Today is my Papa’s (what we call my grandfather) birthday!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAPA!! Since his birthday is less than a week after my brother’s and mine, we tend to do a big family get together at some point in March. Tonight my cousins, aunts and uncles all came over to help us celebrate!
I swear, I never make a big deal out of my birthday. Half the time, I end up organizing a small get together and that is the extent of my celebration. I feel like I have been blogging about my birthday almost every day for the past week….oh wait I have. Today, I promise you will be the last post. DON’T FORGET YOU HAVE UNTIL 10PM, MONDAY MARCH 8 TO ENTER MY CHOBANI GIVEAWAY!
My dad’s brother and his wife came over with my papa around 4:30 for appetizers and cocktails. They brought Shrimp Cocktail, Fruit Salad, Bruschetta and Blue Corn Chips and Salsa. I have a minor obsession with blue corn chips so I had a few of those, and shrimp. According to my aunt, I had to try the Baguette with the Bruschetta and Asiago Cheese dip. I was NOT impressed. The bread was soft, mushy white bread, the “Asiago” tasted like ranch dressing and the bruschetta tasted like marinara sauce. And of course, I had some melon, strawberries and grapes to balance my savory. With the appetizers we had a clean and crisp Hermann J. Wiemer 2007 Chardonnay! I love wines from the Finger Lake Region, especially from the Wiemer Vineyard.
My mom planned a huge feast of steak marinated in red wine (two day’s I think, she is patient!), cognac sautéed mushrooms, garlic roasted potatoes, roasted carrots with dill and steamed asparagus. I usually have a hand in our dinner menu but I come from a family of picky eaters and mom ALWAYS knows best. The wine selection with dinner was Alamos 2007 Malbec.
For dessert we had cake!! And lots of it, 3 to be exact. My “traditional/conventional” grandfather had a boxed Duncan Hines German Chocolate Cake–frosting on the side of course, my “meat-and-potatoes-nothing-fancy” brother had a chocolate cake with chocolate butter cream frosting, and my “dessert loving-food-adventurist” self had a Marble Cake with a Whipped Cream and Strawberry Filling and Whipped Cream Icing. I would have gone with a chocolate cake but as I said we have a family of picky eaters, and three all chocolate cakes would have been a no-no. I have had this cake for my birthday almost every single year, and I would be a tease if I didn’t show you a picture of it:
Growing up I demanded the rose, and not much has changed. Luckily, in order to have the rose, you also get a GIGANTIC slice. But hey, it’s still my birthday, so you better believe I ate every last bite…with a few cups of decaf coffee. I always have to have black coffee with my desserts; I love the contrast of bitter and sweet. Once again I am overly full, but time with my family and good food is all worthwhile. Tomorrow is my last day at home, then the family and I are headed to NYC for some BIG EAST BASKETBALL!! GO SYRACUSE! This also means lots of Big City Bites, so keep checking back for some good eats!
To Birthday Weeks,
It seems to me that cake and birthdays go hand in hand. Would you rather have a traditional birthday cake, or another dessert to share with guests? What would it be?
**As previously stated, I am a bit “caked” out at this point, which prompted this question. Cakes are easy to serve for a crowd, not something you have every day, and delicious, but cake isn’t my favorite dessert in the world. Hmmm…what would I choose? Perhaps a small dense sliver of a decadent chocolate tart with a raspberry reduction, fresh berries and a LARGE scoop of mint ice cream. That sounds rich, and refreshing to me—and WAY too much thought was put into that decision.**