This has been a particularly blessed week as I have been celebrating my birthday. Thursday was the official day to celebrate my 31 years but I've really had a whole week of cards, notes, phone calls, dinners out and surprise gifts. I'm convinced the best thing about birthdays is the chance to hear from all my favorite people in the world. Thursday morning my wonderful hubby woke me up with a Jamba Juice granola smoothie. My precious daughter greeted me with a very enunciated, very sincere version of the "Happy Birthday, Dear Mama" song.
Ericlee also surprised me with a huge package to open before he left for school. Meilani helped with the wrapping. (She doesn't care whose presents they are. She knows it's time to party.) The gift was a new professional set of pots and pans by Emeril Lagasse - that Food Network guy I love. My parents, Ericlee's parents, and my bro and sis-in-law all pitched in for this birthday gift. And let's just say these will probably benefit the whole family.
My parents treated us to a Chinese dinner at Joy Luck on Thursday night after track. Then Friday night Ericlee and I went out to a new Fresno restaurant called Gigi's Cucina Italiana. Using a special gift card from the basketball team, we indulged in an out-of-this-world Italian meal. It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to Italian food. (I guess you can say I'm spoiled.) This meal was fabulous. We started with this Caprese salad, including homemade cheese (!), fresh tomatoes, grilled eggplant and a balsamic vinaigrette. Then we moved on to Salmon ravioli with a Vodka and vanilla-infused sauce and Prosciutto & asparagus ravioli served with homemade foccocia bread.
The dessert was Chocolate hazelnut crepes with homemade hazelnut gelato. Out of this world. The presentation of the food was as decadent as the flavors. And contrary to our many other meals out this week, we felt full but not sick. Maybe it was all those fresh, local ingredients. A glass of Italian red wine topped off the meal. We felt like we were dining in Italy. Our waiter turned out to be a retired teacher-turned-marathon-runner. Go figure.
What a way to celebrate as I dance into the 30s decade!