How lucky are we that we have Ryan’s birthday to celebrate so early in the year every year?!? Since his birthday also falls on Epiphany, it’s always a double celebration, as we have our last holiday meal of the festive season, too!
He picked chili for his birthday dinner last night, with all the fixin’s, plus fry bread, which everybody loves.
For his birthday cake, Ladybug and I tried a new recipe from The Ultimate Final Fantasy XIV Cookbook for a “Chocobo Cake” which I can assure you was made with no actual chocobos. It was a vanilla-cardamom cake soaked in a lemon syrup and filled with strawberries and topped with vanilla whipped cream. It was very delicious!
I always feel like we’ve gotten the year off to a good start once we’ve had a birthday celebration!
It’s hard to write about a celebration on a day like today, but regardless of what is going on in our country, today is Ryan’s birthday, and we still wanted to celebrate him, even though we spent most of the day glued to the news. So, while we watched in disbelief, I carried on with the special dinner I had planned for him, starting with setting the table. (At one point while I was preparing for our dinner, I yelled so loud at the TV that I almost shattered a glass!)
The meal included a standing rib roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans with almonds, Brussels sprouts, rolls, and spiced apple rings.
It was a nice meal, in spite of everything:
For dessert, he asked for Oreo truffles. Since I didn’t have a cake to decorate, I made a fancy display for them, which I was pretty happy with.
I even found a fun star-shaped sparkler (that’s what happens when you have an Epiphany birthday), to top the truffle tree:
It wasn’t the birthday celebration he wanted, but it certainly will be an unforgettable one.
We never did get around to making and decorating cut-out cookies this year (I think we’ll make that a Valentine’s Day activity!), but I thought it would be fun to take a look back at all of the holiday baking we did do, from Thanksgiving Eve through Epiphany.
16 Dozen Cookies (four different kinds):
11 Pies (a total of eight varieties):
Bûche de Noël:
Apple-Cranberry Bread Pudding:
Lussekattes for Santa Lucia Day:
Even without the cut-out cookies, this may have been the busiest year of baking yet…it was delicious fun!
Today is Ryan’s 40th birthday (and Epiphany), so of course I had to make a special dinner!
He hadn’t yet decided what he wanted for his birthday dinner when I ran across whole beef tenderloins on the cheap at Aldi, so I made an executive (chef’s) decision, and bought one, telling him he could choose what I would turn it into.
He picked Beef Wellington, which I’ve only made once before. I think I did an excellent job this time, from the trimming to the preparation, and the sides of mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds, asparagus, and sautéed mushrooms were the perfect accompaniment!
It really was a lovely dinner (if I do say so myself):
Ryan requested birthday pie for dessert, so I made the peanut butter pie that has been a new favorite this holiday season, and our family’s favorite s’mores pie. It’s hard to see, but the candles even “spell” out 40!
Thus endeth another season of festive meals. I’m both relieved and sad that I won’t have another fancy dinner to make for a while…as of now, the kitchen is closed!
Epiphany has always been a festive day in our house, because it’s Ryan’s birthday. But for the last few years, it’s been an extra big deal, because Epiphany is the biggest day of the year for the children’s choir. This year was a little different because the holiday fell on a Sunday, so instead of the usual evening Divine Service, Epiphany was observed as part of the regular Sunday morning Divine Service, and the adult choir sang with the children on Mendelssohn’s “There Shall a Star.” Ryan even got to be part of the trio in the first part!
There is always a reception after the Epiphany service, but it was different this year, because it was a brunch reception instead of an evening one. The ladies did a wonderful job of decorating the church basement and putting everything together! As for me, my annual contribution is baklava (my signature dish, apparently), and I added in a more brunch-appropriate coffee cake, as well.
We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon at home following the service. Ryan picked chili for his birthday dinner, and it made the house smell amazing for several hours!
He also picked a Guinness cake for dessert, which is definitely our family’s favorite!
So this Epiphany was a little different from normal, but all the basic elements were there…a church celebration and a birthday celebration. It’s a fun way to say goodbye to Christmas!
We had Ryan’s birthday dinner a day early today, so we got to have one last 12 Days of Christmas feast! Homemade fish tacos with shredded cabbage and a delicious white sauce, with a chocolate cake for dessert:
I’m always sad to see Christmas go, but at least we had one last chance to celebrate!