Happy Birthday to Me!5/18/2017 07:57:00 AM
Well hello there! It's certainly been a busy few weeks here in the world of Sarah - the last week of April was full of my birthday celebrations, and we've just finished two rather epic weekends in a row celebrating my dad's 70th birthday. Phew! It's been so fun but super exhausting. Things have finally settled down a little bit and now I've got some time to blog - hooray! So for today I want to tell you all about my birthday celebrations this year!
As you may know, I prefer to do a few small events with different friends, rather than one big party - smaller groups are much easier and you get to talk to everyone properly. Let's take a look!
The week before my birthday, we took advantage of the Anzac Day public holiday to have some friends over for a lunch at home. We made a roast pork loin with crackling, The Food Lab's incredible hasselback potato gratin, and a green salad with pear and toasted walnuts.
|Roast Pork Loin|
|Hasselback Potato Gratin|
Dessert was a huge plate of cookies! David Lebovitz' salted butter choc chip cookies and Dorie Greenspan's world peace cookies. Plus some rich dark chocolate truffles to go with coffee.
|Cookies and chocolate truffles|
So yum, such fun! Yay!
Of course, I had to get my complimentary Nando's birthday meal! (FYI you only get a small chips with the free meal; I paid to upsize because chips are life!)
The Friday before my birthday, I had birthday drinks and dinner at Belleville (Globe Alley, Melbourne VIC 3000). I'd been there before (on an invite) and really liked it, and have popped in a few times since then for sneaky after-work cocktails and delicious poutine. It was a good choice! The food was tasty, and they were great with the group booking (10 people). They were able to accommodate a couple of number changes at late notice, and they kindly let us split the bill at the end of the night. Thanks guys!
|Drinks and dinner at Belleville|
The next night, we hosted my annual slumber party. You know the drill, a group of girlfriends, comfy clothes, lots of food and drinks. This year I went for an American comfort food theme - vegetarian chilli (Nigella's recipe from Feast), buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing and celery, baked potatoes and corn chips, with sides of salsa, guacamole, grated cheese, sour cream and chives. The recipes all worked really well, but I was surprised by how popular the buffalo wings were! (Assisted in no small part by our viewing of BD Wong's guide to eat chicken wings - he's so awesome). I hadn't made buffalo wings since the first time, six years ago, but I've already made them twice more since the party. Can't get enough! (Check out my buffalo wing recipe here).
And for dessert, I made that cocoa sour cream layer cake with chocolate cheesecake icing, and raspberry whipped cream that I told you about in my April Unblogged Files. I was so pleased with how the cake turned out, especially the super stable raspberry whipped cream. I'll share the recipe with you soon! (I also did a gluten-free lemon slice for my coeliac friend Jess - yum!)
|Cocoa sour cream cake with chocolate cheesecake icing and raspberry whipped cream|
My actual birthday was a Sunday. It was a super lazy, chill day! Perfect. I made some waffles for breakfast. They were the waffles from The Food Lab, which I served with more of that stable raspberry whipped cream, raspberries (both fresh and freeze dried), butter, maple syrup, icing sugar, and a big pot of coffee.
As is my family's usual tradition, we went out for a special birthday meal for dinner. This year it was at Entrecôte (131-133 Domain Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141), for a classic French meal of steak frites. I'd never been to the South Yarra branch, and I'm happy to say the service was great and the food was excellent! They do what they do very well. The escargots and profiteroles were also *mwah*. (Mimes kissing gesture).
|Steak Frites - Entrecôte's signature dish of grilled pasture fed Cape Grim 250g Angus Porterhouse, frites, sauce Maison au beurre et aux herbes,with soft leaves salad, radish, walnuts, Dijon vinaigrette - $44.90|
|Profteroles de chocolat - our vanilla bean ice cream, sauce au chocolat chaud, cocoa nibs & pearls - $17.90|
I sneakily stretched out the birthday celebrations a little further the next day, with my customary (second) breakfast of donut and coffee with my buddy James at Shortstop (12 Sutherland St, Melbourne VIC 3000). The simple cinnamon, cardamom and sugar is my favourite!
|Shortstop coffee and donuts|
And for lunch, my buddy Adam and I went to Tim Ho Wan (206 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000). We'd tried to come here last year but the queues were too long for us to do in a lunch break. Luckily the queues seem to have calmed down since then, and we were able to walk in straight away! Woo-hoo! We ordered a bunch of things and were really impressed. Of course, the signature pork buns were excellent, but we also liked the century egg congee, the har gow (prawn dumplings) and the chee chong fan (prawn in rice noodle roll). Definitely want to go back!
|Tim Ho Wan|
And finally, I wanted to show you some of the gorgeous gifts I was lucky enough to receive. Flatlay skills! There were cute flamingo accessories, sparkling wine, flowers, cherry earrings, fragrance, a candle, goodies from Burt's Bees, Mecca vouchers, Lost Highway on DVD (scary!) and some gorgeous plates. Not pictured: tickets to a Good Beer Week dinner, a massage voucher (I used that one immediately), and a weekend away! Feeling very loved and lucky!
Are birthdays a big deal for you? Do you like to do one big celebration? Or drag it out as long as you can? Do you have any fun birthday traditions with your friends or family?