... Or just two candles that spell out "26".
I turn 26 on Wednesday, and since he'll be in Champaign for the week, Matt surprised me last night with some beautiful new serving dishes. I was pounding out a motion for Pretrial as he cooked, and when he suggested I come in to see how everything had turned out, I got so distracted by A) the candles and B) how amazingly delicious the mashed potatoes looked that it took me a full five minutes to realize I didn't previously own any of the dishes on which everything was plated.
I've been talking all year about wanting more plain white dishes, because food looks so much better on white. Matt took notes, and picked this stuff up at Bed Bath & Beyond. I love how spare it is.
And am I right or am I right about food looking delicious on white? See, e.g.:
He also got me some legit beer glasses, so we can stop drinking beer out of my wine stemware:
That's a Scottish stout which smelled and tasted like (imagine this!) Scotch, because the brewery barrels the beer in whiskey casks.
As for the dinner itself, we had chicken pinwheels with brown sugar-glazed carrots and buttermilk whipped potatoes. The chicken was really remarkably easy: we hammered two breasts flat, then spread each with some thawed frozen spinach, a goat cheese already mixed with sundried tomatoes and basil, and some chopped Greek olives.
Roll each breast up, and bake in a pan with sides for approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Voila:
The potatoes were inspired by a meal we had at Province Restaurant this weekend while our TFA friend Kim Clinite was in town. Matt mashed about five red potatoes with three tablespoons of butter and a half cup of buttermilk. I love really rich mashed potatoes, filled with butter and heavy cream, but these were so much lighter and with all the flavor; the tang of the buttermilk gave them a great zing, and they came out really fluffy.
We (read: I) ate them all.
Finally, I have no idea what he did with the carrots except that it involved brown sugar and butter and was very tasty. He later claimed to have only cooked the carrots so as to "have something long" for the presentation on the serving dishes.
Law school got in the way -- as it too often does -- from fully relaxing over this incredible dinner with more than one beer, but as always, the food was great and the company the best I could possibly ask for. Being more than a quarter-century old is fine by me, if this is my life at 26...