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  • Writer's pictureGina

My Delicious Quarantined Birthday

Well, I thought last year’s birthday would have been one for the memory bank. A surprise dinner with best friends at one of my favorite spots, Heirloom Kitchen. This followed by a box of Louboutin pumps awaiting me at my seat. Then, Top Chef alum sitting at the table behind us, which of course I got a picture with and eventually sat with them for a (wine-induced) conversation. Epic night.

But this year, my birthday during this pandemic has taken top slot in the record book. We are, and have been, self-isolating for a few weeks now and hence couldn't go anywhere, see anyone or do anything celebratory. What normally would have been a weekend with dinner reservations, family festivities and a day trip or two became pretty simplistic and quiet.

Or did it???

No. I’m gleaming to report it was actually an outstanding birthday.

Early on, Matt took the kids for a ride to my favorite bagel shop, Bagel Hut, where only he went in and came back with the beeeest #bagels I girl could ask for. Still warm from the oven, they were heavenly.

Next, since I hadn't adored makeup in umpteen days, I decided to doll myself up for my day. Why not, right? The topper though- my girls gave me a crown to finish my look. Now it was official, I was the birthday queen.

The weather was icky but not so terrible that we couldn't go out for some fresh air. Kids got their scooters and me and Matt laced up our #Nikes and off we went. Makeup, a crown, sneakers, perfect for chasing scooter-crazed Littles in the misting wind. So glamorous.

The end to my birthday was better than any reservation I could have made. I’m not much of a #champagne drinker, but I knew we had some bubbly to use up and today was the prefect day to uncork. Pop! Sipping on champagne, me and the girls made a cast iron chocolate chip cookie pie. Not a bad way to bake, I might add. Anyway, they all had trouble waiting for it to cool but kept content with the wafting cookie aromas throughout the house.

Dinner was a house favorite. Reverse seared ribeye #steak with baked potatoes and roasted asparagus to be exact. Matt perfectly cooked the steak and seared it like a pro would do. Pairing it with a big California #cabernet was the cherry on top. Oh so good, that Jordan winery.

Quick cleanup and it was time to sing. My family loudly serenaded me and we all blew out the candles. Everyone got a piece of pie and the dining room fell silent with happy mouths full.

It was a far cry from turning 35, but honestly, I wouldn't trade anything in for the day I turned 36. Enjoy…

Cast Iron Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Serves: 6-8

Adapted from: Betty Crocker


1 pouch 17.5 oz. Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix

butter and egg called for on mix pouch

Vanilla ice cream

Whipped cream, chocolate syrup- optional but encouraged!

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 10-inch cast iron pan with nonstick spray.

  2. In a medium bow, stir cookie mix, butter and egg until soft dough forms.

  3. Spread evenly in skillet, pressing with fingers to flatten and cover bottom.

  4. Bake about 23-25 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Do not overbake, pie will continue to bake in pan while cooling.

  5. Serve warm with ice cream.

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