This week kicked off with two celebrations – Eliza’s 2nd birthday and St. Patrick’s Day. For Eliza’s birthday we hosted a small family party and kept it simple by ordering pizza, but we did have a homemade birthday cake. Last year, I made the same chocolate cake with vanilla icing and decorated it in a festive confetti style.
Elizas 1st bday cake_web
But, this year, since Eliza’s interests are much clearer, I indulged her love of Elmo and all things Sesame Street with this cake. I was pretty proud of my work!
Elizas 2nd bday cake_Web

Since St Patrick’s Day was the next day, and fell on a Monday, I didn’t have it in me to make a stew or shepherd’s pie (I am not a corned beef and cabbage girl). So instead, I opted for something a little easier, but still in line with the holiday – Martha’s recipe for salmon, red cabbage and potatoes. I figured it had cabbage and potatoes, and the Irish love salmon so it worked. Plus, Patrick and I each had a Guinness with dinner – and there is nothing more Irish than that!

Meal #1: Salmon, Red Cabbage and Potatoes
Meal #2: Butternut Squash Salad with Pine Nuts, Pecorino and Balsamic Vinegar
Meal #3: Skirt Steak with Winter Salad
Meal #4: Penne with Brussels Sprouts, Chile and Pancetta

Your grocery list, excluding the usual pantry items:

lemon – 2
red cabbage – 1 small head
red potatoes – 4-6 depending on size
Brussels sprouts – 1 lb.
butternut squash – 1 small (about 2 lb.)
fennel – 1 bulb
radicchio – 1 head
arugula – 1 bunch or bag
rosemary – 1 bunch
horseradish
sundried tomatoes
pecorino cheese – ¼ lb.
kalamata olives (if you don’t already have them)
grainy mustard (if you don’t already have it)
ground coriander (if you don’t already have it)
ground cinnamon (if you don’t already have it)
ground cumin (if you don’t already have it)
crushed red pepper flakes (if you don’t already have it)
pine nuts (if you don’t already have it)
Parmesan cheese (if you don’t already have it)
penne – 1 box
pancetta – 6 oz.
salmon filet – 1 ½ lb. skinless
skirt steak – 1 ½ lb.