Posted by: Hil | February 17, 2009

Happy Valentine’s/Birth/President’s Day


I have had an amazing weekend with lots of good food.  The Lemonator’s birthday is the day after Valentine’s Day, so we had multiple reasons to celebrate.  We each wanted to cook for the other on Valentine’s Day, so we divided the meals:  he cooked brunch and I cooked dinner.  The plan was for me to go on my normal Saturday long, leisurely walk to coffee while he cooked Valentine’s brunch.  Unfortunately, my dear Lemonator slept through his alarm and when I got home, he was still curled up in bed sound asleep.  Once I woke him, he quickly sprang into action and whipped up a breakfast of whole wheat pancakes, eggs, and turkey bacon. 

Dinner was mine.  Celebration, to my husband, means two things:  red meat and bubbly.  So I made a simple dinner of roast boneless leg of lamb, green beans, crusty bread and cava.  I am not a roasting sort of girl, generally speaking.  I get anxious when I can’t see or fiddle with the food I’m preparing.  Give me a pot or pan any day of the week!  But to make the Lemonator happy, I decided to try something new.  The lamb came out perfectly, if I do say so myself!   This site proved tremendously helpful.  I gave the lamb a quick rub with lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs and garlic, then roasted it on high heat for 20 minutes (to get a nice crust) then at 325 until my meat thermometer came out with the proper reading.  The meat came out perfectly tender.  And while the roast took a while to cook, it took very little hands on prep time, which is great for a meal where you want to be celebrating rather than fussing in the kitchen.


For dessert, I had a scoop of Green and Black’s chocolate ice cream with homemade strawberry sauce and hazelnuts.


The next day was the Lemonator’s birthday.  I brought him breakfast, inspired by something I ate on a recent trip to Santa Barbara.  Earlier in the week, we went out to dinner at a neighborhood French restaurant where I ordered duck.  I still had a big piece of duck leftover, so I shredded the meat, pan-fried it until crisp in a little olive oil, then served it on toast with a fried egg on top.  The birthday boy seemed happy with this offering.


For dinner, the Lemonator requested roasted meat, rice, and a vegetable.  My husband has very simple culinary tastes.  Apparently as a child, he used to request scrambled eggs and peas for his birthday dinner.  Inspired by my success the night before, I prepared a simple roasted pork loin.  The Lemonator opted to eat his plain, but I topped mine with some of our chimichurri sauce from Santa Barbara.  Again, the meat turned out very well.  I am very excited to have conquered my fear of roasting meat.  Now I want to invest in one of those ovenproof meat thermometers!  Our refrigerator is chock full of leftover lamb and pork, which makes the Lemonator quite pleased…now he has easy lunch fixings for the rest of the week.


For his birthday cake, the Lemonator decided to fix himself one of his favorite German recipes:  zebrakuchen (Zebra cake).  Unfortunately, something went awry when he was translating the recipe from German and metric to English and standard, and the cake, while it tasted fine, came out looking a little scary.  Ah, well!CIMG0818

Happy birthday, Lemonator!



  1. great celebration – happy bday to the lemonator 🙂

  2. Fabulous feast for all the celebrations going on!!

    Oooh, Zebra cake.

  3. Ah, the cake is beautiful in it’s own way!

    Be sure to check out my blog today for this week’s BSI ingredient!

  4. i love the idea of duck and egg for breakfast, what a great combo!

    Happy birthday to the Lemonator!

  5. Cake recipe cake recipe cake recipe? 😀

    Duck is super tasty. Your meals look so beautiful.

  6. I love trying to make things that I ate at restaurants. Looks like you did a great job.

    At least the cake still tasted good!

    Happy Birthday Lemonator.

  7. Start cooking is so cool! I found it on youtube, and then realized that they had a website too! -lol-

    And happy birthday to the Lemonator!!!!!!!

  8. Thanks all!

    And my lesson: when translating from german, make sure to read all the steps, and not add ALL the egg whites to HALF the dough 😀

    Recipe to come… hopefully with a prettier picture… I think we have one around here… somewhere…

  9. Or… err…

    I THOUGHT I had blogged about this before 🙂

  10. Hi I just came across your blog and love it. I read the Tofu post and as a new tofu eater found it very helpful.

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