Friday, December 19, 2014

145.2…Birthday Celebrations

An amazing event happened this week.  

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My birthday! If you know me, you know I love my birthday. I mean love. I try to make it a birthday celebration all December and frankly, I think I do a very nice job. 

Monday night, my husband took me out to celebrate (my actual birthday was on Tuesday) at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. My birthday meal started with a Wedge Salad:

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That was followed by the Spicy Lobster:

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Then the star of the show: the Filet Mignon:

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Creamed Spinach:

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And let's not forget about dessert, shall we?

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Amazing. One of my favorite all-time meals.

My birthday breakfast on Tuesday morning was a fried egg sandwich.

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I took the kids to school, went to a performance for my daughter's class, then met my husband and I friend for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. I had the soup, salad, sandwich combo. Tortilla soup, mixed green salad and chicken salad sandwich.

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We did a little shopping then I picked the kids up from school.

Not only was Tuesday my birthday, but it was also the first night of Hanukkah. We went to a friend's house to celebrate. There was an amazing spread of food and fabulous decorations. I ended up bringing one of my favorite salads, Tomato Feta Salad

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A bit of everything: 

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Donuts for dessert:

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Yes, please. 

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A pretty awesome birthday, if you ask me!! 

Breakfast Wednesday morning was a tiny bit of  Honey Nut Cheerios and almond milk.

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After I dropped the kiddos off, I met my friends at Morada Restaurant at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe for my birthday breakfast. Let the celebrations continue!

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I ordered the Crab Eggs Benedict with Blood Orange Hollandaise: 

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If I could have licked my plate I would have. 

Check out my birthday card:

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Do my friends know me, or what!?!

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What a great way to start your day! :)

The rest of the day was spent doing errands and laundry. After I picked the kids up from school, I made dinner. I found Hanukkah shaped pasta so we had that for dinner.

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I had leftover Tomato Feta Salad so we had that as well.

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Breakfast yesterday morning was scrambled egg beaters, salsa and Jack cheese.

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I took my daughter to school (son stayed home sick). My son loves Taco Bell so I picked that up for lunch for him. I couldn't let him eat alone so I had to have some too. :) Soft taco supremes and a bean burrito:

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Last night I went to meet some friends at Cathi's before we headed out to my birthday dinner. Yep. I told you I keep the celebrations going strong.

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We headed over to Davanti for dinner. 

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We shared several insanely fabulous appetizers. Ricotta & Honeycomb:

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Roasted Campari Tomato, Burrata, Basil Pesto & Tuscan Toast:

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Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Pecorino Romano, Olive Oil & Lemon:

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White Anchovies, Celery, Pecorino Romano & Leccini Olives:

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Cacio E Pepe (spaghetti, pecorino, black pepper):

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For my entree I ordered the Bistecca con Cipolline e Funghi (grilled and sliced flat iron steak, potato, oyster mushroom, roasted cipollini, salsa verde):

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My birthday dessert was a wonderful Torta al Limone (whipped mascarpone, St. Germain, lady fingers, lemon curd & blueberries):

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 We also ordered the Torta al Carmello (brown butter blondie, maple gelato, carmel sauce, Marcona almonds):

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This might be one of the best desserts I've ever had. I love Davanti. Another awesome birthday event!

 Do you enjoy celebrating your birthday?

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

146.8…Avocado Pistachio Cheese Wreath

I feel like the holidays are going to swallow me whole. It's been pure crazy insanity over here with a giant dose of holiday fun! Since I've been so quiet on the blog, I thought I'd make up for it with a delightful holiday appetizer. Bring this to your next holiday party and you'll be a hit for sure!

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Avocado Pistachio Cheese Wreath (Serves 12)

Recipe from: Phillis Carey


2 large ripe avocados

1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pistachio nuts, divided use

2-8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened 

1/2 cup grated Jack cheese

2 tsp. fresh lime juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. salt

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 bunch curly leaf parsley

10-20 pomegranate seeds

Baguette slices or crackers


1. Peel avocado and dice. Place in strainer and rinse with cold water to retard the color change. Transfer to a medium bowl and mash. Mix in the 1 cup pistachio nuts, cream cheese, Jack cheese, lime juice, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and cayenne paper. Cover and chill mixture for about 30 minutes or until firmed up.

2. Remove from refrigerator - mixture will be soft but firmer than before. Form cheese into a long roll and then shape roll into a wreath on a platter approximately 8 to 10 inches in diameter. Press remaining pistachio nuts all over the top of the the wreath. Surround the edge and tuck in small parsley sprigs. Dot the wreath with the pomegranate seeds to look like berries. Serve with bread slices or crackers.

Printable Recipe

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So….Saturday night, my husband and I attended another holiday party. The invitation stated to dress as your favorite character from the movie, Titanic. Yeah…let me just pull my Titanic outfit out of my closet…..

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Where does one come up with a Titanic costume!?! One has to rent them. :) 

The decorations at the party were fabulous…they had violinists everywhere playing the songs from the movie.

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Dinner was served outside in a beautiful (heated) tent. We had the fanciest clam chowder I've ever had. 

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Dinner was steak, shrimp, potatoes and asparagus:

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I've not sure what dessert was because I didn't have a fork to eat it. Probably for the best. It's not like I've been lacking in the dessert department lately. 

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We stayed a bit longer for the festivities and headed home. To say we were tired at that point was an understatement. 

Sunday morning, we raced out the door to beat the traffic for the Chargers vs Broncos game. I grabbed a Z Bar on the way out for breakfast.

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My brother and his friend came to the game with us and we were lucky to get field access before the game!

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Unfortunately, the Chargers lost. Boo.

After the game, we came home to quickly change and head to Dina's house for her annual holiday party. It's always a pot luck and everyone brings delicious dishes. I brought the Avocado Pistachio Cheese Wreath with crackers.

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We came late because of the game so I didn't get to take pictures of all the appetizers, but trust me, they were good!

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Always a fabulous time, Dina!!!!! 

Breakfast Monday morning was a toasted English muffin with peanut butter.

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After I took the kids to school, I went to Cardio Muscle class. I hadn't been in a few weeks because of my back and being too busy so I was excited to get back into it. I took it easy because of my back but I was still super sore afterwards!

I wrapped gifts basically the rest of the day. During the wrapping frenzy, I had some of the Avocado Pistachio Cheese Wreath on some crackers along with turkey and cheese slices for lunch.

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And that's where I leave you for now. More to come, I promise!

Have you made a fabulous holiday appetizer lately?

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