It’s my birthday!
Or, at least it was yesterday. And what better way to celebrate then with some of my favorite foods and sharing them with you today.
For such an important day, I had to make sure to have my most favorite breakfast. Chocolate protein Coach’s Oats, topped with Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Spread and a fig, plus my Bombshell Spell on the side!
And no worries, I would never keep something so delicious from you. The recipe is coming soon 🙂
Grapefruit (not pictured)
My lovely friend, Jessie, offered to take me out to lunch for my birthday. I decided to check out Brio, which happens to be right around the corner from both of our offices. I’d never made it over there, but I will definitely be going back! I got the Wood Grilled Salmon Salad, exchanging grilled chicken for the salmon. I was shocked when it came out; so many times I’m disappointed in the size of “entree” salads at restaurants, but this salad was huge! And super delicious. And the steaming hot sourdough bread to start out didn’t hurt either!
Vega One Chocolate Nutritional Shake. I have to say, I was quite impressed with the flavor of this shake. It was my first time trying this brand, and really any vegan brand of protein for that matter, and I’m looking forward to trying the other flavors!
He done good. Real good 🙂 Nathan definitely knows me well enough by now (almost 9 years!) to know that I’m not interested in a bouquet of roses. I just love all of the colors!
Oh heyyyy awesome birthday dinner!
In the spirit of trying new things, we went to Dogwood for dinner last night. Neither of us had ever been there before, but we’ve heard so many good things about it over the years and I’m so glad we finally made it!
The meal started with a deliciously dense homemade bread served with mango butter; a little bit of sweet and a little bit of savory. I ordered the Summer Squeeze, a cocktail of watermelon juice, lemon juice, basil, and house-infused citron vodka. I’m a sucker for any kind of watermelon or cucumber cocktail so I had this one picked out before we even sat down!
For my first course, I chose the Grilled Summer Ratatouille.
Local summer squashes, eggplant & tomato, fresh basil
Nathan described this as a “hug in a bowl.” It was so fresh and flavorful; it was really the perfect comfort dish for a summer evening. Not to mention, it is vegan and gluten-free. For those of you Baltimorian’s out there that are vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free, I would highly recommend Dogwood; everything on their menu is noted, and they even have an entire vegan prix-fixe menu!
For my entree, I was between a few options, but landed on the Pan-seared Wild-caught Swordfish per our waiter’s suggestion.
North Carolina swordfish served with ruby grapefruit, jicama and avocado salad, baby arugula and yukon gold potatoes
He definitely did not steer me wrong! The fish was cooked perfectly, the salad was light and fresh, and the potatoes were creamy and flavorful. And those sauces were divine. I topped off my entree with a glass of white wine recommended, again, by the waiter; a little sweet to play off of the sweetness of the fish.
Dessert was an amazing coconut cake. And if you’re like Nathan or me, you immediately just thought of the coconut cake episode of Good Eats. I will be trying Alton Brown’s recipe very soon.. I couldn’t get enough of the cake!
Oh, and that glass of prosecco? On the house.
As if the food wasn’t wonderful enough, the service at Dogwood was the icing on the (coconut) cake! They were all very attentive and friendly, and always willing to share a recommendation. This restuarant gets a huge Barr & Table seal of approval. I can’t wait to go back!
I completely forgot how much I love fresh figs and have reminded myself in the past week. I could have eaten the entire box in one sitting, but instead I decided to space them out and savor them. Oh, and Nathan doesn’t like them. Darn.. more for me!
What is a food for which you’ve recently re-discovered your love?