Monday, October 10, 2011

Birthday Dinner

October may possibly be my favorite month of the year.  There are so many things I love, including the cool crisp fall air, apple season, farmers markets, the smell of wood-burning fireplaces, holiday decorations that fill store aisles, and birthday celebrations.  My Mom and I nearly share birthdays - mine on the 11th and Mom's on the 13th.  Regardless of whether I've been in college or medical school, I've always made it back home for the weekend on either side of our birthdays to celebrate with the family.  I was fortunate this year that my schedule allowed me to get away for yet another October vacation.
Enjoying every moment of my vacation with the people who have supported me through it all!
Last night we went to Firestone Wood Fired Pizza and Grill in downtown Woodstock to celebrate.  The restaurant scene in our area is pretty pathetic, and so we often venture downtown or towards Roswell for most special occasions.  I've heard great things about Firestone and have been craving a great pizza for weeks, so it fit the bill for the birthday dinner.

Our table started with a mix of appetizers, which included Calamari, Fig Pizza, and Grilled Artichokes with Lemon and Honey.  My favorite were the artichokes - grilled to perfection and perfect combination of flavors!  The Fig Pizza was good, but sadly quite sparse on the figs. For my entree I went back and forth between the pizzas, but eventually settled on the "Crispy Shrimp Pizza".
Crispy Shrimp | $13.50
Hot Cherry Peppers, Arugula, Roasted Garlic Aioli

Overall, it was delicious!  I was expected fried shrimp given the "crispy" title, so I was pleasantly surprised to find the shrimp were simply grilled.  I opted to try the gluten-free crust since I had never seen that as an option on a menu before.  Sadly, it was not nearly as crispy as the traditional crust.  Oh well, live and learn.  Fortunately, the leftovers crisped up just perfectly for lunch today, so I still got to enjoy the crispy thin crust pizza I had been craving.

Dessert was literally the "icing on the cake".  My grandparents joined us for dinner and brought a surprise birthday cake!  
Caramel Pecan Crunch Cake from the Publix Bakery
This was easily the best cake I've eaten in a very long time.  Publix, I'll be back for that cake again soon!  That is, of course, after I demolish the leftovers calling my name from the refrigerator.  It took a lot of will-power to resist having cake for breakfast.  After hitting the gym for strength and yoga tonight, you can be sure to find me snuggled up in pajamas and eating cake!

The evening concluded with presents.  I received so many fantastic gifts!
  • Vitamix Blender - this thing is life-changing, and deserves a blog post all to itself!

  • Phillips Fidelio speaker dock - awesome gift from my brother, can't wait blast music thru my house

  • Bluesky Scrub Hats - no more ugly cafeteria-lady OR hats
  • Triathlon Medal Hanger - perfect addition to my "triathlon" room and solution for my bag full of medals
  • Scarf and French-Themed Recipe + Music Set - from my grandparents, perfect for the cooler weather

Delicious dinner + decadent cake + gifts + celebrating with family = PERFECT NIGHT!  Thanks for sharing a birthday with me, Mom.  Can't wait to celebrate again next year!

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