Birthday Feast

Yesterday was my roommate and absolute best friend in the world’s 20th Birthday! Yay! And boy had I been looking forward to the big day, because a birthday celebration means big, exciting things for me, even if it’s not my own. It means a reason for me to go all out in the kitchen. And boy-oh-boy, did I do just that yesterday, all day long.

I got started bright and early. When I woke up yesterday morning, I headed straight for the kitchen to set up camp.

First thing first, I made a simple, savory breakfast of Individual Coddled Eggs with Mashed Potato and Herbs. I got the recipe from this blog (which I came across on foodgawker). Served in mini ramekins, this delicate and sumptuous delight consisted of a simple herbed mash as the base, was topped with a cracked egg, a splash of cream and a healthy sprinkle of fresh grated Parmesan cheese. It spent 20 minutes in the oven and came out looking wonderfully bubbly and delicious!

I picked up some beautiful, juicy fruit from our local market, just down the road, and served it along side.

We washed it all down with homemade vanilla Africano’s (half americano, half steamed milk, plus vanilla syrup), using my stovetop espresso maker, and this wonderful automatic milk frother from Nespresso, which I purchased a few weeks ago and have fallen madly in love with. It is truly brilliant.

A little sprinkle of cinnamon always adds extra yum-factor.

Anyways, as soon as breakfast was over, I got started preparing the dinner feast, and remained in the kitchen pretty much the entire day, with only a quick lunch break and a speedy trip to the gym for my training.

My hard work definitely paid off, though. This is what was on the menu…

First Course: Spicy Kale Chips, from this recipe, also discovered on foodgawker.

We enjoyed a lovely bottle of crisp and refreshing Autumn Pear Fruit Wine, which I picked up from a small farm in Ontario last summer, and had been saving it for a special occasion.

The main course was my Pumpkin-Veg Calzones (the recipe of which I previously blogged about, here). This time around, I added about a quarter cup of tomato sauce, a tsp of tomato paste and some fresh thyme to the pumpkin base for the filling. I used only broccoli, rather than cauliflower, because it was cheap and fresh. I also made the dough with part whole wheat for some added nutrients and yumminess.

Slathered in my homemade garlic-tomato sauce and garnished with fresh chopped parsley, these bundles of yum turned out really really well!

For dessert, we enjoyed a four-layer Lemon Chiffon Cake, also from a blog found on foodgawker. It took me forever to make this massive dessert, which I began preparation for the day before. Unfortunately, it didn’t end up looking nearly as pretty as I was hoping for (hence the lack of photos), but oh my holy crumb, it was DELICIOUS (another reason for the lack of photo’s, because we demolished it too quickly to have had time to take them). Layered between 4 9-inch vanilla chiffon cakes was 2 layers of lemon cream (I swear I could actually just eat this stuff by the spoonful – and I kinda did while I was making it), and one layer of Italian Meringue Buttercream. The entire mass was then slathered in more buttercream and viola, all done!

We all fell into a happy food coma when we finished the meal, and I was feeling quite pleased about it all. And I think the birthday girl really enjoyed herself! Seriously though, and kind of selfishly I suppose, I think I benefited just as much from her Birthday as she did! 😀

This weekend, I’m treating the birthday girl to an overnight trip to Vancouver for the Vancouver International Wine Festival Tasting, where we’ll have the chance to sample 760 wines, from 176 wineries, from 15 countries.


Who doesn’t love to give birthday gifts that benefit themselves just as much as the recipient?!