I am back in Chicago after a fabulous – albeit too short – trip to Arizona. I sincerely appreciated all of the birthday wishes, comments, emails and Facebook love this weekend. It made my 23rd birthday special and caused me to reflect once again on how lucky I am to have this community. Thank you!
While I was at home with my family, Papa Bender was at it again – pulling out all the stops for both a delicious birthday dinner and breakfast! Care to see the final result?
Dinner: Papa Bender’s Surf ‘n’ Turf Special
The picture looks very “artsy” because it was taken at sunset. Le sigh…
Stop raining Chicago!!!!
That is all.
Anyway, this surf ‘n’ turf special was made up of flank steak, lobster tail, marinated onions and swiss chard. It was heavenly, which was fitting since it had that glow to it 😉
Speaking of “light,” did anyone watch Lost tonight? If so, did anyone else say, “huh?” when it ended?
I am still so confused and have no idea how they are going to resolve this in two episodes!
Let’s all console ourselves by taking a look at the wine that Papa Bender had on hand for dinner 😉
It was called Muirwood Chardonnay Arroyo Seco. Crisp, fruity and relatively cheap. I like it.
It was a fabulous dinner and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my birthday eve.
The next morning, Papa Bender made both a birthday and Mother’s Day brunch for the ladies. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved my mom’s Belgian waffles and my dad’s French toast. For some reason, whenever they tried to swap and have one make the other, it didn’t taste the same! To play it safe, my dad stuck to his specialty – and it was amazing.
Breakfast: Papa Bender’s Top Secret French Toast
I truly don’t have any idea what he adds to make this French toast stand out above all others. Perhaps its the ratio of cinnamon he uses, but it always surpasses anything I try to make myself or order at a restaurant. In true throwback style, I topped my toast with butter and grape jelly – a childhood favorite that I used to eat on pretty much any breakfast item (waffles, too)!
It was truly a delight – thank you, Papa Bender
Last but not least, a big thanks to…my MOM!
Now I know Mother’s Day was on Sunday, but if there is anyone who understands why I’m late, it’s Mama Bender I was born two weeks late, after all. Plus, her tendency to be tardy has been passed along to me – in other words, better late than never. Every day should be Mother’s Day anyway, right?!
We both know that a lot has happened in the past year and I just want to thank you for being there for me through it all. You are my best friend, confidante and ultimate wedding planner (I threw that last one in there just for you). Thank you for always keeping me on my toes, for giving me the best advice – even if I don’t always take it – and for loving me no matter what crazy ideas are up my sleeve. You’re the reason that I am motivated to be my best self every day and treat others with the respect and dignity that they deserve. Even during those times when their actions make it hard to do 😉
I will never be able to truly repay you for what you’ve given me. But I hope that by continuously telling you how much you mean to me and how grateful I am for who you are and what you do every day, you’ll know that if my “repayment” was in love, I would have already paid you back 23 years ago.
You’re the best! Haleakala…xoxo
Now I’m oozing with emotion over here!
Thanks for reading, bloggies Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!
Question: How did you celebrate Mother’s Day? If you’re a mom – happy belated!!