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Birthday meal - what's your favorite?

Whether you go out, pick up, order in or cook, do you have a favorite birthday meal or favorite foods you look forward to on your birthday (other than cake, that is)?

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  1. Nah - we either try someplace new that I'm interested in, or enjoy an old favorite. As for cake? No cake for me thank you - not a fan. But I do enjoy some other interesting dessert from the menu.

    1. Not a specific food but I do love a full meal--apps, entree and dessert. No calorie counting. Cocktail and wine since I won't be driving.

      And cake for breakfast the morning after is a must--no question about it.

      1. Ribeye, rare. Lots of beer and whiskey.

        1. Something involving my beloved shrimp, and excellent cocktails, prob. And I like to go out if it's possible.

          1. Thai food, usually. My favorite is all the way down by the husbands work, so I don't frequent as often as him. I figure on my birthday, he can suck up driving to the same area twice in one day.

            1. I never used to... but I think that soon indian food will be my birthday favourite. I just can't get this cuisine in my area, so when I can have it, it is a treat.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Musie

                Me too! My birthday is in a couple of weeks, & I've been thinking I'd like to go to an Indian restaurant this time. Haven't been to an Indian restaurant in probably more than 10 years. There aren't any particularly local to us, & it's not something we keenly seek out as the cuisine isn't one of hubby's favorites, even though he does usually enjoy it when I make it at home. So thinking we'll treat me this month. :)

              2. That's easy. Mom's spaghetti and meatballs and strawberry shortcake. My mom (at 90 yrs old) still makes all seven of her children a birthday dinner and this is always my pick.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Janskitchen

                  That is very impressive Jans - What a special treat to have Mom making birthday meals for all of you kids!

                  My birthday I almost always insist on going out. If SO or DS tries to cook a special meal for me, it'll involve me in the kitchen at some point, locating ingredients, giving instructions and 9 X out of 10, cleaning up. I'll pick a restaurant that I want to try and the tab's on them. This year, there's a new restaurant opening w/in walking distance. They're opening the day before my birthday. Fortuitous, no?

                  1. if not making comfort food for me, it's sushi all the way. it used to be a local sinoloan dive, but the last time i went, the fish was bad. i haven't been back since... and gone with that is my birthday tradition.

                    1. As a kid my birthday meal was meatloaf, baked potatoes and squash (either butternut, hubbard, or acorn) puree, with my mother's wonderful chocolate cake.

                      these days it varies - usually dinner out - hopefully with friends and a few drinks. This past birthday it was dinner at an upscale Mexican restaurant with some fancy-dancy margaritas.

                      1. For me its Carrabba's pollo Rosa Maria. Damn, I love that stuff. For my sweetie its chicken cordon blue. That's a bit of work so he asks for it in his bday. If I had thought about it, its practically the same meal. Just one being grilled and Italian and one is fried and french.

                        28 Replies
                        1. re: suzigirl

                          Indeed, chicken cordon bleu can be quite the ordeal which somehow has been added to our weekly meal cycle so SO watches me struggle nearly every weekend rolling up chicken breasts and torturing them with toothpicks but it's fun and the result is much worth the effort.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            It is quite the ordeal. I would love it if there was a place around d me that served it. But for the love of the sweetie,I will make it gladly.

                            1. re: suzigirl

                              If you really wanted a cop out, you could get those frozen and breaded ones, hehe...
                              My husband eats them when I'm away. And after a rough trip with a missed connection, I dragged myself into the kitchen, and found only that. And I'll admit it, it was good in a really icky way.

                              1. re: alliegator

                                I love those icky things. I just wish they didn't take so long so I could get them in my face faster

                                1. re: suzigirl

                                  That's what I thought! I was like "35-40 minutes?! What the hell?!"...
                                  But in that time, you can make up a nice white wine and butter sauce and chop some parsley to dress that little gut bomb up.

                                  1. re: alliegator

                                    If you are a butter fan try the Kiev. Not bad at all if memory serves. I would be lying if I said this thread isn't making me want chicken cordon bleu right now. I was thinking about salsbury steak tonight but that may change to a cheaters version of the chicken. Love the gut bomb comparison. So true

                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                      Hmm, I've never had the Kiev. Sounds interesting. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't thinking the same about dinner. With Country Crock pre made mashed potatoes, of course ;)

                                      1. re: alliegator

                                        I haven't seen the Kiev in my market lately. Of course pre made mashed would be good. Mmmm chicken, ham and cheese

                                      2. re: suzigirl

                                        I haven't had Salisbury steak in years and now you have me wanting it, do you have a recipe to share?

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          I don't have a recipe but more of a method. I pour a good amount of flour in a shallow pan and mix in a good tablespoon of McCormick grill mates peppercorn and garlic seasoning from the packet. I don't add salt because I have hbp but you can add it if you like. I get the cubed steaks in a three pack and dredge them. Man handle them just a bit so you get flour in the cuts of the meat. Brown in olive oil on both sides and cover in beef broth til its fully submerged. Simmer on low for about an hour and serve with mashed potatoes. Easy peasy. Hope you try it. It is simple but delicious

                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                            Sounds delicious, I hope to try it soon.

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              It is a little Sandra Lee-ish but my bf actually got me into the seasoning. He makes a kick butt beef jerky with the McCormack and liquid smoke and some Lea and Perrins. He had a spoonful or so left and voila... a dinner was born.

                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                wow, you're talking my language. I have to admit when I want a variation from simple salt and pepper for steak, I use the Montreal Steak Seasoning with a few dashes of liquid smoke and Worcestershire.

                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  If that's the case, try the Salisbury steaks. You will probably love them.

                                      3. re: alliegator

                                        Tips on that sauce? We usually load up on cheese and go sauce less but always ponder a sauce. My birthday is upcoming and as the last vacation week for me and my SO for the year before a very intense few months of work this spring we are planning a full out week of indulgence staycation style and would love to amp up the cordon bleu

                              2. re: suzigirl

                                I love to mix it up and recently we've subbed out the Swiss cheese for provolone and muenster which has been fantastic. We've been pondering pepper jack but don't want it to overwhelm the dish.

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  I don't know, pepper jack sounds good to me. But i am a maverick. I make hamburgers and put Cuban sandwich fixings on them and press them, I add meat to my puttanesca. I just break rules everywhere in the cooking world. I bet if you try it its good

                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                    Oh, it sounds great to me as well but I am sometimes stupidly risk-averse...uh oh what if it ruins my favorite weekly dish although the odds of that are slim to none and it'd probably taste quite delicious. Perhaps, this weekend I'll get crazy and risk it :)

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                      Get crazy and risk it. That has created some of my best meals.. a bit of this and a bit of that, or a trip to the store and a 'that looks good' moment. Its how you pick your palate. Generally if you like how the ingredients sound together it will work. Not always, but mostly.

                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                        Oh the "that looks good" moment resulting in amazing food has been the name of the game this winter. I continue to go to the store with a list only to return home with items for some new idea stimulated by a random craving I had in the store and have been nothing but pleased with the results. It's actually pushed many old favorites off the rotation and now I can't ever decide whether to go with new stuff or incorporate the old stuff occasionally too...hard life I lead, I know. You are right, in every instance it's a thought of "hmm, I really want Alfredo but also really want kielbasa (yielding Chicken Alfredo with kielbasa and mushrooms which was quite possibly the best bowl of pasta from my kitchen yet)."

                                    2. re: suzigirl

                                      Well, suzigirl I think I'll be switching up the cheeses tonight. I'm going to incorporate the pepper jack but not sure whether to pair it with cheddar, muenster or provolone.

                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                        I am actually giddy that you are going for it. I would go with Muenster so the pepper jack really shines. I bet it kicks ass

                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                          I such a risk-averse fool, get so nervous to mix up a favorite but I'm sure you will be right on this one! I assume my roasted garlic marinade for the chicken breasts will probably still be OK?

                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                            Also do you have any preference for shredded vs sliced cheese? SO is pushing for shredded as he thinks it'll up the ooze - love his priorities

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              I am so not risk adverse... I am a maverick. I make hamburgers with Swiss cheese, pickles mustard and ham and press it to make a Cuban burger. Be brave. If it sounds good in your head it probably will be. The marinade sounds fantastic. And don't go with shredded. It melts to fast and causes a cheese lava flow, I know this from trial and error. It melts to fast. Slices and chunks work better. Good luck but I don't think you'll need it. Trust your instincts. You have the knack I think.

                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                I present tonight's chicken boobs. The pepper jack was a great variation on a family favorite. Thanks for the innovation encouragement.

                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                  Cordon bleu with pepper jack and muenster

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    Oh drool. That looks fantastic. I am trying that soon.

                                    3. My DH always wants corn flake chicken for his birthday! For my birthday, he makes me an angel food cake (from scratch), plus we usually go out (on different days..)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: firecooked

                                        Cornflake chicken, that's a great unique favorite for birthdays. Is this a long time tradition for him?

                                      2. Not any one specific dish or place, but I do like to go out, and I want pricey seafood. And I will feel no guilt about ordering it!

                                        1. My birthday is Christmas Eve, and as our family is spread across the country, I have spent all but one of my birthdays in transit, often stuck somewhere because of weather delays. Three years ago my husband tried to do something special and booked us at a b&b outside of Portland. There was a freak storm and we ended up getting into town 4hrs late, long after everything had closed. My birthday dinner that was supposed to be a romantic affair in a local restaurant became microwaved burrito that we got from the only open gas station, a bag of chips and the single worst bottle of wine (also from the gas station) that I have ever tried to choke down. It still makes me smile and is probably the only birthday meal I remember every detail of.

                                          Now he plans ahead and gets me a coconut treat (candy or cupcake) so no matter where we are, I'll get something special. :)

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                            What a depressingly adorable story. That memory would make me smile too. And how sweet of the hubby to get you a special treat for you.

                                            1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                              Aww, what a good hubby. I have a few friends with birthdays that get smushed into other holidays, and it can really be a bummer unless someone does something cool like that!
                                              My most memorable meal was when I was living in Prague for a while, and I went to France for a dancesport competition (no, I'm not good, it's for fun). My team was all driving together and renting a house and I just got a hotel room and flew because I had a ton of schoolwork to do. DOB is listed in our little bio thingies, but I didn't think about it. My friend called me and told me to come on over to the rented house house for a drink and she had our whole Czech team, and my competing friends from the US there :) Everyone brought some bread or cheese or chocolate, etc. That was years ago. It was so thoughtful that I actually cried.

                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                Yeah, I'm a lucky girl.
                                                I love that, if I could pick my birthday meal, having a lot of friends surprise me in France with bread, cheese and chocolate would be high on the list : )

                                              2. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                What you need to do is what a lot of folks who have major holiday birthdays (like Xmas, etc.) do. Make yourself a separate "celebration" birthday day - like a week or a month later, & plan a nice meal for that day. After all, while it's definitely the thought that counts, it's still nice to have a day to look forward to where everyone is thinking of you & you can enjoy a nice meal.

                                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                                  Or even better, make it 6 months later for a summertime birthday. :-)

                                              3. I like to go out! Always enjoy a cocktail before dinner, and red wine during. I usually order crab if it's on the menu. And for dessert...something with chocolate.

                                                1. I like a really good steak.

                                                  Although it's cake, I also prefer really moist chocolate cupcakes, with funfetti frosting... the kind with the little sorta chewy candy balls in it, not the kind some frosting companies put out with just regular sprinkles.

                                                  1. My sister's birthday is the day before mine, every year.

                                                    We celebrate together and I'd say prime rib for me and salmon for her; however, I don't care for salmon where she does like prime rib so. ....... I'm just sayin'

                                                    two extraordinary birthdays I recall are the year I turned 21 (which was quite a while ago) a group of us went out to Parker Dam on the Colorado River for a ski weekend and my friends packed ice cream cake on dry ice to surprise me.

                                                    the other one was two years ago, I spent my birthday stuck in the airport in St. Louis and had smashed Dakotah Pea Sout from CPK.

                                                    1. My favorite birthday meal is always in France.

                                                      1. I like to go out. Steak and a glass of wine or vegan food. Two opposite sides of the spectrum. This year I got both!

                                                        1. The meal that someone else is shopping, cooking, cleaning, serving and/or paying for......

                                                          I don't care if my youngest makes my breakfast toast and coffee, or if my wife takes me out for pizza. It's nice to have a day off from these responsibilities

                                                          1. I love this question.

                                                            My friends and family know that I'm all about food. For my 40th I ordered (takeout to be brought home for a party) a bucket of my favorite buffalo wings (they're called dirt wings because they're double fried and double sauced), a Fudgie The Whale Carvel Cake (which was AWESOME), two friends brought competing dozens of donuts and lastly we had some of my favorite takeout pizza. It was a fantastic birthday. I'd like to do it again this year.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: masha bousha

                                                              Wow now I feel much better that SO and I aren't the only ones. We love to cook and eat so have actually created a document to plan out our birthday week of meals and celebrations x 7 to cook all the dishes we've been eyeing and enjoy slow paced meals at our favorite restaurants while we are on vacation and the rest of world seems to think we're insane.

                                                              1. re: masha bousha

                                                                That sounds amazing. I think I'm going to need to orchestrate something like that for my husband's birthday.

                                                                1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                  Oh, you can't imagine my excitement! I am really looking forward to the fun of cooking, eating and relaxing for a full week. The chance to live at your own pace for a while - take your time at the gym or the grocery store and just refresh.

                                                              2. for years it was a specific bar and bar pie that we'd travel 3 hours to reach. couple of slices, a icy beer and the bar keep sang (opera) happy birthday.

                                                                now that my 4 children are adults they cook and bake for dh & I. and you know what--celebrating your birthday thru the eyes of your children is the best no matter what they serve.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                  I have no kids but through your posts, you seem to be one hell of a Mom and I bet your kids adore the ground you walk on.
                                                                  How wonderful that they all enjoy cooking for their beloved Mom..

                                                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                    It's very sweet of you to say, BC. If I've done a proper job of it, I'm learning from my adult children (not the other way around) these days!

                                                                    Usually my daughters bake a mocha cake that knocks my hubby out and these ginger infused crumpets for me. My sons make homemade pasta of some sort and big salads. But the laughter and the music playing is what I remember most.

                                                                2. For me, I like to go out. My favorite is Benihana and their Teppanyaki Land & Sea dinner. That way I get soup, salad, shrimp apps, filet mignon and scallops with the same meal. And the veggies and mushrooms are always good too. Plus you get ice cream for dessert. And I love their green tea.

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                                                    Do they still do the flaming onion thing?

                                                                    1. re: wattacetti

                                                                      Oh, yes. The onion volcano! Still a hit. My grandkids just love that place too.

                                                                    2. re: boyzoma

                                                                      This was my all time favorite birthday dinner in the past when we lived close to a Benihana, but there is no destination worthy type place in this area so I've had to let it go :(

                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                        That's so sad. Wish you had one closer. When we don't go to Benihana's, we do have a knock-off version close and also Chang's Mongolian Grill. I love the fresh veggies!

                                                                        1. re: boyzoma

                                                                          Yea, I tried our knock off and not so much. Wow, now I really miss Benihana. My last trip was many years ago to celebrate the MCAT.

                                                                    3. Roast leg of lamb, roasted Yukon Gold potatoes, and steamed green beans.

                                                                      And just how much did my Mom love me? Back in the 1960s, when we couldn't get lamb at practically any other time other than around Easter, she'd buy a second half bone-in leg and stick it in the freezer for my birthday in October.

                                                                      My sister, who detests lamb, hated my birthday dinner. :-)

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        Wow, you must be in my head. SO and I just decided to do leg of lamb for my birthday dinner. I have only done it once - simple seasoning with olive oil, rosemary, Dijon, rosemary, thyme, S&P and roasted a boneless butterflied, rolled leg of lamb. It was quite good but I'd love to hear your suggestions. How long and at what temp do you roast? We like it rare to medium rare so that might make a difference, but what temp do you roast to and how long do you rest? I think we'll serve it with mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese as we both go gaga over mac and cheese so it seems to find it's way into every holiday meal.

                                                                        Also, what a wonderful mom it sounds like you have.

                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                          Quick high temp cooking @ 400° for maybe 15 minutes,and then I roast at 325° for 18-20 min. per pound, or until the instant read thermometer reads about 130-135°. Take it out, tent it, and let it rest for 15-20 minutes (internal temp will rise to 140° for medium rare).

                                                                          As for preparation? Usually just a runny paste of olive oil (a good fruity one), mashed garlic, minced fresh rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub that all over the roast about 30-60 minutes before it goes into the oven.

                                                                          BTW, I usually get a semi-boneless (the aitch-bone has been removed and the roast then tied so the skinny end is tucked in with the larger portion so it doesn't overcook).

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            Love it! I think at least 1 dinner night meal might be set. Is it possible to ask most butchers to do the semi-boneless cut? I have only made leg of lamb once, it was quite delicious and I got it at Whole Foods and had them butterfly it but not tie it so that I could season the inside. I imagine they would be able to make a semi-boneless leg or have them ready?

                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                              Re; the semi-boneless cut without the aitch bone, I think that's mostly the way they come, but I honestly don't know.

                                                                              But I would hope their meat cutters would be able to do so. Perhaps you could ask at a true butcher, if you have one nearby?

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                Yea, it's been tough to find one and Whole Foods is usually pretty great as I know all the meat/seafood employees fairly well being a meatatarian. I will check and find out thought

                                                                      2. Lemon meringue pie.

                                                                        My mother had a (wedding) cake business, so I was always (always! ugh!) surrounded by cake.

                                                                        The Pie was just for me. Special. Tart. Wonderful.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                          my grandmother always made me a blueberry or mixed berry pie for my birthday.

                                                                        2. Toad-in-the-hole. Cook at home. Sausages in Yorkshire pudding.

                                                                          1. I traditionally have noodles on my birthday and normally topped with my favorite creamy prawn sauce, then further crowned with roast pork, grilled shrimp, eggs, scallions, garlic chips and pork cracklings. Supposedly the noodles symbolize long life, but I am pretty sure the toppings cancel that out.

                                                                            1. Love love love my birthday and consider it an all out month long celebration.
                                                                              I got married on my birthday too..

                                                                              I am always gone for birthday/anniversary celebration in September and its usually the islands where I gorge on fresh Ahi...rare Ahi, Ahi Poke...love me all kinds of Hawaiian fish.

                                                                              Ahi Benedict for breakfast with a wasabi hollandaise is one of my fave's with a spicy bloody.

                                                                              My birthday is on Mexican Independence Day and that was always fun going to Mexico since they start at midnight with the President speaking and the party begins..boy, do they know how to party!

                                                                              I toast to Veggo since he is blessed with being born on the same day..

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                I love love love your attitude! Month long celebrating, my kinda chick!

                                                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                  +1 love it! I love this thread as I was starting to feel like an oddball planning a week long birthday celebration, but it seems I'm not alone...phew! Let the planning continue. I regret starting this thread as I can't wait until the birthday festivities begin on the 18th!

                                                                                2. I don't think I have a favorite food. Last year I went on vacation to Maine and had lobster and blueberries. That was yum.

                                                                                  I usually like to have a Korean-style sweet potato cake. (It's better than it sounds. I like it better than a traditional American cake because it's less sweet.)

                                                                                  1. Steak and Vodka, Steak and Vodka, Steak and Vodka with a baked potato on the side. Did I mention Steak and Vodka?

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                      I think you forgot something, hmmmm... vodka?

                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                        (as Homer Simpson would say.......) Mmmmmmmmmmmm Vodka..........

                                                                                    2. Now we go out but as a kid if my parents weren't away I would usually request chicken Parmesan with spaghetti and meatballs or bbqed beef short ribs with potato or macaroni salad and maybe corn?

                                                                                      My birthday is in August. Now I pick places that I won't get to go otherwise, tends to lean towards te small plates type of meals.