Hello! Happy Monday to ‘ya! On Sunday I celebrated my 26th birthday, and it was a good one! Here’s a look at my birthday weekend. 🙂
After work on Friday, Fabio and I drove over to the Outback Steakhouse in Annapolis to meet my grandparents, dad, stepmom, and little sister for my birthday dinner. Growing up, we celebrated all our family birthdays at Outback, so it’s become a bit of a tradition for us!
I just asked for money for my birthday (I need to finish paying off my Invisalign) but my family wound up getting me a few little gifts as well. They’re the best! I especially loved the cards they gave me – I’m totally a mushy card kind of gal!
After munching on some delicious bread, blooming onion, and cheese fries, I enjoyed my entree of steak, mashed potatoes, and mixed veggies.
Everything was delicious!
Then my grandma brought out a gigantic three-layer coconut cake that she bought from a specialty cake shop on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It was gigantic!
It took some teamwork to get the cake cut into slices for everyone, but eventually we got it doled out. Phew!
The vanilla cake was absolutely delicious, and I especially loved the coconut flavored custard-like icing in between the layers. I <3 birthday cake.
Such a fun evening!
Saturday was the main day of birthday festivities, and it kicked off with a big stack of pancakes!
We spent the rest of the morning cleaning up the apartment, and then at 12:45 Fabio said it was time to head out for my birthday surprise! Fabio knows that I always prefer experiences over things when it comes to gifts, but I also told him not to plan anything too extravagant since we just got back from our fun Eurotrip. Given those instructions, I was curious to see what he’d come up with!
After being in the car for about 20 minutes, we arrived at Sur la Table in Arlington, and he led us to the side room where they offer cooking classes!
When we arrived, I was so excited to see the packets laid out at each station that said, “Learn to Cut Like a Pro.” It was a knife skills class!
This class might sound boring to some people, but when we were talking with our friend Bryan who is currently enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris, I mentioned that I really wanted to take a knife skills class. I always figured you can teach yourself how to cook by watching cooking shows, reading recipes, and browsing through cook books, but having good knife skills is something you have to be taught. I guess Fabio was paying attention when I said that because this class was exactly what I had in mind!
We spent the next few hours learning the correct grip for a knife and chopping everything from garlic to onions to potatoes to peppers.
We learned a few different variations on our chopping methods, and practiced everything from a tiny mince to a large dice.
I loved this sign they had on the wall. 🙂
The class was really helpful, and I learned that I have been cutting onions and potatoes the wrong way for my entire life. Whooops!
Overall, it was such a fun afternoon! Sur la Table has a bunch of other cooking classes – including Croissants 101, fall soups, southern comfort dishes, passport to Paris, and more – and I would definitely go back to check those out. What a perfect birthday gift!
After our class, Fabio and I headed over to Union Market to do a little shopping. My mom, stepdad, stepsister, and her boyfriend were all coming over to our place later in the evening for some birthday champagne and appetizers, and I wanted to put together a cheese platter for them. Not knowing where to start, I asked the woman at the cheese counter at Righteous Cheese for her suggestions.
She absolutely nailed it with her recommendations, and Fabio and I left with one delicious Gouda cheese from Holland and one tasty triple cream cheese from France. Both were fantastic!
Quick side note: While we were waiting to pay for our cheese, we watched the folks from Righteous Cheese make a grilled cheese sandwich that looked phenomenal. Next time we are definitely trying one!
Once we got home I set up my cheese platter with the new cheese, a rosemary baguette that I sliced and toasted quickly in the oven, crackers, nuts, and dried fruit. Plus champagne – duh!
Everything was a big hit and my family loved the cheese. I think I’ve found my new go-to party appetizer! Yum!
After sipping on some bubbly and eating way too much of the tasty cheese (and reading more tear-jerking cards…thanks mom!), it was time to head to dinner! My mom and stepdad rented a limo for the occasion so we could all enjoy the evening without worrying about having a designated driver. Plus it made the night extra fun!
After a quick drive, we arrived at our dinner destination: the Bombay Club!
My handsome date 🙂
When selecting where to go for my birthday dinner I told my mom I wanted to try someplace new, and she recommended the Bombay Club, a fancy Indian restaurant near the White House. Fabio was a little skeptical of the fact that we’d be eating Indian food (Him: “I don’t like Indian food.” Me: “Have you ever even tried it?” Him: “Well, no.”) but everything was absolutely delicious!
None of us really knew what to order off the menu, so we asked the waiter to bring out a bunch of options to try. Everything he brought out was incredible, and we enjoyed some delicious crispy kale chat, lamb sausage, chicken kabob, lamb chops, chicken masala and lobster masala. Phew!
There was a lot of food and I made sure to try a little bit of everything before deciding what I wanted more of. (Turns out I wanted more of all of it, haha!)
We spent the next couple of hours eating delicious food, drinking plenty of wine, and laughing with one another.
What a fun dinner!!
For dessert we tried a few different items as well, and everything was very tasty. Yum!
As we were eating, Fabio admitted that the food was delicious, and he took back what he said about not liking Indian food. 😉 I knew it!
I have to thank my mom and stepdad for such a perfect birthday dinner celebration – I had a blast!
After dinner Fabio and I planned to go out in DC with our friends, and we even changed to go out and everything. Fabio made us a couple of drinks while we were deciding where to go, and then we just decided we were having so much fun at home that we’d rather stay in. We then changed into PJs, Fabio continued to serve me drinks, and we danced around the living room with Jack to 90s hits from Destiny’s Child, TLC, Backstreet Boys, and more. It actually wound up being SUCH a fun night, and we didn’t even go anywhere! 🙂
On Sunday morning (my actual birthday) Fabio put his new knife skills to use and made me a birthday breakfast!
Here’s the chef, hard at work!
He wound up making a super delicious potato and bacon hash with poached eggs on top.
This was his first time making poached eggs, and they came out perfectly!
This is totally going to be his responsibility from now on; I’m going to ask for poached eggs every weekend!
Aside from a quick trip to the grocery store, the rest of my birthday was spent relaxing at home!
We are always so busy and have so many plans, and all I wanted on my actual birthday was to curl up on the couch with my favorite boys and relax.
Of course one of the boys didn’t feel much like cuddling and escaped to his new favorite hiding spot in the closet…can you spot him?
There he is! What a goof.
A little later in the day I was in the mood to bake, so I made these peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
They came out so well! That recipe is a keeper, and I’m sure you’ll see it pop up again now that I know how tasty those cookies are. Yum!
Later in the evening Fabio made me dinner (chicken parm – his specialty) and then we called it am early night.
Overall it was such a fantastic birthday weekend, and I couldn’t have asked for anything else!
Thank you also to my friends, family, and blog readers who wished me a happy birthday yesterday. I’m so thankful to have you all in my life!
Question of the day: When buying a card, do you usually go for sappy or funny?