Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Birthday to the "Other" guy in my life

It's Thatboy's birthday and I'm all ready for him! The banners have been hung and the balloons have been placed. I whipped up some pancakes for breakfast before he headed off to work. Armed, of course, with mini-chocolate pies baked in muffin tins for his co-workers. I mean, I have to keep up with my reputation of super-wife somehow!

At some point before we pack the car up for Thanksgiving he'll open his presents from Thatbaby and me. And when we finally get to Thatmom's house tonight there's going to be cake. Not a bad day overall. I only hope he has an easy day at work. After all, you only have a birthday once a year!

I spent pretty much the entire day in the kitchen yesterday dealing with almost-last-minute preparation for both Thanksgiving and his birthday. (Today I'll be doing the actual last minute prep). In addition to the mini-chocolate pies, I finished up with the ice cream. Every year at Thanksgiving Thatdad always made ice cream. Growing up, it was the only time we had homemade ice cream and it's always been one of my favorite parts of the holidays. So after he died, I took that role over. I even use the ice cream maker he always used when I was a kid. And we learned years ago that the oven gets the kitchen too hot for the ice cream to set up properly, so it's always made a day or two ahead of time. Monday I made the chocolate ice cream with the fleur de sel caramel swirl. Tuesday was all about the classic Thatdad ice cream, no matter how much he played around with the second flavor, he always made a vanilla ice cream with a fudge swirl.

I also made the fancy butter to go with the baking powder biscuits I'll be making today, and some homemade granola for snacking and breakfasts at Thatmom's house. And of course, even with all that prep, I still needed to make something for dinner. (And hit up the gym for a run!)

Not too long ago on my cooking message board someone asked for Trader Joes recommendations and I was reminded it had been a long time since I had relied on one of their simmer sauces - which are perfect for nights when you want something warm, delicious, quick AND easy. No small feat. I grabbed a curry simmer sauce, a chicken breast, and just about every vegetable I had on hand and got to work.

Trader Joe's Chicken and Veggie Curry
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 jar Trader Joe's Curry simmer sauce
3/4 cup water
1 chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 tomato, chopped
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 small onion, diced

  1. Boil sweet potato in a pot of water for 6 minutes.
  2. Heat the simmer sauce, water, and chicken chunks and cook for one minute.
  3. Add the carrot and onion and cook 3 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato and cook 2 minutes.
  5. Add the sweet potato, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.


  1. I love the homemade ice cream tradition!
    Happy Birthday, J!

  2. Aww happy birthday, ThatBoy! It sounds like you made it super awesome for him. You really are super-wife.

  3. Homemade ice cream! What an awesome tradition. And happy birthday to Thatboy. Hope he had a great day.

  4. I love the birthday tradition - during the most traditional month of year. Hope ThatBoy had a grand day and your Thanksgiving was filled with goodness.