April 26, 2013

Birthday Recap

Happy Friday everyone!  I've had a pretty busy week of cooking for my family and celebrating a double birthday the other day - mine and my twin sister Natalie's. Since I don't have a new recipe to share with you today, I thought I would share a recap of my birthday meal and some of the wonderful gifts that I'm excited about instead!

My family knows me pretty well when it comes to choosing the perfect birthday present, and here are a few of the food-related highlights that I was lucky enough to receive this year:


On the left is a selection of coconut flavoured teas from my sister - if you can't read the flavours, there's coconut chocolate truffle, coconut mango colada, and coconut chai latte - so perfect for me! I also love the adorable packaging - each tea bag is shaped like a pyramid that bobs around in your tea cup as it steeps!

My sister also got me a home gardening kit that I can use on my apartment balcony - it comes with a planter box, dirt, and a selection of seed packets. I'm excited to try growing my own little veggie and herb plants!

Not pictured is another special treat from my other sister - a jar of this powdered peanut butter. Hopefully I'll be sharing a recipe or two featuring PB2 on my blog soon!

Finally, I asked for a new kitchen tool that I can't wait to try out - a spiralizer! Now I can finally make zucchini noodles that actually look like noodles rather than the kind I've been making with my vegetable peeler.  It's also perfect timing now that the weather is warming up and I'll be craving raw meals more often!



In addition to the gifts from my family, I enjoyed a few birthday freebies this week from signing up for email lists and coupons online.  All three of the ice cream treats above were free birthday treats from Marble Slab and Kiwi Kraze (a self-serve frozen yogurt bar).  My favourite was the coconut frozen yogurt mixed with strawberries and graham crackers on the left.


For our birthday meal, Nat and I wanted something on the lighter side so that we could have lots of room left in our stomachs for cake! We chose this Thai jicama salad, which is an old family favourite that we hadn't had in a while.


My dad made the salad, substituting soy sauce for the fish sauce and serving the chicken separately on the side to keep it vegetarian. I definitely recommend this recipe for a refreshing summer meal - I love all the bold flavours!

At the top was my contribution to the meal - fresh rolls stuffed with mango, avocado, cucumber, carrots and basil and serve with a delicious almond butter dipping sauce that I got from Vegetarian Times. My rolling skills definitely need improvement, but they still tasted great!

Finally, for dessert, Nat and I each made our own "cakes". Since neither of us are huge fans of traditional birthday cakes, we went a different route and made frozen treats. Nat made an ice cream cake using frozen yogurt, caramel topping and a homemade blondie base (a slice of it is shown below - the left piece on the plate).


I took a risk on a new recipe by choosing this frozen mango "cream" pie from Vegan Yumminess. I made my own raw crust using a version of the crust I made for this cake, and followed the recipe for the filling, which is made with coconut cream, mango and pineapple.

I wasn't really sure what to expect, but unfortunately it didn't quite turn out how I was hoping. When I made the creamy filling, it tasted delicious - fruity and not too sweet. Once it was frozen though, all the creaminess disappeared and it had an icy texture that never went away no matter how long I thawed it for.

We all loved the crust though, and serving it with homemade whipped cream and fresh mango slices helped to add more of the creaminess that I wanted!


All in all, it was a great birthday week full of lots of tasty food and ice cream, and I'll be eating even more cake this weekend when we celebrate my dad's birthday!

Hope you all have a great weekend too, and feel free to check out my sister Natalie's recap post of our birthday here!


13 comments:

  1. You girls really know how to enjoy birthdays!! It all looks so yummy!!

    Can't wait to see what you cook with those homegrown vegetables ;)

    -Andrés

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    1. Thanks! Hopefully I can actually grow something - I've never tried to grow veggies from seeds myself before!

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  2. Yum! This is my kind of birthday! Bring on the zucchini noodles! :)

    I also had difficulty with a frozen mango thing (I was making kulfi).. However, I subbed the coconut beverage frm the carton instead of full-fat coconut milk. The lack of fat made it not-so-creamy. However, Rob ended up zapping it in the microwave to soften it into a softer pudding like dessert. ;)

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    1. Hmm, interesting - I had figured that the thick coconut cream that went into the filling would add enough fat but maybe not. I defrosted my leftover slices in the microwave too so that I ended up with some of the yummier melted parts!

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  3. wow- first of all, SUPER jealous about the spiralizer. i've been wanting one for forever. and secondly, i can't wait to hear how you like the pb2. i've been very curious about it!

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    1. My spiralizer came from amazon for a pretty good price - I hope it works well! I'm curious about the PB2 too - I'll have to think of some unique ways of using it where peanut butter wouldn't work to really see if it's worth it to have both products!

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  4. Great roundup, I don't even think I realized you got those coconut teas - I'm jealous! I also can't wait to see what you do with your spiralizer!

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    1. Thanks! Maybe I'll share some tea with you if you let me try your banana chips!

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  5. Looks like you had a wonderful birthday! :) The mango pie does look delicious and really pretty. Too bad it did not stay creamy after frozen. I had the same problem with a pie once. So frustrating! The coconut teas look awesome! Coconut chocolate truffle!? YUM! :) Very excited to see what you make with your spiralizer!

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    1. Thanks Courtney! I've already bring drinking the teas and using my spiralizer...I love birthdays :)

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  6. What an amazing birthday celebration- the salad your Dad made looks amazing!

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  7. Happy Birthday! I can't wait to see what you do with the spiralizer. I have been thinking about getting one too, but I've just been using the julienne setting on my mandoline slicer for now. And that tea sounds so good--perfect for dessert! :)

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    1. Thanks, and I recommend the spiralizer if you eat a lot of raw veggies...I've been using both a vegetable peeler and a julienne slicer up until now, which I thought was fine, but now I see what I've been missing out on - the spiralizer makes such a difference in getting even, long strands of any vegetable and the zucchini noodles I made with it tasted the most like pasta yet!

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