the birthday boy


Jared's 33rd birthday was a few weeks ago, and it was one of the best days we've had as a family in a long time. We decided to take it as a vacation day, keep Emma home from daycare, and just spend the day together. Little did Jared know that I'd planned out the whole day, and filled it with his very favorite foods. I also stayed up late the night before to decorate the house. Because every 33 year old guy needs a birthday banner. (Which I made with the amazing Silhouette Cameo he gave me for Christmas. Seriously, you need to get one.)

First up on the menu was bacon (of course) and homemade strawberry Pop Tarts. The bacon was delicious, as always, but the real hit was the Pop Tarts. They were sinfully good. (Definitely a special occasion breakfast, totally inappropriate for every day.) I would normally think to make this sort of thing with puff pastry, but this recipe called for refrigerated pie crust, which worked perfectly. It's the frosting that really takes them over the edge, though. They'd be a great weekend breakfast sans frosting, but what fun would that be?

Up next was Jared's guilty pleasure - Stove Top. The man could easily eat a whole box on his own, but thankfully I didn't have to witness that this birthday. I must say, it was a little strange having stuffing on a day other than Thanksgiving, but the processed goodness that is Stove Top didn't disappoint.

That afternoon we caught the "mommy and me" showing of The Muppets at the Kennedy School, where Jared got to enjoy his all time favorite snack food: movie theater popcorn with lots of butter. The Kennedy School is great because they have couches instead of theater seats, and the couches are far enough apart that we could set a blanket down in front of us and let Emma play while we watched the movie. Everybody wins.

For dinner, I went all out and made something I'd pinned for Jared many months ago - Chicken Parmesan Casserole. Jared has his own chicken parm recipe, but this claimed to be the end of regular chicken parm as we know it, and it absolutely lived up to the hype. Trust me on this one... just make it. As long as you have taste buds and like Italian food, you will not be disappointed.

And last but not least, we had Jared's favorite cupcakes for dessert - yellow box cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. In the age of fancy cupcakes with filling and piped frosting, there's something so wonderfully simple and nostalgic about these cupcakes.

And there you have it... 33 with a bang. Okay, not a bang - but a whole lot of yummy food and hopefully a great day for my better half (truly) and the best guy I know. :-) If you're trying to figure out something to do for your significant other's birthday this year, I highly recommend the whole playing hooky eating all your favorite foods approach. Jared ended up feeling special the whole day, not just when he opened his present, which is exactly what I wanted (and what he deserved!)