It seems that every time I find myself drafting out a new post in my head about a monumental event, like my birthday, or the New Year, I find myself getting all sappy and reflective. Like this year, for instance. It was supposed to be an uphill year, after two really reeeeeally bad ones for my family. (Lots of tragedies… not a lot of resolution.) And in so many ways, my 28th year WAS an uphill year. My sweet Ava was born, my sister and her husband both got into graduate school, I started a new business (and it’s going amazingly well!), my firstborn daughter is as precious as they come, I’m still married to the dear man God gifted me with 6 years ago. But I ain’t gonna lie, it was also another hard one! Seriously life… when are you gonna quit it with that mess?!
So that’s where my head and heart were this year around my beloved birthday table. I’m a little older, a touch wiser, significantly more scarred, but also an even bigger walking testament to the power of the Great Healer. In all the heartache of year 28, I again stand witness to the gentleness and boundless mercies of my good Father.
Care to take a peek at our celebratory evening? I love the faces around this table. They are my treasures on this Earth. (The aforementioned sister and brother-in-law, smarty little grad-school pantses that they are, were unable to be here and were deeply missed.)
And my meal. OH, you guys, my meal. Plant-based nectar of the gods! (Elsa was, admittedly, a bit taken aback by it all. But she nibbled valiantly at everything.)
Here are the recipes for the menu I chose. Naturally, I took full advantage of my special night to geek out over my woman-crush, the queen bee of delicious plant-based cooking, Sarah Britton. I even got her cookbook as a gift this year! Her food is as delicious and healthy as it is beautiful. Here’s what we ate:
>> Green Salad with Butternut Squash, Figs, Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese, and Maple Balsamic Dressing (You will DIE! Make this.)
>> Hazelnut Chocolate Torte (Another one that will make you die. I want to make it again this instant and eat a sliver every day for the rest of my life.)
So many precious gifts this year has brought! (Not the least of which has been the new re-design of this blog (!!!) so that I can continue posting here and being a part of this wonderfully inspiring community of food-lovers. You guys are my favorite, don’t you forget it!) Thank you for celebrating my 29th birthday with me. I hope you’ll make some of these recipes soon, because they were worth every scrumptious bite. My sweet sister-in-law and friend outdid themselves preparing the feast.
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