So far, all my birthday presents this year have been hand-crafted. That or cookbooks. Which really amounts to the same thing. Cookbooks just perpetuate the cycle of giving and getting homemade. Here are a few things I got:
A felted birdie by my friend ew. Look at it's cute little hat!!
A beautiful necklace with a rhinestone and pounded metal by Amy Bixby, bought at Venue.
Not pictured presents include a shiny silver necklace with an orange glass bead by Laura Bee; A felted pouch with an A on it, complete with felted bacon, eggs, birthday cake and eggplant made by my friend kw; An apron with blue and green prints of birds by KIM (very needed and very cute); a black clay bowl with red paint on the inside from From The Heart Pottery; a painted calabash bought and made in Saint Martin's; caramel brownies and sweet home-made cards.
I had a great two-day birthday. The first day (birthday eve, shall we say?) my friends at work spoiled me with sweets and presents and lunch. In the evening more friends of mine met me for dinner and a concert. The night was complete with many slips and slides in the snow. As I posted earlier, on my birthday I walked in the snow. It was so fresh and bright and beautiful. My family took me to Divine for dinner. A high class Greek restaurant where every flavor blends perfectly in every dish. We sat in a private room upstairs that felt like someones dining room with big burning candles and window drapes. My mom ordered a rosemary martini-simply sprigs of Rosemary in vodka. It was oily and herby and went well with her roasted lamb. My favorite dish was the salty, savory Arugula-Calamari salad. Mmm. I was grateful that everyone could make it out in this surprising Seattle snow storm.
My cookbook gifts are:
Ina Garten's new Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics and Tom Kime's Street Food. Surely I will be showing you yummy and inspiring foods from both these books in the weeks to come.
'Tis the season for giving, too, n'est-ce pas? This year I've made (with the help of my new choclatier Dad)......drumroll.......plug your ears if you expect to receive a present from me.....Chocolate Bark!!!
Not any old Chocolate Bark, no. I used three different types of chocolate and the chocolate was tempered like you would the couverture of a truffle. It is crispy and crunchy and perfectly shiny! The dark chocolate was a 55% semi-sweet that I added toasted Macadamia nuts and bittersweet chocolate chips to. To the milk chocolate I added dark chocolate nibs and dried cranberries, little crunchy bits of bitter chocolate contrasted the squishy bitter cranberry in texture and complimented it in taste. Of course, with the white chocolate I made the Ole' standby peppermint bark. The most crunchy and seasonal of them all. All chocolates were Calebout. I layered them from dark to light and wrapped them in cellophane with a bow. Simple and decadent, just how it should be.