Monday, June 04, 2007

The best birthday ever?

Yesterday Bob turned 23, which means he caught up with me in age. Hee hee. For Bob, it was a relaxed, lazy day, followed by an evening to remember. For me, it was a day to cook and cook and cook... but I was happy to do it.

I made Bob's favorite breakfast--pancakes. I used my basic recipe for nut and grain pancakes, adapting it to include whole spelt flour. For the strawberry topping, I just cooked down about 2 cups of frozen strawberries, along with a tablespoon of sugar and about a teaspoon of cinnamon, and adding a bit of cornstarch to thicken it up.


Lunch was mostly Bob's doing--he's the pizza guy around here. We had some frozen pizza dough which didn't thaw out very well, so instead of a pizza we decided to make a calzone--who cares if a calzone looks sloppy? We filled it with marinara sauce, mushrooms, shredded spinach and fresh basil, and a quick tofu ricotta. And of course, some extra marinara sauce for dipping is always a must!


In the evening Bob's friends came over for... I hesitate to call it a "party" because we really didn't party that much. So let's just call it an "affair." Anyway, this affair included...


Three dozen cupcakes! Whew! I baked all day long. I told Bob to flip through Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and pick out ANY three recipes that he wanted--so he chose the Pistachio Rosewater Cupcakes, the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes, and the Toasted Coconut Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream Frosting. Here is the cupcake gallery:





Thirty-six cupcakes may sound like an awful lot, but it was a good call--by the time it was all said and done, we had four left! Bob's favorite, by a landslide, were the Mexican Hot Chocolate variety, and I would have to say that I agree (though I only had a bite of each one). They were so delicate and tender, and the complex flavors balanced each other quite well. I appreciated the simple topping, a dusting of powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. As far as presentation, Bob preferred the Toasted Coconut Cupcakes. You have to admit, they are cute as a button.

Bob recently met another vegan at work--a girl named Vesna. He invited her to come last night, too--and come she did, bearing vegan gifts! She made a chocolate tofu cheesecake, beautifully garnished with almonds and orange slices.


This dessert was quite rich, but perfectly delicious.


She also brought a vegetable spread called satarash. She is from eastern Europe, and this is a Hungarian dish that she picked up along the way. She told me how to make it, and I certainly plan to try it out soon--it's delicious! At the party I had it with baked tortilla chips. The ingredients included eggplant, green peppers, onions, tofu, and tomato sauce, as best I can remember. It was seasoned very well--I will have to play around with it when I try to make it.


After the party broke up, Bob and I walked downtown with Vesna to meet three guys who were supposed to be staying with her last night. They were traveling through Athens on their way home to Gainesville, Florida... and they're a folk/bluegrass band with an acoustic guitar, an acoustic bass, and a banjo. We sat on the street downtown and listened to them play, and I had such a wonderful time that I could have just sat there all night. Bob brought his guitar and played some Pixies for us too, and we all really enjoyed it. It was about 1:30 when we finally got in last night, but Bob and I agreed that it couldn't have been a more perfect ending to the day. Bob said it may have been his best birthday celebration ever.

19 comments:

Ellie P. said...

Those cupcakes are beautiful! It sounds like an absolutely wonderful day. :)

Johanna3 said...

Happy Birthday to your husband!

the cupcakes looks incredible, what a great job you do!

theONLYtania said...

The pancakes look great.. lucky Bob!
And my goodness, I can't believe how good your cupcakes look! That's amazing!
Always making good stuff :-)
By the way your last entry looks excellent. I love 3-bean salad! And I may just make some ice cream sandwiches soon...

laura jesser said...

Ellie, thanks! It really was a wonderful day.

Johanna, aww, thanks! It was such fun.

Tania, always making good stuff could be applied to you as well, you know! I highly recommend the three bean salad AND the sammich!!

Courtney said...

Everything looks lovely--I am sure you made a very special day for your husband! I am glad you enjoyed yourself as well!

Courtney

Vivacious Vegan said...

If I had someone bake me 3 different cupcakes of my choosing I'd definitely have to call it my best birthday ever also! Bob's a lucky man.

Vesna's dishes sound like a wonderful addition to your soire. I love listening to live music - especialy that up close and personal. What a great new friend. She sounds like a keeper. :)

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

you are a cupcake diva! wow, and they all look perfect. nice job!

and so thoughtful of you to make all the varieties he wanted to try!

maybepigscanfly said...

You could come to my house and make me pancakes any day. They look great, especially with the strawberry topping. The calzone looks yummy- did you make the dough yourself? How cool to make a new vegan friend, especially one who brings you new vegan food. That was so sweet of you to do all of that for Bob. I bet it was a great birthday for him.

-Teresa

springsandwells said...

Oh such a nice story... It's great to hear that Bob had such a nice birthday!

Fun to see all the cupcakes. Those Mexican Hot Chocolate cupcakes have been looking at me lately too...

:) amey

laura jesser said...

Courtney, thanks!

Crystal, my new friend is definitely a keeper--I only wish I had met her earlier!

DGMGV, hee hee. Thanks! Now I really need to focus on being a vegetable diva, though!

Teresa, Bob makes all our pizza dough. He used the recipe in VWaV for this batch...

Amey, I'd totally recommend those cupcakes to you... they're light and not too rich, and have a very interesting texture. If ever a cupcake was aptly named after a beverage, this is the one!

scottishvegan said...

Happy belated Birthday to Bob! What a lucky boy he is having you to make all those cakes for him! They all look gorgeous…especially the Pistachio Rosewater ones. Sounds like a great “affair” too :) I just read your post about your trip too…wow! Sounds like you did an awesome job of feeding all those people…and you only spent half the budget?! Great job!

Anonymous said...

Everything looks wonderful! Congrats on the Masters Degree, too! I'm located here now:
http://harmonia.wordpress.com
HARMONIA
Have a great day!

laura jesser said...

Scottish vegan, thanks! I agree that the pistachio rosewater cakes are quite elegant. Bob's get-together was fun, but I think he enjoyed it more than I did--I'm not so into huge crowds of people!

Harmonia, thanks for dropping in! I don't see you around much anymore...

aTxVegn said...

You did a fabulous job on Bob's birthday dinner, esp. those cupcakes!

Dori said...

Sweet, I have to say lucky Bob too as well as HAPPY BIRTHDAY to him. Oh 23, I went through this age about 14 years ago, it's not so bad you'll make it :). The breakfast reminds me of the waffles I like to make each year for Ne Years Day, topped with some bulky strawberries like your pancakes.

Kati said...

Happy Birthday to Bob! It looks and sounds like a great day of celebration...and all those cupcakes! You're awesome! I especially like the decoration of the toasted coconut variety, but, of course, I would have had to try one of each if I were there. ;)

Guinevere said...

Making cupcakes instead of a cake for a birthday celebration is a fabulous idea. Your cupcakes certainly look amazing - especially the Mexican Hot Chocolate ones.

bazu said...

Happy birthday, Bob! And Laura, congratulations, you are no longer a cradle-robber! Hee hee. Just kidding. I love all the food, but the pictures of your cupcakes are so artful and dramatic. I love the light/shade contrast. I too recently baked the mexican hot chocolate ones- aren't they fabulous?

Neva Vegan said...

Hey, he has the same birthday as I do! I've got to find a better way to keep track of blogs because I haven't checked yours in a while and look at all I missed! It really does look like the best birthday ever. Thanks for your previous compliment on my profile picture--it's some artwork I did by cutting bits of colored paper and putting them together and covering with clear acrylic. I know that's hard to explain--it's something I love to do though.