The Birthday Boy Named Karen

by Jenn (eating bender) on September 15, 2009


Happy Tuesday! We made it through the Monday “blues” and now we’re one step closer to the next weekend. But who’s counting? πŸ˜‰

I mentioned this in the comment section on my poll post, but thank you to everyone who voted and shared their thoughts about what you want to see on the blog. As always, this ended up being one of those “unintentional ego boosters” where fellow bloggers and readers show how amazing they are.

Here were the results:

Total Votes: 166

  • Keep the “current hodge podge” – 51% (87 votes)
  • Daily post of what I eat – 33% (56 votes)
  • Scheduled posting topics – 14% (23 votes)
  • Other – 2% (4 votes)

The “other” answers included daily eats, exercise, job stuff, and wedding stuff – and one of you even responded with, “you.” I don’t know who said that because it’s anonymous, but you made my day :mrgreen:

Basically, the feedback I got from many of you matches the conclusion I’ve come to: you gotta blog what you feel or it’s not worth it! I’m so lucky to have readers and friends who understand that!

I know that this may be trivial (I don’t in any way mean to sound like I think my blog is central to your day!), but if you’re interested, I’ve decided that I will obviously keep up the current “hodge podge” that includes both eats and tidbits from my life – job, workout, wedding, etc. – because that seems to be what works for everyone (including me!). But within that hodge podge, I will also be including certain days of “daily eats” that will appeal to those of you who voted for that second option. I’m also going to try to post a little something each day – whether it’s a full post or just some fun article links (if you remember the “Mish Mosh” from last year).

Thanks for letting me type that out :) Clearly, I needed it. You all rock.


The Birthday Boy Named Karen

As many of you know (he thanks you for the well wishes!), this weekend was Bobby’s 23rd birthday. We had a great birthday celebration at McCormick & Schmick’s on Saturday night.


Aww :)

It wasn’t his actual birthday yet, but I told the restaurant ahead of time and they delivered…


See it says, “Happy Birthday, Karen!!!” That’s my guy πŸ˜‰ Oh wait…

Well, after forgiving them for confusing “Bobby” with “Karen” (easy mistake, right?), we sat down and took a look at the menu. Chef Sullivan’s Recommendation of Mahi Mahi sounded good to me, so I ordered that while Bobby ordered the halibut.

But first…an amuse bouche! They brought one out for each of us in honor of the birthday girl boy. The waiter described it as a Mini Oysters Rockefeller with a savory filling and a rich cream sauce on top. All I know is that it was very good and cleansed my palate :)


The birthday boy decided to order a Sierra Nevada on tap and kindly offered to share. We had it with the sourdough loaf that came out before the meal, which Bobby gave the thumbs up. I did, too!


And then, we feasted! My Mahi Mahi came pan seared with a salt + pepper crust that was absolutely bursting with juicy flavor. Honestly, after every bite I must have said, “Mmmm!” It was awesome.


One of the best parts was underneath: butternut squash risotto and sauteed asparagus. Both excellent! The risotto was so melt-in-your-mouth creamy and rich that I easily gobbled the entire dish.


Then came the birthday celebration! The waiter brought out a complimentary dessert complete with a candle (which Bobby had the hardest time blowing out, haha). It was essentially a rich milk chocolate dessert cup filled with chocolate mousse and berries and topped with rich whipped cream. Yum! I think we both agreed that this restaurant certainly knows how to celebrate a birthday.


The next morning, Sunday, was Bobby’s official birthday. To celebrate, I agreed to make him a batch of Ebleskiver Pancakes. I tried to fill the first batch with jam but quickly realized that jam = sugar = a burnt hot mess. I gladly took the first batch for myself and filled subsequent batches with frozen blueberries, which turned out MUCH better :) Here’s my burnt beauties topped with whipped cream because, why not?


They still tasted great, minus the fact that they had a little char here and there πŸ˜‰


We also celebrated by breaking out our Bobby’s new homemade popcorn maker! It was a gift from his parents – the gift that keeps on giving, if you ask me. The brand is Stir Crazy. Bobby decided we needed enough kernels to make “4 quarts” of popcorn. I’m not quite sure why I agreed without question, but we added the kernels andΒ 2 tbsp. canolaΒ oil to the machine…


It said it would take 2-3 minutes, so we opened bottles of 312 while waiting πŸ˜‰ It was a day filled with football, so it seemed appropriate. After a minute or so, it started popping…and quickly filled up the entire machine!!


Once we were sure it had stopped popping, we flipped over the black bowl as the directions stated. It couldn’t have been easier.


Voila! A massive bowl of popcorn :) We topped it with some ranch-flavored popcorn salt and got to munching while watching the games (yeeaaah Packers!!). It was a great birthday gift. Microwave popcorn has nothing on the authentic, fresh taste of homemade.


It was a fabulous football- and food-filled weekend! And what did I get the birthday boy? Why, Season 5 of The Office, of course! We are currently watching and hoping to get caught up just in time for the new season to start this Thursday. We’ll probably have to DVR a few episodes, but soon we’ll be watching weekly and finally be “in” on the latest gossip πŸ˜‰

Speaking of gossip…I had to tape Gossip Girl last night! How was it? Wait, don’t give anything away! Just give me a few adjectives…

Alright, off to work I go! Have a fabulous day, everyone.




{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chocolate-Covered Katie September 15, 2009 at 8:15 am

Chocolate mousse?! You’ve got yourself a SMART guy! That’s how I chose to celebrate my birthday too.

No better dessert πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

I forgot to vote, but I agree with the majority in that I like the hoge podge.



2 VeggieGirl September 15, 2009 at 8:17 am

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY TO DEAR BOBBY!! So sweet of you, Jenn, to take him to McCormick & Schmick’s AND to make him those special pancakes :)

**Gossip Girl = lots of cliffhangers!! Definitely tune in next week.


3 Erica September 15, 2009 at 8:24 am

hahahahahha Karen! I love it πŸ˜‰ The dessert looks INCREDIBLE. Yummy! And I am loving the popcorn machine! I bet that was a great snack. Enjoy your week


4 Whit September 15, 2009 at 8:27 am

Happy belated birthday to the Boy called Karen! πŸ˜€


5 megzzwinsatlife September 15, 2009 at 8:54 am

That popcorn machine looks fun!! All your food looks soo good!!! Soo excited for next weeks gossip girl!


6 brandi September 15, 2009 at 8:54 am

that’s funny that they put Karen :) still looks like it was a great birthday meal! Glad you two could celebrate together :)


7 Sara September 15, 2009 at 9:22 am

Ha ha…because “Bobbie” and “Karen” are such similar names! That popcorn maker is so cool. I’ve never seen one like that.


8 Mara @ What's For Dinner? September 15, 2009 at 9:24 am

Would you believe that a) I have NEVER been to McCormick & Schmichs, despite the fact there’s one 10 minutes from me, and b) have been coveting a stir crazy popcorn maker FOREVER? I might have to add one to the registry…

I love that you’re going to keep up the mish-mash :)


9 Marisa (Trim The Fat) September 15, 2009 at 9:39 am

LOL! How on earth could they confuse Bobby and Karen??!! At least the food looked great!

Happy Birthday, Bobby!!


10 bananaandchocolate September 15, 2009 at 9:45 am

The Karen/Bobby mix up made me laugh! How did they get Karen from Bobby? Looks like you had a great meal despite the mix up! I’m super jealous of the popcorn maker, I love hot fresh popcorn!


11 Natalie September 15, 2009 at 9:47 am

I too was pumped about the Packer win!

I LOVE making homemade popcorn, although we just do it over the stove. That’s a sweet popcorn maker. You should add a little bit of sugar and then sprinkle with salt for the ultimate kettle corn. It’s soooo good!


12 ksgoodeats September 15, 2009 at 10:07 am

Glad Karen had a great birthday!! πŸ˜‰ That’s too funny! That risotto and dessert look delicious!

Call me crazy but I love me some char so your ebleskiver sounds delicious!! Love the popcorn maker and hooray for The Office!! Sounds like a great weekend!


13 Jess (Fit Chick in the City) September 15, 2009 at 10:34 am

Love the popcorn maker!!! I have to get one and figure out a way to make my teeny kitchen accommodate more appliances.


14 Lele September 15, 2009 at 10:58 am

Mmmm that chocolate mousse at M+S is unreal. The first and only time I went there I had it, and we begged the waiter to tell us what was in it, and he said the secret ingredient was espresso!


15 carolinebee September 15, 2009 at 11:08 am

hahaha OMG Karen….that is freakin hilarious. At least they came through with the bomb food, otherwise……!! That sounds soo amazing, and look at u little Julia C whipping up those fancy pancakes! Yesssssssss for the hodge podge can’t wait πŸ˜€


16 Karla September 15, 2009 at 12:03 pm

HAHA, you crack me up Jenn! I’m sure Karen was just a typo–someone who just needs a better spellcheck, right? Happy, happy birthday Bobby!

Dinner, breakfast and snack all looked amazing and I second the “Go Packers!” My parents have a retro popcorn maker that looks just like that except with ’70s colors and a crack in the lid that covers the vent holes πŸ˜‰

Glad to hear that you found a blog schedule that works for you. We’ll love whatever you decide to post for us!


17 The Foodie Diaries September 15, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Ahhh I’ve been dying to try ebelskiver!! And I am ridiculously jealous of your popcorn machine

PS I think GG was meh in comparison to other episodes–but lots of cliffhangers. I hope this season remains strong!


18 Shannon September 15, 2009 at 2:50 pm

hehe, oops! ah well, still looks like a fabulous dinner for the bday boy :) i’ve been eye-ing that pan, and think of you every time. i’ll get it someday!


19 Kelly Turner September 15, 2009 at 3:08 pm

ooo fancy eats- I wish it was my birthday!


20 Kristie September 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Happy Birthday Karen! Haha, that’s too funny. At least they got the food right because it looks darn amaaaazing. Admittedly though I think I’m more amazed by the ebleskiver pancakes. They just take the cake in the cute food department. All pancakes should be little round puffballs!

I love the popcorn machine too. I really want to get one myself, forget that micro bag junk. Homemade is so much more fun!

I’m still making my way through Season 1 of GG. Then I have to track down season 2… watching the newest just doesn’t seem right when I’m not all caught up on the back history!


21 Gina September 15, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Oh yeah, Bobby sounds SO much like Karen!! haha, that’s funny. Your meals look amazing, I am a fan of Mahi Mahi, and really any fish prepared by a nice restaurant! I also love Sierra Nevada. It’s one of my favorites.


22 angieinatlanta September 15, 2009 at 5:11 pm

That’s such a cute popcorn maker! I want!

And those pancakes look perfect! What are you talking about, lady? I’d love to wake up to those!


23 melissa September 15, 2009 at 5:16 pm

WOW! Looked like a super meal. The Mahi Mahi and Risotto sounded/looked amazing!


24 Bec September 15, 2009 at 6:10 pm

what a yummy birthday celebration!


25 foodieinthecity September 15, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Two things:

1. In Minneapolis, we went to a restaurant called Chino Latino that did the same personalized menu for my birthday. I loved it!

2. 312 beer is my favorite! I totally freak out when I am at a bar that has it :)

Have a wonderful evening!


26 verbalriot September 15, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Happy birthday to Bobby…I mean…Karen :)

What a wonderful bday dinner AND a great bday gift from you. LOVE me some Office!


27 MarathonVal September 15, 2009 at 8:44 pm

1) Thanks for the birthday shout out! :)

2) Hilarious about “Karen”, but despite the goof I’m glad you guys still loved M & S’s – heard it’s awesome

3) So we ended up ordering Thai Spoon tonight! We got delivery since Mike actually has the flu, but it was great! Didn’t get the 1/2 off since that’s only for dine-in but it was still great prices and good food. Thanks for the tip! Keep the S. Loop restaurant tidbits coming! πŸ˜‰


28 broccolihut September 15, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Happy belated to Bobby!
That popcorn maker sounds like so much fun, as does the ranch flavored popcorn seasoning. Can’t wait to see what other combos you come up with!


29 Brittany September 15, 2009 at 9:07 pm


I get a feeling that you and Mister Bobby like to celebrate at McCormick & Schmick’s. I’m pretty certain that I’ve read about you all celebrating there before. It makes perfect sense as they have delicious food. Everything looks awesome.

I love the popcorn maker. It’s always fun when a significant other gets a gift you can use as well. :)

Happy late birthday to Bobby!


30 GlidingCalm September 15, 2009 at 9:48 pm



loving on that popcorn maker too! and i will never get over your pancake maker! ADORAAAAAAAALBE pancakeys.

love you Bender. I was just telling my mama about your wedding today! πŸ˜€


31 Jessica (jesslikesithot) September 15, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Soo I just commented, but I don’t think it went through! Basically, GG had some major eye-candy going on (oooooh nate & chuck), and your home-made popcorn must be so convenient and delicious!! Happy belated bday to bobby! Have a great Wednesday Jenn!


32 Miz. September 16, 2009 at 4:03 am


and happy belatedbelated to bobby who chose one of my fave restaurants!

Im a sushi or steakhouse girl.

(and theres plenty of both in austin if you come visit :) Im just sayin’…)


33 Shannon (The Daily Balance) September 16, 2009 at 7:29 am

Great birthday dinner!!

Homemade popcorn looks delish and that seasoning sounds heavenly!


34 Diana (Soap & Chocolate) September 16, 2009 at 10:42 am

Gosh, something about those chubby little pancakes just makes them look way better than their flat cousins. Especially with filling! Reminds me of a German pancake (I think)–I had one only once in my life, this big thick singular pancake with like, apples inside or something…it was just a little bit tasty. :) Happy belated to Bobby!


35 buffmuffy September 16, 2009 at 11:56 am

ahhh that dessert looks FABULOUS! As does your breakfast! How on earth did you make those little puffs????

the popcorn thing looks awesome!

ooo gossip girl, i have yet to watch it and many more things off the dvr! eek!


36 Maggie September 16, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Thanks darling!!! You are so sweet :)

I love homemade popcorn. So good. I get a cheddar flavored topping; I forget what it’s called.


37 Molly September 16, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Hey Jen!!! It’s Molly again, and first off I STILL visit your blog often and I STILL love it! I owe you a long-overdue congrats on your engagement! (another Red Knight couple gettin hitched, it’s crazy!)

Also I started my own blog (something I have been trying to do for over a year now!)
(Ill be writing a lot about BSM because I work there now! It’s SO weird. You have no idea)

If you have time come on over and check it out :)

hope all is well!!!
<3 Molly


38 jennifer September 17, 2009 at 12:27 pm

i doubt the oyster and cream amuse bouche “cleansed your palate”, but i bet it at least amused your palate! yum!


39 april September 17, 2009 at 9:51 pm

That mousse looks fantastic!!


40 Dawn (HealthySDLiving) September 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Happy Birthday Bobby/Karen! :)
Everything looks delicious!


41 Erin September 19, 2009 at 6:12 pm

My love, I just read your most recent post and my heart is absolutley with you.
Bob-D is such a hot piece of ass. I mean, happy belated birthday πŸ˜‰
Also, I’ll admit that I voted for daily eats. But I want you to know why – it’s a selfish way for me to stay dialed into your everyday life. I’ve missed you. I’m so glad you have a life though, and I really want you to live it my darling.


42 Julie @savvyeats September 27, 2009 at 5:54 pm

I have that popcorn maker! So amazing!


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