with a jarred sauce, then added extra canned tomatoes, and there was mention of using some of the new oregano I'd picked up at Penzey's that day, and I know the immersion blender was used SOME... All I know was this was some kick-ass sauce!
Mmmm nice! The dinner was tasty too! ;-)
Don't you wish you had this at your place!?
Perfectly plated, too, ifI might say so!
And then what else does one need on one's birthday?
No no Peter, you don't get Brett for your birthday...
Brett made a chocolate fudge cake with a chocolate chocolate chip frosting. Was it all out of boxed mix and frosting tubs? Sure! And was it tasty? You betchya!!
Thanks hon! I'm sure you're beginning my 40s with extra poundage around the belly - hope you're ok with that! ;-)