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27 Years Young

Birthday celebrations are great even for a Monday!  I had a full weekend of celebrating before my actual day of more celebrating.

SATURDAY:

College football and homemade pancakes and sausage followed by driving to Puyallup for pumpkin picking, roasted corn, and a race through a corn maze (came in 2nd).  We headed back for a sore Michigan loss before resuming fall-filled Saturday.  Fifteen friends came over to our house for Polly’s chili, Bryan’s chocolate cake with peanut butter cream cheese frosting (so good I have eaten 4 slices since), a scary movie, pumpkin carving, and roasted pumpkin seeds.  It was such a blast and I had a great time with my friends.

Working hard
Working hard
Getting closer
Getting closer
The beautiful one in the middle.
The beautiful one in the middle.

SUNDAY:

Church with Bryan.  Camion tacos before attending our first ever Seahawks game.  Though our seats were in the upper deck we were right on the 50 yard line and we had a great time making a small dent in the crazy loudness of Centurylink Field in our new Seahawks apparel and watching an actually pretty close and good game.  We won!  Headed home with takeout from that new Tom Douglas takeaway called Home Remedy that we both absolutely love now.  I tried a variety of salads from the salad bar (including kale caesar, spiced yogurt carrots, marinated mushrooms, roasted eggplant, and curried cauliflower…everything so yum), and a pastrami sandwich made from above for Bryan.  We watched FIVE episodes of Breaking Bad to finally finish the series off.  Oh, we already miss it!  Two more slices of birthday cake for me.1013131326

MONDAY:

Work greeted me with a box of Einstein Brothers Bagels and cream cheese.  After work Polly and I got mani/pedis (brown nails and dark, dark red toenails for me) and she gifted me a Seattle Restaurant Cookbook which is so exciting.

Beautiful chocolate brown nails.
Beautiful chocolate brown nails.

I then set off for dinner with the boy at Staple and Fancy Mercantile in Ballard.  He brought me a HUGE bouquet of red roses and stargazer lillies that was so, so beautiful.  I really tried to get a reservation last year for this venue but it fills up the quickest of any of the Restaurant Week restaurants.  For the Restaurant Week menu we had the following:

Appetizers

For the table: (everyone receives ALL of these items served to the table)

  • Butternut squash soup, fried sage
  • Duck liver pate crostini (the only thing I did not like, and I really tried to like it)
  • House made mozzarella, anchovy oil
  • Baby beet, avocado, radish, watercress
  • Sliced speck, pear mostarda
    Butternut squash soup with fried sage.
    Butternut squash soup with fried sage.
    Duck Liver pate crostini.
    Duck Liver pate crostini.
    Speck with pear mostarda.
    Speck with pear mostarda.
    Housemade mozzarella.
    Housemade mozzarella.

    Beets and watercress.
    Beets and watercress.

Entrées

Bryan and I shared (extremely loosely):

  • Bucatini Amatriciana, guanciale, tomato, pecorino Romano (his)
  • Braised pork cheeks, parsnip purée, bacon, Brussels sprouts (hers)
    Bucatini Amatriciana for Bryan.
    Bucatini Amatriciana for Bryan.

    OMG...braised pork cheeks so tender over a parsnip puree with bacon brussel sprouts.
    OMG…braised pork cheeks so tender over a parsnip puree with bacon brussel sprouts.

Desserts

Bryan and I shared (loosely):

  • Gianduja terrine, blackberry coulie, gianduja gelato (hers with birthday candle)
  • Upside down plum cake, coconut rum gelato (his)
    Plum upside down cake with coconut rum gelato.
    Plum upside down cake with coconut rum gelato.

    Chocolate hazelnut terrine with chocolate hazelnut gelato.
    Chocolate hazelnut terrine with chocolate hazelnut gelato.

Everything was absolutely delicious but I was completely won over by the roasted beets with the avocado dressing, the butternut squash soup, those incredibly tender pork cheeks, buttery parsnip puree and those brussel sprouts, and that dessert was unearthly, somehow being both smooth and crunchy with my favorite flavor combination of chocolate and nuts and delicious gelato to top it off with.  We also ordered a half bottle of Chianti wine that actually came in a half bottle and was great.  Our service was great and the ambiance of the restaurant was really nice…we even sat really close to the open kitchen = love.  And speaking of kitchens, Bryan’s gift to me (on top of everything else) is a cooking course of my choosing to support me in my endeavors.  I’m so excited!!!

Here’s to 27!!!

Chelsea

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