Birthday Love

I’m often awed by the ease with which my husband expresses his love for me. Take for instance the dreaded birthday. The older I get, the less I look forward to the next one. Maybe it’s because I still feel like I’m 22 and not forty-two. 

Birthdays are a big deal in the Guapo family while in the Blossom clan, they are celebrated with much less fanfare. I mean, we Blossoms do it up with lots of food but we aren’t a demonstrative people in general. Our parties seem a bit lackluster in comparison to those the Guapos throw. 

And so for the first time in my life, there was a big to-do about mine. Mini-Guapo, who is eight years old, was excited about it all day, or so his teacher told us at school pickup. The fact that he and his older brother were so thrilled about someone else’s birthday really touched my weepy little heart. I love my guapo and bear cubs and am the luckiest stepmom I know. ❤️

A dozen red roses, delicious roast chicken, a mound of rice and beans, Guapo’s beloved tostones, and my three smiling men made up our family celebration. Not to mention the utterly delectable Circo’s chocolate mousse cake with the words, “Happy birthday, Panda” (my husband’s pet name for me) emblazoned across the top in pink icing.   

Best. Birthday. Ever. 😍 


Love and Roast Chicken

It’s funny how much better food tastes when you’re in love. Yeah, you read that right:  I’m in love.  He’s kind, generous, loving, handsome, and best of all, he loves me too.  *cue singing woodland animals and rainbow-farting unicorns*  I adore spending time with this man. He inspired me to go running while we were still in the flirting stage. And I mean running in the park, not running after the ice cream truck. I even stopped to take a picture at the park to prove to Facebook that I actually ran:

I wanted to write about the restaurant where we had our first date but for once, I neglected to take any food pictures; I was too busy looking into his big brown eyes and trying not to appear awkward or crazy. So instead, I give you a quick post about the first meal I cooked for he who shall henceforth be known as Guapo. 

Roast chicken: 

I packed the space under the breast skin with butter, garlic, chopped parsley and thyme. The cavity and exterior got the same mixture with some added minced leek and olive oil.

Roasted red potatoes:

I went with an easy olive oil, butter, sea salt and ground pepper for the potatoes. 

Green beans with pancetta:I asked Guapo to blanch and drain the string beans while I chopped up the pancetta. Fried the pancetta up and tossed the beans in the rendered fat along with a little ground black pepper and congratulated myself on being fake-fancy.Too bad I didn’t know he is not a string bean fan! 

And two different créme brûlées, vanilla-orange (not pictured) and Earl Grey:

Surprisingly, the Earl Grey créme brûlée, which we’d both been looking forward to tasting because of our mutual love of Star Trek: TNG, was an experimental dud. One-dimensional, slightly bitter and flavorless, I kept waiting for the bergamot flavor to show itself but it never did. In other words, blech. Captain Picard would never have approved. 

The vanilla-orange one, on the other hand, was bright with citrus flavor and warm with vanilla. 

There was wine, lots of talking and flirting. And falling in love. I adore this man.