Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Birthday Fun

I had a great birthday on Tuesday and enjoyed spending it with my sweetie. We had a fantastic day together running around and goofing off.

We slept in a little and took our time getting ready to leave the house. To hold us over until lunch we started with a small green smoothie (kale, frozen banana, walnuts, wheat germ, freshly ground flaxseeds, cinnamon, powdered ginger, water and a little stevia for Dan’s sweet tooth).

Before we headed out for some fun Dan gave me a few presents from him (not from the felines). Dan bought me some jewelry for my birthday and other things which included: 2 pair of earrings (period and citrine), a sapphire and blue topaz pendant, a necklace and my 7” Android tablet that he gave me last week. My friend Louis bought the latest generation of the Kindle because I don’t have enough electronic devices in my life. I made out like a bandit this year in case you didn't notice.

For lunch we headed downtown to the Milk and Honey Market for lunch. Doesn’t sound the least bit vegan does it? Don’t let the name fool you they had vegan options. We had no difficultly ordering vegan sandwiches. Steph had suggested the spicy tofu sandwich so we knew they had a least one vegan item on the menu and decided to give it a try.

Here is the interior of the place. The website shows the exterior if you are interested it is on Maryland Avenue at Read Street across from Kyro.

We had a couple of bottles of Pellegrino. Like usual we were splitting our food and ordered two sandwiches to try.

The first one had black bean hummus, guacamole, roasted peppers, and arugula on multigrain bread.

The second sandwich was spicy tofu, with arugula. I liked the flavor on the Mexican sandwich but preferred the texture on the tofu one. I think I would probably choose the tofu sandwich the next time but they were both good.

After we finished our quick bite we headed to pick up my birthday present from the fur children who bought me a Penguin. *happy dance* I have been giving hints about this left and right and thought for sure I wasn’t getting one because that Dan is quite the trickster. He kept telling me that I didn’t need one and I was convinced that I would have to buy it myself. However since I now have one you should expect to be seeing a lot of healthy fizzy drinks on the blog for a while, they will all be handmade, natural and low or no sugar of course. I am sure you know me well enough to realize that I am not buying sugary or artificially flavored syrups. ;-)

Next we stopped at our restaurant to find out who was working the dinner shift. Since Ian was there I headed into the kitchen to warn him that we were coming in because he likes advance notice. He didn’t seem to think that 3 hours was enough notice but he did forgive me.  Whew, dodged that bullet.  ;-)   However Ian didn’t have any tofu on hand so I offered to marinate some and bring it in to him to use in our dinner. When I got home I cut the tofu into 6 slabs and made a simple marinade of: juice from ½ lemon, 1 clove grated garlic, a little nutrition yeast, some oregano, black pepper, cayenne and powdered ginger plus a little water. Ian asked me to use a reasonably neutral marinade since he hadn’t decided what he was going to make. Give the short time the tofu was soaking I knew this combination will be fine.

When we got to the restaurant everyone seemed to know it was birthday. I usually get a lot of hugs but on Tuesday there were more than usual. It is nice to be so warmly received each time we come in especially since they see us so often.   I think they like having us around.  LOL

Fortunately Emily was working since I had my copy of “The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse” in my purse for her. Emily and I are similar so I know she will enjoy the book. I can’t wait to chat with her about it after she gets a chance to read it. Do you like to talk to friends about books that you read? Maybe we should do an on-line book club? Does anyone know if that sort of thing has been done and if it has did it work? If you have any suggestions on that I would love to hear them. BTW, I know I still owe you my review of that book and hope to have it up in a few days.

Since it is only one birthday once a year I thought I would start my dinner with little cocktail and asked Steph to surprise me with something. Are you starting to see the trend? ;-) She made me a prosecco cocktail that was infused with sage, had a splash of vodka and a touch of simple syrup. The aroma on that drink was excellent. I really liked the sage in this. You know that means there will be some sage showing up in things that I make with the Penguin right?

Ian made a nice vegan soup that was curried carrot with coconut milk. It was topped with cilantro and green onion and was very rich. I had a small cup and Dan had a bowl.

Our next dish was salad of grilled veggies that included the following: corn, tomato, asparagus, green onion, zucchini and baby arugula topped with crispy tortilla strips for crunch. Delicious! Honestly once I had the salad and soup I was pretty full but there was yet another dish.

The tofu was dressed with a ginger soy sauce and also contained snow peas, shitakes, onions and garlic. This was delicious but we were got full before we could finish it since Ian made us two plates. He always thinks we can eat more than we can. Dan was happy to have the leftovers for lunch on Wednesday. The tofu dish had the best flavor and the table next to us was ogling our tofu so we had to say we got the end of it since I knew Ian wouldn’t want everyone to BYOT (bringing their own tofu) to the restaurant.

Steph had made me a “special” dessert since it was my birthday. She marinated oranges in a tiny bit of simple syrup with cayenne and added a dash of HUM (a floral liquor). It isn’t in the picture but she brought us some apple bits and chocolate biscotti crumbs for texture. Slice almonds would have also been good but there weren’t any.

Since I was still in celebration mode I decided to end the meal with a double shot of decaf espresso with soy foam. Man did that taste good. I love the taste and smell of coffee but one of two a year is enough to satisfy my craving.  Can you tell I was in indulgence mode on Tuesday?

Overall it was a great birthday. We never got more than 4 miles from home, probably less, but that didn’t matter. I really can’t think of anything else I would have added to my day. Dan had a good time too and that always makes me happy.

Happy thoughts:

• What a good day I had! I am a very spoiled lady but I am not complaining. ;-) Dan and Louis both always go overboard for holidays and this one was no exception. I can’t decide what I am going to use the Penguin for first…maybe a healthy version of Orangina. So many options to choose from I don’t know where to start.

• I have been enjoying my 7” tablet (think small IPad) which Dan bought me to make it easier for me to stay connected around the house. It is in essence a big smart phone without the calling capability. It will be very useful when I get in the habit of carrying it around.

• It was fun to try out a new restaurant. We are lucky that everyone at the restaurant looks out for us and gives us suggestions for other places we might want to try for lunch. I would have never gone into that restaurant because the name wasn’t vegan friendly. The best part is that Dan can walk there from his office for lunch when he has time for a leisurely mid-day meal.

• Ian made us a delicious dinner on very short notice. We are very lucky to have him just around the corner. There are many days that having Ian has saved me when I haven’t planned. I guess this is another example of how spoiled I am…again I am not complaining. ;-)

• The day was predicted to rain all day and we only had a little intermittent rain which was a very nice surprise. Since the weather was mostly okay we took the opportunity to get in a little walk before and after lunch. We took some time to check out Mt. Vernon to see what other new businesses had cropped up. While we were there we also were looking at the architecture which both of us enjoy.

Signing Out:

It was much easier to have all day to write this post rather than to be rushing at the end of the day. I am definitely going to stay a day behind writing my blog posts. My intention is that having more time will result in better content at least that is my hope.

Do any of you have any experience with webinars? I want to look into what is involved in holding them and if you have any suggestions regarding which vendors to use (or to avoid) I would love to hear your thoughts.

I am very behind on everything in my life at the moment. If you have sent an email that I haven’t yet answered I apologize. I am hoping to have time tomorrow morning to respond to all my email. Please wish me luck as I am going to need it.

Talk to you again tomorrow. I hope you are having a fantastic week.


  1. All that food looks so yummy. And the jewelry...Lucky lucky lady!!!

  2. Happy, happy birthday! That first sandwich looks incredible. I will have to make a variation of it soon, but probably as a wrap. It sounds like a perfect lunch. Your cocktail looks incredible, too. I'm a sucker for prosecco. Anything dry and sparkling is my thing. And you've inspired me to replace the cannister on my SodaStream. I just use it for sparkling water, but I still love it to death.

  3. Wow, what great gifts! The jewelry is beautiful. The dinner and drinks sound absolutely delicious. I was going to try to make the watermelon salad you got at Ian's the other day ... can you give me any suggestions as to how it might have been made?

  4. I forgot to mention, too, that I've done online book clubs before, and they're really fun. I'd be interested!

  5. So glad you had a wonderful day. Please know I very much appreciate your efforts in sharing your recipes and research. Doing so is a significant time investment, I know. Thank you for doing what you do for our benefit so we can improve our lives. It's very gracious of you.

  6. happy late birthday Alicia! you will love your kindle:)

  7. Also I do like talking to people about books and would probably participate in an online book club, although I have no idea how they work.

  8. I'm so glad you had a nice birthday. Mine is on May 5, so ours are pretty close. I really enjoyed your post, and your blog is one for my favorites. :)


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