My Shrimpy Pesto Pizza Birthday

IMG_7077There are two kinds of people in the world: Birthday people and not birthday people. Until 2011, I never worked on my birthday. Of course, I am a birthday person and typically make it multi-day celebration of moi.

This year, instead of organizing a party/events, I had a pretty chill birthday. I like big celebrations, but not coordinating people is pretty awesome. I lived in the moment and enjoyed my day sans stress.

On Friday I received these gorgeous flowers (pictured below) from my man. On Saturday (my actual birthday) he cooked us breakfast, then I went to the nail salon for more pampering, later he took me to dinner at Soleto.  We ordered Shrimp Pesto Pizza and Chicken Fettuccine. I tend to prefer pasta over pizza, but not in this case. Pizza ingredient (garlic shrimp, basil pesto, mozzarella, grana padano, sundried tomatoes, peppers) proportions were great and the pizza crust… not too soft, not too crispy, but just right. It tastes just as delicious as it looks. The pasta did not do anything for me, nothing (flavor, ingredients, presentation) stood out. Pasta and service were both 7, on a scale of  1-10. More Shrimp Pesto Pizza, per favore!

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The Stinking Rose

Do you see the Chicken and Asparagus dish? I ate that this past weekend at The Stinking Rose, it was yummy to my tummy. The other dish pictured is the Shellfish pasta ($24.95).

The ambiance is perfect for date night but it’s also suitable for a chill night with your girls or guy friends. The menu offers reasonable and high priced dishes. Our sever was very attentive, friendly, helpful and unobtrusive. We left a 20 percent tip, so you know it was real.

All went well with the exception of the garlic ice cream. Sometimes, I try really really hard not to judge a book by its cover and this was one of those times. Garlic ice cream is a no-no for my palate.

Check out the pictures below and feel free to ask any questions.

P.s. I forgot to take pics of the Bagna Calda and bread before we dug in. Those servings were not measly, pictured are the remnants.
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IMG_9214Bagna Calda $4.95 (garlic cloves, oven-roasted in extra virgin olive oil & butter with a hint of anchovy)

IMG_9216Chicken & Asparagus (sans pin nuts) $18.95 (chicken, asparagus, fettuccine & roasted tomatoes topped w/ fresh parmasan)

IMG_9219Garlic Ice Cream  $6.95 (garlic ice cream topped with caramel molé sauce)

Hosting “Meals of Love” at Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House

If you follow my personal Twitter and/or Instagram accounts you know that i’m on the Circuit Board of Echoes of Hope’s “Be A Light” program. The program provides Echoes of Hope youth and volunteers with opportunities to actively give back throughout the community. The Circuit Board is responsible for spearheading the Be A Light projects.

Sunday, Nov. 18, we hosted “Meals of Love” at Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House (LARMH), through its Happy Meals program. By preparing and serving dinner to families, who spend all day at the hospital, we allowed parents much needed time to relax and enjoy a meal—without dishes to clean.

After serving families (about 75 individuals) an Italian feast and fresh baked cookies for dessert, we played a few rounds of Bingo using M&Ms and gummy bears as board markers.

This project was a great way to kick off the Be A Light program. The residents and staff were awesome. We enjoyed it so much that we plan to visit in 2013. After cleaning the kitchen we took a tour of the house and learned a few fun facts.

Did you know that LARMH residents come from all over the world? The house is pretty dope. There is a game room filled with just about every gaming system. The library is filled with books, comfy seats and children are allowed to take any book of choice back home with them. And for the moms and pops there is a parents ONLY room.

Below are a few shots from our visit.