Birthday Food and the Essence Bakery Cafe

For my birthday potluck, I made July's Daring Bakers project, the filbert gateaus with praline buttercream. For my actual birthday, though, I took Hun to one of my favorite local bakeries and picked up a tasting box from Essence Bakery Cafe:

Essence birthday dessert


As well as a heavenly caramel macaron that was as big as my cell phone.
Essence birthday dessert

The tasting box held a Mexican wedding cookie, chocolate macaron, honey vanilla muffin, chocolate espresso cookie, and white chocolate cherry cookie. I split everything in half and shared the plate with Hun after my birthday dinner of lamb chops with asparagus, brown rice, and lamb gravy. Yom!
Essence birthday dessert

I didn't take many photos of my actual potluck. In fact, I barely took any once guests started arriving, but there's one of my garam masala sweet potato frittata (recipe below).
sweet potato frittata

Special thanks to the other dishes: Eggplant frittata, pancit bihon, hummus, marinated artichoke hearts and fresh mozzarella, edamame pecorino salad, Robert’s beautifully styled cheese, pita, and cracker trays, couscous curry salad, Robert’s watermelonade, Lady Grey tea, PGTips tea, Jen G’s fruit salad, Bill’s chicken and rice, Heather and Patrick’s Chex party mix, Nikki’s tepary bean dip, Tabor’s garlic hummus, Wendy’s gelato (which I hoarded for myself), Chris D’s cheesecake, Chris W’s many soda varieties, Matt’s spaghetti, Marcus’ praline madeleines, Jesse’s meatballs, Fabio’s salsa and chips, and Elizabeth and Matt’s lucky black eyed peas. And Robert's wonderful cracker trays. Seriously. These things were like mandalas after he got through with them. I ate until I couldn't sit down. I couldn't really stand up, either. Such is a consequence of growing older!

I do have a photo of a plate of Robert's leftovers from the following day, though: pancit bihon (like Filipino lo mein using rice noodles, Mark Bittman's edamame salad, and couscous curry salad).
potluck sampler platter

People seemed to enjoy my garam masala frittata:
1. Peel, dice, and roast two cups of sweet potato (at 375 for 20-30 minutes, stirring halfway through). Let cool slightly as you continue.
2. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan and saute to soften half a diced onion. Set aside and keep frying pan hot.
2. Lightly beat 6 large eggs.
3. Add and stir together a dash of salt, the sweet potato, sauted onion, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, and a dash of cayenne pepper.
4. Add 1/2 Tbsp olive oil to the pan, then pour egg and sweet potato mixture to the pan. Cook until bottom is lightly browned, lifting edges so uncooked egg can run under, until frittata is well set.
5. Now the fun part, and the part that might make you wet your pants. Once bottom is cooked, flip frittata onto a plate and slide back into pan, uncooked side down. Make sure your pan is big enough to hold the frittata, and when you flip it, don't hesitate--just do it. ;)
6. Cook until (new) bottom is lightly browned, 3-4 minutes.
7. Slide frittata onto plate, wedge with a pizza slicer, and serve.
Optional: Top lightly with some chopped parsley.

Comments

Marvin said…
Happy Birthday Julie! Looks like you had some good eats to celebrate.
Kitt said…
Happy (and delicious) birthday!
Michelle said…
My goodness...look at the size of that macaron! Happy Birthday!
Julie said…
Thanks, Marvin, Kitt, and Michelle! Essence is definitely one of my favorite bakeries--all organic ingerdients, and very, very tasty!

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