Birthday Recaps Are Best Told In Food

I am so glad we have my son’s birthday weekend recap full of amazing food to talk about today. It is helping to distract my mind from what my running path is looking like at the moment.

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We aren’t going to talk about this today. Nope. We aren’t going to discuss the possibility of me choosing to run on the treadmill this morning rather than try to run around the mess that was once my favorite early morning running route.

Instead let’s dive right into the delicious birthday food  from the weekend.

They say we should stop letting food be the center of our celebrations.

If I am ever elected president, I promise to find out exactly who this “they” is, hold them accountable as well as make those words against the law.

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The little boy’s birthday was not until Sunday but the prebirthday festivities began Saturday night at dinner. For my local friends, I chose Vincent’s as our pregame meal before taking him and his best little friend to the opening night Islanders game.

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The almost 10-year-old boy went with ravioli smothered in Vincent’s world-famous sauce. Vincent’s sauce is sold in many grocery stores here in New York and I looked up for you to see if they will ship out-of-state. Click here for the link to their sauce page. It doesn’t mention shipping but perhaps you can order it anyway if you inquire politely.

 It is the only sauce I keep in my house. Yes, it is that good.

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I happily went with the zucchini marinara which also consisted of yellow squash ribbons and I asked them to throw in extra veggies for some added fun.

If you are wondering if zucchini linguine is good, my plate can answer that for you –


Since most of you have not had the pleasure of dining with me, please understand that I can clear a serious plate.  Perhaps Adam Richman wishes to challenge me vegetarian style.

Vincent’s redefines portion distortion so if Adam is up for the challenge, please tell him to bring the Man vs. Food crew here.

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I mean, when the kid’s order of chicken parm looks like this, who needs to grow up?

After the Islanders game (which was so fun by the way), the kids and I headed to Friendly’s for dessert.

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I am confident that you know by now which sundae I made sure we went with.

Dessert must be big. As big as possible.


That’s right. The 12 scoops of ice cream plus 6 toppings plus extra cherries and whipped cream. We are talking chocolate chip, chocolate chip cookie dough, cookies and cream, peanut butter fudge, chocolate peanut butter and who remembers what else topped with fudge, reeses pieces, crushed cookies, chocolate chips, gummy bears (so against my will) and marshmallow.

You kinda want to dive right in face first, yes?

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The boys even let me share. Of course they did. I was a cool mom for the night.

Actually, I am pretty sure they still found me cool when they woke up  Sunday morning.

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While the boys were still asleep from their food coma, I woke up early to make birthday pancakes with my favorite Kodiak Cakes mix.

I added in sprinkles and chocolate chips for the occasion.

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If you haven’t purchased the Kodiak Cakes mix yet, what the heck are you waiting for? You could be making big fluffy stacks just like me all of the time.

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I topped the pancake cake with whipped cream and extra sprinkles and chocolate chips. Oh and candles since it was the boy’s actual birthday.

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Notice my NHL tablecloth? I really went all out this year with the paper goods. Who can resist hockey party paraphernalia?

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I even sliced the pancakes like cake. Didn’t they come out nice?

After breakfast we headed into the city. For what, we weren’t quite sure. But we soon figured it out.

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That would be a super quick photo of the little boy’s Jackson Hole burger with a side of onion rings. I knew when he asked the waitress for onion rings instead of the fries that I took the right baby home with me from the hospital 10 years ago.

He even let me have a few.

Now, Jackson Hole is special for reasons other than just having the best burgers in New York:

  • I grew up on their burgers as I went there quite often with my dad pretty much whenever we were in the city which was every week
  • I went there for lunch after finding out I was having a boy.
  • And the biggest special moment – On October 6, 2003, my father went to Jackson Hole to pick up lunch for the whole family to eat in the hospital after my son was born.

One minute I was giving birth and the next I was being fed a burger. Good times.

Now, 10 years later, I am a vegetarian, so I did not have a traditional burger for lunch yesterday.

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I went with the Portobello mushroom sandwich topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions. Delicious is an understatement.

I am going to keep this recap strictly to the food but I promise I wore the kid out in the city walking around and shopping a bit.

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Why couldn’t he nap so easily 10 years ago?

Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of dinner but based upon my history, I am pretty sure you can trust we had a delish dinner with my parents. I hosted a take out party at home. More Italian food. My family needs to  learn to appreciate sushi.

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You didn’t think I would miss recapping the cake though, did you?

Chocolate fudge iced and filled topped with rainbow cookies. I don’t mess around.


I cut the birthday boy the first slice and then kept the rest for myself.

Kidding. Maybe.

This cake was killer. It is what we call in my family: SOAP WORTHY.  Meaning, you can’t just throw it out if you don’t want to eat anymore. You need to throw it out and then cover it with soap so that you can’t find yourself going into the garbage looking for it after.

I didn’t throw out what was left though. I have learned will power. Will power as well as eating enough of it last night to not want anymore today.

Cake loading is perfect fuel for my run today. The run we aren’t talking about because it may take place on the treadmill and I don’t wish to discuss that just yet.

Enough about me, how was your weekend?





Three Tip Tuesday – Cookies and Earth’s Best Review

I’m tired. I don’t often say it but today I feel the need to inform you that I am a bit tired.

I decided I was tired yesterday afternoon. You should know that deciding you are tired on a Monday afternoon is not OK. Nor is it OK to discover you have two completely overripe bananas on the counter when all you want to do is close the kitchen up early for the evening and be done with the day.

I contemplated throwing the bananas out.

I know, right. I really must be tired.

I thought better of it of course and mashed them quickly into a bowl. And then I threw in oats, chia seeds, pumpkin, peanut butters, chocolate chips and raisins.

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I would share with you an exact recipe but I can’t. I was too tired to think much so I simply dumped it all in the bowl riding the fact that anything in any amount mixed with peanut butter and chocolate and then baked just has to taste good.

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And I was right.

Why am I so tired? Well, this week is a bit busier than usual. In addition to my normal workload, I have a bunch of different meetings to attend along with an event in the city tomorrow (I will discuss the event a bit more later in the week).

I am so busy that I don’t even have time to spend with my favorite little girl.


Good thing I was able to hang with her last week. We had a taste test to conduct.


The kind people at Earth’s Best recently sent me some products to review – three products to be exact which fits perfectly today with the theme of Three Tip Tuesday.


From the Earth’s Best website:

Earth’s Best® products  are Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth and Quality Assurance International, agencies accredited by the USDA’s National Organic Program. That means we manufacture products that do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or potentially harmful pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers.   It also means we can proudly display the USDA Organic logo on packaging of those products that are at least 95% organic.

Their product lines seem endless these days.

Pureed fruits and veggies, snacks, frozen ravioli, mac and cheese, soups, chicken nuggets, waffles, pancakes, French toast, oatmeal…..from infants to toddlers to kids, Earth’s Best provides us parents with the opportunity to feed our children high quality foods containing the freshest and purest of ingredients possible.

The boy snatched up the Crunchin’ Grahams as soon as the packaged arrived at our door. He really doesn’t care that Elmo is on the box.

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Once out of the box, the sticks look like any other graham cracker and taste delicious. While I am all for giving our kids (and ourselves) nutrient-dense whole foods like fruits and vegetables as snacks, it is unrealistic to assume we can raise our kids without packaged snacks of some sort.

With companies like Earth’s Best, at least we can buy the packaged snacks and rest assured that they contain a short ingredient list free from the stuff we don’t want in our food.


Sunny Days Snack Bars – My son loved these when he was little and Lisa’s little princess loves them too.

I like that they crumble and mush nicely into little pieces, making them easy to feed to the kids and easy for them to pick up. I also like the mush/crumbly factor when considering the whole choking hazard thing.

You forget how easy it is for a child to choke – no one wants to experience that situation.

Peach Pear Yogurt Smoothie – She loved this flavor. As she does all of the combinations.

Lisa has been buying these fruit/veggie puree pouches since she started solid food.

I don’t think I have ever encountered a time where I have given her a pouch for lunch that she didn’t eat it all right up.

Some children are definitely pickier but Earth’s Best seems to know how to combine the fresh fruits and veggies just right to get a tasty blend.

Sure, you can make your own baby food but let’s be honest – who has time (or desire) to do that each week?

At least with Earth’s Best you can feel good knowing that if you didn’t make it yourself, you are giving your kids food that is still considered wholesome and fresh.

I still buy my son the Earth’s Best ravioli and have bought the waffles as well.

Even if you don’t have children, or your children have grown, the truth is, you can still buy Earth’s Best products.

I know that it is even recommended that we adults choose protein/snack bars marketed to children to avoid the unnecessary processed ingredients – the same thing applies here.

Who cares if Sesame Street is on some of the packaging? Admit it – when you are flipping through the channels on television and you pass Grover sitting in that restaurant making the waiter crazy, you stop and watch it.


* Earth’s Best sent me complimentary products in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions written in this review are my own.


Do you ever throw out your bananas and feel guilty for not using them to bake something?

What was the last thing you baked using overripe bananas?

Do you buy Earth’s Best for your kids? What is their favorite product?

Have you bought children’s snack bars in place of the adult-marketed bars? I know people buy the Cliff Z Bars over the adult version.






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