Do you think it's weird that my friends sang me "Feliz Navidad" on my birthday? Yeah, I guess it does sound weird. But it was really special to me.
Let me start from the beginning. Bob planned a surprise birthday party for me, and I never suspected a thing. One of my friends had to work in the afternoon and wouldn't be able to make it to my party, but she asked me if we could have breakfast together. I love cooking breakfast, so I was very excited to have her. I made these basic waffles courtesy of Alton Brown, using Ener-G for the eggs, soy milk + vinegar for the buttermilk, and oil for the melted butter. They're delicious, basic waffles that we have made before, and this time there was enough to freeze some leftovers. Also, since it was my birthday I decided to get fancy with the topping. I found this recipe for apple ginger syrup. It was very special. I know it doesn't look terribly special from the picture, but if you ever try the syrup you'll know what I mean.
Then, around lunchtime, Bob told me I had to leave so he could make me a cake. I thought he wanted the cake to be a surprise. So I went shopping, and when I came back everyone was there, and they broke into the aforementioned song (as is tradition on birthdays around here, for some reason), complete with Bob on guitar! And Bob didn't make the cake, but my friend Mary did. Pumpkin spice cake with Tofutti cream cheese frosting. Apparently the cake underwent some jostling in transit, but it was so tasty that no one even cared about the lopsidedness!
I think it was perhaps the best birthday I've ever had. Bob took me out to dinner later yesterday evening, but the cake was so rich that neither of us was extremely hungry so we split a salad and an entrée. There is a restaurant here in Athens called Farm 255, and it is 100% organic and mostly supplied from Athens farms. It's a really cool premise, so we wanted to try it out. "The" vegan entrée was roasted red potatoes, sautéed fancy mushrooms (I don't even know what kind they were), a baby greens and barley salad with a warm vinaigrette, and whole wheat bread with olive oil. After dinner we enjoyed a French press of organic, locally roasted coffee. All in all, it was a nice experience but we found the restaurant to be fairly overpriced and not as veg-friendly as it is touted to be.
Bob gave me a dessert decorating set, so now I will be making beautiful, artful cupcakes (but hopefully not too often). He also got me some vegan gummy bears and some chocolate-covered espresso beans. My goal is to make all these sweets last FOREVER. The best gift he gave me, though, was a 1-hour professional massage. That happened today, and it was pretty heavenly. Two of my friends gave me a gift certificate to The Grit (my old favorite restaurant), and they "wrapped" it in an empty Tofutti cream cheese container. How clever! I received a couple of other gifts too, and I felt very loved, which was the best gift!
Well, today we had to eat as well. I made a quick hummus for lunch--great on a whole wheat tortilla with spinach, sprouts, and cukes.
I was quite pleased with this particular variety of hummus, so I'll share the recipe with you at the end.
For dinner I made some gypsy soup that I have made before, except this time I used sweet potatoes instead of squash. It's a deliciously spicy and healthy pot of soup. Anyone else like to eat soup out of a mug?
Back to life as usual tomorrow. I shall see you all again soon!
Toasty Sesame Hummus
2 cups chickpeas
2 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 bunch green onions
Place all ingredients in a food processor and purée until smooth. Add water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, to smooth it out and reach a nice, "fluffy" consistency.