Flowers and Chocolate

My first birthday gift was the Magnolia tree the Lord arranged to be planted in my yard years ago BURSTING into bloom just in time to gather an arrangement for my buffet.

I have always loved these trees, which I have known as Tulip Trees. I am amazed and blessed that I  now have one in my own yard – and it’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen. I never knew they were so fragrant until I brought them indoors. Within just a few hours I was overwhelmed by the lovely fragrance and had to move them to the porch. I replaced them with a big bouquet of daffodils and my first red tulip. It is a special blessing that I thank God for that my yard has produced enough flowers for me to have a bouquet on my buffet every day so far this spring. He knows me, He knows what I love, and He loves me.

Birthday gift to self – Sherri Watters’ Chewy Chocolate Cookies with DARK chocolate – look, the batter is black! Dark cocoa gives your cookies a genuine Oreo flavor, and is the healthiest form of chocolate. Here’s more info on the Wonders of Dark Chocolate. I used 1/4 whole wheat, and all sucanat in place of the sugar. Note: The recipe stresses, in all caps, DO NOT OVERBAKE. I took this very seriously, and as I transferred the cookies from my cookies sheet to my cooling racks they all slowly oozed through the racks and onto the counter. They were not over done. No, not a bit of it. Good thing I wasn’t even planning on eating them as cookies – they were just the first step of a more elaborate plan…

I didn’t have to convince Jesse…he spent a long time very willingly ‘helping’ me with the cookies. ๐Ÿ™‚
One of the highlights of my day was every time Jesse said, “Hatty Birtay Mommy!” I won’t tell you how many times he was prompted by the birthday girl herself. ๐Ÿ™‚

Dinner was a special treat, as well. For the first time in my 28 years, I bought, prepared, baked, and thoroughly enjoyed fish. This is huge people. I like fish, I know it’s good for me, I was just afraid of the unknown. We have a new favorite treat now (a rare treat, considering the cost of wild-caught fish) – Baked Haddock. Also, a spinach salad with Honey mustard dressing, baked potatoes with all the fixin’s, and (not pictured here ’cause this is Jeremy’s plate) Steamed Asparagus with white sauce. I got the asparagus all to myself because Jeremy says asparagus is like celery steeped in sewage. Yum.

Dessert was…chocolate. ๐Ÿ™‚ My mother-in-law made me a whole wheat, honey sweetened cake. She knows me so well. Claire absolutely loved it, and I was delighted, ’cause the dessert I planned wasn’t finished until the next day…

Individual Cheesecakes with the aforementioned cookies crushed (or rather, smooshed) for crusts, and sweet cherries as topping. The cheesecakes were made with my own homemade cream cheese, which significantly cut down on the cost for this special dessert! Oh, yes, it was a good birthday…all weekend. And we’re still enjoying the leftovers.

3 responses to “Flowers and Chocolate”

  1. rahraht Avatar

    Happy late birthday, I have had to limit my computer “intake”, so sadly I missed greeting you on the actual day – Sounds like it was highly enjoyable! From the pictures it appears the kids enjoyed it:)

  2. Kateri Avatar

    The magnolia is beautiful! I didn't realize that magnolias and tulip trees are one and the same. I remember the tulip trees in the town of Oxford. In my memory they seem like they were a lot bigger then the magnolias I see today. I also didn't realize they have a wonderful scent.

    Those little cheese cakes look absolutely fabulous! (well everything does!). And my husband would agree with Jeremy on the asparagus issue. .

  3. Traci Avatar

    Hmmm… I see that Jeremy has the same opinion of asparagus that I have of brussell sprouts, lol!

    Your meal looks delicious and I'm glad that you had a great weekend!

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