What A Happy Birthday It Was For Me!

My birthday week was a very enjoyable one, especially food wise. Thanks to everyone for celebrating with me and showing your love. 25 is already off to a rock star start!

Breakfast started with this warm, chocolatey bowl of oats chock full of healthy peanut butter and berries. It hit the spot and it’s a great detox from the weekend.

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I love eggs many different styles, but I’m best at making over easy. I’ve really mastered the gentle flipping that was once an area of contention. Buttered and jellied toast with a heaping bowl of fruit is a perfect accompaniment.

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My pancakes are still my favorite. These were stuffed with blueberries, which was a nice touch. Peanut butter, jelly, and toasted coconut make it that much sweeter.

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This was an experimental bowl of oats. I stirred in chopped apple, cinnamon, raspberries, and white chocolate peanut butter. Delicious!

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To kick off the big birthday weekend, my mom poached me two eggs over buttered toast. Poached are my favorite, but I’ve yet to master such an art. Fruit salad was enjoyed on the side.

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Saturday’s breakfast of choice was some pumpkin French toast topped with the usual. Crunchy and fluffy all at once.

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My actual birthday breakfast was eaten out at a restaurant with my college friends. I went with two eggs over easy, whole wheat toast, bacon, and some home fries. The sun has made this picture a little wonky, but it’s November and we sat outside to eat, so I can’t complain!

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This tuna melt kicked off my lunches. Tuna is a recent addition to my diet because I do not like mayo and I’ve always associated tuna with mayo and didn’t know what to do with it otherwise. Cue the hummus! I toss tuna, hummus, mustard, cayenne, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes all together. This was served with pepperjack cheese on sour dough toast, pepper, and carrot sticks. Melty goodness!

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This next lunch was an assortment of leftovers. We have whole wheat spaghetti, steak tips, and peppers. Excellent!

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Tis the season for soup! This kind was hamburger and vegetable with a side of toast. Such a nice, warm dish after finishing swimming laps and being left with cold, wet hair.

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More leftovers in the form of veggies. Green beans, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and peppers were stir fried with salmon, whole wheat bow tie pasta, and mixed in peanut thai sauce. So good!

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This salad had a variety of interesting flavors. Leftover steak, a chopped up pepper stick cheesestick, pepper, tomato, and barbecue sauce with a slight spritz of Italian dressing.

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After a nice long run and before the night’s celebratory events, I heated up a piece of leftover pizza, chopped up some color with all these veggies, and swirled in some pomegranate seeds into a cup of plain Greek yogurt. This yogurt combination is my new favorite and I’m going to cry when pomegranates go out of season. It’s worth the difficult task of picking out the seeds.

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Lunch and dinner was one in the same on Sunday, so I will save the best for last.

My first dinner of the week was a steak fajita salad served with a couple of tostito chips. I topped mine with corn, peppers, shredded cheese, and a dash of sour cream. Green beans added an extra nutritional punch.

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This salmon was blackened to goodness and came with roasted Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and a mixture of wild and brown rice.

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I made these baked sweet potato fries at a cost to my thumb. I learned that, when prompted, I can chop with one hand while stifling any bleeding on the other. Thankfully it was just a slight slice, but it was a bit of a shock. To heal, the fries came with a grilled chicken spinach salad with poppyseed dressing, cucumber, pepper, and a side of grilled zucchini.

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We had a very special dinner on Thursday with some special guests and my mom grilled up these steaks with baked potatoes, and broccoli. My contribution to the night was a fresh salad that was unfortunately not pictured.

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On Friday, I kicked off my birthday dinners with a night at UNOs with my friend Molly. I indulged a bit with my choice of deep dish pizza, but chose a medley of peppers, spinach, and mushrooms as my topping. The night ended with a cup of my favorite peanut butter cookies and cream ice cream.

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Saturday night, the core four from college, got together for some Italian. This chicken parm was huge, so I shared half of it with Erin and Stephanie, since taking leftovers home was not an option. The pasta was fresh and homemade and paired well with the red wine we consumed.

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My Sunday afternoon lunch/dinner was a terrific feast created by my mom in honor of both my sister and my birthdays. Every year, I remind her that I was the greatest gift she could have asked for on her third birthday. My mom served baked chicken topped with a cranberry glaze along with stuffing, roast potatoes, green beans, Brussels sprouts, and squash. Not only was the food divine, but I was fortunate to spend the day with some of my favorite people in the world. It was in their presence that I understand how truly blessed I am.

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My birthday week, as it always does, had to come to an end eventually. Thankfully, it ended on the sweet side with this incredible homemade ice cream cake my mom concocted. Picture this: an Oreo crust, mocha almond ice cream, a layer of crushed Oreos, coffee ice cream, hot fudge, and a swirl of marshmallow. I knew it was coming so I saved room for a nice big piece!

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For the record, this was one of the cakes in its entirety, not my serving!

Here’s to another great week of food!

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