This week is my birthday and we’re celebrating with an intimate family dinner party at home. For the past couple of years we’ve gone to Palm Springs for a grown up weekend retreat but this year I felt like keeping it simple and special. Here’s the menu I’ve planned if your interested.

To Start

Bellini’s – Have you had them before? Oh deliciousness! These are simply champagne with a little peach nectar added in. We’ll sip these while cooking and chatting before dinner.

Ceasar Salad – I considered doing something fancier like crab cakes, which would be wonderful, but the truth is I love salad and it will be perfect with this rich meal. What makes this special for a birthday dinner is making your own dressing. A classic with olive oil, a little Dijon, a clove of garlic, an anchovy, a splash of champagne vinaigrette a raw egg for creaminess and whir it up in the mini food processor. Tossed with cold crunchy romaine, fresh grated Parmesan, and good quality croutons. It doesn’t get better than that!

For the Main Meal

Ribeye Steak DinnerRib Eye Steaks with Herbed Anchovy and Lime butter – Granted that butter may sound a bit crazy to some but I like strong flavors and you would not BELIEVE how amazing this butter is with really juicy steaks. It makes them ten times better, and that’s not easy! Just combine an anchovy fillet or two, 2 cloves of garlic, softened butter, a handful of parsley leaves, a pinch of kosher salt, and one lime zested and then juiced. Whir it up in the mini processor and top each hot steak with a generous dollop before serving.

I’ll also be rubbing the steaks liberally with Santa Maria steak seasoning the day before so they absorb all that deliciousness and then (very important because these are thick steaks) bringing them to close to room temperature before cooking by taking them out of the fridge before I pour the first Bellini. 🙂

To Go With The Steaks

Sautéed until beautifully limp and carmelized: a mixture of mushrooms, onions, and red bell peppers. These we top our steaks with.

Broccolini sautéed separately from the other veggies until it’s bright green and still crunchy with garlic and lemon.

For Dessert

Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Cake!!! – Until just recently, when we stopped into a Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream parlor after one of our long beach walks, I had no idea they made ice cream cakes. Mind! Blown! Along with children everywhere, ice cream cake is one of my all time favorite desserts. Now pair that concept with Ben And Jerry’s crazy delicious and unusual mixtures and this seems like the perfect way to end this birthday meal.

Do you have any special meals coming up? Anything your planning? I love coming up with menus so if you ever want to brainstorm together just reach out in the comments.

Happy Birthday to any other Gemini’s out there! I am more aware than ever lately how precious life is and I’m well past the silliness of not celebrating at all (what was I thinking?!) or lamenting that I’m another year older. I am GRATEFUL!

Wishing you lots of love and yummy meals with the ones you love!

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