After lunch my sister treated us to a truffle from Julia Baker Confections chocolate shop and wine bar. All I can say is yum! I completely failed to take a photo of the shop and the French caramel truffle, which now gives me the perfect excuse to return for a do-over, something I intend to do very soon. I’ve just recently become familiar with Julia Baker, but I guess she’s a pretty big deal because she’s got a new show called Sweet Julia that just premiered last night on the Cooking Channel.
The rest of the afternoon was spent engaging in some of my favorite activities – relaxing, cooking, eating, drinking and opening presents….
My 50th Birthday Gifts
My sister spoiled me with an incredible selection of fun foodstuffs which included thin mints (in honor of Dad), a selection of Penzey’s, yogurt dip seasoning, dulce de leche, satay peanut sauce, coconut water, anchovies, green curry paste, grey sea salt, and lemon curd. And now that I’m 50, she wanted to make sure I had a pair of reading glasses which will come in handy for reading menus, cookbooks and labels…
My First Pair of Reading Glasses
Thanks, Bren. Here’s what remains of the yummy sangria we enjoyed with our Spanish themed appetizers and dinner. I used Ellie Krieger’s red sangria recipe from The Food Network. The only change I made was substituting half the brandy with Creme de Peche de Vigne…
Ellie Krieger’s Sangria
For dinner we had this refreshing Salad Francais-Espagnole from The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day , one of my favorite cookbooks of the moment that my sister is now having fun cooking from as well. Everything I’ve made from the book so far has turned out delicious and this salad of mixed greens, sliced red onion, orange, grapes and blue cheese was no exception…
The Bonne Femme Salad Francais-Espagnole
It was the perfect accompaniment to our Paella. I know the pictures don’t do the dishes justice. But this party was about cooking, drinking and eating so it’s a wonder anyone remembered to snap a photo at all. I certainly didn’t, so thanks, Mom.
My First Attempt Making Paella – Not Bad If I Say So Myself!
For a first attempt I think this Paella turned out pretty darned good, if I do say so myself. It’s something I definitely want to try again. I kinda mixed and matched two recipes – Mark Bittman’s Simple Paella from How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition) and Kathleen Flinn’s Paella Valenciana from her book The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks .
I jotted down what I did and will try to post the recipe before I forget the details.
The weather was so perfect we were even able to dine al fresco, something I love to do as much as we can this time of year.
What was the PointsPlus value of this day of celebrating? I have no idea. And not an ounce or remorse. You only turn 50 once. It was a wonderful day. I’ll cherish the memories forever.
Isn’t that what happy, healthy, balanced living is all about?
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