Sunday, October 19, 2008

Michael's birthday extravaganza

Yesterday was Michael's 24th birthday.  His dad and sister (and her hubby) came down and a big celebration was in order for my favorite boy.  We started as soon as I got out of work on Friday.  Several beers later, we were all sort of too incapacitated to make anything fancy, so I whipped up some 'chicken' fajitas with guacamole.
big pot of sizzlin' yumminess

Those are Morningstar organic chickn strips, onions, some garlic, and a bunch of those peppers from my freezer, mixed up with a packet of fajita seasoning.  We hadn't had fajitas in a long time (mostly because I haven't been buying the chickn strips) and these were deeeeelicious.
allll the fixins

I did mine up right with salsa, lettuce, guacamole, hot sauce, and scallions.  Michael did all that, but he put it in a bowl and ate it with a fork.  As usual, it looks nicer than mine!

After a nice long sleep, I made him breakfast in the morning.  A scramble and potatoes were requested, so off I went to create some awesomeness.  Michael likes his scrambles mexi-style, and even though we had fajitas just 10 hours earlier, mexi-style it was!  Still, I did it a little differently than usual, and it turned out quite nicely.  
served up with roasted potatoes, toast, and salsa

These were totally just what we needed while watching Heavyweights on the Hallmark channel nursing slight hangovers.
perfect way to start a birthday

I spent the next 3 hours creating cupcakes for dessert later.  Michael wanted the apple cider cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, so that's what I did!  It's amazing that these even came together at all because I decided to double the recipe (totally unnecessary, but whatever, you can't have too many cupcakes right?) and realized that I was lacking in a few ingredients.  Like, apple butter, maple syrup, AP flour, and regular sugar.  Ha!  I used up what apple butter I had and subbed in some pumpkin butter, but it was using too much, so I topped it off with applesauce.  I had almost enough maple syrup, topped that off with agave nectar.  Subbed in whole wheat pastry flour for AP, and beet sugar for regular granulated sugar.  (Beet sugar is awesome, by the way!  It's super cheap [cheaper than sucanat] and works just as well as normal sugar.)  Anyway, they ended up turning out pretty damned spectacular, if I may say so.
miles and miles of cupcakes

As you can see, my piping skills could use a little work, but it was my first time piping frosting EVER, so it's not too bad for that.  I added pumpkin pie spice to the icing (vanilla 'butter'cream) and sprinkled the tops with cinnamon.  Michael frosted a special one for himself:
it's in the top left corner, making my cupcakes look stupid in comparison

For dinner, we went to Hibachi to eat in the Japanese section.  It's one of those tepenyaki places where they cook in front of you (and Michael works there, but in the sushi section).  Because of that, we know everyone who works there, which made a nice little birthday celebration dinner.  Michael promplty got lost in a bamboo forest!
'where am i?'

And this is Nick, our chef and buddy:
he's the coolest dude who works there.  we hang out.  it's fun.

We started off with a seaweed salad.  I love seaweed salads.  That sesame dressing is...oh yes.  Yum.
it looks so weird, but tastes so good.

The show started off with an onion volcano!

And here's all our wonderful veggies on the grill:
broccoli, peppers, onions, zucchini, mushrooms, and bean sprouts in the background

Since we know the chefs, they always cook our veggies before any of the meat, so we don't get tainted food.  On top of the best noodles on the entire planet, this ended up being a pretty fabulous meal, even without any protein.
i could eat those noodles all day every day forever and ever

That's ok, we had to save room for cupcakes.
here's our friend andrew, chowing down on a vegan cupcake and loving every bite

So then my camera died.  Boo.  However, the birthday awesomeness continues today (except way quieter with much less drinking involved) in the form of laying around and watching football (Pittsburgh totally destroyed Cincinnati!  Yeah!) and later making Michael his requested homemade birthday dinner.  

Sorry if this has been a little dry...but I'm tired and a little braindead, so you'll need to forgive me!


Chessa said...

Wow, that looks like quite the extravaganza!!! Nice cupcakes, I am totally starving for one RIGHT NOW. Bring it. And your piping looks just fine, I totally feel you on learning the piping thing. It's harder than it looks.

I LOVE seaweed salad, too! So freaking good. Sesame oil...mmmm...

And those fajitas look fabulous! Alright, now I'm starving.

miss v said...

wow. a total food extravaganza. and all your cookins' look fantastical. nice piping job!

Virginia said...

its funny about the tofu scramble, potatoes, and toast because that is what I made this morning! im gonna blog it tomorrow!

cupcakes look awesome! i just made the fauxtess cupcakes from VWAV but won't be blogging them bc they are ugly =(

jessy said...

hooray for a fantastical birthday extravaganza! looks like Michael had the most fantastical birthday, indeed!

i knew i was missing something. fajitas. damn, i haven't had fajitas in about a year - i think the last ones i had were when i was an omni. now i want fajitas. dan and i will have to make some next week. sweet shit, those look super stellar! and i like your's all done right - f* the bowl, the tortilla is what it's all about.

ahhhhhhhhahhahhaaa - your cuppies are amazing! hooray for them turning out to be quite magnificent - and hooray for them be'n rock'n with adjustments, too. i have totally done stuff like that before (lots of sub'n), but not had such success. sadface. those are some happyfaced cuppies, and i could eat a manly pile of them, too! you're brave to try piping icing, Jessica (and by the way - your piping is super mighty fine, indeed). i fear piping because i know that were i to pipe icing it might look like cat poo. and cat poo shaped icing is not what i'm trying to accomplish.

you get BEAN SPROUTS at your "japanese place of fun where they cook in front of you"?! i need our "japanese place of fun where they cook in front of you" to get on the bandwagon and get some damn sprouts! seaweed salad has to be one of my top 10 most favoritest foods EVER! omg - mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

oh, and the scramble. sorry, i almost forgot about the scramble. it looks perfect, and so do those potatoes. and i love the plate with the gigantical pile 'o ketchup because i love ketchup the mostest! hoooooooooooray! you are too sweet to make Michael's birthday so damn awesome! superdoublew00t!

Anonymous said...

Aww that looks like such a great bday! Tons of fun:D

vegan addict said...

The fajitas look delicious, the cupcakes are gorgeous, and don't get me started on noodles... I could eat noodles every day too. Glad to see that the birthday bash was a success!

Your package is shipping tomorrow! Be excited!

aTxVegn said...

Those Japanese restaurants are so fun. You did fantastic cooking/baking all weekend. I don't think you can ever have too much Mexican food or too many cupcakes.

Anonymous said...

happy belated birthday to the spoiled boy!
go get some rest, yo.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to Michael!

Anonymous said...

It is so funny but last night I went for teppanyaki too! I had veg, fried rice, noodles and also a veggie sushi roll. It was all so yummy. They did the onion volcano thing too. I love to have veg teppanyaki. The cupcakes came out great, fancy piping. I don't bake at all so these are spectacular to me. What a lucky Michael is.

Jeni Treehugger said...

Those Fajitas look fancy to me. And good piping skills too missus.
Looks like you had a FAB time!!

Sal said...

That all looks awesome, I think you did a great job with the piping.

You should have seen my first effort (and several since) - a 5 year old would have done a better job! :)

Vegan_Noodle said...

Love your cupcakes!! That's a flavor I've never made and now am interested to try them! Happy belated birthday to Michael!