I loved reading all your memorable birthdays! šŸ˜€Ā  I actually had a really busy day at work yesterday, but it made the day go by fast.Ā  My eats were pretty boring!

Breakfast was an egg white scramble with ham and cheese and un-photographed strawberries.

Lunch was leftover pasta from the night before – but I added a link of this sausage – I loved it!Ā  Each sausage link is only 100 calories!

Later in the afternoon, Hannah and Maxi dropped by my office and brought me baloons! šŸ˜€

So last night was the Welcome dinner for all the students and families.Ā  It was held at the Norge Ski Jump – it is across the river from us, but we can see it from our deck.Ā  It was built in 1905 and is the longest running ski jump in America.Ā  They actually have international competitions there!Ā  So strange for such a small town!

there were no jumpers yesterday though šŸ™

Before it got too crowded I got to take some pictures!

Maxi and Hannah are on the right šŸ˜€

It was pot luck.Ā  By the time we got the sign up sheet, all that was left to make was dessert – which I am not good at!Ā  So I cheated and bought a store bought angel food cake, but I made a strawberry basil sauce with lime zest – it was pretty good – not overly sweet!

1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 6 basil leaves and 10 ounces of strawberries

I cooked that down until the strawberries got soft – about 20 minutes.Ā  Then I mixed 1 tablespoon of corn starch into 1 tablespoon red wine and cooked it until it got nice and thick, then I pureed it.

On the plate:

Most of the dishes were just okay – I ended up eating 1/2 of a sloppy joe sandwich and an asparagus dish that was really good!Ā  Hoping I can get the recipe!Ā  It had a type of lemon dressing over the top?Ā  Has anyone else seen this type of dish before?

When we got home it was time for pie and presents! šŸ˜€Ā  Tony bought me a sugar free french silk pie from our local diner.Ā  It is so good – you’d never know it was sugar free!

And he also bought me champagne! šŸ˜€

Birthday loot!Ā  Three LeCreuset casserole dishes, silicon prep bowls, a tape player so I can listen to my iPod in my car, the Glee soundtrack (my friend Shelley will be jealous!), Adam Lambert’s CD, a Whole Foods gift card from my parents-in-law, and a gift certificate from my Mom for a hair cut at a salon by her house and lunch at the Marion Street Cheese Market. šŸ˜€

And I can’t wait to try these!

And a thank you to my friend Cassie – a co-worker who likes to cook as much as I do!Ā  She bought me this:

The BSI this week is asparagus, so I may tried to do an asparagus, lemon zest ricotta filling! šŸ˜€

And I’ll leave you with this depressing picture:

Gotta love Chicago weather!Ā  Thanks again for all the birthday wishes and enjoy your Saturday! šŸ˜€