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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