Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fun Playing with Birthday Food

Another birthday is in the books. Since I am reaching the age where I don't want to think about how many - I use this festive time to simply celebrate life and the good things in mine.

We woke up on my birthday morning to overcast skies. We nevertheless hustled to the Farmers' Market, where we scored, among other things, some gorgeous broccoli, first-of-the-season local tomatoes, and fresh dill. I unfortunately left my camera home.

As we headed off for Mister Brisket, the skies opened up and it began to pour. And storm. But weather would not keep us from our mission: fresh Alaskan Sockeye! And since we had to go to Mister Brisket anyway - we decided a deli sandwich would start our birthday eating in style! (Ok, ok - Bob did not have to twist my arm.) I had pastrami on rye and Bob had BBQ Beef. Both were absolutely yummy. We ate upstairs at the Heinen's on Cedar, then did some shopping. We acquired some beautiful Southern Ohio Corn and a case of wine to enhance our dinner!

Next stop - Western Reserve Wines. We hadn't visited this retailer since their move from SOM Center Road into The Shoppes of Solon North, but I knew they were having a wine tasting today of their "12 under 12" wines - and since we in a stock-up mode, it seemed a perfect birthday treat! You can see the wines we tasted here. We bought all but 2 (and doubled up on two others to make the case).

Once home, Bob went to work to create a fabulous birthday dinner for us! We started with these beautiful, if blurry, tomatoes:

Tossed Salad of Garden Lettuces, Organic Carrot and Local Tomatoes

We enjoyed our home-made sesame-spicy vinaigrette with this.

Seasoned Salmon Atop the Cedar Plank

Broccoli and Corn Prepare to Meet the Grill

After a visit with Mister Weber, the rest of our dinner was served:

The salmon was seasoned with salt and pepper, and lightly sprayed with lemon-grapeseed oil before grilling. The fat oozing from the tender meat is what came naturally!

My Birthday Dinner Plate

OOPS - Almost forgot the Caramelized Onions and Dill Topping!

Instead of the usual red onion - I bought a local sprouted onion from Heinen's - and the taste was picked-from-the-garden good!

We had picked up two "individually sized" cakes from Heinen's bakery for the birthday candle ritual - but we were so stuffed by the time we'd finished our meal that we had no room for any dessert! Such is the wonderful bounty available to us this time of year that we didn't get to either mini-cake until a few days later - and I'm ashamed to admit that there is still one in the fridge that we haven't touched yet!

This had chocolate and peanut butter - and it was sinfully delicious!

But my birthday party did not end here! For later in the week, we had the perennial office celebration. As the guest of honor, I chose lunch delivered from Mister Brisket (and this time - I had my camera to record the delicious corned beef sandwich I enjoyed):

And of course, a real live birthday cake made by our amazing receptionist/pastry chef Lise:

Almond cake and chocolate pudding, I believe (I could check the chunk left in the fridge, but that would be too easy, wouldn't it?).

And so, another festive, happy birthday time came to an end, accompanied by great food and great folks! And lots of playing with amazingly wonderful food!

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