Friday, February 19, 2010

Grams' Birthday

Today we celebrated my Grandma's 77th birthday! Her actual birthday was the 17th but we were all only able to get together today. Because she recognizes Lent she was unable to eat meat today (Friday), and unfortunately for her, every year she gives up sweets/treats/snacks, so there was no dessert as usual. That being said, J and I put together a wonderful 2-course dinner that everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Both recipes are from one of my favorite cookbooks, Sunday Suppers at Lucques, by Suzanne Goin. The fish recipe we adapted a bit as to what was available ingredient-wise. See pics below:

^Swiss chard tart with goat cheese and currant-pine nut relish

^Wild Alaskan halibut marinated in fresh thyme, parsley, and blood orange zest, served over red and black rice risotto with blood orange reduction

I'm always worried the food I serve won't be enjoyed but everyone seemed to truly enjoy both courses which made me really happy.

Sorry for those of you who are not into Valentine's Day, but I am going to get a bit corny here... I actually wasn't sure if I even wanted to post about this because I'm not usually the guy who does the typical cheesy love stuff and I know some people get bugged by it but... Yesterday was another good food day; since our V-day celebration was put off due to J's family visit, I decided to make us a nice dinner yesterday instead. I heard this great idea a while back to recreate (at home) a meal you and your special someone had on a first date or past Valentine's day at a restaurant out. I decided to make the dishes we each had on our first date at a local restaurant...a Cobb salad and chicken piccata. Without sounding full of myself, I must say the food I made turned out better than what we ate at the restaurant. J was super surprised and loved it so I was very, very happy.

^J's chicken piccata

^My Cobb salad

Shall we move onto some great mail? OK then...Two days ago the following letter from Belen came, and totally brightened up my mailbox! This is one of the coolest envelopes I've gotten; it is made from see-through vellum scrapbook paper. Enclosed was a great, long letter and the smallest most perfect little paper crane! So neat!

Last piece of mail for this post came today as part of my Mix CD Scavenger Hunt on Swap-bot. This package came from Canada and had the track list on the coolest stationery! Of course I forgot to take a picture but oh well. Cute stickers on the package, no?

^I really need to start building up my accessory collection...stamps, stickers, etc. They make such a difference in making a package more special!

Speaking of stationery, I think I want to try making my own stationery. I was thinking I could just cut and paste magazine/newspaper/etc. clippings on plain paper and photocopy or scan them and have great original writing paper? Anyone have suggestions on other ways to do fun stuff like that, or have examples to share?

That'll do it for this post. Thanks for everyone who's reading!

Till next time,

Aaron :)


  1. Aww, all of those meals look fabulous! The halibut looks mouth watering. Your blog really combines two of my favourite things ever. It makes me really hungry and it makes me want to write letters. The post you did about my letter was so lovely :) I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Very much looking forward to another bit of pretty mail from you :)

  2. Aaron - the tart looks fabulous! Anything with dark leafy greens and goat cheese is in my top 10! Hope you guys had a nice second first date dinner =)

  3. We call ours "Gram" too :) She is also 77 I believe, but her birthday is in November. Short little, absolutely wonderful irish lady.

    I wanted to suggest you join in with us on this stationary swap on another blog I found ^_^

    Additionally I just wanted to say Hello and blame "Goodnight Little Spoon" for her linkage :)

  4. @pooftacular: thanks for reading and commenting...loving finding new readers on here! I actually JUST signed up for the timeaftertea swap a couple days ago, and really looking forward to it! thanks for stopping by :)