Birthday Dinners for Melissa!

Eating at home and having someone else cook for me (all weekend!) is the best thing I could ask for, or be surprised with.  I just celebrated my birthday and had a glorious weekend with some incredible food; I ate very well and loved every bite of it.  On my birthday, we had dinner downtown at one of my favorite local restaurants – Mizuna.  My all-time “most thought about” appetizer is their lobster macaroni and cheese – it is heaven on a plate with silky rich, buttery and cheesy flavors that coat your mouth.  There is just enough lobster to enjoy a bit with almost every bite (we share one serving).  It’s one not to miss, ever.  Later, we strolled through the flower-packed Botanical Gardens where I got my flower fix; if only my backyard could look like that.  I received some beautiful birthday cards that touched my heart, along with some fun and thoughtful birthday gifts.  Thanks to all my family and friends for the love.  The next day, David made me a scrumptious breakfast and grilled up a memorable dinner later that evening.  For dinner, we enjoyed grilled marinated hanger steaks, grilled lobster tails, sautéed mushrooms and wilted spinach with caramelized shallots.  Thanks to my honey for cooking me such delicious food and for keeping the kitchen clean all weekend!

For an afternoon snack, we had roasted shrimp with a quick homemade cocktail sauce.  The shrimp is so easy to do in the oven, with my favorite technique of roasting.  Sure you could grill them but it was easier for me to use the oven.  I like the wild-caught, Key West pink shrimp (16 to 20 count per bag) available frozen at my local grocery store.  I prefer shrimp cocktails without the fuss of a shell so before roasting, I remove the shells and de-vein the shrimp.  They get tossed with some olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and then cooked in a 425 degree F oven until dark pink and slightly firm to the touch.  For extra flavor, we added lemon slices and some smashed garlic to the pan.  The cocktail sauce is super easy to make with ketchup (my favorite is organic because of the pure flavor and sweetness), horseradish sauce (David’s homemade), Worcestershire sauce, anchovy paste, capers, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  It has a nice sweet, hot and rich flavor that pairs well with the sweet shrimp.

As for those flowers, I never get tired of looking at them.  Especially when they are attached to food!  At the Botanic Gardens, we stopped by the eye-catching vegetable garden and found these happy chives – the flowers are edible too.  We snuck a bite of the chive and they taste so much better when fresh, with a light onion/scallion flavor.

Thanks for joining me on my blog journey.  I have had a blast so far.  Cheers to many more food adventures!  (Below: One of my favorite wines and perfect with steak – Petite Petit by Michael & David Winery.  I never lose my wine glass with this one!)    Eat well and share the love!

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10 responses to “Birthday Dinners for Melissa!

  1. Oh wow, those lobster tails, that shrimp! Happy birthday indeed!

  2. Cheryl Hogate Johns

    Happy Birthday Melissa! Looks like you had a wonderful meal. When I recommend the Petite Petit to customers I tell the story of how this is “our” wine. Thanks for sharing your love of food with the rest of us.

  3. Love your wine glass! The food looks amazing and what a wonderful gift of David cooking for you.

  4. I am so glad that you had a wonderful birthday. Everything looks so delicious and I absolutely love your wine glass. If you are not too busy this week I would love to give you a call. 🙂

  5. Fabulous photos, great post! Glad you had a wonderful, foodie-ful birthday weekend.

  6. Happy Birthday Melissa.

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