How I Spent The First Day of My 29th Year

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My birthday started off in the best way possible…with a bouquet of my favourite flowers. I almost never buy flowers, so when we have them in the house it’s such a treat. My favourite flower is the peony and I also love chrysanthemums, so Eric put both of those into the bouquet. A girl could get used to this. :)

Next up, Eric made me a “surprise Green Monster” for my birthday breakfast. I was instantly transported back to that time when he put an entire banana – including the peel – into my smoothie, not knowing that the peel wasn’t a normal part of a smoothie. Do you guys remember that? My stomach still flops over the thought of drinking an entire banana peel. I won’t ever let him live that one down.

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Thankfully, no “surprise” banana peel this time! Just one delicious GM made up of mixed frozen greens, almond milk, a frozen banana, blueberries, chia seeds, and wheatgrass powder. The surprise? He threw in a few chunks of dark chocolate! I’ve always wondered why his smoothies always taste so good…now I know.

Despite the windy, rainy, and cool weather, we had a great 5k run complete with lots of walking breaks. I’m still taking it easy on my knee and so far it’s doing well.

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We both worked for the morning and then headed to Toronto for lunch at Fresh on Crawford. No matter what we order we always know we will get a good meal at Fresh. We’ve been going for almost 3 years now and it’s become a tradition on my birthday. Here is a post from 2009, the very first time we went to Fresh.

We started with our go-to drinks: the All Green juice (cucumber, celery, parsley, kale, ginger, lemon) and the Lucky Charm smoothie (raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, mango).

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For an appetizer, we devoured the Soho Falafel, made up of herbed falafel balls, quinoa & adzuki bean tabouleh, flax hummus (incredible!), and fluffy pita wedges.

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It’s definitely my fav appetizer at Fresh, next to the quinoa-battered onion rings of course.

Eric ordered the insanely good BBQ Burger with tangy BBQ sauce, quinoa onion rings, garlic mayo, napa cabbage, hot banana chilies, tomato, lettuce, served with Fresh’s house-made vegan burger patty.

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Eric said this is one of his fav burgers of all time! I snuck a couple bites and it was incredible.

I ordered the Tangled Thai salad made up of spiraled carrots and yellow beets, jicama, napa cabbage, chopped peanuts, cilantro, cucumber, Fresh salad topper, and creamy peanut lime dressing. This salad was a first for me, but it certainly won’t be the last!

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On the side, my fav quinoa-battered onion rings.

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A peppermint tea was the only thing that could fit in my belly for dessert. I was saving myself for cupcakes!

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After lunch, we popped into Juicers 4 Life on Bloor and I bought some Paraflexx sheets for my dehydrator, something I have been meaning to do for 2 years now. They are non-stick reusable liners for the dehydrator trays.

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When Eric asked me what I wanted for my birthday I said a homecooked dinner and night off from the kitchen would be amazing. He claims he is not a cook and tends to get overwhelmed when making recipes, but I tell you they always seem to turn out amazing. I think this is going to have to become a weekly occurrence!

On the menu? Dragon Bowls for two. It features vegetables such as sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli, golden raisins, and carrots, mixed up with cooked brown rice and a lovely maple-tamari-olive oil sauce. It’s served over a bed of lettuce. I absolutely love serving hot meals on top of lettuce and this was no exception. Oh and did I mention that I ate leftovers for breakfast this morning?

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Eric adapted Nikki’s recipe which was originally inspired by a dish from 14 Carrots in NYC. For the dressing, Eric played around with this “Dragon Sauce” recipe found on Chowhound. I was so impressed that he pulled it off, not that I had any doubts. The look of pride on his face when I told him I loved it was just priceless. As he was finishing up the dishes he said, “I don’t know how you cook and bake all day long….I’m exhausted!” 

For dessert, we enjoyed my favourite chocolate cupcakes with strawberry jam coconut frosting. I successfully subbed half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour and all the olive oil for melted coconut oil. The cupcakes rose incredibly high like they always do.  One of my big complaints with some vegan cupcakes is that they can turn out gummy, but these are light and fluffy as you’d hope they would be.

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I wanted a naturally coloured pink frosting and strawberry jam worked perfectly. I also subbed out the Earth Balance for coconut oil and it turned out quite nice. The consistency is a bit different (a bit more “slippery” than when using Earth Balance), but I managed ok when piping it. I might have to play around with this recipe a bit more, but here it is in case you want to as well.

Strawberry Coconut Frosting

This frosting needs to firm up in the fridge after piping, so keep that in mind. Also, I don’t suggest keeping the cupcakes out on the counter too long either. Store them in the fridge until ready to use.

Print, email, or text this recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (you want it buttery in texture- not melted or super firm)
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam (stir before using)
  • 1.5 cups sifted icing (confectioner’s) sugar, or a bit more if needed
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt

 

1. Chill a bowl in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. This will help keep the frosting a bit more firm.

2. With an electric mixer, beat together the coconut oil, extract, and jam.

3. Gradually, add in the sifted icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add more icing sugar if needed and adjust everything to taste. Add a pinch of salt.

4. Pipe onto cupcakes and immediately place in the fridge to set. The frosting will become firm, but will soften at room temperature.

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After dinner, we headed out for a walk along the lake and then cozied up for the night with a movie. A lovely birthday indeed…I’m liking 29 already.

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Thank you for your birthday wishes in my last post! You really know how to make a girl feel loved.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

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Kristin May 30, 2012

Hey!

I made the chocolate and strawberry cupcakes and they were delicious! However, I had a horrible time managing the frosting. I know you said to put them in the fridge, but while I was icing them the icing was falling all down the sides of the cupcakes even after I tossed them in the fridge one by one after I frosted them.

Any suggestions on how to make this more manageable??? Thanks so much!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 30, 2012

Sorry to hear that Kristin! Was the icing chilled before you piped it onto the cupcakes? It needs to be chilled before and after.

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Lisa B. May 28, 2012

Happy birthday! Not to burst your bubble, but if you turned 29 you’re in your 30th year, not your 29th. : )

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char eats greens May 24, 2012

We have the same birthday AND we both have the same favourite flower. My mom actually bought me 3 peony plants! They’re on my balcony and I’m just waiting for them to bud!! I took a look at them today and still nothing. I seriously cannot wait!!

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char eats greens May 24, 2012

PS – I’m so showing my hubby the meal that Eric made, and maybe it’ll give him some inspiration. He does surprise me as well when he cooks for me with how well he puts things together, so in case he forgot that, this post will serve as his refresher ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 24, 2012

Happy Belated Birthday!

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Michelle May 24, 2012

Happy B-lated Birthday! :)
Looks like you had a birthday day that I would adore.
That’s too funny that your hubby put the whole banana in the blender before. Mine bf tried to take the beans out of the Green Beans last night…. might have taken him a while. Glad I noticed lol!
Michelle – Holistic Life Coach
http://www.m.liveloudly.blogspot.com

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 24, 2012

hah that’s funny stuff!

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Jesse (Out To Lunch Creations) May 21, 2012

This post made me crave Fresh so I went today. I was sad to find out the Quinoa Battered Onion Rings aren’t gluten free but I really liked the Tangled Thai Salad. Thanks for the recommendation!

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Sara May 20, 2012

Happy belated bday!! Tried the Dragon Bowl, with dragon sauce, and I’m in LOVE! another amazing recipe from your site!!

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Cookie and Kate May 19, 2012

Happy belated birthday, Angela! Looks like you had a really fantastic day. And quinoa-battered onion rings? I want a recipe for those! :)

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Fresh Restaurants May 19, 2012

Happy Birthday! We are honoured to be a part of your birthday traditions!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 19, 2012

Thank you!

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thevoiceoftimidity May 19, 2012

Oh, happy birthday! It looks like you had an amazing day :)

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Tiffany May 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, Angela! Looks like I’m not the only May-girl around… Mine was the 6th, but I’m still a baby at 23… How’s it feel being 29 now? I can only imagine… I think to myself “in 7 years, I’ll be 30. Too soon and I don’t know what to expect!”

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 19, 2012

happy belated! 29 feels no different to me than other years..heh

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Ruth May 18, 2012

Sounds like a fabulous day! I am not completely vegan since I partake of eggs, goat cheese and goat’s yogurt. I definitely find inspiration from a lot of vegan recipes (like Chocolate Covered Katie’s Blog!) since my body does not like dairy, gluten or refined sugars. Keep up the good work!

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Shanda Bezzant May 18, 2012

This past week on Mothers Day I asked for a day off in the kitchen. My husband was a trooper but very glad the day was over! He made your waffles with strawberry syrup for breakfast, your leftover veggie burgers for lunch, and your vegan Shepard pie for dinner. Can you tell we like your recipes? Oh and I made your brownies the night before so I could eat them with blackberries throughout the day!

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Mme G May 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, Angela! And welcome in your 30th year! If you just turned 29, this means that you have lived 29 years and you have just begun your 30th….

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 19, 2012

shhhhhhh ;) I know, I know…it’s just not as fun til I actually turn 30 officially!

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suzanne May 18, 2012

Happy Birthday – sounds AMAZING! And in case no one else has mentioned it – if you just turned 29 (I am thinking that is what you had said – but I could be wrong) – you are actually in your 30th year! But no worries – life only gets better with each decade (at least so far for me!) :)

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Stephanie May 18, 2012

What a sweet husband you have! It sounds like the perfect day.

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Triathlonbabe aka Grace May 18, 2012

Happy Belated 29th! Hmmmm, I use that number for my birthday every year! LOL! Looks like you had an amazing b-day…love it when the DH cooks!

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Hilary Eva May 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Angela!
It sounds like you had an amazing day. I am definitely looking forward to going to Raw as soon as possible!
I was just wondering, what kind of frozen greens do you buy and where do you buy them?
Do you find them to be more economical than buying fresh greens?

Thanks!
Hilary

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 19, 2012

Hey Hilary, Ive tried cooking greens brand which is nice and also the 365 brand of mixed greens (collard, kale, etc). I haven’t actually compared the prices to fresh greens, but given how long a bag of frozen greens lasts me, I would guess that they are a bit more cost efficient maybe. I will have to check on this!

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Gena May 18, 2012

Happy slightly belated BDay, dear Ange! Many happy returns from NYC :)

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