Steaks on the Grill in Winter

After ten days out of town, it was time to restock the fridge and pantry to host a birthday dinner. I did a one-stop shop at the local coop.
Peyton and I are baking a box cake for Bill in Boston, MA
Is this not the absolute best? My daughter Caroline sent me a text message and a photo and said Peyton set the table for dinner last night: placemats, flatware, and even the candles. She’s three! This makes my heart sing. Those around us notice the things we do daily. Good habits are good habits.
I was layered in Boston, MA, before heading to the airport. It’s chilly out there!

We’ve been a bit all over, and Bill had another time around the sun a few weeks ago. Peyton and I made him a box cake in Boston, MA, on a Sunday afternoon, a day after we flew home from London. Bill and I flew home to Buffalo, NY, on his actual birthday, Monday, and while on the flight, I asked him what he wanted for dinner and what kind of cake he might like, and he said he had to think about it yet just before we landed he told ‘steaks on the grill and carrot cake.’

Ethan is prepping the steaks. Notice the headlamp!
Ethan and Bill are grilling steaks outside in January.

It was cold and snowy in Buffalo. I asked him if he wanted to grill outside, and he said, ‘Yes, that’s how I want to remember turning 69,’ so it was steaks on the grill in winter and carrot cake for dessert.

Booie picked us up at about 2 pm, and once home, I changed my coat and headed for the grocery. There are ten of us now when we have a local family dinner, and I had supplies to procure. The smaller the market, the quicker it is. Our cooperative has everything you might need to put a nice celebratory meal together.

We had nothing in the house as we had been gone for ten days. I picked up the usuals and added steaks, potatoes, broccolini, store-prepared garlic bread, spinach artichoke dip supplies, carrot cake supplies, ice cream, fresh flowers, and birthday candles. I hurried home and hit the kitchen; the family was due at 6 pm.

All the stuff for the cake. I grease and flour the cake pans AND line them with parchment paper that is also greased and floured.
The dinner came together beautifully. Everyone helped out.
Shown here is one of my favorite linen aprons. Pro-tip: tuck a dish towel in the apron strings. ps. I don’t love my neck. hehe
They all brought gifts; wine is the best gift for Bill, and cards, the one shown above on the right is homemade, from Maxwell.

Focus, focus, focus, that’s what was needed to pull this off. Also, Lexi set the table, Maxwell peeled the potatoes, and Booie frosted the cake. This was a last-minute get-together. I had texted them all that morning, and they all showed up, each with a gift and a helping hand.

I made a three-layer scratch carrot cake using the New York Times Cooking App. The cream cheese frosting recipe did not yield enough frosting to frost even two cake layers. I popped the third layer in the freezer.
For the red wine sauce, broccolini is one of our favorites and easy to roast!
Adding cognac to the shallots, woohoo!
I like to plate. Note the Annie’s Mac and Cheese for the kiddos!
I like to roast extra vegetables. We are in the habit of adding vegetables to our eggs in the morning.

The cake was made with love, and Booie and Rory frosted it with love. It was

It was an effort, of course. Everything worthwhile is an effort. Every meal I make and serve helps make me a better home cook, and every meal brings our family together. They know when I text or call, there will be soup to nuts, which makes them want to come. It’s really what I most live for, bringing the family together around the table.

The kitchen situation after the party. Most of the time, I don’t make my kids help with dishes after a party. I want them to keep coming back!

Bill and Ethan got their time together outside, cooking steaks on the grill in winter. That is what he wanted, and that’s what we did.

I got up extra early to do the dishes. Presto!

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  1. You did a great job pulling off your husband’s request for his birthday dinner. Just a question about your baking technique. If you greased and floured the parchment paper for the carrot cake, why did you also grease and flour the cake pans? Am asking because I recently made some banana nut squares and I only greased and floured the parchment paper, not the pan.

    • Hi, there! Thanking you for reading. I double grease and flour pans and parchment to make sure the cakes will release. Along my cooking journey I’ve learned to sometimes do things twice; double torch the creme brûlée, double dip and dredge the chicken cutlets, double grease and flour the cake pans. It’s all a process!

  2. Wow amazing blog layout How long have you been blogging for you made blogging look easy The overall look of your web site is magnificent as well as the content

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