Today is Joe's 36th birthday! I could write a long and sappy and nauseatingly flattering post about how much I adore him and only occasionally want to strangle him. But that might alienate my readers. No one wants to read constantly about how amazing I think my husband is. And I think I probably do that a bit too much already anyway on this little blog. So, read this post from December instead, or half the other posts here where I extol his many and varied virtues or minor aggravating, yet inevitably charming flaws. But I certainly think it's impossible to tell him that I love him too often, so I love you, Joe Sands.
To celebrate, on Saturday night, we gathered a nice collection of some of our favorite people and went out for a little dinner celebration. Our original restaurant had a two hour wait, so we ran around the corner to the Salty Iguana, they got us seated in just fifteen minutes, not bad for a group of ten, and it was perfect. The walls are covered with goofy paintings of iguanas as people, boating and water skiing, picnicking, throwing parties, it's ridiculous and amusing.
Tara let her hair down for the occasion.
Mike joined us but quickly had to return back to work afterward, completing an urgent, all weekend project. No cake for you. Sad face.
Dad and I talked nonprofit shop talk. And we evidently say the word "conversation" the same way, whatever that might mean.
Kristy checking a score or Imdb'ing something. Then quickly diving back into deep discussions with a five year old.
Maddie enjoyed watching the restaurant chaos, gnawing on a spoon, and smiling for Joe's camera.
Joe, of course enjoyed all the attention, the queso and a frozen margarita. But not having his picture taken quite so much.
Cream cheese enchiladas with black beans! And the tell tale red face and neck from the margarita I imbibed.
And here's the next birthday boy, Mr. Aedan, an almost five year old with spiky, sharp hair, or as Aedan put it hair "like a porcupine."
Kristen says: TACOS! And, her eyes say, "really? are you really taking my photo right now?" I love Aedan's face in this one, refusing to eat his tortilla wrapped hot dog. While Sean attempts to coerce and cajole.
Maddie looks on disapprovingly.
After dinner we all headed back to our house for a little birthday cake and accidental Snow White viewing. I don't find Snow White particularly enchanting at my age. I've seen it too many times. But watching Aedan watch it for the first time was excellent. Who knew those dwarves were so hilarious? His laughter was infectious, and it made me like Snow White again.
And here's my new recipe for the week. Joe's ultimate favorite birthday cake is his grandmother's Toffee Angel Cake. Surprisingly I had never made it before. Joe usually likes to make it himself, he's independent like that. It's ridiculously easy. Buy angel food cake at the store, (you could make one but with two full days of class this weekend I had no time.) Now crush up a bag of Heath or Skor candy bars. I used our Cuisinart because it's fast, but a plastic zip lock bag and a rolling pin do just as well. Then slice the angel food cake into three layers. Next whip up heavy cream, and as it thickens add a jar of butterscotch ice cream topping, and keep whipping the cream until you reach stiff peaks. Then stop, by all means, do not over whip. Now taste it and smile. Ok, wash that finger and don't stick it back in the frosting.
Now get to icing that cake. Be generous with cream and candy topping because there will be a lot leftover if you aren't. Finally stick it in the fridge for at least an hour so that it sets up nicely. Come home from a delicious Mexican dinner, add candles, sing off key, let the birthday boy blow them out, then cut that cake and enjoy. This cake is best when eaten by the second day. After that the frosting starts to separate a bit and get watery. And anyway, it's too delicious to not eat rapidly! So Happy Birthday once again, my Valentine, looking forward to the next 36 years!