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The birthday dinner menu of my dreams

happy birthday

Today is my birthday -- not a significant, noteworthy, big-0 birthday, just one of the birthdays tucked in between the big ones -- and as many of you know, my husband Ted, Cousin Martin and I are traveling in a warmer, more tropical part of the world. Feliz cumpleaños to the friends and readers of The Perfect Pantry who share this birthday. I'm not sure how we'll celebrate my birthday where we are today (I'll try and remember to post some photos on our Facebook page), but if I were home, this is the menu I'd serve.

The birthday dinner menu of my dreams

Shrimp with tarragon and yogurt sauce (The Perfect Pantry).

Without shrimp, it's not a celebration. When Kathy, my former cooking assistant, and I made this shrimp with tarragon and yogurt sauce, we licked the plate clean. I'd be happy to do that again.

Miso-Sriracha glazed salmon (The Perfect Pantry).

For a main dish, I'd choose something very spicy, like this miso-Sriracha glazed salmon. Another lick-the-plate dish that both Ted and I enjoy.

Steamed baby bok choy (The Perfect Pantry).

I'd accompany the spicy fish with three Asian-inspired side dishes. First, steamed bok choy with spicy hoisin glaze.

Zucchini ribbon salad (The Perfect Pantry).

Then, this simple zucchini ribbon salad.

Spicy corn and red pepper stir-fry (The Perfect Pantry).

Finally, stir-fried corn and red pepper with ginger and garlic.

Lemon frozen Greek yogurt (The Perfect Pantry).

When it comes to dessert, I'm not big on cake or cookies. Something with fruit always appeals to me, so I think I'd make this sugar-free, low-fat lemon frozen Greek yogurt. It's very lemony, and a little bit rich, without leaving a heavy feeling at the end of the meal.

I'd love to know what would be on your birthday menu. What's your favorite meal, your favorite cake, the special treat that says "Happy Birthday"? Please share in the comments.

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Wishing you the happiest of birthdays, Lydia! I hope you find an amazing meal - it's only fair, after all the amazing meals you have shared with us!

What a fun birthday post. I hope you're having the birthday of a lifetime in Costa Rica!

Oh, boy, would I love to be at that birthday dinner!

Happy Birthday to you, Lydia, and many more.

Happy Birthday! I've been a long time reader of your blog, and now I know why I've always felt so sympatico with your food, we share a birthday! I've posted my menu for today on my husband's blog -http://areluctantfoodie.blogspot.com/2014/01/celebrationshappy-birthday-to-me.html - if you come to my dinner, I'll come to yours and we'll eat like queens. Have a great day!

Happy Birthday, Lydia and wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

Happy Birthday, Lydia! My favorite birthday meal, if it were today:
a salad of arugula, peaches, onions marinated in olive oil and lemon juice with a touch of local honey. Top with feta and toasted almonds. A pot of great tea!

Happy birthday, Lydia, and say hi to Ted and Martin from Hai Toh and I. As for my own ideal birthday dinner - well, it'd have to involve seafood in some form . . . And I DO like cake . . . And there would have to be sparkling wine . . .

Happy Birthday to you Lydia. All birthdays are big to me even if they don't have a 0. In June - mine will, God-willing. I like so many foods and am being mindful of what I'm eating these days - mostly vegetables with fish, shrimp and chicken occasionally, so that on my birthday and other special days, I allow myself to go all out. I could enjoy your birthday dinner for myself without complaint, but for my birthday - especially if it was my last birthday - I would probably opt for the comfort of the cuisine from my childhood which, while not good for me, was definitely good to me. I would have St. Louis styled barbecued spare ribs, potato salad like my Mom made, mixed greens - with or without smoked turkey, macaroni & cheese, and a peach cobbler with vanila icecream. I would also have my Mom's homemade yeast rolls and I would roast some garlic to spread on them with butter. Would wash down with half&half lemonade and sweet tea. Yummy.

Happy Birthday, Lydia! I hope you are enjoying your vacation!

A birthday is like a special, personal holiday. What a gift that you can celebrate with some of your favorite people, and in a special place with adventures awaiting food lovers celebrating a birthday -- and they're all special!

Happy Birthday Lydia!
Your menu was sublime! As you enjoy your Costa Rican vacation, I hope you take great pleasure in knowing how many people, near and far, you have touched with all your good work. Thanks so much, and I hope we all get to enjoy many more years of your knowledge and creativity in our kitchens.
Love, Judy (PHS, of course!)

I missed that you were in tropical paradise for your birthday, but I'm glad to hear it! Both your fictitious and real birthday menus sounded fabulous!

Happy Birthday once again! Cxciting travel is a terrific way to start a great year!

Stumbled on your birthday post. Thought it was interesting that you and my wife share the same birthday and I posted this to my blog about the meal she made http://areluctantfoodie.blogspot.com/2014/01/cyns-birthday-meal-in-pictures.html

Happy belated birthday!! I hope you are still in warmer climates as we are expecting another foot of snow today!
My husband has his birthday on the 17th and I don't know that I could say for sure what his birthday dinner would be? Bad wife! I must find out! (but probably just cheeseburgers which he would eat everyday if he could get away with it!)

Thanks, everyone, for your birthday wishes. My wish is that we could all sit down together, meet each other, and enjoy this meal!

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