julia child, mastering the art of french cooking, julie powell, french cuisine

You Say It’s Your Birthday

Cosmic Bowling

Yesterday the family got together to celebrate Ben’s birthday, and we had a blast! Everyone showed up at the house around 2:30 and we headed over to the local bowling alley – we spent a couple of hours playing cosmic  bowling, trying to adjust to the techno lights and watching creepy music videos starring nine-year-old kids (when did pop music get so young??). The highlight of our outing was playing “opposite-hand bowling” at the request of the birthday  boy, something we invented when we were first dating to help level the playing field – no matter how good someone is at bowling, everyone’s equally bad using their opposite hand. (We used bumpers, which helped tremendously.) The embarrassing moment of the afternoon? When I accidentally dropped the ball in mid-swing and sent it rolling backwards (it was quite the Wii moment). The most impressive moment of the afternoon? In the tenth frame when Ben knocked down 9 pins, then got the spare, and then bowled a strike – all left-handed! He was opposite-hand bowling MVP. As it should be on one’s birthday.

Joe T. Garcia's

From there we headed out to an early dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Fort Worth – Joe T. Garcia’s. While their food is good, the main reason to go there is the ambiance of the outside gardens. Luckily, we not only hit it big by getting there just ahead of the dinner rush, but we also scored a table in a covered patio area. It was warm, but not uncomfortable. A couple of pitchers of margaritas helped cool us down, and we had a really wonderful dinner.

This dish was full - this is all that's left the next morning.

Afterwards, we headed back to our house for presents, games and cake. Ben made out like a bandit in the gift department, and we had fun teaching everyone a couple of card games. We took a break for cake (the carrot cake turned out pretty darn good! It was really dense, and the frosting was super sweet, but all in all, not a bad homemade cake) and stayed up late visiting and hanging out. It was a great day, but of course, no time for cooking. I did have a few little snacks set out on the bar during card play, and I have to say that the  Bouchees Parmentier au Fromage (potato cheese sticks) were a hit! They were soft on the inside, a little crispy on the edges, and perfectly bite-sized. The only thing is that I think they’re an hors d’ouevre that is best served warm, so it’s probably not ideal for an event where people are just leisurely milling about – unless you had some sort of chafing dish to keep them warm. But, like pizza, even served cold the next morning they weren’t that bad.

Today we’re off to do our grocery shopping for this week’s Julia recipes – and to Home Depot to buy sink replacement parts (I promise, more on that story later). I hope you’re all having as terrific a weekend as we are! Tune in tomorrow for the big meal of the weekend…if all goes according to plan, it’s going to involve twine and a knitting needle. Only in a Julia recipe…

-Jessica

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