Michael's 24th Birthday

Michael had his 24th birthday this past weekend-slash-Monday, and I'd like to share. I will blog about our Friday evening in a bit. I must get a picture after I procure a model...

Saturday night we went out for drinks with Michelle and Corban at Gingerman. It was really busy, and we decided to move on. After drinks at our apartment, we went over to a mutual friend's housewarming party in Carrollton. It was a good time!

Sunday Michael chose his pre-birthday dinner: roasted potato and leek soup, crusty bread and Sprinkles red velvet cake cupcakes. What a menu! He looked through all of my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and decided on the soup. (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-potato-leek-soup-recipe/index.html) It had roasted potatoes, roasted leeks, arugula, creme fraiche, white wine and Gruyere. It was so completely subliminal, I thought it must have had several sticks of butter. But no butter went into the recipe! Also, I made the crispy shallots to go on top -- another simple but incredible outcome. Anyway, I made everyone jealous at work with my leftover soup. And did I relish that jealousy? Of course. I will definitely make it again. And again.

Earlier that day, we picked up his birthday present from my family at Williams-Sonoma, which I will write about soon, and while we were there, we grabbed a Sprinkles cupcake mix. Now, I am not one to endorse cake mixes, for obvious reasons. The icing was amazing, but the cake itself wasn't the best. It was really rather dry, and not intensely-flavored as I had originally thought it would be. They looked very cute, though. Also, the package said it made 12 cupcakes (more than enough for two people, for sure), and the batter amount could easily confuse a home baker into thinking it made 24. Usually, with cupcakes you only fill the wrapper 2/3 or even 1/2 full - you don't want spillage on the tin. There was a TON of batter to be used, but I stuffed it into the wrappers in the hopes they would come out decently. Maybe that contributed to the dryness? Either way, I have come to a final conclusion. We'll be sure to buy them from the actual store next time!

Now for the birthday present. THE birthday present. Michael decided we were in horrendous need of a set of "good knives." (Surely an idea placed in his head by the one-and-only Ina Garten.) So, he asked for the Wustof knives from Williams-Sonoma, and now they sit in the kitchen. I feel so chefy! Except for they're his, and I am only privileged with the use one of the knives under supervision. ;) I have a tendency to slice through my fingers with super sharp knives.
Finally, Monday was Michael's actual birthday, which means even more celebrating. I made him a nice medium rare steak, roasted root vegetables, roasted Parmesan and garlic broccoli, and crusty bread. Then, more birthday red velvet cake cupcakes. It was a wonderful birthday weekend according to the old man!

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