My birthday isn't until the end of the month but since my BFF was here in HHI to visit last week, and her birthday is in March too....well, we couldn't think of a good reason NOT to celebrate all week.
Is there a better way to celebrate than by eating your favorite foods? I think not!
Nothing beats a good, juicy cheeseburger.
This is the best seafood chimichanga on the planet. None of us could even finish it (it was the size of a huge burrito) but that may have had something to do with the guacamole and queso ranchero we inhaled beforehand.
Now because we are health conscious people, we were careful to get our veggies in the form of a grilled veggie plate served with a sundried tomato and caper sauce and a lovely round of goat cheese. The perfect lunch.
And no one would argue that sushi isn't healthy. It's so healthy we went out two nights for sushi. This is my eel roll and a rainbow roll. I can feel a craving starting to build just looking at it!
And lest you think all we did was eat out, we made our own birthday cake, a repeat performance of the pavlova I made for my son's birthday last month. His family is on a gluten free diet so the pavlova was the perfect solution for his party but it tasted sooo good that I decided to make a second one.
How can you go wrong with meringue, whipped cream and fruit?
Since I don't have a large baking sheet here in HHI, I made the pavlova in a rectangular shape. It served six...it's supposed to serve 8 - 10 people but what can I say? It's our birthday! This recipe is a simplified variation on Gale Gand's Pavlova.
4 egg whites at room temperature
1/8 t salt
1 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 t cornstarch
1/2 t vanilla extract
8 oz heavy cream
2 T light brown sugar
fruit: I sued kiwi and strawberies but have also added nectarines, raspberries and blueberries in season
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Whip the egg whites and salt until foamy. Add granulated sugar, cornstarch and vanilla and continue whipping until stiff, smooth and glossy, about 8 minutes more.
On a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit a sheet pan, draw or trace a 9" diameter circle. (My sheet pan was too small for this step so I just made a rectangular pavlova)
Spoon the egg whites onto the pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 300 degrees and bake until the meringue has puffed up and cracked on the top and the surface is lightly browned to the color of cafe au lait, about 45 minutes more. Turn off the oven, prop open the oven door and let the pavlova cool in the oven for 30 minutes.
Whip the cream and brown sugar together until stiff. Spoon into the center of the cooled pavlova and spread to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Arrange the sliced fruit in any pattern you wish. Slice with a serrated knife to serve. I promise you will love it...there is never a crumb left in our family!