It’s a birthday, boy

Today was Monday. Today was the start of a three-day school week. Today was Columbus Day.

Although all those things were significant in their own rights, most important was that today was Dan’s 21st birthday!

Unfortunately, before getting down to celebrating, schoolwork beckoned.

I began my own morning with a fall inspired breakfast that, shockingly, didn’t involve pumpkin.

Consumed: 1 baked apple, diced, sprinkled with cinnamon and covered with some maple syrup. All was microwaved for two minutes, until well-baked. While still warm, I stirred in one spoonful of PB and topped it all with some lightly sweetened shredded wheat. (Note: I am obsessed with that cereal!)

Truth be told, I generally like to take advantage of the amazing autumn-time apple by eating them crisp and juicy. This just a “bad apple,” so I salvaged it by blending the less-than-perfect taste with everything else.

No food left to waste? That’s the cheap college student’s way!

As aforementioned, this is a short school week, culminating in two extra days off for fall break. Apparently the professors don’t have much faith in our abilities to retain information throughout a four-day weekend, so this week is pretty low-key on the workload.

Because of all that, my morning classes passed without any interesting occurence. Before I knew it, I was back in the newsroom and ready for some lunch.

As another consequence of the short school week, I didn’t go all out on my Sunday shopping trip. Instead, I just grabbed a few fresh fruits and veggies to last me through the week.

This morning, I was just craving a random hodge-podge of some new purchases. And, why argue with appetite?

Consumed: A variety pack of baby carrots, multigrain baked tortilla chips, non-fat vanilla yogurt and a Kashi dark chocolate cherry bar.

After lunch, some more work and my editing class, I was free for the afternoon. Which, on this lovely day, could only mean one thing… Celebrating with the birthday boy!

The afternoon was fairly relaxed. But, since I was spending time with Dan, it was also really nice.

To pass the time, we played a few rounds of pool. I even let him win. You know, in honor of his birthday and everything.

A little while later was the main event of the night: Dinner at Free State Brewery.

In my experience, almost every good-sized town has some “staple” restaurant, for which it was well-known. In Lawrence, that place is definitely Free State. Although I wouldn’t say it’s the best restaurant in town, it’s still some good food.

Really, though, the night wasn’t all about the food… We didn’t choose “Free State Eatery,” after all.

Nope, the real fun part of going out was that Dan got to flaunt his I.D. and order a beer.

To my underaged delight, the food was also pretty darn amazing. In the past, my Free State go-to order was a pretty good black bean burger.

I would have been content on ordering that again. But, upon walking through the door, I saw “roasted veggie tamales” on the specials list. Sold.

Absolute, unequivocal deliciousness. The combination of a slightly spicy mole sauce, fire-roasted vegetables and the masa dough was simply perfect.

What I really love about meals such as that, is that I was immediately inspired to try to recreate it at home… Stay tuned about a recipe coming in the soon future!

Free State also offers some good desserts, but Dan and I passed those up. There was something better waiting back at his house…

German’s Chocolate Frosting


  • 1 C soymilk
  • 1/8 C fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t coconut extract (alternatively can use just 1 t vanilla)
  • 1/3 C cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water until smooth
  • 1 C sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 C chopped pecans


  • Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread coconut and pecans on separate baking sheets. Bake in oven, stirring every few minutes, for a total of 10-12 minutes for coconut and slightly less for pecans. (Note: Just keep an eye on them, and remove when beginning to toast.)
  • Using a sauce pan on medium-high heat, combine soy milk, evaporated milk, 1/4 C water, sugar, vanilla and coconut extract.
  • Add corn starch mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to bubble. Cook for one more minute after it begins to boil.
  • Remove from heat and mix with toasted coconut and pecans.
  • Allow to cool slightly before spreading on cake.

In this case, I used a recipe for “Crazy Chocolate Cake.”

I’d never made German’s Chocolate Cake before, but after a few not-so-subtle hints from Dan, I was willing to give it a shot.

He approved.

I wished I could have spent the rest of the day with him, but both had other obligations to attend to. Why doesn’t the University understand we had a birthday to celebrate?

Fortunately, this weekend is going to be jam-packed with activity (and chances to spend time together), so it was all alright…

Question: What do you traditionally eat for birthday dessert?

I’m not too much of a cake fan (although this stuff was gooood), so I always had a cookie cake when I was growing up.

7 responses to “It’s a birthday, boy

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