Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Let the Pampering Begin"

Yesterday was my birthday. My card from Tom is pictured above, perfect with all the pink, the prissy pooch, and even a book and a pair of glasses! (My new ones came in, too; gotta get pictures to show ....)

Anyway, I'd spent a considerable amount of time -- as my regular followers know, I'm sure, given my usual brain paralysis when having to make any kind of choices about food! -- trying to decide where to go for lunch. I usually take the day off from work, just 'cause I can; and I'd rather have a feast earlier in the day than at night, so lunch was the perfect meal to pick for.

But did I want an Indian buffet, which was last year's winner (and which will win most of these types of contests)? God knows I adore Indian food, and a buffet means I can just eat some of everything rather than making only one selection. Buuuuut ....

What about pizza, which I almost never eat so I should treat myself?

What about the Real Seafood Company, where Tom and I had lunch for his birthday? Not only was the food exceptional, but the birthday girl gets a huge discount on her entree in addition to a free dessert. There's even a half-pound burger on the menu to keep Jeremy, my non-fish eater, happy.

What about a new deli here in town, a branch of one in the heavily Jewish suburbs of Detroit that I've eaten at and loved??? Corned beef, brisket, both old and new pickles ... food for my aging soul.

What about just going out for a fabulous dessert, rather than a full meal?

Oh, and then there's the whole "birthday cake" issue, too ... oy. Bake one for myself, indulging any whims I might have, which is what I usually do? Order an ice cream cake from Baskin-Robbins -- chocolate cake with mint chocolate chip ice cream, for which I have a distinct affinity? Buy a cupcake assortment? AAAUUUGGGHHH!!!

And then, I decided what I'd like most is to simply have my loved ones join me for a nice, home-cooked meal.

So I made a Sicilian pasta sauce over the weekend, the saga of which will be posted tomorrow. I decided to simply buy a two-layer chocolate cake from Trader Joe's, having read about it at work when the weekly flyer arrived in the mail and my co-worker Michele and I were perusing it. Suddenly, there was clarity! A quart of ice cream that had the Trader Joe's equivalent of peppermint Oreos crumbled into it would be a perfect complement ... et, voila!

Here's the pictorial tour ....

Spinach Salad with Vinaigrette:

Whole Wheat Penne with Sicilian Pasta Sauce:

Good Italian Bread with Butter and/or Seasoned Dipping Oil:

Dark Chocolate Cake:

From Jeremy -- a brand new coffee press, my beloved Intelligentsia coffee, and a beautiful new mug and saucer to sip the goodies from:

From Tom -- a sculptural watch with a flexible rubbery band to fit my scrawny 5-1/2" wrist, a case to hold business cards (which I now need to have made!), and lovely ginger candies:

From my friend Wendy -- a book all about my favorite game show (I was in the contestant pool in 2006, invited out twice but couldn't get there ... God's way of saving me from national humiliation, methinks!), and vanilla cupcakes with her grandmother's famous buttercream frosting:

And then, because today is the 8th and final day of Chanukkah (which began at sundown yesterday), Tom and I enjoyed another small piece of cake with the peppermint ice cream for an evening snack ... :)

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Nicole said...

OOh - how lovely, my friend. Happy Birthday. It all looks sooo yummy and your menorah is absolutely beautiful.

Great pics!

Leanne said...

Oh, Mary . . . HAPPY BIRTHDAY. What a wonderful way to spend it (the food - yummm, the gifts - awesome, the love - so so good.)

I didn't know you were an Intelligenstia coffee girl - that's a Chicago business! PG and I went on a tour of their roasting plant a few years ago, and freq their coffee shops in the city for years now! LOVE them!!

Oh, and that watch ... WANT IT BAD!

Kelly said...

Happy Birthday! Sounds like you had a wonderful time :)

Unknown said...

I thought I read yesterday that you said Lennon died on your 18th birthday and I totally let it go by me!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Sounds like you found the perfect way to celebrate!

Cranberry Morning said...

I just loved reading this birthday post and seeing all the nice birthday treats! As I was reading through narrative of where to eat for your birthday dinner, I was feeling the tension of too many choices!! (I actually feel that way in the grocery store). Such a good plan to have dinner at home. It looks delicious!

Love the watch - so hip - and the coffee press. I definitely need a coffee press. The chocolate cake looks pretty amazing. Yesterday we were at Borders and believe it or not, they had a simply delicious chocolate cake with white icing. I wasn't expecting much, but it was moist and dense and not too sweet.

The menoras are beautiful!

Life Happens said...

Happy Birthday!! Sounds like you had a great dinner with family. The food looks delish! I hope the cake was as yummy as it looks!

Unknown said...

I am so sorry that I missed visiting on your birthday. Happy Belated Birthday. It looks like you had a great day and received some beautiful gifts. God Bless!

Simplyfood said...

Happy Birthday sounds like you had a wonderful day.

Bibi @ Bibi's Culinary Journey said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

Sounds like it was a lovely day with lovely meal and lots of cool presents.

Robin said...

Happy belated birthday. Your cake looks divine. Actually, it all looks really lovely. Thanks for the sweet comment. Made me feel better about my appt actually. Some of the things "clicked" for me. ((hugs))

Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

What a fabulous birthday and so deserved!

Your lunch was right up my alley....EVERYTHING you had I would have loved!!!

Your presents were so personal and on the mark...wonderful!!

Can't believe that gorgeous cake came from Trader Joe's (but I DO love Trader Joe's haven't been there in ages and I live within walking distance!)

Have you ever been to Opera Cakes (Or Opera Pastries whatever the name is?) on Orchard Lake Rd? My husband has a tradition of getting my cake there every year and their cakes are to die for!!!

Candace said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Mary! It looks like you had a wonderful day.

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday!

Baskin-Robbins mint chocolate chip is one of my favourites, too.

It's hard to go wrong with Indian. But kosher-style deli is pretty good too - especially when it's done right. There are a few good delis here in Toronto, but the really good ones are in Montreal.

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