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A Must-Try Birthday Dinner

By: Amanda Magnus

Another birthday?! Yes! We have a birthday every month from December to February. This time it was my husband’s birthday. So unlike the other two birthdays we recently celebrated, there was no birthday board or decorations for this one. 🙂 But he did get a pretty great birthday dinner!

I recently went to Danielle Walker’s book tour in Chicago for her new cookbook Eat What You Love. If you haven’t heard of her before, check out her blog. She has a lot of great recipes! I have 3 of her cookbooks now and I love all of them. Since I’ve been going through her cookbooks again I decided to find a new recipe to try!

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So, for Brian’s birthday dinner I used her Celebrations cookbook. This one has a menu plan for every occasion throughout the year! I chose to do the Valentine’s day meal since I knew it would be something Brian would like and it was almost Valentine’s Day!

Besides just planning the food menu I found a wine at Total Wine & More that looked good. It was a bourbon barrel aged Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a good wine and paired great with our meal!

On the menu first was a wedge salad. Brian loves wedge salads and I honestly don’t know why I don’t think to make them more. They are so easy and you can tailor it to your own tastes. Basically just take a head of lettuce and cut into quarters then add your toppings and dressing. I did cherry tomatoes, bacon, shaved carrot pieces and ranch dressing.

Wedge Salads

Next up was the main course which was cabernet-braised beef with parsnip-turnip puree and a side of roasted broccoli. This turned out great! I’ve never tried parsnips and turnips before so I wasn’t sure how the puree was going to turn out but Brian and I both really liked it. It was really smooth and creamy. The taste was fairly mild too, similar to a mashed potato. It does have a different taste than a potato, but I’m not quite sure how to describe it. Either way, it was a great recipe!

For the final course, I made a salted caramel-chocolate panna cotta. I have only had panna cotta one other time before this and I knew I really liked it. This recipe was all dairy-free and sugar-free. Instead of regular sugar, it used maple syrup and coconut sugar. To help things thicken up, the recipe called for some gelatin. I think next time I’d use a little less gelatin as I’d prefer a bit more creamy texture over the jello type texture it had. The bottom layer was a chocolate ganache. 

If you want to try making this be sure to grab Danielle Walker’s Celebrations cookbook. The other two I have that I really like are Meals Made Simple and her newest one Eat What You Love. Do you have a favorite birthday dinner? What are your birthday traditions?

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