Almost Perfect Birthday

Hannah and Jacob both had to work on my birthday yesterday, and Hannah was so apologetic about it, but I told her it was not a big deal.  I had already planned on going to my Mom’s church yesterday morning and we were going out to lunch.

So Saturday night the kadults took me out to dinner at a new restaurant in our town that touted that they had pizza that was cooked in a 750 degree oven.  Sold!  We got appetizers of fried calamari, a cured meat and cheese platter.  Jacob and Hannah split a salad and Jacob got the stuffed mushrooms and Hannah got the four cheese baked pasta.  Jacob’s Dad came along and he got the carpaccio steak salad.

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Since everything tasted so great, I was so excited to get the pizza.

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Huh.  Where are the charred bits you get on a pizza cooked in a 750 degree oven?  Not only that, the dough had absolutely no flavor whatsoever.  So unfortunately, I will not be going back for the pizza, but I will go back for the wine and everything else that was ordered.  I almost wanted to go back into the kitchen and ask “what’s in your pizza dough?  How long do you proof it?!”  Ha!

The birthday gift I gave to myself was the new iPhone 7 Plus.  I puffy heart this phone!  The camera is amazing, love the portrait setting too.   My old phone was starting to not hold a charge anymore.  I would leave the house at 100%, then get to the train station only to have it give me the symbol to plug it in.  If I didn’t find a seat on the train station that had an electrical outlet, I’d have no phone or laptop access for the whole hour train ride.  I’d get to work, plug it in for 2 minutes and it would be back to 100%.  It didn’t matter if I did a hard reboot or anything. 

Check out this photo of wine from lunch yesterday:

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Mom and I went to caffe DeLuca in Forest Park.   We’ve never been disappointed with food and service there before.  We split the pear/goat cheese/candied walnut salad with balsamic dressing – this is half!

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And once I found out that the quiche of the day was spinach and goat cheese, I was sold!

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It’s the fluffiest, most delicious quiche I’ve ever had.  I have no idea who they get it that fluffy, but it was delicious – a layer of goat cheese on both the top and bottom.  Swoon.

Mom and I walked around for a while before moving on with each of our days – thanks for hanging out with me on my birthday Momma!  Just more proof that she loves me more than my sister, because the last I checked my sister wasn’t with us! Open-mouthed smile

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I liked this picture of my Mom too – she looks amazing for 76!

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On my way home I went grocery shopping.  I had planned to go Saturday afternoon, but drove to a grocery store I normally go to to stock up on meat, only to realize that it closed a month earlier.  I had already done my meal plan off that grocery store’s sale flyer, and I didn’t have time to redo my game plan before heading out to dinner Saturday night. 

When I got back from the store, Hannah and Jacob were napping (they started work at 5:00 a.m.) so I got my grill lit, poured myself a glass of wine, and enjoyed the nice weather.  It was at that moment, that I realized it was almost a perfect birthday.  The only thing missing was Tony.  I could imagine watching him light up a cigar, us listening to Frank Sinatra music and him being bundled up in a parka, hat and gloves in the 52 degree weather, and me being in capri pants and flip flops.  It’s occasions like my birthday that are hard not to be a little sad that he’s not here to celebrate with me.

I told the kadults not to give me anything for my birthday, because I don’t really need anything.  The older you get you realize birthdays are less about the stuff and more about who you share the day with.  But, Hannah did hear me tell her that my commuter back pack was coming unzipped all the time and I had been looking into getting a new one.  This one is really sturdy and I know it will hold up for a long time.

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Of course with such great weather I  couldn’t not grill.  I bought a pork shoulder to make BBQ pork sandwiches on pretzel bread.  For a cut of pork like this, I cook it to 195 degrees, then let it sit for 30 minutes before slicing or shredding.  This was a boneless shoulder, with a nice fat cap on the top.  I cooked it in my Weber grill dedicated cast iron skillet on in direct heat.  It was just over three pounds, and took about an hour and 45 minutes to get to 195.  My coals were a bit hot to begin with so I had to bring the heat down a bit. 

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Love the crust on the outside.  So delicious.  It was nice seeing the dogs outside picking up all the sticks in the yard.  Roz, I thought you would like the random heart in the photo below!

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For the record, I stopped tracking my points when I got to –82 points for the week.  Not kidding on that number!  From pizza and beer Friday night, to my dinner out Saturday night with more beer and wine, and lunch out yesterday . . . with more wine – I am 82 points in the hole for the week.  But I am not upset by that at all.  I am going back to being alcohol free until the next occasion arises.  I have my food planned and packed and I’ll be hitting the gym this week so it’s all good.

And while I wish Tony could have been with me today, that was the only thing missing to an otherwise perfect birthday.  Thanks Mom, Hannah, Jacob, Joe, Lizz, Bonnie and Carl for making my birthday weekend.  Cheers to starting my 49th year!  I have a feeling it’s going to be a great one!

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  • Charlie Hills
    March 20, 2017 at 6:47 am Too bad about that pizza crust! I wonder if you should try it just one more time, maybe after a month or so, and see if it was just growing pains or if they really don't know what they're doing.
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:05 pm I will definitely give the restaurant another go - I was just so excited to have a pizza place two miles from my house that wasn't a chain! :D
  • Karen Johnsen
    March 20, 2017 at 7:23 am Sounds like a fab day!!! And yes, your mom looks terrific!!!
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:07 pm It was fun Karen - love seeing all the pics of your grandkids on Facebook :D
  • Barb
    March 20, 2017 at 7:53 am Happy birthday to you & your twin! You look so beautiful in that yellow fleece!
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:08 pm Thanks Barb!
  • Kym
    March 20, 2017 at 8:42 am Aww, I love that you had an almost perfect birthday and I wish Tony had been there to complete the perfect for you. I think you should have popped into the kitchen and asked about the pizza. Maybe they don't have the 750 degree oven up and running yet. There is no way that pizza came from an oven that hot without some yummy charred bits. Happy everything else was good. The salad you shared with your Mom looked amazing. Yes, your Mom looks fabulous. You didn't look too shabby yourself. I loved the photo of you in the yellow Nike jacket. You looked radiant!
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:15 pm Thanks Kym! I am going to give the restaurant another try - I agree, there is not way that came out of a 750 degree oven! I actually wasn't able to fit into that pullover last fall because it was too tight :D
  • Shelley B
    March 20, 2017 at 8:59 am Yay for a great birthday and a new phone - I hear that the camera on the iPhone 7 is really good, too. :) Both you and your mom look fabulous, regardless of any age!
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:17 pm Thanks Shelley! I am watching youtube videos to see all the cool things the new phone can do - I also switched to unlimited data since I am using my own hot spot for my 2 hour commute - don't have to worry about using too much data :D
  • Carrie @ Season It Already
    March 20, 2017 at 9:00 am Glad it was great! (And that pizza crust does look horrible. I'm with you!)
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:18 pm Thanks Carrie! I need to make a trip to your neck of the woods this summer to try all the good beer you guys find - and of course try Rob's favorite burgers :D
  • Kimberly
    March 20, 2017 at 9:02 am Just like Kym, when I saw you in the yellow fleece I thought that you looked absolutely radiant! I'm glad you had a great birthday.
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:19 pm Thanks Kimberly! I bought it at Goodwill last fall without trying it on and it was too tight - I was so happy it fit now :D
  • Sherry Werth
    March 20, 2017 at 9:29 am Glad you had a really nice birthday! I'm due for an upgrade but wanted to wait & make sure everyone was happy with the new iPhone 7 Plus & I've only heard great reviews so I guess I'll let them 'upgrade me'. Lol And I totally agree with the others - you looked great in the yellow Nike jacket & your Mom looks more like 66 than 76! Whatever she's doing - it's working!! Happy Monday! :-D
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:21 pm Thanks Sherry! Yep, love the phone, I think you will love it too :D
  • Louise
    March 20, 2017 at 10:15 am Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, glad you had a great day!! Now the BIG 50 is peeking around the corner. Enjoy 49 it will go fast!!! Yeah, give that pizza place another try......maybe a different day other then Saturday. Food always looks good on your blog...that pork roast sounds good too!! Bet the sandwiches tasted great!!!!
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:23 pm Thanks Louise! I forgot to take a picture of the finished product - it was delicious. Although you can't go wrong with grilled pork shoulder :D
  • Marcia
    March 20, 2017 at 10:19 am Happy birthday! My hubby will be joining you at 49 this summer
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:24 pm Thanks Marcia! I think 49 is going to be a great year :D
  • elizabeth
    March 20, 2017 at 10:35 am Glad you had a happy birthday!!
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:24 pm Thanks Elizabeth! It was a good day :D
  • M.J. Jacobsem
    March 20, 2017 at 10:50 am Glad you had a great birthday! Too bad the pizza was nasty, you should have shown them a thing or two! I'm still having trouble accessing your recent posts, have to google My Bizzy Kitchen!
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:27 pm Gah, still don't know what the problem is, my brother is checking it out - I have trouble updating on my iPhone - it's still like 10 posts back, even if I hit the home button :P I am so not computer literate :( Thank goodness for google!
  • MaryBe
    March 20, 2017 at 11:31 am Happy Birthday to you and your twin! Love the photo of you and your Mom. I have a 7plus also, and love it. And you know Tony is with you, even if you can't see him, you can feel him. He would totally be making inappropriate jokes:)
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:30 pm Thanks Mary - I could feel him with me when I was sitting outside :D And yes, he would be telling the worst jokes! :D
  • Jamie Hood
    March 20, 2017 at 4:55 pm Hey Biz Sounds like you had an awesome birthday! You should have went in that kitchen and showed them how to make pizza. :)
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:33 pm Hey Jamie! I had a couple glasses of wine and almost thought of doing that :D
  • Lori
    March 21, 2017 at 6:58 am Happy birthday and wow - those iPhone 7 photos!
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:34 pm Thanks Lori and yep, I am blown away with the photos, and I know about 10% of what the phone can do :D
  • Mia
    March 21, 2017 at 8:12 am Having the same issue as other readers - your new posts aren't showing up on your home page and instead I have to go to your monthly archives
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:35 pm Gah, still trying to figure that out - maybe that will help my brother figure out the problem - I haven't changed anything on the back end (I don't know how to do that :P). Thanks Mia!
  • Melissa S.
    March 21, 2017 at 12:09 pm Happy Birthday Biz!!! Looks like you had a great day and I'm sure it was PERFECT, bc Tony was there in your heart and spirit! Smoking that cigar and getting ready for baseball season! :D
    • Biz319
      March 21, 2017 at 9:36 pm Thanks Mel! Yep, I felt him with me :D
  • ashley | the Pike Place Kitchen
    March 27, 2017 at 8:01 am I know i wished you a happy birthday, but i'm doing blog catchup and reading through the last like 2 weeks of posts (as usuallll i'm behind) - SO I'LL SAY IT AGAIN: happy birthday <3