Birthday Bash

Yesterday was Hubs’ birthday. And although it didn’t start out too fun (he had to go to court out in Riverside–not a fun drive at all), it unfolded just fine.

I scheduled to have a half day and made it home in time to have some lunch with him. After lunch, we braved the cold and windy weather and played some tennis. Unfortunately, we haven’t bought new balls in a while and the ones we used were kind of like hitting lead balls. It was still fun though. I think part of it is because I love to be outside and of course, I love tennis and playing with hubs. But there was another factor: feeling like we were playing hookey made it even more fun. (Yes, I’m well aware of my dorkiness–so be it!).

After we smacked the dead balls around for close to an hour, my left foot was so cold that my toes were numb. We headed home and checked voicemails. I cleaned up around the house while hubs talked to his mom and dad. My M.I.L. is so cute: she left a message on his phone singing Happy Birthday.

So finally, we got down to the good stuff: presents!

I’ll admit it. I kinda suck at part of gift giving. I never plan for the wrapping portion of things. I mean, I got some gifts ahead of time (which for me is quite the triumph) but I didn’t even save the newspaper to wrap them up. I ended up giving him an old Lululemon shopping bag filled with this:

Well, it wasn't this briefcase but close enough.

Poor guy has been lugging around a now tattered and beaten up el-cheapo messenger bag that he got for free many, many years ago. I’m all for being frugal but for god sakes, the man has been a practicing attorney for several years now. It should be required that he carry his laptop and papers in something that has a functioning zipper (did I mention that the zipper on said former bag is also broken?). I realize that this is kind of a lame gift, but it was way overdue.

I did get him some silly/fun stuff to go along with the briefcase. I put this stuff in an old Loehman’s shopping bag:

Two very awesome CDs by the Black Keys: Brothers and Rubber Factory.

If you like bluesy, down and dirty, just plain fantastic music, check them out.

I also put in this:

Stainless steel cheese utensil set.

I didn’t get the board in the picture above–I didn’t know it existed. It is pretty sweet though…I may have to get it.

And because he has been so into working out and staying healthy, I thought I’d get him a new pair of these to replace his old (smelly!) ones:

Harbinger gloves. This time I got the pair with antimicrobial fibers. Cool!

And last, but not least. Some sweets for my sweetie:

I got him some tins of dried fruit from Meduri World Delights: Strawberry-rhubarb bites, spicy fruit mix and golden blush peaches. Yum.

If you love dried fruits, check out Meduri World Delights. Kinda pricey but totally worth the deliciousness they send you.

By that time, we had to get ready and head out to dinner. We usually stay in and cook something special for birthdays, but because we’re going to be cooking up a storm the rest of the week, I took it upon myself to book us a table at The Tasting Kitchen. So glad we went because, holy chow!, this place was really great. Big surprise: the guys who cook/own this place are Portland transplants. Plus, the menu reminded us of our fave restaurant in Portland: Clyde Common. Take a look at the menu online because it’s a beautifully chaotic mess.

An awkward pose before heading out to dinner.

These kinds of menus allow us to order the way that we love–to try small bites of a couple different dishes.

We started with these two:

Butter lettuce, tarragon and point reyes. Light and delicious.

Squid panzanella: grilled squid with lovely chuncks of bread, olives and the most wonderful olive oil I've had in a while.

I didn’t expect this to be my favorite of the night but it was a perfectly executed dish. I was so sad when it was gone. But we forged ahead to something that was also great.

Pasta course: taglietelle with salsa verde, prosciutto, poached egg and shaved parm.

The egg was poached to perfection and when the yolk mixed with the salsa verde, it turned into a wonderful sauce for the very al dente noodles. The finale did not dissapoint us either.

Polenta with truffle and poached egg. Lord have mercy!

The only true entree we ordered: lamb with mint yogurt, chickpeas and carrots.

I am not historically a fan of lamb. But it was hubs’ birthday and I wanted him to get what sounded good. I thought I could if nothing else, nibble at the chickpeas and carrots. But wow. The sliced lamb was like nothing I’ve ever had. Needless to say, I enjoyed a few slices along with the veggie accompaniments. A definite revalation for me indeed! All in all, a wonderful (almost religious) restaurant experience.

Hubs contemplating the meal and feeling like he had an elegant sufficiency.

I almost feel like it was my birthday yesterday! Don’t you love when that happens?

Now it’s time to gear up for the crazy holiday meal we’ve planned for tomorrow. Should be good times all around.

Are you cooking anything tomorrow? 



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4 responses to “Birthday Bash

  1. Happy Birthday to your husband…you guys are too cute. Not awkward at all!

    I’m not cooking anything! 2 restaurant reservations are about all I can handle. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. It’s kinda awesome not having to worry about cooking on this holiday. It creates WAY too much stress for people. Hope you have a great time in NYC and a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  3. Happy birthday to your dear hubby! You’re a great gift-giver…thoughtful and sweet! 🙂

    I baked a lemon buttermilk cake…and that was it!

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