Yes, it's true. I am tottering into antiquity. I turned the ripe old age of (gasp) 24 last month!
The Friday before my birthday, I was shocked/delighted by my coworkers, who had ordered me a vegan chocolate mousse cake from Nabolom Bakery in Berkeley!
I hadn't told anyone it was my birthday, and elaborate measures were taken to ensure that I would be surprised, which I certainly was! My coworkers all raved about how good it was (despite its "veganness"), and four people, including myself, went back for seconds!
The morning of my birthday, the wonderful JP surprised me with a mini muffin tin and two packages of mini muffin liners in red and white! The best surprises are always food related! (And JP seems to know this. Last year he got me a gorgeous white teapot!)
I also threw a small party in my shoebox sized apartment to celebrate. Amid one of my BFF's declarations that I "really don't understand the point of birthdays," I spent the whole day cooking for the party! (Don't worry, I spent the next day relaxing.) I made a small spread for party-goers, who were nice enough to bring lots of alcohol, including a bottle of vegan wine!
The only good-ish picture of me, with Nathan
I made Blueberry Spice Crumb Bars and Irish Whiskey Creme Kisses (Isa & Terry testers), Zimtsterne from Seitan Is My Motor (mine weren't as pretty as Mihl's!), Mushroom Pate from La Dolce Vegan (Sarah Kramer), Warm & Cheesy White Bean Dip from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan! (Dreena Burton), Butternut Squash Pumpkin Seed Rice Paper Rolls with Soy Dipping Sauce from Veganomicon (Isa Moskowitz and Terry Romero), and Save the Tuna Salad in tortilla wraps from Ani's Raw Kitchen (Ani Phyo). Kelly brought a variety of gorgeous bell peppers for dipping, and my friend Nathan brought chocolate peppermint cupcakes with peppermint frosting; the recipe is apparently from the New Farm Cookbook.
Kelly in her adorable dress; you can see the cupcakes in the lower corner!
The Save the Suna Salad wraps, spring rolls, sesame crackers, and Zimtsterne were all gluten-free as well as vegan, as one of our guests had a wheat allergy. My only complaint was the gluten-free tortillas I found at Whole Foods were not very flexible and hence did not roll well...in fact they split at the sides. But they were still good!
I have this really bad habit of trying out recipes that I've never made before for gatherings. The only exception this time was the warm & cheesy white bean dip, which I've made many times before and is always a crowd-pleaser. Still, I'm always happy with the way things turn out, and I haven't had any major disasters yet!
The best part was the cake, my god, the CAKE. I was lucky enough to have Melisser of Sugar Beat Sweets offer to make my birthday cake!! I requested the Apple Pie Cake, and she delivered! Every bite was filled with cinnamony appley goodness, and I LOVED the frosting! Consider that a testimonial, as normally I am not a frosting fan at all! There were hardly any leftovers, and what was left was happily nommed by my mom & dad the next day. Unfortunately I didn't think to get a picture before we cut it, but let me tell you, it was gorgeous. People (i.e., omnis) have been coming up to JP at school to say "I heard there was amazing cake at your girlfriend's birthday!" AND two people asked for recipes for food that I made! Mua ha ha ha! I love it!
The next day our parents came down to take me, Kell, and JP out for birthday lunch! We went to Herbivore down on Shattuck, where I had a delicious TLT (Tempeh, Lettuce, Tomato) with avocado and a tall glass of grapefruit juice. Then we headed back to my apartment, where we enjoyed leftover cake and cookies and I opened my presents, hurrah! One of which is my very own BLENDER! No it's not a Vita-Mix, can't afford one of those sadly, but me and my bright orange Kitchen-Aid are becoming fast friends. :) I've been making up for all the months without smoothies!
That night JP and I went to Millennium in San Francisco for the first time and died of food happiness. Seriously, some of the best food I've ever had, and wouldn't you know it, I brought my camera...sans memory card. ARRGH! That's what I get for actually uploading my photos. Next time!
Sadly I missed the pizza party due to being sick with THE PLAGUE (I'm still coughing almost two weeks later! TWO WEEKS!), but I heard it was fabulous and Kelly rocked the house at Rock Band. ;)
Thank you, coworkers, friends, family, and boyfriend, for making this the best birthday EVER!