I often joke that my birthday is always disappointing. Except it's not really a joke. Take my 16th birthday, when my parents both went out and bought themselves new cars - which I wasn't allowed to drive, because they were new. Or my 21st birthday, when no one came to my party because it was the weekend before finals week. Or my 30th birthday, when I got laid off and we lost a house we were buying just days earlier.
When Thatboy asked what I wanted to do for my birthday this year I told him we probably shouldn't plan anything, because it never works out. But, like he does every year, Thatboy tries to make my birthday special. He told me to cancel all my plans for my birthday weekend. He had something planned.
When he found out his dad was dying, one of the things that made Thatboy hesitate to head up was the fact he would miss my birthday. But I convinced him that in the upcoming weeks he would regret not spending time with his father far more than he would regret missing my birthday. Beside, I'm used to my birthday sucking.
So we cancelled all of Thatboy's super secret birthday plans - the surprise dinner with L&O, the surprise wine-tasting trip, the surprise movie at the "grown up theater."
Instead, I was awoke at 4:40am the morning of my birthday by Thatbaby. I was able to get him back to sleep, but only till 6:30.
Even though he was far away, Thatboy still managed a surprise. While I was putting Thatbaby down for a nap, I got a text from both him and The Pirates letting me know there was a treat waiting for me outside the front door. Frozen yogurt from the three of them, and flowers and a gift certificate from a nail salon from The Pirates.
When Thatbaby awoke, we got ready for Jurisbaby's birthday party and headed out. How adorable are these little blondies?
Thatbaby saw that Jurisbaby wasn't wearing any shoes or socks and he immediately had to follow suit. The only birthday plan I didn't cancel was my birthday dinner with Thatmom, Thatbrother, and UDubb. We were supposed to meet at 5, but they ended up running a little bit late, so Thatbaby and I entertained ourselves at the Splash Park that's part of the same shopping center as the restaurant.
It was Thatbaby's first time playing in the water here. He wasn't mobile enough last year, and it's been too cold up till recently. He loved it. As you can clearly see.
Unfortunately, this meant I had a very wet baby at dinner. But a wet, happy, baby, and that's really what matters, right? Dinner with my family was very nice. I always enjoy being with them, and the new restaurant we tried is great. I'm thrilled it's good, close, AND has a happy hour.
In general it was a pretty good day, just a lousy birthday! Since we went out, and I didn't cook, I will instead share an archive recipe with you. Something that definitely won't disappoint. You won't feel sad or unfilled. And there's nothing to bemoan. Instead this simple and hearty dish will leave you satisfied and full. Warm and comforted.
Garbanzos and Smoked Sausage (from Adventures in My Kitchen)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 12 oz. smoked turkey sausage, sliced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
- 1 Tbsp capers
- 2 Tbsp white vinegar
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 roma tomatoes peeled, seeded and diced
- Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and brown on both sides. Remove sausage from pan and set aside.
- Add pepper, onion and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are transluscent (about 5 minutes).
- Add cilantro, stir and allow to cook 1 minute.
- Add capers, vinegar, beans, tomato sauce, chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add sausage to pan, stir and allow to simmer an additional 10-15 minutes.