Happy 21st birthday. It seems like just yesterday when you were a little boy but in you've grown so much in the blink of an eye. You probably don't realize how proud of you I am everytime I look at you.
I'm always proud of you and even when I'm tired or times are tough, I think of you and your brother and I regain my spirit. I love you son and your dreams will always come true.
Yes, today was my birthday but it wasn't celebrated with candles, cakes, streamers, family, friends or alcohol for that matter. It was spent quietly alone in my apartment as I read this card, ate 2 of my all-time favorite meals and listened to the oddly calming rain drop outside my window. Not what you would expect for a typical 21st birthday but the combination of nonstop rain and 2 upcoming tests orchestrated this quiet night. And strangely enough, I'm kind of glad it worked out this way.
There are some people in this world that you just want to see happy no matter what and these 2 are those people for me. I don't know what it is - it's another unexplainable phenomena that I really don't care for figuring out why. Seeing these two happy makes me happy. I want it to stay that way and get them smiling again when they're sad. It's something that I could never tell them in person but if you guys happen to read this - thank you. For everything.
Ashley from hiking in stilettos gave me a couple chocolate pumpkin whoopie pies but I ate them before I could take a photo. An unfortunate case but a delicious one at that. Thank you for the treat my dear friend.
For dinner, I had 2 of my favorite dishes. Roasted bone marrows and hot chocolate fondant. Don't turn your nose away at bone marrow - it's absolutely delicious. As Anthony Bourdain describes it, "If God made butter, this would be it". Spread this over some toasted French bread and top it with a little sea salt. I actually like mine with a little balsamic vinegar as it cuts down on the richness. Regardless, it's a delicious and luxurious treat. My actual favorite dessert is creme brulee but I didn't have time to make it. Hot chocolate fondant comes in at a close second and who could blame me? A soft chocolate cake filled with a molten, lava inside.
Overall, it's been a pretty damn good birthday. I'm glad to be surrounded by people I love, be blessed by His presence and enjoy doing something I'm passionate about: eating and cooking food.
Roasted Marrow Bone and Parsley Salad
Adapted from Fergus Henderson
- 8 beef or veal bone marrows, 3" long
- 1 cup roughly chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons capers, drained
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 1.5 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 8 slices of toasted French bread
- drizzle of balsamic vinegar and coarse sea salt to taste
1) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the bones cut side up on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook until the marrow is soft. About 15 minutes. The marrow should be soft but not completely melted out of the actual bone.
2) While the marrows are cooking, chop the parsley, slice the shallot and mix together with the rest of the ingredients.
3) Put roasted bones on plate with a side of salad and 2 slices of toasted French bread.
4) Scoop out the marrow, spread over toast, sprinkle salt, drizzle balsamic vinegar (place parsley salad on top if you want) and eat.
Adapted from Gordon Ramsay's F Word, Serves 2
- 4 tablespoons of butter plus more for greasing
- 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder, to dust
- 2 oz. dark chocolate
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 0.333 cup superfine sugar
- 0.333 cup AP flour, sifted
- icing powder for garnish
1) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Melt the butter and dark chocolate over a double boiler until incorporated. Set aside and cool briefly.
2) Combine the whole egg, egg yolk and sugar in a bowl. Whisk together until pale and thickened.
3) Butter a ramekin and add cocoa powder, turning it around until the inside is completely covered.
4) Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, add it into the eggs/sugar in 2 batches. It's important that the chocolate isn't too hot or it'll curdle the eggs - giving it a grainy and awful texture.
5) Fold the flour into the chocolate mixture until mixed evenly.
6) Divide the mixture evenly between the ramekins and bake for 12 - 14 minutes. The baking time may be longer/shorter depending on the size of your ramekin.
7) Turn the chocolate fondant out onto a warm plate and dust with icing sugar. Serve alongside vanilla ice cream (I didn't have any boo). I believe the picture below is what you would call the "money shot".
(oh yeah...the gooey, warm, lava inside)