What a birthday! Good food, family, friends and apple picking. My love of apples is outrageous, and for the past three years I’ve been apple picking on my birthday. I’d love to have my own orchard one day, with a giant vegetable garden and maybe some berry patches. But I’m getting off topic. My birthday. Back to the food part.
Basically it was a day of delicious, delicious food. Nothing makes me happier! Every year, my mom asks me if I want to go out, or she will make me my favorite dinner, but every year my answer is the same. I WANT to cook. It’s what I do, and it’s when I’m the happiest.
This year, my birthday dinner consisted of:
Cauliflower crust kale and hemp seed pesto pizza with roasted red pepper
Cauliflower crust fresh bruschetta pizza
Whole wheat calzones
My birthday dessert consisted of:
Raw raspberry cheesecake
Apple cider donuts
Can you see why I enjoyed my birthday?
My day started with this adorable puppy face. We got Stella about a month ago now, and she is the most adorable, troublemaking, loving animal. How can you resist that face?! I proceeded to make myself a birthday breakfast, an herbed bacon omelet with a side of sauteed broccolini. After a little more puppy play, I did a birthday workout. It was a challenging circuit that I felt great after, not so much during. Of course I made it up so I have myself to blame for that. But, come on, doesn’t everyone have a love/hate relationship with working out?
For lunch, I went out with my mom and grandma. I know, I know, I didn’t make my lunch. But I am in love with this Afghan restaurant in Warren, NJ called Silk Road. Having no experience cooking Afghan food, I feel like I need to eat here to learn the flavors (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!). I got the chicken kebabs with sauteed spinach in Afghan spices. Soooooo good. The meal comes with a lentil soup and cucumber and tomato salad. It’s first rate. If you have never tried Afghan food before, do yourself a favor and find some.
After lunch, I went apple picking with my mom. It was a gorgeous, almost-fall weather, sunny day and we had the whole orchard to ourselves (the way I like it). I love wandering through apple orchards, basket in one hand and an apple for me in the other. I may have eaten four apples while picking. Whoops! We got back around 3, and I cranked Pandora up and started cooking my birthday dinner and dessert.
Everyone came over around seven, and we feasted on delicious pizza and good wine. Nick brought over my favorite wine, Tempranillo. Did I mention it was a good day?
When it was time for dessert, I was slightly nervous. I knew my apple cider donuts were first rate, but it was the first time I made a raw raspberry cheesecake and I had high hopes. Ever since I went to San Francisco last year and discovered raw raspberry cheesecake via The Plant restaurant, I’ve been in love. I haven’t made it myself yet because I have been afraid it wouldn’t live up to the delicious memory of the California slice! I am more than happy to say my version came out FANTASTIC and I will defiantly be making it more often now. Don’t worry, I’ll share the recipe later this week.
We sat around our fire pit after dessert for quite some time before going to bed. My birthday was everything I wanted and more. Sometimes, you just need to take a step back and appreciate how lucky you are to be surrounded by things that make you happy. I sure have a lot to be thankful for!