daily meal

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My French Themed Birthday!

Today is my birthday, and although I am not excited about turning 23 (from here on out I will be turning 21 again every year), I figured I would take advantage of my boyfriend doting on me and enjoy a French themed birthday! I miss France so much and when Dave and I left last summer, we have done nothing but talk about when we would go back! However, since our lives are crazy at the moment with my graduate program, his work, and us moving to a new town, traveling to France is not in the near future :(
Dave and I in Paris 2010

Rather then dwell on the fact that our travel plans will be on hold until at least next year, I figured I would bring France to myself today! To start, David took me to Cafe Mirabelle in Portsmouth, NH.  I did not want to take any photos inside because it is a small and intimate setting (only about 10 tables), but it is absolutely amazing! They serve country French cuisine, and the chef Stephan, is actually from France.  He met his wife while she was traveling in France and they returned to the US together and have had a successful little restaurant ever since!

If you are ever in New England or live in the area, you must check out this restaurant! I recommend:

Crêpe Aux Champignons - Wild mushrooms sautéed with fresh rosemary, garlic, veal stock and cream folded in a French crêpe
Bouillabaisse - Scallops, shrimp, salmon and mussels in a lobster tomato saffron bouillon. Served with an aioli canapé
Magret of Duck - Boneless breast of duck roasted medium rare with portobello mushrooms on a tangy balsamic vinegar reduction
Profiterole - French vanilla ice cream in a pastry topped with a homemade Grand Marnier hot fudge sauce.
Clafoutis - Country French apple custard cake served warm with cinnamon crème anglaise
Crème Brulee - Made with Cointreau and fresh vanilla beans

Cafe Mirabelle also offers cooking classes, private parties, crepe breakfasts on Sundays, and more! Check out there website here: http://www.cafemirabelle.com/

Now, for my birthday cake, since I actually make cakes as a part-time job, I usally get stuck baking my own! You can see last years cake here: FRIENDS themed B-Day Cake.  This year though, I told David that I did not want to do anything crazy and was just going to buy dessert! But, I did not get a cake from just anywhere.  No, I purchased my cake (and other desserts) from one of my favorite chocolate shops, L.A. Burdicks! 

For those of you who live near Boston, in Harvard Sq on Brattle St. there is this tiny little shop that serves the BEST hot chocolate, pastries, and...wait....wait for it...... French Macarons! Jill, I thought of you when I discovered these here! :)

Since I am not in Boston much these days, I decided to stock up and ordered two if their pastries in cake form - their chocolate birthday cake and the hazelnut orange cake, along with an assortment of macaron flavors (I will be working out extra this week)! The flavors included ginger, coffee, pistachio, strawberry, chocolate, lavender, and citrus, and they are just to die for!

L.A. Burdick, along with Cafe Mirabelle, is a place you must visit if you are ever in the area. You can also order some, but not all, of their pastries online: http://www.burdickchocolate.com/default.asp

So although David and I may not be able to fly to France today, I have to say that this has been one of the best birthdays spent pigging out on my favorite French foods! 

The card David made me. This is why I love him! :)
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  1. Happy Birthday Elyse!!! It looks like you had a WONDERFUL day! I love the French theme. I usually make my own birthday cakes, too...so funny. But my motto is if you want a party you have to bring it! I'm also from Boston, and should I get back to the area soon, will be sure to check out your recommendations! Hope you have a great year...and many more to come! : )

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Elyse! This looks like it was an amazing trip, I hope to go there someday too. I hope your birthday is amazing!

  3. Joyeux Anniversaire Elyse!
    Looks like a darling way to celebrate.

  4. Happy birthday a great way to celebrate an that birthday card is wonderful

  5. Happy, happy birthday! What a sweet card...and a special day you had to celebrate :)

  6. Happy Birthday!!!! A special way to celebrate!

  7. Happy Birthday! Great way to celebrate.

  8. Oh, Elyse - Joyeux Anniversaire, my friend! What a gorgeous photo of David and yourself in that first shot - look at the guy in the background looking over to the lovebirds ;-) What a wonderful card and ze bottles of wine. Sounded like a wonderful bday - especially with these lovely looking macarons. Next time you'll have to get David to make them for you. :-)

  9. Hahaha thanks Jill I never noticed the creepy guy in the background before! :) I'm not sure if I trust David in the kitchen but when we go back to France you can give him a lesson! :)

  10. Happy belated birthday!! It sounds like you had an amazing time bringing France into your celebration. :-)

  11. Happy (a day late) birthday! Looks like you were properly spoiled :) Food looks fantastic! Buzzed

  12. Such lovely memories of Paris and a cool birthday theme! Happy Birthday!

  13. Awww! Happy Birthday! :D
    I love France and Paris also. I miss it terribly and keep telling my husband we need to plan a trip.
    Hope you get to go back soon!

  14. Happy Birthday! I love the theme you chose and your boyfriend is a sweetie.... The dinner sounded delish!

  15. Happy birthday! It seems you had a fantastic outing for this special day. Lovely card too...

  16. Happy birthday! This is an awesome (and delicious) theme! Looks like you had a fabulous day :)

  17. Belated Happy Birthday and thanks for the virtual trip to Paris! Glad you didn't have to make your own b'day cake - those macarons look fab!