Happy Birthday to me!

Maddy bought me The Slanted Door cookbook for my birthday, and we adapted this recipe for my birthday dinner pork chops.  I didn't have any lemongrass so we substituted kaffir lime leaves.  Sophie had been grocery shopping with Ian (who disappeared into the wine section), and bought tamarind pods because "I know you use tamarind" even though they weren't on the list.  Sophie realized why I typically buy jarred tamarind paste after having to prep the pods.  This was the best pork I've ever made on the grill.  I bought some lemongrass the next day and will make this tomorrow night when Sophie gets home from her Hawaii trip.  Since I "use tamarind" I knew I would like the sauce--it's basically pad Thai sauce.   The combination with the flavors of the marinade was truly heavenly.

We grilled some eggplant and yellow squash and served with pesto, saving our carb allotment for birthday cake.

Scrap cake.

Scrap cake.

Maddy and Sophie pulled out all the stops, completed my birthday cake as requested.  They brought out this little cakewreck and "card" in a feeble attempt to make me think they had dropped the ball.  All that time spent mentoring them in the kitchen is truly paying off.   This cake, along with the scrap cake, disappeared in 48 hours.  I am older and wiser and totally comfortable asking for what I want instead of moping when people can't read my mind.  Next year is 5-0, and it's gonna be big--Maddy, Ian and Sophie, I'm looking at you.

The real deal.

The real deal.