Birthday Surprises + Cheesecake Dessert Giveaway

I should probably stop celebrating my birthday now.

But at 32 I’m just not that mature yet.

Vegas had an amazing surprise planned for me on my birthday… but she didn’t wait until the day of to treat me!  And – because I don’t think you should stop being treated either – I have a delicious (healthy-ish!) cheesecake dessert giveaway for you at the end of this post.

So.  To begin the birthday celebration we first went to a fabulous dinner on my birthday-eve.  The Patio on Goldfinch  has been on my list to try for a long time.  Vegas picked me up in my freshly washed car (another treat!) and we had a lovely evening out.  How fabulous does this look?!

The Patio on Goldfinch

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Sticky Toffee Rum Balls [Recipe]

I hate to waste food.

Especially dessert.

While that Sticky Toffee Stout Pudding I posted last week was fantastic, it made a lot for two people to eat.  I couldn’t imagine letting it go to waste, so I starting thinking of alternate uses.

Leave it to me to reach the conclusion that I should add more booze and make it into balls.  Strange but good Sticky Toffee Rum Balls!

Sticky Toffee Rum Balls… 

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Rainbow Layer Cake [Recipe]

It’s my birthday week!!!

So I made myself a cake.

Actually, I made this cake on the 4th of July… but I consider the whole month my birthday.  Therefore, this was a marriage equality-4th of July-birthday cake.

Baking is relaxing to me.  The more complicated, the more fun.  I think it’s like playing music of painting for some people.  if I can come home and bake after a long day, I’m a happy (birthday) girl.

Baking the layers

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Entertaining My Family in San Diego [WIAW]

My mom and baby sister are here.

Watch out San Diego! 

I haven’t seen my family since leaving Atlanta in February.  I’ve been looking forward to having my mom and one of my sisters here for weeks!  Naturally, the first thing I did way try to kill them with an 8 mile hike in 90 degree temps.

Potato Chip Rock hike… 

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Freedom for All 4th of July Recipes

Any holiday that involves good food is my favorite.

Bonus if it includes fireworks.

This 4th of July I have no clue what we will do… it’s my first not in Atlanta.  Usually I run the Peachtree Road Race… maybe I’ll run my own 10K?  Or maybe I’ll just have a marathon cooking session…

Either way, below are a bunch of recipes that I think would make for a tasty 4th, whether you are home or away, American or just like delicious food!

Oh yeah… and this happened:

SCOTUS marriage equality ruling

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Cinnamon Roll Protein Mug Cake [Recipe]

Cinnamon rolls kill me.

That smell in the mall… Pavlovian response.

It’s been years since I’ve gotten one, but walking past a certain cinnamon roll chain had me craving a cinnamon roll.  I swear they put crack in those things.

In my shipment from About Time, I received a few proteins to sample.  I decided it was the perfect opportunity for a little mug cake experiment!  Mug cakes may seem normal to many of you… but to the “normal” world I think it qualified as strange.  But good. 😉

Cinnamon Roll Protein Mug Cake… 

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Spring into Strange (But Good)

I always look forward to spring.

Except the pollen.  Who knew San Diego had pollen?!

Spring food is the best.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a roasted winter squash and the orange glow that comes with it.  The lighter, fresh spring fare has my heart though.

Today’s #strangebutgood is a round up of some of my favorite spring recipes.  Some stranger than others.  All good.  In my not-so-humble opinion.

Berry Chia Pudding

Berry Chia Pudding… 

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Grand Marnier Cranberry Cookies [Recipe]

One of my favorite parts about living in California is the food.

My inner fat kid is in heaven.

Aside from all of the restaurants we’ve been trying, I’ve also loved all the produce.  Citrus is amazing here!  These protein lemon squares didn’t last long in my kitchen… but the cookies I’m sharing today disappeared almost immediately!

I had a bunch of oranges left over from our citrus picking adventure and was trying to think of a fun way to use it.  Naturally, I turned to cookies and booze.  Boozy cookies might seem a bit strange, but they are amazingly good.

Grand Marnier Cranberry Cookies

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Oatmeal Jam Cookies [Recipe]

The fun part about moving is using all the baking supplies.

Flour, and sugar, and buttah…. oh my!

I made Cat’s browned butter cookies for the gym crew.  Then I did the Fudgy Brownies that Juli linked up to last week’s #strangebutgood to have as road snacks for Vegas and me.  For ease, I made them as peanut flour-dusted balls (and because balls).

Next up is my own concoction – Oatmeal Jam Cookies.  Jam may sound strange… but – in fitting with the Friday theme – it’s good!*

*Don’t take my word for it – my boss said it’s one of the more delicious things I’ve ever brought in to work.  The he asked if I used “real” butter.

Banana Jam Oatmeal Cookies… 

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