Thursday, July 25, 2013

One Down, a Bunch to Go...

Every year, this is a very busy ten day period for us.  Four of the five birthdays in our family fall within these days, in addition to my Dad's, my Mom's, and my Brother-In-Law's.  This year, my brother's wedding kicked everything off.  Then yesterday was Geoff's birthday - the big 5-0, and the pressure was on me to make it a good birthday.

Sadly/happily, he'd made me promise a bunch of things in his effort to avoid actually acknowledging that yesterday was an important day:  No surprise parties - in fact, no parties and no surprises at all; no flamingos in the front lawn; no surprise visit to his workplace with cake in hand; etc etc etc.  All he wanted was for me to cook him a healthy dinner at home, with my parents and my sister with her family.

So that's what we did.  But I started the day by cooking him breakfast for Geoff (which I usually don't do b/c he wakes up a bit earlier than me to get ready for work and I wait upstairs for the kiddos to wake up so that we can have cuddles) and he and I ate it together while the kids (to their sheer delight) watched tv first thing in the morning.  Breakfast wasn't fancy but it was nice to eat it together and I even bought orange juice for the occasion and served it up in wine glasses, along with eggs and parmesan-topped grilled tomatoes.  We even used napkins for breakfast...the true sign of something special happening!

Then Geoff was off to work and I spent the day getting ready for the evening.  The kids and I ran some errands for fish and other groceries, and picked up balloons and a few other decorations; then I basically prepped dinner all afternoon while the kids played outside and listened to audio books and watched tv.

I cooked dinner for eleven and tried to make it both delicious and mostly healthy (the exceptions were one of the appetizers and, of course, the b-day cake).  Here was the menu:
  • Black bean fritters with a cilantro dipping sauce
  • 7-Layer dip with Geoff's favourite multi-grain chips on the side (one of the less healthy items on the menu)
  • Kale salad (with brussel sprouts, broccoli, etc) with poppyseed dressing, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds (this mixture was from Costco, which made life a little easier)
  • Southwestern salad with a delish Cilantro Lime dressing
  • Sprouted brown rice
  • Corn
  • Baked salmon, cooked in Geoff's favourite way and everyone loved it...Matthew had two helpings and my nephew had four!
  • Platter of fresh fruit:  Cherries (Geoff's favourite); raspberries (everyone else's favourite); and blueberries.
  • Triple layer chocolate cake with frosting between the layers and a made-with-real-chocolate icing (that took a full 25 minutes to make!).  This is Geoff's favourite cake, served up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I think everything turned out, quite honestly, delicious.

And, despite my horrible inner debates about what to buy Geoff for his b-day gift, he seemed to quite like what I decided on:  Golf lessons; and a subscription to Sirius XM Satellite radio for his car (thx, Lianne, for the confirmation of this helped!).

Thank God, I whispered as the day was done and I fell into bed.  It was a good day, and it was over.

Next up:  Lizzie's birthday party with friends (later today); Lizzie's family dinner out (tomorrow evening).  And tomorrow, Geoff is taking the day off of work so that the kids and I can kidnap him (or, as Lizzie always says, arrest him!) and celebrate his b-day a little more.  I've planned breakfast out, mini golf, a picnic and, for Geoff, a golf lesson in the afternoon.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate Geoff's birthday! Well done! And happy birthday to Geoff.
    As an aside, I think you need to post more pictures of Geoff - when I was looking at the family picture in your last post, Cody came over and looked at the picture and said "Who's that man?". He was familiar with pictures of you and the kids, but not Geoff. :-)
    Enjoy all the celebrating.

  2. Is there any chance that you would share your recipe for black bean fritters and cilantro dip and the southwestern salad with cilantro lime dressing? Cilantro and lime are two of my favorites!

    Btw - twice recently I have passed you in my travels.

    Great job on your cooking and gifts and celebrating!!

    1. Hey Eileen...remind me the next time we get together to bring these recipes and I'll photocopy them for you. I'm happy for you to have fact, when i was making them, I thought of you b/c I know that you (like I) love cilantro!


    2. BTW, you're going to leave me hanging? Where did you pass by me? you went by our home or you saw me elsewhere?