The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich

Posted September 10, 2015 by Stephanie
the ultimate veggie sandwich recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

the ultimate veggie sandwich recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

the ultimate veggie sandwich recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com the ultimate veggie sandwich recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

the ultimate veggie sandwich recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

the ultimate veggie sandwich recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com the ultimate veggie sandwich recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

It’s my birthday today! Are you guys big on celebrating your birthday? For as long as I remember, my birthday has been an obsession of mine. It’s probably just a bit (okay, a lot) egotistical, but I just love the idea of a day celebrating me. I like planning elaborate themed parties with tons of friends (DIY grilled cheese party anyone?), but I also love the flip side of that – spending a day celebrating, just me and my boo.

No matter what I end up doing, there is one absolute must: eat ALL the things. It’s the one day you shouldn’t hold back. I know, I know, veggie sandwiches aren’t what one usually thinks of when they’re thinking about birthday eats, but when I saw this glorious picture of the ultimate veggie sandwich on Instagram, it had to be mine. I’m all about veggie sandwiches (and pizzas too, to be honest). I love the the different textures, the crunch, and the freshness.

This sandwich was truly epic – perfect for a pre-birthday treat!

The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich Recipe
makes 1 sandwich

  • 2 slices bread of choice (I used multigrain)
  • mayo and mustard, to taste
  • 6 leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1/2 small cucumber
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 head red cabbage
  • 1 avocado
  • handful of sprouts
  • 3 slices tomato
  • thin slices red onion

Start off by prepping your vegetables. Trip the lettuce leaves to the size of your bread. Julienne or shred the carrot, thinly slice the cucumber and cabbage. Pit and peel the avocado and thickly slice. Toast the bread and let cool (so it doesn’t get soggy). Spread on mayo and mustard to taste and build your sandwich: 1/2 of the lettuce leaves, carrots, cucumber, salt and pepper, cabbage, avocado, sprouts, tomato, onion, then the remaining lettuce and top slice of bread. Wrap tightly in parchment paper or wax paper and slice in half. Enjoy immediately!

the ultimate veggie sandwich recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

i put a candle in it, because birthday :)

Giveaway: I hope you guys like chopping vegetables (and everything else) because for my annual birthday giveaway, I’m giving away a shiny sharp Shun Nakiri knife and a Walnut Boos Block Cutting Board from cuttingboard.com. I absolutely LOVE my nakiri and there’s nothing better than chopping and slicing on a beautiful wood cutting board.

To Enter: Leave a comment below with your favorite birthday memory. I want to hear ALL the details! I’ll randomly choose a winner and notify them through email. Open to US residents only. (Sorry international friends!) Also, if you’d like some extra entries (one per follow), follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest (and let me know in your comment). Contest ends September 17th at 12pm PST. Good luck!

Update: Congrats Willow! Get ready to get your knife skills on! Keep an eye out for an email :)

the ultimate veggie sandwich recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com


  1. love all the colors! and i’m with you on the veggie sandwiches- i always end up going for the ones with roasted veggies :3

  2. cori says:

    I remember having a birthday party at McDonalds when I was super young. We only had cheeseburgers – without the burger – for the party and a ton of my friends cried about it since we were like 5 or something. I guess i was the only one that like steamed grilled cheese.

  3. Vidya says:

    beautiful colors! i remember having birthday parties as a kid at cici’s pizza :)

  4. Taylor says:

    I’ve been a pastry chef for several years now, and before that I was always baking and giving food to friends. No one ever bothered to bake for me, I guess since they were worried it wouldn’t be good or it wouldn’t compare. But my favorite memory was when I was 18 and my friend (who cannot cook even if her life depended on it) made me these cherry muffins. To be honest, they were pretty bad–they were underbaked and chewy. But it meant so much to me that she had bothered to try!

  5. Natalie says:

    My favorite birthday memory is when my partner surprised me with a trip to Vegas for the weekend and not to do the usual “vegas-type” thins, BUT to SEE ELTON JOHN!!! I absolutely love Elton he is a legend. I cried for almost all of the show because I was so happy. Best Birthday Ever!

  6. Emily says:

    When I turned 20, my mom and sisters joined me in Paris, where I was wrapping up a semester abroad. The four of us were staying in a tiny little rented apartment on Rue des Grands Augustins, which was a few skips away from both the actual Seine and the kick-ass open market on Rue de Seine. For my birthday breakfast I toasted with some birthday rose (we had drunk most of the bottle the evening before with drippingly-good French market Poulet Roti and potatoes), and french cookies. Not macarons or anything fancy, just a little bag of store-bought Madeleines. Probably the Parisian equivalent of Chips Ahoy, when you think about it. From Vietnam to Nashville, the birthday wine-and-cookies breakfast tradition has continued ever since.

    ….and of course, after that fabulous breakfast, my mom and sisters walked across the bridge to Angelina (http://www.angelina-paris.fr/fr/) and had a once-in-a-lifetime birthday lunch of rainbow club sandwiches and salades au saumon fumé, chased by mont blancs and gateaux opera. Pretty sure they had to roll us out of there, and also pretty sure that still didn’t stop us from having Japanese ramen on Rue Sainte-Anne for dinner that very same day.

  7. Chrissie says:

    My favorite birthdays were years that my dad had a conference in Orlando that happened to fall right around by birthday. He’d take us along and we’d go to Disney World and then eat ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. (Those chocolate crunchy things are the best!) As a kid, I hated being the center of attention and having birthday parties, getting to spend my birthday in such a unique way made me feel so special.

  8. Chrissie says:

    Also, I follow you on Instagram!

  9. Lily says:

    Birthday buddies! Well, virgo buddies at least.

    My birthday memory is when my mom, who is very frugal, bought me a cake (!) from my favorite restaurant/bakery (!) even though it was pretty expensive (!) and she had somehow picked my favorite cake there (!!). It was unexpected and generous.

    (I do follow you on Instagram too).

    Also, I could have sworn you had full posts about your birthday parties? I’ve been trying to find a non-gif version of those grilled cheese party pictures (or I think you did a cereal/breakfast party too?).

  10. Lauren says:

    Awesome giveaway! My fave birthday memory is from when I was 5 or 6 – we had a huge luau in our backyard. Love having a simmer birthday!

  11. Gal F. says:

    This is cheesy, but my 21st birthday. I was in college and lived up the hill from the main “commons” of downtown with all of the bars, etc. My boyfriend and friends schemed prior to my party, and when we walked down the hill they busted out a chair with a unicorn glued to it that they had bike locked to a bike rack. They made me sit on it as they carried me all the way down the street.. with a crown on my head. I also ate a lot of pizza.

  12. Janet says:

    My parents had a “birthday kid picks the dinner” policy when we were growing up, so we took advantage of that loophole in my Dad’s “no pizza” policy pretty much every year. My Dad always said he hated pizza, which in his defense was mostly just pepperoni & cheese in our small town, so we never had it at home. I remember my 12th birthday, we had moved to a larger town, and we went out to a pizza restaurant for a pizza with everything. My Dad LOVED it! It turns out he just needed veggies on the pizza to make it one of his (now) favorite things to eat.

  13. carly g says:

    My older brothers flew home from college to surprise me for my 16th birthday!

  14. Chloe says:

    By far my favorite birthday memory was my WEGMANS BIRTHDAY PARTY. (Wegmans=best grocery store). I was turning eight and my dream birthday party was at the grocery store. We made personal pizzas and decorated cakes. It was amazing.

  15. Beccy says:

    My favorite birthday memory fell into one of the worst periods of my life. My hometown had just been devastated by a tornado (April 27, 2011) and I had come home early from college to help clean/repair/etc. Our house stood, but barely (tons of damage, but many houses in our neighborhood didn’t make it so we were lucky). My birthday is in early May, so we were not even staying at our own house yet, but I spent the day (with a few repair-related errands) mostly hanging out! I had lunch with my family and boyfriend and our friends, we made brownies and had a delicious dinner. It was a terrible time in our lives, but everyone came together to make my birthday feel special.

  16. Steph says:

    My birthday was in the summer and I was always sad bc I didn’t get to do the cake brought to school thing so my parents did the best birthdays for me. One year they rented a petting zoo!!

  17. Linda says:

    Hmmm, a memorable moment was when I was maybe 11? My then 5 yr old brother pulled his pants down and flashed us while the camcorder was a rollin. It’s still fun to remind him of this, to this day.

  18. Kirsten says:

    I follow you on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest ! It has to be my 30th birthday. People kept telling me that I was going to hate turning 30 but they were wrong. I planned my own party, invited the people I loved and did what I wanted. I also knew I was on my way out of an abusive marriage and a new life. I remember that night vividly. I had the best time and it set the stage for all my birthdays since. Life is short. Celebrate. I will be 56 next month. <3

  19. rachael says:

    Sophomore year of college, my friends saran wrapped my car and after filling it with balloons. At the time, it was frustrating, but now I remember it as one of my best birthdays.

  20. jeannie says:

    I didn’t get to eat much sweets when I was a kid, but my birthdays always came with a cake, making the day so special! now I eat cake year round :))

  21. Will says:

    My favorite birthday memory is of the He-Man Birthday Cake my mom made for me. She got a special mold in the shape of his bust with a plastic face plate. I actually still have all of the pieces and plan on making it for my nephew.

  22. Will says:

    Oh and I follow you on all the social media, my username is Westelmach

  23. Krystal says:

    One of my favorite birthday memories is from 5th grade. My family corralled all of my friends and threw me a surprise party – good friends, tasty food, and SMORES! It was awesome.

    (I also follow you on instagram. I’m @krydib)

  24. Sarah B says:

    While I don’t quite remember the day (I was only 4!), I have a feeling it was the best birthday ever. The reason I assume it was the best birthday ever, is a specific picture someone took of me that day. I was a chubby 4 year old, wearing overalls & carrying a brand new PURPLE bean bag…heading out of Chuck-E-Cheese with the biggest grin on my face. It just had to be the best birthday ever.

  25. Cindy M says:

    My mom managed to throw a successful surprise party for all 4 of us kids. I’ve never been good at planning my own birthday celebrations (I could take some tips from you!), and my mom is an awesome party planner. My surprise party was when I was in 5th grade, and it was a sleepover with my best friends. It was fantastic :-)
    PS- I follow you on instagram, pinterest, and facebook :-)

  26. Eve says:

    That sandwich looks amazing! I don’t know how you open your mouth wide enough to take a bite.

    My birthdays are solitary. I do and eat all the things I can’t convince anyone to do/eat with me.

  27. Flannery says:

    Oooh, there are SO many birthday memories to choose from. One of my best birthdays was my 25th. I was living in the Bay Area at the time and my grad school friends surprised me with a day trip to Napa. They recruited my roommate’s younger sister to serve as DD, picked out great vineyards and tasting rooms (lots of VINO!), and we enjoyed the perfect lunch right along the river. It was such a beautiful fun-filled day! I just started following on instagram, pinterest, and twitter! Woo hoo!

  28. Sue says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    My favorite birthday memory… was when I was 15 years old spending a vacationt with my family in Canada. I lived alone with my Mom (my dad had passed at 10) She raised me working in New York City kitchens as a Garde Manger Chef. We were visiting didn’t expect anything.. All my cousins and family threw a big pot luck dinner so much great food. Mostly Vietnamese with extend edEuro. They brought there own (including French, Dutch, German) It established my way of cooking now.

    I love your Blog reminds me of my family get togethers. Hopefully, I will do that for my girls one day!

    Warm Regards,

  29. My favorite birthday was my 19th! It was my first year in college and my friends and I crashed a party and got 100 strangers to sing Happy Birthday to me. The days when such shenanigans were acceptable are long gone, but I’ll always have the memories!

    I’m also a insta and pinterest follower!

  30. grace says:

    my birthday is in april, so when i was a kid i always had a party in the park or something outside. one year it snowed SO unexpectedly, so those of us who could get out of our driveways had a sledding party instead. :) it hasn’t snowed on my birthday since, and i’m kind of disappointed about that. :)

  31. Lindsey says:

    ahhh! happy birthday month! this sandwich is everything – the colors, the textures, the crunch! big hugs and the best wishes for the most magical day and month! big big hugs! xo!

  32. Heather says:

    My favorite birthday memory was my 30th…I wanted to remember it for the rest of my life and when someone asked me “what did you do on your 30th?” I could reply…”I skydived!” It took weeks of mental prepping (since I hate flying and I’m afraid of heights) and appointment making and canceling, but finally the day came – I woke up early, told myself “This is it!”, and made it to the place without looking back. Honestly the BEST birthday ever! I overcame my fears and added a new spice on that special day…I’ll never forget it!

  33. Rachel McKernan says:

    I remember many sleepover birthdays where the highlight was making our own sundays with whatever toppings we wanted. I think my mom did it so we would sugar crash later, but it was always what everyone was most excited about too!
    *Followed you on Pinterest

  34. Erin Ellis says:

    My favorite birthday memory is spending it with my hubby in La Jolla! Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
    ErinLoves2Run at gmail dot com

  35. Dana says:

    MY favorite birthday memory was when I was celebrating my 21st birthday in Santiago, Chile. We had a big party with tons of empanadas, cake and avocado :)

  36. Elisabeth says:

    My birthday is close to Halloween so when I was younger, my mom would throw me a combination halloween / bday party. it’s impossible to choose a favorite memory because they were always so much fun! but one year, my mom dressed up as a fortune teller and made funny little fortunes up for me and my friends. it always makes me smile.

  37. Heidi says:

    My favorite birthday memory is my 21st. My parents drove up to my college to celebrate with me. My mom has always made me my favorite meal which is her famous braised short ribs and impossibly smooth mashed potatoes. She somehow managed to make them in my terrible apartment kitchen and they were incredible. They they came out with my friends and me and were able to hang with the college kids. I’ll never forget cutting a rug with my mom on the dance floor.

  38. Lindsey G says:

    This past birthday I turned 30, and my husband and friends threw me a legit surprise party—almost a month after! So I was totally unsuspecting when we headed to a friend’s house for an adult cookout. This sandwich looks killer!

  39. Heidi says:

    My favorite birthday memory would be my 21st. My parents drove up to my college to celebrate with my friends and me. Every year my mom makes me her famous braised short ribs and impossibly smooth mashed potatoes. I don’t know how she did it but she was able to make them in my crappy apartment kitchen and they were unbelievable. After that they both came out with my friends and me. I’ll never forget cutting a rug on the dance floor with my mom!

  40. Kayla says:

    Not my birthday specifically, but my Mom and I have been making a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake for my Dad’s birthday every year for as long as I can remember (25+ years). We both thought it was his favorite cake. Turns out that one year when I was little I told my Mom with such confidence that Dad’s favorite was Pineapple Upside-Down Cake she thought that I asked him directly. The truth finally came to light a few years ago when he requested a different birthday cake, and we compared our stories. We had never actually asked him his favorite birthday cake, and he never bothered to tell us because he liked the cake we kept making! Now we switch it up, but Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is still in the regular rotation.

  41. Joanna says:

    My favorite birthday memory was my 20th birthday. My boyfriend at the time threw me a huge surprise birthday party. Considering it was my second year in college, it was amazing to see so many new friends and old friends from home make an effort to attend. And it was fun to drink a lot of booze with new people too. :)

  42. Lo says:

    A few years ago, I made the Milk Bar funfetti cake for my birthday! Happy Birthday, hooray!

  43. Missy says:

    Turning 21 ! I celebrated with friends during Spring Break at Padre Island. 1974!

  44. Danielle says:

    Birthday cheers to you!
    My favorite birthday memory was about 10 years ago. I was in a new city, living alone, my air conditioning was broken (May in Florida) and I thought I’d be spending my birthday alone. My birthday was looking grim. As I was driving home I looked up and saw two people waving at me from a wall in my neighborhood. It was my mom and my brother! I put the car in park and we jumped around and danced right in the road! They traveled from across the state and Colorado, respectively, to spend my birthday with me. I had never gone so long without seeing either of them. It was such a relief to see their smiling faces! We ate Thai food and drank wine and caught up. It went from the saddest to the happiest birthday ever. They still laugh at my reaction when I saw them waving at me from the wall.
    I follow you on Instagram and Pinterest.

  45. Madeline says:

    For my 5th birthday I had a tea party using all of my grandmothers vintage tea cups, cake plates and tea hats. My mom went all out on the tea sandwiches and little cakes – it was the best!!!

  46. Ellie says:

    This sandwich looks amazing! I’m thinking about what I brought for lunch and am now incredibly disappointed. Growing up, my older sister and I always had a joint birthday party because they were only a few days apart… and while I hated sharing the day with her, it was always perfect. We would be up at our cabin in Northern Minnesota, spend the day on the lake, grill burgers and brats for dinner, and finish with presents on the deck and a chocolate bundt cake with cream cheese and chocolate chip filling (I had the same cake every year for my birthday!!).

    xo, Ellie
    with love from ellie

  47. David says:

    8 years old, waking up to a tall stack of griddle cakes, lots of syrup, LOTS of bacon – topped off with a candle. Better than the cake!

  48. Crushing hard on this one – ultimate indeed!! And yeah! I love celebrating my birthday (and other peoples). It’s so fun!!

  49. Randi says:

    My favorite birthday memory is the time I got a lot of my friends together at a local favorite restaurant. It was small, so we took up about half the tables there, and we had a great time.

  50. Dara says:

    The best birthday I ever had, I got my first strike while bowling. It was truly epic. And I’m following you on Instagram!

  51. Stephanie says:

    A few years ago on my birthday, my SO at the time woke me up with a breakfast composed of all of my favorite foods. It was a fish ball, sushi, spicy jarred bamboo shoots, etc breakfast and it was super amazing. I also got taken out to one of those Brazilian all you can eat meat restaurants where they come around with huge skewers of meat.
    I follow you on IG, twitter and Facebook!



  53. Marissa says:

    For the last few years, I’ve gone to a stand-up comedy show for my birthday. It’s a lot of fun – me and my friends get together in a dark basement-esque comedy club and eat goopy cheese and drink luke-warm beer. And for two years in a row, the same comedian performed on my birthday. Of course, I didn’t realize this until we got there. Then we were all like, “hey, I know this joke! Wait. Why do I know this joke? Oh….”

  54. Jean says:

    A few years ago, I became very close with a group of friends and met my to be fiancée. They all got together and surprised me for my birthday by renting out a room at a Korean karaoke place. We ate bibim bap and bulgogi and drank soju and mahtguli. We laughed at the random video snippets of early 90s kpop stars and nature pans that were featured in the background as we sang our favorite throwbacks, making such a ruckus that strangers were peeping in our room through the window on the door. What made it more special was that it was the first large party I had since I was in the second grade, when my father had passed away. As a child, I had asked my mother not to host anything big because I felt like it would be burdensome and instead I always had little intimate dinners. Surrounded by all these people who care for me doing what I love, I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday.

  55. martina says:

    My brother once (apologetically!) gave me enough of his aeroplan miles to fly anywhere in North America! I was a very poor student so it was an amazing birthday gift, one of the best I’ve ever gotten.

  56. Jennifer R. says:

    I hardly ever celebrate my birthday, but last year, for my 35th, I decided to have a huge cookout with all of my friends. The party was supposed to start at 4pm. At 1:30pm, I realized my beer keg wasn’t on ice. At 2:30, I got locked out of my house. At 3:30 my grill person called and said they weren’t going to make it. I was in full on panic mode. At 2:00 pm my friends showed up with 2 bags of ice, At 3:00 my mom showed up with an extra set of keys and at 4:00 a friend brought over their 25 year old Weber grill. By 5:00 we were drinking cold beer, grilling burgers and dogs and lounging in the back yard. I couldn’t believe it had all worked out and it turned out to be a wonderful party. Although, I couldn’t bring myself to repeat it this year!!!!

  57. Josh Mitchell says:

    Favorite birthday (from growing up), my dad took me and a group of my friends to the drive in… picked up Little Caeser’s Pizza and sodas on the way and made a night of it… I don’t even remember what movie we watched, just that I had an absolute blast with my friends that night… cheep pizza and soda and big screen…

  58. Sabrina says:

    My favorite birthday memory was 12 or 13, we had gone to visit family in Toronto – all of whom cater or own restaurants or cook extensively for family… and what did I want to try? Boxed, Kraft, Mac n Cheese. I cringe now, but at the time, it seemed like a legitimate request.

  59. Rachel says:

    Happy birthday! These sammies look like my idea of heaven, especially with the addition of some hummus spread on 1 side. I’m crazy like that. This year for my 30th birthday we kept things simple with just my dog, my man and me. We explored the Sunshine Coast in B.C. and went on one of my favorite hikes to date (Tin Hat Mountain, if you’re in the area). The views were out of this world.

  60. My boyfriend (now fiance) threw me a huge surprise party for my 25th birthday. It was Arrested Development themed and amazing.

  61. Whitney says:

    What an awesome giveaway!!!
    My favorite birthday memory was when I was just a wee child and totally had a pinata that my parents got for just my brother and I. As one of the kids who never got in line in time to actually have hit one before (and I have vivid memories of crying over it!), it was so awesome.

  62. Stardancer says:

    Birthdays with my husband are super fun. I keep telling him not to buy me so much stuff, but I get thoroughly spoiled every time :)

  63. Jade says:

    Ooo! My favorite birthday memory has to be when I turned 16. My parents treated me and six of my friends to dinner and a broadway show. It was very special and kind of crazy!

  64. Ami says:

    On my 13th birthday my mother gave me some of her best pendants and rings which to me are priceless. I follow u on insta! Love love such inspiration

  65. Bethy G. says:

    Your birthday sandwich looks delicious! My favorite birthday food memory is making ice cream cake with my mom. We make one for my birthday and my sister’s birthday every year. We’re from Wisconsin, so we love our ice cream! (Not that everyone else doesn’t love ice cream).

    I already follow you on Instagram, but I’ll go get you on pinterest too!

    Happy Birthday!

  66. Dori says:

    My birthday is at the beginning of Spring, which is a beautiful time of year but always fell during exam week in high school and college. At the end of my second year of college, I had exams the day before, morning of, and day after my birthday. Since my friends knew that going out wasn’t an option, they planned a surprise lunch for me at my favorite Indian buffet. I had NO IDEA, but was so happy to be around my friends and eating great food for an hour or two before heading back to the library!

    Happy Birthday! Love the ultimate veggie sandwich and I follow you on Instagram!

  67. avery cho says:

    i remember my first birthday celebrated in the US (9th birthday). the concept of bringing treats for the entire class was foreign to us, having recently immigrated here from korea by way of germany/netherlands/west africa. my mom stayed up all night baking cupcakes and concocting perfect frostings (my favorite is still her cream cheese frosting). i was so delighted – still am, by the memory – to celebrate my birthday with my new friends, but mostly these days, i’m so grateful for how giving with her time my mother was. thanks for allowing me a small space to capture that memory and sweet nostalgia once again.

  68. Biz says:

    Happy Birthday!!

    I have a twin sister and I remember our 6th birthday like it was yesterday (and I am 47!) My parents allowed us to invite all the girls in each of our classes – so think 26 six year old girls in total. My Mom took half the girls and colored Easter eggs (our birthday is in late March) while my Dad took the other girls and we watched cartoons and movies in a “theater” my parents put together with 8 mm film. At the end we had a giant Easter egg hunt and my Mom made a castle cake with a molten chocolate river around it and a Hershey chocolate bar bridge.

    The only thing that upset me that day is that since I was 30 minutes older than my sister, I thought I only had my birthday for the first 30 minutes of waking up, and she got it the rest of the day and I remember crying because I didn’t think that was fair until my Mom cleared it up – ha!

    I already follow you on all your other social media :D

  69. Athena says:

    I’ve always been super introverted. On my 5th birthday, my dad got all my family together. He threw a huge bash and had everyone sing me happy birthday in unison (my nightmare). He put me in front of a big ice cream cake, and once everyone was finished singing I was so overwhelmed that I burst into tears. It’s on video, and you can hear my dad saying “Oh no, she’s compressed!”

    Instead, he took me in my room with my cake. And I ate as much as I could by the handful. The ice cream melting in rivers between my fingers. So, clearly, worst birthday but also BEST BIRTHDAY.

    Happy birthday! I hope you have all the cake to yourself. <3

  70. Eileen says:

    Sitting at a restaurant to celebrate my 5th birthday, I apparently burst into tears when the restaurant staff broke out singing Happy Birthday!!! To this day I try and avoid eye contact with traveling restaurant singers….

  71. Hannah says:

    I think my favorite birthday memory is when my mom let me have a Tamagotchi themed party at a skate ring… I was so, so cool for like a week after that party, lol!

  72. Caren says:

    My favorite birthday memory is when I turned 18. My family and I headed out to San Francisco and ate dim sum. We explored the city together and had kbbq for dinner!

    I follow you on Instagram and Pinterest!

  73. Megan Markwardt says:

    Happy birthday to you!

    My favorite birthday memory would have to be my last birthday turning 24. I got to sleep in a little, always a plus, and I went out to brunch at one of my favorite brunch spots and enjoyed biscuits and gravy with my fiancee, mother, twin sister (who was in town from Florida) and my adorable little 6 month old niece! After that, my fiancee and I packed up our kayaks and went out to a small lake to hang out, relax, and spend some time enjoying the beautiful weather (warm and sunny!). Then I headed out to some of my favorite bars with my close friends and family. Later on we ended up at a place called One Eyed Betty’s in Ferndale, MI that has the best late night food ever, where we all stuffed our faces! That was the first time in many years my sister and I were able to celebrate our birthday together and I was so happy that I got to spend it with all of my loved ones, was able to do a couple things I enjoy, and eat some awesome food!

    I follow you on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest

  74. Jade says:

    Happy birthday! This sandwich looks beautiful and delicious and I would LOVE this knife…would be a great little housewarming gift to myself before I move into my new solo apartment next month! I think my favorite (sorta random) birthday memory was going to see Edward Scissorhands in the theater. I was turning 5. Definitely a little young for it, but my parents didn’t really care. I saw the commercials and was just sooo wowed by the scissors, I HAD to see it. I had to close my eyes during a lot of it. And some of it made me a little sad. But creepy little 5 year-old me loved it.

  75. Diana Ngo says:

    It was my 29th birthday and I was celebrating the actual day with my girlfriends at a restaurant for dinner. My boyfriend at the time kept asking me a million questions about where I was going and who I was going with. I didn’t think anything about it bc we always ask for details when one of us goes out for a special occasion. I arrived at the restaurant and there were 3 beautiful floral arrangements set up at the table, arranged by him, of course. He also had already sent me flowers earlier in the day. My BF also had his niece surprise me with my favorite berry Chantilly cake from Whole Foods, too!

    That’s not all that happened. The weekend came along and my BF arranged a surprise weekend getaway trip for us to the San Juan Islands. He had my bags packed without me knowing! Before we headed to the islands, he brought me to brunch and then to my very first flight class. I flew an airplane! While we were in the sky, he gave me a deck of personalized cards he had printed versuses of a poem he had written on them. He said the most sweetest things. He’s a resident words smith so his sweet words always brought tears to my eyes. On the last card, he asked me to marry him!! As the tears in my eyes start rolling down my cheeks, I heard in the headset him yelling my name. I turned around and there he was in the backseat of the airplane on one knee with the most gorgeous diamond ring ever!

    MOST MEMORABLE BIRTHDAY, ever!! Then we celebrated my birthday and our engagement all weekend long on the most beautiful island in the PNW!

    I’m following you on insta, FB, and Twitter!

  76. Stacy Renee says:

    Birthdays become more about celebrating with close friends and family with each passing year, but one tradition that holds true is my block of green pistachio almond ice cream cake! I’ve had one of those every year for the past 33 years and despite having at pistachio gelato in Rome and artisan moat colored stuff in San Francisco, the bright electric green of the original Carvel ice cream cake with the crunchy chocolate cookie crumbs in the middle and generic white frosting with a droll picture of something glib still marks the turning point of having another year under my belt. I truly think the simple things are the best and evoke the true meaning of growth – the appreciation of tradition and finding memories that draw us back to carefree days of youth and birthday parties with paper hats!

  77. Kristin says:

    That sandwich looks awesome! Yum!

    My favorite birthday memory was 2010 – I am “lucky” enough to have a birthday in the dead of winter in December. I was all ready for my birthday to arrive – reservations at my favorite restaurant with all my best friends! Then.. the morning of my birthday I woke up to 10 inches of snow. And you know what, it kept on snowing! Another 9 inches! Needless to say, travel was difficult, plans were cancelled, we got stuck in snow banks 3 times… but it really did end up being one the of the best birthdays ever. My husband and I dug out the stuck car 3 times and ended up making homemade soup and crazy grilled cheese sandwiches and staying in. Just goes to show that birthdays don’t always have to be full of crazy plans to be great!

  78. Elizabeth Starr says:

    I too LOVE my birthday. One particular year-it was a hard one. I had recently separated from my husband and was living with a friend while my new apartment was being renovated. I had literally taken my clothes and that was it. I was starting from scratch and had left all my beloved kitchen equipment. My dearest friends surprised me with an intimate gathering, a catered dinner, dance party, and tons of new home gifts. I got my first (and only) shun knife, a beautiful pendant light, a tivoili speaker, a handmade cutting board, and a few other treasures. I will be forever grateful for that birthday, and those friends. The gifts were lovely, and I cherish them all, but those friends will forever be dearest to my heart. They helped me regain a bit of my self back and picked me up when I needed it most.

  79. Ginger says:

    My favorite birthday was my 21st birthday. My mom had finally been able to fulfill her wish to go to Hawaii that year. My 21st birthday was spent eating Spam-based foods for lunch, eating roast pig for dinner, and then hanging out at the hotel bar. There was a band playing and my older brother and I were the only people there, so it was like a personal concert for the two of us sitting in the open air bar on a beach. It was worth every bit of it.

    And I follow you on pinterest and facebook!

  80. Jessica says:

    This year for my birthday, my 6 year old told me the night before that he’d had my present for a couple of weeks. “Yep mom, I’ve been working on it for awhile now.” The next morning, he came downstairs, looked at me, and said “Oh wait, let me go get your present.” He walked out of the room, then cam back in a gave me a giant hug. “That’s your present mom…a huge hug!” Best present ever to start my birthday off laughing!

  81. Alexandra robertson says:

    My favorite birthday memory is when I turned 21. I have a summer birthday so a lot of people are busy, but my best friends all showed up from around the country to celebrate. My parents had rented me a hotel room and paid for dinner out. I will never forget it. I also follow on Instagram @alexandrarobertson7, twitter @alexandrairob, Facebook Alex Robertson, and Pinterest @alexpearson20 This sandwich looks killer!!!!

  82. Amanda says:

    my birthday is 3 days before christmas, so although i love celebrating, it gets over shadowed quite a bit. one of my favorite memories was actually a couple years ago. we traveled to this little town outside Pittsburgh to have christmas with my husband’s family. i thought this was going to suck, but all his cousins came over for board games and it was a blast! i never really get birthday parties because people are so busy, so this was perfect! everyone came to his grandma’s house for cake and ice cream and we played games all night.

    just followed you on ALL the socials… i can’t believe i hadn’t done that before! <3

  83. Wenjing says:

    Best birthday memory was hitchhiking by myself all day in Iceland to get back to the hostel i was working at. It was in the middle of the volcano eruption in 2010 so air was cloudy and ashy. I got dropped off in the middle of the clouds, but quickly picked up again by a nice French couple. Lovely day exploring by myself.

  84. Alyssa says:

    My birthday is also in September. Ever since I was old enough to have a birthday whose theme wasn’t “watch the toddler destroy a small cake from her high chair,” I’ve had apple themed celebrations. As a child, the spicy smell of fall in the breeze, apples ripening in the orchards, leaves hinting at change in the trees, all meant one thing. My birthday. I was a fall fanatic before Starbucks presented the PSL. My favorite apple birthday memory was when I turned 8. My mom baked the requisite apple pie and the whole house filled with its warm scent. I wore a navy, wool sweater from my grandma that had appeared in a package a few days before. Its sleeves were too long, but it was a rich dark color and soft. The neighbor kids arrived and we bobbed for apples and played pin the leaf on the apple. We feasted on fettucine alfredo and ate huge wedges of pie and ice cream. Our bellies were full, I felt celebrated, and the brisk air was charged with the change of seasons.

  85. BarBara says:

    Every year I asked to Go ice skating for my birthday. Some of my favorite childhood memories.

  86. Meredith Knowles says:

    Growing up, my family was (is) notorious for being loud, wacky, and fun. When I turned 18, I woke up with a note on my bed that said, “Welcome to adulthood…prepare yourself.” Next to it was a nerf gun! My dad and brother were waiting outside my door armed and ready. Turns out Mom and my toddler sister were even in on it with their own “weapons” downstairs in the kitchen. We had a blast, and I’ll never forget that keeping life fun is an absolute must!

    By the way, great pictures–so colorful!


  87. Brooke says:

    Growing up I always celebrated my birthday with my grandfather because his birthday is the day after mine. We would always go to the same restaurant but it was fun to open all of our presents together.

  88. Allison olszewski says:

    My favorite birthday memories always revolve around my grandfather, he was a professional magician! My parties always had magic shows, complete with bunnies, doves and snakes, yes snakes! And of course my requested confetti cake which I still have every year, even at 29!
    Happy birthday, enjoy that sandwhich because dang it looks good!

  89. Libby says:

    This is my DREAM SANDWICH SCENARIO! Happy friggin birthday–here, have a whole avocado!

    The year my now-husband and I started dating, he threw me a surprise birthday party. It really was the ultimate surprise because he’s not really the planning type. But he did it for me! And I loved it. It was perfect. He even found a way to make sure that I looked nice before we left the house so that I wouldn’t feel self conscious during the whole thing. That was my favorite birthday.

  90. Happy birthday! That is the most epic veggie sandwich I’ve ever seen, I love it! And I am so incredibly smitten with Shun knives, I would die if I won one. (Not literally, but there would definitely be some “holy crap I need to sit down” going on.)
    I have to say, my most epic birthday would have to be…. the first one. Try as I might, I just don’t think I can top being pushed from the womb and taking my first breath. You gotta admit, that zero-year-old you was pretty badass that day. :P

    (P.S., I follow you on all of those social networks — turns out I wasn’t following on instagram yet… wha’? Remedied that right away!)

  91. Yum, and HBD! Veggie sandwiches are totally underappreciated. I remember trying (with considerable difficulty) to get the sandwich ladies in my college cafeteria to slather more than a tiny dab of hummus on my sammiches. (“More.” “No, keep going.” “More…” “Just…like an inch thick, okay?” “Yes, really!”)

    Favorite birthday memory is bringing my mom’s chocolate zucchini cupcakes to school in the 3rd grade (without mentioning the zucchini), and then triumphantly declaring at lunch that I’d slipped my classmates a no-good yucky vegetable! In retrospect, no wonder I didn’t make a lot of friends that year.

  92. Kristen M says:

    Happy birthday to you!!
    Hands down, surprise trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I was 23. #HP4life :)
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  93. Amber O says:

    My favorite memory was from my 20th birthday. I was holding a giant slice of juicy watermelon and was laughing so hard when they were singing happy birthday that I tipped my chair over and got watermelon all over myself. It was the funniest thing!

  94. Kristen M says:

    I also follow on instagram and twitter! love your blog

  95. Abbie Kermode says:

    On my 21st birthday i went to visit my sister in Hawaii. When the clock turned 12 I didn’t go to a bar or club but rather was on the beach listening to a ukulele with a huge Bon fire and a couple new friends.

  96. Sally says:

    My favorite birthday memory- throwing a surprise party for my BF and BFF (I know this isn’t my birthday). It was the first time I’d thrown a surprise dinner party and it was complete with pancetta and mint stuffed pasta, grilled zucchini and a giant red velvet cake (it happened to be Valentine’s Day). Not only was it the first time I appreciated that fancy food actually cost money (!?) but it was a huge success with all our closest friends and their dates. It was lovely.

    Oh, and I follow you on Instrgram (of course!)

  97. Frances says:

    On my 16th birthday, I had planned just to have a sleepover at a friend’s house with my three best friends. I had a soccer match that afternoon, so by the time I got home and showered, I was pretty tired. I tried to throw on jeans and a ratty sweater to go over to my friend’s house, but my mom and another friend wouldn’t let me and made me change. I couldn’t figure out why they were objecting to the sweater so much, but I think I did end up putting on a different one. So my other friend and I go over to my friend’s house and went down to the finished basement area where we usually stayed. When I got to the bottom of the steps, I heard a chorus of “Surprise!” My friends had thrown me a surprise 16th birthday party with a large group of friends. I was so thrilled and touched that they did that for me. And I had no idea or inkling of it beforehand.

  98. Nicole says:

    My favorite birthday memory is my 21st, when my parents took me out to a nice sushi joint for my first omakase. I think we had about 27 pieces… each. The meal ended with this adorable koala made of oranges with strawberries in its arms. It was fabulous.

  99. Corie says:

    When we were first married, my husband threw me a big surprise party.

    Followed on instagram

  100. Rebecca Quam says:

    One of my favorite birthdays was when my mom came to visit and I was thrown a surprise party. I loved that she was able to be there since I didn’t get to see her most birthdays :) I also follow you on twitter, instagram, and Facebook!

  101. Sarah T. says:

    My favorite birthday memory is a huge slumber party with all of my girlfriends. Telling secrets, playing pranks, eating too much pizza and candy. :) I followed on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, AND Pinterest! :)

  102. Jessica says:

    This isn’t really a memory, but there’s a pair of birthday pictures of me that make me laugh every time I see them. The first one is me, a naked & excited four-year-old, grinning over my shoulder with my chocolate birthday cake in the background. The second one is me, a naked & excited four-year-old with chocolate all over my face.

  103. Nicole says:

    Also, I’ve followed you on Facebook, Twitter, Insta, and Pinterest! Can’t have too much food blog in my life ;)

  104. Leah says:

    When I turned 16, my big sister planned a big, all day surprise for me. My birthday fell on a school day, which was a bummer for a 16 year-old because people stopped bringing me cupcakes at like 10. I arrived at my first class for the day and a few minutes later, the class was interrupted by the school’s admin assistant delivering a message. She called my name and handed me an envelope. Inside was a handmade birthday card, with rhyming birthday greeting. It was from my sister! I thought it was awfully nice of her to surprise me and made a mental note to thank her on the walk home. Imagine my surprise when in my second class, another one of my teachers appeared in the doorway and declared he had a message for me. It was another handmade card, with a different birthday greeting! I realized that the 2nd was a continuation of the message from the first, and an ellipsis followed the end of the 2nd message. Over the course of the day, my sister had 8 handmade, rhyming birthday cards delivered to me by various friends, faculty, and administrators. The last card ended with, “But you’ve been my best friend, and I love you sister! Happy birthday! (I swear this is the last one.)” And with the last card came flowers, balloons, and tiny chenille teddy bear from my Grandma. Everyone in school thought I had a secret admirer who had planned this giant surprise to profess his love to me on my birthday, but it was my sister who had orchestrated the whole thing. That’s why she’s the best, and that’s why I’m throwing her a raging surprise party complete with brand new tattoo for her 30th birthday! :)

    PS- I also started following you on Pinterest.

  105. Kaitlin says:

    My boyfriend (now husband) surprised me with an engagement ring for my birthday a couple years ago. It was such a great surprise I pretty much forgot that I turned 30!

  106. Agnes says:

    I follow you on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

    My favorite birthday memory was this year when I went running outside in a snowstorm and then hosted a dinner party using your dumpling recipe. :)

  107. Moni says:

    Happy Birthday! And thanks for sharing that beautiful sandwich. My favorite birthday memory isn’t even my own birthday– one of my cousins has a December 25 birthday, and always complained that his birthday was always overshadowed by Christmas. One year when I was about 11 my aunt and Grandma piled everybody in cars and took all 12 of us cousins to a local park. Weather was warm and perfect (a rare treat in South Texas where the heat setting seems permanently set to “Hell.”) We had the whole park to ourselves, and there was cake, ice cream, Grandma’s famous chicken salad sandwiches and giant tins of salty potato chips. One of the last birthdays I remember being able to just be a kid :)

    Oh, and I follow you on Pinterest.

  108. Kristen says:

    I had the best 30th birthday, celebrated with a sunset sail on the Chesapeake Bay after spending the day at the Chestertown Tea Party Raft Race. The link takes you to this year’s video, and my 30th was NOT this year, but you can imagine the fun…

  109. Katie says:

    My favorite birthday memory would have to be my mom surprising me with the Barbie birthday cake I so desperately wanted – she baked and frosted the cake/doll skirt herself, and even managed to get the frosting to stay on the plastic doll topper to make the bodice of the dress – I’m still not sure how she made that happen (birthday magic!)

    Happy birthday & thank you for the opportunity to win the knife and cutting board! I follow you on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest as well

  110. Aww…..Happy Birthday to you!!! I looooove a good veggie sammich! And this one looks so dang good! One of my fondest birthday memories…. was when I turned 7 years old. I had a birthday party at a skating ring…and instead of a birthday cake, I requested a huge pickle(because I loved pickles at the time)! And my mom was so sweet about it and found the biggest pickle that she could find, put and big #7 on top and she sliced that pickle up and passed it out to everyone like it was cake! All the kids thought that was the coolest thing…and I loved her for that. :) Here’s to hoping you and your boo enjoy the day!

  111. Christine says:

    Having my 6th birthday at Chuck E. Cheeses! Pizza, candy, games, prizes, it was perfect for my 6 year old self.

  112. Emily says:

    making myself THE momofuku birthday cake this year – a couple days in the kitchen was so worth it! and it was so pretty!

  113. Sarah says:

    I love a high pile veggie sandwich!! My favorite birthday memory is from 2011. My husband and I had just moved to LA from Minnesota – he started grad school and I started a new job. Not being used to traffic, I was super late to dinner. It was a very mellow birthday, but there’s something about starting new chapters and being in unfamiliar places on your birthday that make you appreciate simple moments.

  114. Lynn Y says:

    That sandwich looks amazing! My son’s birthday was yesterday and I loved how happy he was with his stuffed platypus!
    Following you on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook :-)

  115. Kelly M says:

    Happy Birthday! My favorite birthday memory is from when I was a little girl I had a “cupcake” birthday party with cupcake dolls (http://bit.ly/1Qrdr4V). There were stickers and special songs and, of course, cupcakes. It’s one of my most vivid birthday parties from when I was younger! (Also, I follow you on Twitter and Instagram (@copykelly))

  116. Mel says:

    This vegetarian loves the look of this sandwich. My favourite birthday memory is my 30th – big joint party (for hubby’s bday too) loads of kids, everyone dressed up – and I was pregnant with much wanted number two bebe, just didn’t know it quite yet. Brilliant. Also following you on IG.

  117. Nina says:

    One of my most memorable birthdays was a couple years ago in college. Some of my friends wanted to surprise me at midnight, so they asked my boyfriend to keep me busy until then so they could decorate my apartment. However, my boyfriend, being the most punctual person I know, planned all our activities so well that we actually finished early and I got back to my apartment 15 minutes before midnight. I unlocked and opened the door to all my friends in the process of hanging up a huge “happy birthday!” sign. There was a lot of scampering and turning off of lights, and they made me go outside and come back in so I could be surprised properly. It was kindof a fail, but it was hilarious! Definitely one for the books.

    Happy birthday! Thanks for the giveaway and for feeding my eyes with beautiful food as always. I also follow you on Instagram!

  118. jaime says:

    happy birthday, stephanie! hope it’s a really great one. and holy jesus fuck, this sandwich! i’d love to chop stuff with a victory knife and board!

    i don’t generally party it up on my birthdays, for whatever reasons, but one really distinct memory for me is a couple days or so before probably my 7th birthday, i went with my family to a game store and came across a gumby doll. my own gumby doll had a broken arm (his wire was sticking out, compound fracture style-OUCH) so my mom suggested i could get a new one for my birthday, if i wanted! but i am the most indecisive person on the planet, so i couldn’t decide. we decided not to get it then, and then on my actual birthday i announced that i would like to go back to the store and get the new gumby. we went there and he was gone. i was kind of sad, but i really loved taking care of my broke-ass arm gumby, so it all worked out. but that story sticks with me and reminds me to be more proactive in my decision making so i don’t lose out on opportunities. ha!

  119. Jamie Y. says:

    When I turned 21 it was the day before school started so everyone was back on campus and we had a party in our little on-campus apartment. It wasn’t anything big cause of classes the next day, but it was extra special because my best friend from grade school drove to school with me to celebrate- bearing in mind that it was a 10 hour drive. Now that’s a good friend!

  120. N.N says:

    Favorite Birthday memory: 20th birthday where my friends threw a party for me where all the guests made a dish they wanted me to try. I’m a baker and I’m frequently giving my friends food. So for that birthday, they wanted to feed me :)

  121. Talia says:

    This isn’t necessarily my sweetest birthday memory, but it is by far the funniest. It was the end of summer, and the night before I had pulled a fully innocent (and sober) all-nighter with friends, playing at the park and being silly. The next day, after a quick nap, my mom wanted to treat me to tanning and a pedicure (don’t worry, I cringe now too thinking that that was an acceptable thing to do – the tanning).
    Anyways, I was totally sleep deprived going into the tanning bed, but I was 16 and too cool to admit it. I took all my clothes off and got into the bed, and subsequently passed out. The bed turned off after the allotted number of minutes, but when another 10 minutes had passed and I still hadn’t come out, concern rose. My mom, sister, and the employee knocked on my door to see what was wrong, but didn’t hear a peep. They ended up using a ruler to jimmy open the door hook, and opened the bed to find me sound asleep and BUTT ASS NAKED. It took a few shakes to wake me up, and when I did, my eyes widened and my hands flew to cover my crotch as I realized I was naked in front of a stranger.
    They remembered my name for yeaaaars.

    (I also follow you on Instagram)

  122. Julie A says:

    My favorite birthdays have been the past two where I’ve been able to celebrate by cruising! it’s awfully nice to take a Caribbean vacation in the middle of January to escape the cold weather!

  123. Leslie says:

    My favorite birthday memory is being at a baseball game when I was younger. I went with my grandfather and we had hot dogs and soda and of course peanuts. The stadium is now torn down but the memory lives on and it is not just a favorite birthday memory but a favorite memory overall.

  124. Tram says:

    Happy Birthday lady! That top photo is just stunning!

  125. AlysonRR says:

    I remember the first time my kids brought me breakfast in bed on my birthday :-)

  126. Mallory says:

    During my first year at college my Dad came to town and surprised me for my birthday! While I still had to take an exam that day, it was wonderful to have sometime to look forward to afterwards. My Dad gave me an edible arrangement and took me out to dinner where were ate the most amazing Indian food. This is definitely one of my favorite birthday memories!

    I also follow you on:
    and Pinterest :)


  127. Suzie says:

    My parents threw me a surprise birthday party when I was 7. Honestly, all I remember is being really bummed that I had to go to piano lessons on my birthday and my dad trying to ‘console’ me by saying we’d do something fun on the weekend and then coming home to all my friends in my backyard! Also, getting many mosquito bites, but that was what happened anytime I went outside.

    I follow you on instagram and pinterest.

  128. Happy birthday! :)
    My favorite bday memory is actually a fairly recent one… This past year, I took a cooking class at Good Stock Farm (http://www.goodstockfarm.com) after reading about them in Food & Wine magazine. I’d been on the fence about spending the money, until I looked over the menus and fell in love with the “Spring Italian” four course meal they’d scheduled on my exact birthday. I convinced a close friend to accompany me, and we had nothing short of a magical time there!

  129. Cynthia R. says:

    My birthday is on New Years Eve. There’s never a shortage of parties to attend, but they’re never for me. My favorite birthdays is one at my friends house. I had just turned 32, but told everyone I was 26 and no one batted an eye. It didn’t hurt that I was pouring all my own drinks. I have a heavy hand. : )

  130. sebastien huynh trudeau says:

    My 30th year old surprise party in a super nice restarant where we had a mega seafood platter.

    My sister cracked a lobster and the juice splashes a big mirror.

    Was so funny!

    Seb Huynh

  131. Mmandel says:

    A great birthday memory actually came a few months after my birthday. My favorite band released an album right before my birthday but it unfortunately sold out in minutes. A few months later my boyfriend surprised me at dinner with the album! I have no idea how he got it but it was the perfect gift. It was like celebrating my birthday all over again

  132. Lily says:

    My taste buds runs closer to your Vietnamese coffee cake nowadays but when we were little, our father would purchase a beautifully decorated cake from the bakery. Birthday kid got to eat the ‘roses’ on top!

  133. Starlene R says:

    In 1984 I took a trip to Europe. I was 20 years old and full of wanderlust. I took off with a too heavy backpack and dreams of far away places. In late October I got off a train in Venice Italy, took a boat to Lido and spent October 29th, my 21st birthday on a beach in the most beautiful place I could have imagined. I ate dinner at a little restaurant and tried so hard to be adult. I ordered the fish. They brought me a whole fish out on a plate. I didn’t want to seem rude or unsophisticated so I ate it. It was delicious!

  134. Jennifer says:

    My favorite birthday memory was from my 16th birthday. For my sweet 16, my parents took myself and a few friends into New York for dinner. They even hired a limo! I felt so cool. We got to this very cheesy Italian restaurant and people occasionally got up to dance on the chairs. On the limo ride back we all watched in awe as the limo driver navigated a very narrow NYC side street. Everyone clapped when we made it through.

  135. Shayda says:

    My favorite birthday was the year that my mom surprised me with pony rides through our neighborhood. Pretty awesome, right?! It was definitely a memorable day :D

  136. Christine says:

    Yum, that sandwich looks awesome! My birthday is Christmas Day, so growing up my mom would let me choose when to have my birthday either before or after my actual birthday day. Fast forward a lot of years, and I’m sitting on the couch on Christmas with my husband watching Tangled (which he had gotten me as a present). I’m still in my PJs happy as a clam to be spending the day lazy and with my sweetheart. Suddenly the doorbell rings and like 10 of our friends start pouring into the house shouting ‘Happy Birthday!’ I was stunned and almost started bawling, so my husband sent me to our room to get changed and fix my crazy lazy day hair. When I came back out they had decorated the whole house in birthday decorations, and we had tres leches cake (which is the official cake of my birthday now :] ). That was probably one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had!

  137. Grace says:

    My favorite birthday memory is when my mom surprised me by flying across the country for my birthday weekend. She and my brother planned it all and when she arrived, she walked up behind me and gave me a huge hug. I was so unknowing that for a split second, I thought it was someone trying to rob me. Haha! Anyway, the rest of the weekend was filled with family time and of course, great food, including some homemade jam that my mom had brought along with her!

  138. Erica C. Barnett says:

    Happy birthday!

    One of my favorite birthday memories is of my 30th, when I threw a Southern-themed dinner party to share my Mississippi favorites (and some I’ve discovered since moving away) with a dozen of my closest friends. I made fried okra, fried catfish, squash casserole, cheese straws, deviled eggs, and a whole bunch of other goodies I can’t remember now for a party of skeptical PNW friends who walked away happy and surprised by Southern food that wasn’t heavy, tasteless, and drowned in gravy, which is generally what the Yankees up here think all Southern food is. Tons of work, but well worth it!

  139. Ali says:

    LOVE this recipe and this giveaway. Favorite birthday memorrrrryyyy would be the first year my siblings stopped putting Creepy Crawlers into my bed in the morning of my bday. I was born on April Fool’s Day, so it was a “joke.” Still scarred, clearly!

  140. Jen says:

    My favorite birthday memory was when I turned 9 while my family was visiting Puerto Rico. My grandfather took me out to a fancy restaurant, where a huge gift basket full of goodies with balloons was waiting for me on the table. The waiters all tried to sing me “Happy Birthday” in English, even though none of them really knew the words! I’ll never forget it!

  141. Veronica says:

    ahhh I’m so bad at remembering the birthdays…. in our 20s my November baby friends starting combining our birthdays into one. We always go to dinner and eat yummy food that’s always good :) This year I turn 28 and have a trip planned to Portland!
    I followed you on Instagram as well

  142. Happy birthday! This sandwich looks amazing.

    I think one of my favorite memories was my 18th birthday. I went to Warped Tour in Portland with some friends. And one of the bands (a pretty popular one too) actually brought another girl and I onstage, and we had a crowd surfing race. The guys were really cool, they signed a shirt and gave it to me and I still have it.

    I follow you on instagram, facebook, and pinterest. :)

  143. jenn b. says:

    Every year mom and dad let me pick where I had my party and we’d invite my entire class. I remember going to Chuck E Cheese, the bowling alley, and the skating rink when I was younger. The best birthday parties started when I hit high school and they let us run wild at the house. They’d let my friend’s band play and we’d eat pizza until we were sick. Those were good times, but I doubt the neighbors would agree.

  144. ALD says:

    Happy Birthday! Mine was last week, and it was probably one of the best I have had yet. My boyfriend and were staying in Asheville, North Carolina and we got up and enjoyed some delicious donuts and then hiked to the top of one of the most beautiful mountains on the blue ridge parkway!!

  145. Christine says:

    My best birthday memory was turning 30 in Spain. My husband and I visited the Alhambra, went to an Arab bath, and finished the day with an amazing dinner and bottle of wine.

  146. Jonathan Perelmuter says:

    For my 25th birthday I invited 5 friends and cooked a 5-course meal. We each brought a bottle of wine from my birth year (1981) and enjoyed a great evening of aged wine and good food (I hope).

    Love the blog. I am now following you on facebook, twitter, instagram and pinterest.

  147. jean says:

    Beautiful sandwich!
    My favorite birthday memory was turning 21 in Hong Kong where I studied abroad. I remember being a little bummed that I wasn’t turning 21 with all my college friends back home but it was wild spending this night with friends I’d only known for a month but it was a great occasion for all of us to just get together, cook food that we missed, and go out to LKF on a random weeknight. Being a student in another country was great! Always glad I’ll have that memory.

  148. Andrew says:

    One of the best birthday memories was’t mine but my father’s 60th. We ate at French Bistro, lots of good food, and good wine. Afterward we went an saw a local Country Music Act and danced the night away.

  149. Mindylyn says:

    I had a Funshine Bear cake for my fifteenth (because Care Bears are and will always be the coolest) and about five seconds after I blew the candle out, my face wash smashed into it. The most epic cake fight followed and we were finding icing all over the house for weeks. Definitely won’t be forgetting that one. I can’t believe I wasn’t already following you on Instagram, but I am now. Happy Birthday!!

  150. Elle says:

    My favorite birthday memory was from a few years ago when I was in Japan. I had just finished my summer abroad program and my mom had come to visit and explore the country with me for the rest of summer vacation. We went to Koyasan to stay in a temple with some monks. We had just checked into the temple and were carrying our luggage upstairs. About halfway up the staircase, a young apprentice monk (probably in his late teens) tried to take my luggage and carry it upstairs. I had been in Japan for awhile and had packed my luggage to the brim; it probably weighed around 45- 50 lbs. I tried to rebuff him saying I could carry it up the stairs myself, but he was extremely persistent and eventually grabbed the luggage from me. He definitely didn’t expected it to be that heavy and ended falling back down he stairs face first. I felt terrible and ended up buying him some ice cream to apologize. The next morning, I was late for the early morning prayer (5:30 or 6 am) and was getting dressed, when the same monk bursts into my room and tries to hurry me out the door. He eventually realized I didn’t have pants on and ran back out of the room. At the time, I was mortified but in hindsight, I find these memories to be hilarious.
    Also, the monks know how to make amazing food and the woods around the temple were beautiful and fun to explore despite all the mosquitoes.

    P.S. I follow you on Instagram.

  151. Ring says:

    Happy Birthday! My favorite birthday memory was a weekend in Vegas before I had kids….life has been a blur since then!

  152. Alice says:

    happy birthday to you! I had mine just a few days ago and spent it in Yosemite Park surrounded by monumental rocks and giant trees… I couldn’t have dreamt of a better place to celebrate. I hugged a sequoia and saw the most beautiful sunset of my life, pink setting over crazy mountains. EVEN HAD A VEGGIE SANDWICH FOR LUNCH THAT DAY ! :)

  153. Rachel says:

    My favorite birthday thus far was when I turned five. The theme was the Little Mermaid, which I was obsessed with at the time and I remember having so much fun, complete with the Little Mermaid cake.

  154. J Wohl says:

    On my 25th birthday I was surprised beyond delight when my mother brought out dessert with a Pineapple Upside Down Cake front and center! What a treat, a dessert that I hadn’t had since childhood, my mother’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake has such rich cherry presence and butter pecan cream to it – each flavor has a life of its own. Quite literally, it was perfect icing on the cake.

    +Facebook Follow +Instagram Follow +Twitter Follow !!! Thank you!

  155. Nina says:

    wow, this sandwich looks sooooo pretty and amazing!!
    best birthday I can remember was actually last year. it was raining (which is weird for LA) but my friends made the best of it and went out anyways.

  156. Jenni Diekneite says:

    My favorite birthday memory was when I tried to make Christina Tosi’s birthday cake (for myself) and EPICALLY failed. I didn’t have any of the special materials and just sort of winged it to see if I could make it work…well it ended up totally flat and not beautiful looking at all. BUT, we all sat around with champagne and basically ate the crumbled mess out of a bowl…with ice cream. And it was amazing!!

    I also follow you on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram (handle is jennirose12 on all three) :):)

  157. Dana S says:

    I graduated from college on my birthday. my best friend surprised me, as did my little sister. my parents and grandparents drove up. it was so special, especially because I was moving to Australia a few days later.

  158. Danielle says:

    I remember one of my twenties birthdays was at a place called The Pink Door in Seattle that has a beautiful terrace that overlooks Elliott Bay. All my friends came and we partied and I had oysters on the half shell for the first time and there were great pictures :)

  159. Vy says:

    My favorite birthday memory is when my friends surprised me with a picnic at Dolores Park in SF and a new bicycle! They rolled up with a new bike and I asked, “Whose bike is that?!” They all smiled and said, “It’s your new bike!”

  160. Ellen says:

    McDonald’s birthday parties are the best when you’re young. Who knew dropping straws into a cup could be so much fun??

  161. Crystal says:

    Favorite birthday was when my friends made a birthday video for me with their favorite memories, including a re-enactment of a time being chased by a donkey on a farm. And I had a delicious fruit tart as my cake to top it all off.

  162. Hilary says:

    My birthday is coming up too! My favorite birthday of recent memory was a few years back when I had a handful of friends over for a potluck barbecue. We grilled some stuff, ate some other stuff, and made tie-dye shirts.

  163. kyrosion says:

    Happy birthday!

    My favourite birthday memory is of a card my aunt gave me for my 13th birthday, which had on the front a photo of me on my 3rd birthday, running around with about a million balloons tied onto me. Kind of birthday-ception!

    I’m also following you on Pinterest now, yay Pinterest!

  164. Adi says:

    The year four different parties baked me four different chocolate cakes.


  165. Cali says:

    My favorite birthday memory is from I was probably 7. My mom made a bunt cake and put a barbie doll in the middle. The cake was pink with silver balls and other sprinkles. It was the most magical cake ever!

  166. Andrew says:

    my birthday memory is just having a birthday at McD’s, complete with the orange punch for some reason. Good times, though; it was back when the playgrounds were fun.

    (also, I already follow you on Twitter and FB!)

  167. Danielle says:

    My favorite birthday memory is when my (now ex) boyfriend surprised me with a trip to NYC. Even though we aren’t together anymore we’re still friends and we had a lot of fun on that trip!

  168. Erin says:

    Happy Birthday!! Hope it’s been a wonderful day for ya :) My favorite birthday memory happened two years ago. My husband and I were a month out from our wedding and to say I was extremely stressed out would have been an understatement. He knew I was overwhelmed so he secretly had my best friend, mom and sister flown out for my birthday! And then his sisters threw me a surprise wedding shower while they were there! And my mom took us on a shopping trip which was so much fun. It was the best birthday I’ve ever had because all my favorite people being there truly made it a wonderful weekend :)

  169. Annie says:

    So many good ones, but I’ll go with this one: we always spent the weekends on my grandparent’s farm. They always made a really big deal about my birthday – big meal, cake, lots of family, balloons, etc. BUT…the best part was having the time with my grandparents and enjoying their beautiful farm and the outdoors. I can still smell the food, the flowers, and the fresh air.


  170. Alex says:

    23rd birthday: tons of friends took me all over Ann Arbor and beyond. Some of the best memories were recorded then.

    Following on Twitter and FB.

  171. Laura says:

    Oh, I love birthdays, too. I used to be a preschool teacher, so now I make birthday crowns for all of my friends and family each year. I have the world’s worst memory, but I remember birthdays.

    I have had really great low-key birthdays/birthday parties the last two years. We have a handful of friends over (6 works best). My husband makes pizza. Guests usually bring their favorite topping to share. This year, one of my friends made a giant felt cactus for me. It was the best (and most original) birthday gift I’ve received in a while.

  172. Terry C says:

    My birthday is in early January, so it’s already doomed – it’s right after Christmas, it seems that everyone near and dear to me is always suffering from some winter ailment or it’s inclement weather. The year I turned 30, I was having a PARTY. Period. Invites were sent, people RSVPd. Except for my best friend Mindy, who had recently moved to NYC for work. She said she had another commitment that weekend. Boy, was I miffed. And I let my friend Brian KNOW IT. Fast forward to party night. Guests arrived. And low and behold, Mindy showed up with Brian. I was floored that she showed up. And only slightly guilty feeling that I had talked trash about her. Brian had told her how mad I was that she wasn’t coming, so they worked REALLY hard to keep a secret and best me. Friends… gotta love ’em!

  173. Anna says:

    It was my 14th birthday, in Sinai with family and friends. Now, Nueba city has its charms for sure, and Tarabin has my internal fondness, but dairy products hadn’t come that way in a while and cake was not exactly a local staple. So there we were chilling out post dinner in reclining-backgammon mode when the waiter apears with not one but 2 huge multi tiered colorful cream frosted cakes. It was sooooo beautiful and we had enough to share with pretty much everyone in town.

    Happy Birthday! Make every veggie sandwich count!

  174. lindsay says:

    Not open to your fellow Vancouver (Canadian) peeps?

  175. lindsay says:

    P.S. Happy Birthday!!!

  176. Diana says:

    That sandwich looks like the best birthday meal! Food is so important i. Making a birthday great, and mine was last year when I had an amazing dinner at Michelin star Piora in NYC, chefs tasting, kitchen tour and netting the chef was definitely a great way to celebrate me lol Happy birthday to you!!

  177. Terra says:

    My mom used to scatter “candy cups” around the house with my favorite candies on my birthday. Even though they were no more than than candies in colorful cupcake paper, it was so much fun to have a little treat waiting for me in every room in the house.

  178. Sam L says:

    Best memory: slicing into my first ever homemade cake, the Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake. Still the best cake I’ve ever had.

  179. Jamie KP says:

    My favorite birthday was when my husband took me skydiving for my 30th birthday. I loved it! Since I was the smallest they sat me and the tandem instructor I was paired with right next to the door. It was a clear garage type opening door and so I could see everything as we took off and got to the correct altitude. It made me a tiny bit nervous but I was so excited and it was so amazing to be first out of the plane!

    I’ve never been a big birthday person because we didn’t really celebrate them much when I was a kid. I guess I don’t really get birthdays but give me something adventurous and I’m a happy person. For our anniversary my husband surprised me with shark diving – to be fair, this makes me sound more interesting than I probably am… I definitely could use a good, new kitchen knife though!

  180. Nicole says:

    My favorite birthday was getting 12 of my closest friends to gather in Seattle and have a private family style luncheon in the kitchen at Salumi. Hours of platters of homemade delicious Italian food and bottles of wine. Casual setting, great company that just carried into a super fun weekend. All the best things.

  181. Kim Hoang says:

    Fave bd was when I ate with my dad who is now in heaven. I miss him dearly. The gift of time with my dad was a gift!

  182. Alicia says:

    I had an ice skating birthday party when I turned 10. I thought I was pretty cool because I had been taking lessons… I ended up falling straight back and hitting my head on the ice!! Haha. Pretty sad but memorable nonetheless!!

  183. Spencer De Chenne says:

    On my twenty-first birthday, I first went to a microbrewery in North Seattle. My older brother, who was working there as a chef at the time, brought me to his favorite spot in Greenwood that featured more than 100 beers brewed either by themselves or another local brewery. Because my knowledge of beer was limited at that point, my brother recommended all of his favorites, including one of the best IPAs I have every have. Not only was the beer excellent, but the brewery had a full view of the outside storm and some of the best pub food I have ever had.

    After the brewery, we went to one of my brother’s favorite restaurants for seafood. While my tuna steak was wonderful, the most memorable part of this dinner was the power going out for about 10 minutes. At this point, I was already eating so I didn’t have to wait for my food, but the rest of the restaurant was either confused about how to pay or worried they were never going to receive their food. Also, eating in the dark is interesting after a quite a few drinks, especially when you try to figure out what exactly you’re eating.

    Best Memory: Eating fish in the dark while drunk.

  184. caroline kim says:

    My favorite birthday memory is my 9th birthday. 4th grade. My mom invited all the girls from my class and we had a pool party which was awesome because my birthday is in FEBRUARY! We were members of a country club that had an indoor pool and it was so fun. Afterwards ,we went to our house for pizza and “pop” (soda in the midwest). Looking back, I have no idea how my mom pulled this together without my help. She spoke very little English and didn’t know any of my friends’ parents. She passed away several years ago and many times I think of how she made the seemingly impossible happen for me and I can’t manage to scrape together a decent party for my 2 kids and I speak perfect English…. I appreciate all the birthday parties she threw me but that one was my favorite…. I follow you on all 4 platforms (instagram, facebook, twitter and pinterest)! :)

  185. Amy says:

    I just celebrated my 40th with my nearest and dearest girlfriends (and some last minute surprise arrivals) in a fabulous house on the Battery in Charleston SC. Plenty of time to relax and laugh accompanied with lots of delicious food and wine. New friendships were made and old ones were strengthened. I couldn’t have imagined a better birthday.

  186. Audrey P. says:

    Happy happy birthday! Hope you are being spoiled! My favorite memory is the surprise weekend my husband planned for me for my 30th. I’m not big on surprises but he pulled it off with a night away at the coast followed by a lovely get together with friends and family. Couldn’t have asked for more! I’m now following you on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest because I’m new to your blog and loving it!

  187. Michelle says:

    My favorite memory was eating chocolate cake for breakfast as a kid on my birthday!

  188. Les says:

    Bowling alley and arcade. I think it was somewhere around 2nd grade. They had a parrot that sat on your shoulder and you could get a kodak taken with it. I was terrified.

  189. stefanie chua says:

    i had to work on my 30th birthday and figured everyone had forgotten. but two days later, my brother threw me a surprise party. i had no idea! it was pretty awesome because he made all the food out of edward lee’s smoke and pickles. freakin delish. and, i was a happy girl :)

  190. Heather Taylor says:

    My favorite birthday memory was actually my 21 birthday, for reasons other than what you might think! I was pregnant with my first child, happily married, but had never, ever had a pinata. My best friend surprised me with my very own giant birthday pinata to bust open, all by myself. It was wonderful!

  191. Kelsey Arp says:

    Happy Birthday! My favorite birthday memory is when I had just left college to transfer somewhere else and I was depressed. A friend sent me a package of some of my favorite books and some silly stickers with puppies on them. It was one of those perfect gifts for where I was in my life at the time. It meant to much and I still smile thinking about it! Good friends are everything.

  192. Carla S says:

    My favorite birthday memory is my son giving me a handmade candle holder . He made it by covering a jar with colored tissue paper and I thought it was really sweet.

  193. Okay, this is a cheesy (but sweet) memory: on my 21st birthday, my boyfriend (now husband) gave me silver heart-shaped earrings and told me that he loved me for the first time. And I ate dinner with him and my family at a killer Spanish-Italian fusion bistro and had wine. So it was a pretty good day ;)

  194. Denise says:

    Two weeks ago! I turned 28 and started with a long hike in the NM mountains, went go karting with my dad and made a 3 layer funfetti cake with lemon cream cheese frosting. It made me feel like I was a kid again:) Happy Birthday!

  195. Bianca says:

    some of my best birthday memories were from elementary school, when i hosted intricately planned birthday sleepovers with lots of crafty DIYs, desserts, and snacks!!

  196. Kelsey says:

    Looks delicious!

    My favorite birthday memory starts out a little sad…I was on my way home from college for Thanksgiving break (about a 5 hour drive), and my car broke down. The people at the shop were had a really hard time making the repair, so I hung out all day with them. They were feeling really bad what with it being a holiday weekend and my birthday and all, and invited me to join in on their Thanksgiving if the car wasn’t fixed in time. AND they brought me a piece of cake. The mechanic ended up staying until 11pm to fix my car so I could get on the road and make it home for the holiday. It was a long day, but I’ll never forget it!

  197. Maya says:

    My favorite birthday memory is definitely celebrating at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with all of my really good high school and college friends! We were all huge HP nerds, and since the theme park had just opened that year, we decided to road trip down to Orlando from the Midwest for my birthday! It was a week of nerding out and best friendship – it was so amazing :)

  198. Jenny says:

    I remember my sweet sixteen vividly. I had went to school expecting birthday wishes from all my friends. Instead I got the cold shoulder. I saw my very best friends in the halls and they actually ran from me! How odd I thought. There were no birthday wishes, no balloons, no gifts… By end of day I felt so unwanted and went home. As I approached the door to my house I looked through the window and thought I caught the glimpse of a friend. My eyes MUST be deceiving me I thought. I stepped in and was greeted by all my friends as they appeared from their hiding spots and shouted “Happy Birthday”! Best birthday ever. My mother gave me a tiny diamond ring that day to cement the occasion.

  199. Rei says:

    My 21st birthday was the last weekend before midterms. We rented out my friend’s giant 9-bedroom(!) apartment, kept the lights dim, and played good music (no bass for the neighbors sake!). That is as far as the memory goes, so it was a fun night

  200. Jacqueline says:

    I know this may sound kind of sad but I am not so close to my family so there have gone years where we do not celebrate or even acknowledge my birthday. I do live alone and this year I wanted to go wine tasting with my friends but everyone was busy with finals so I was going to celebrate my birthday alone. It would not be the first time this would happen so I wasn’t even upset. I went that morning and bought a cake from my local Korean bakery and I decided I was going to cook a 4 course meal for one :) I ended up going home and decorating a little . I cooked a phenomenal meal and my dog and I enjoyed the most amazing cake followed by a marathon of Scandal. It does not sound amazing but for me, it was something that did make me very happy!

  201. Kayleigh says:

    My favorite birthday memory was probably when I turned 13. I was grounded at the time, the first and only time I ever had been grounded, so I kind of enjoyed the excuse to have a family-only birthday dinner – I was so self-conscious and shy as a kid that it was very stressful to consider inviting my friends over to celebrate ME. It was simple, but I love having a nice, fun dinner with my parents and grandparents.

  202. Heather K says:

    Birthday Memory: I had to work night shift in the hospital for my 30th birthday. My co-workers arranged a surprise party, along with having someone cover my patients for an hour so I could have a break. It was so sweet and amazing to know people cared that much!
    Also, I follow you on all of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest ;)

  203. Lade' says:

    Happy Birthday! Hope all of your wishes and dreams come true!

  204. Rachel says:

    My 30th birthday (my last birthday) was pretty memorable! I wanted to do something different and involving food so I reserved a table at Tatiana in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Tatiana is a huge old school Russian restaurant and nightclub. Me and about 20 of my friends ate Russian food and sipped vodka and danced all night. There was also an AMAZING show, which was nothing like I ever experienced. My sisters made a cake and cookies. It was a great evening.

  205. Kent says:

    My favorite birthday memory was this year when my wife and I went with another couple to Alinea in Chicago and tried the tasting menu with wine pairings. It was an early birthday present over the long labor day weekend, but I certainly will never forget the meal and don’t even need my birthday after it.

  206. Kristin says:

    One of my favorite brithdays was my 21st while I was in college. I was the first of my friends to turn 21, so my friends and I all went out to dinner but couldn’t go out after. We had all driven over in separate cars so when I arrived home, the rest of them surprised me with a kiddie birthday crown set and a cake. They had set up a huge birthday bash at home since we couldn’t go out together. The entire apartment was carpet so we taped trashbags to the floor and had everyone over for a party. My voice was totally gone the next day and we had such a good time.

  207. Amanda says:

    Looks yummy. I’m working on teaching knife skills to my kids so that they can enjoy it all too!
    Birthday memory – my bday is Christmas Day so often very overshadowed, few birthday parties, etc. Do remember getting a watch from my grandfather when I turned 6 and loving it and the time it meant we spent together learning to wind it carefully (he thought you should have a traditional wind up watch as your first watch) and learning to tell the time.

    I also follow you on all 4 – IG, Twitter, FB, and Pinterest. Thinking we need to make nutella bears at home soon.

  208. Calvina says:

    None for us Canadians :( Hahaha.. either way, that veggie burger looks DELISH! I’m always looking forward for your posts :D

  209. Simone says:

    Yum! I love sandwiches filled with fresh crunchy veggies. My birthday memory: for my 10th (I think) birthday, my family and several of my friends’ families drove up to Mount Hood (in Oregon) and went intertubing in the snow! We returned home to hot chocolate/ cake/ presents. It was a blast.

  210. Megan Chapman says:

    It was my 6th birthday party and my aunt had made two beautiful butterfly cakes (one yellow and one pink – I think). My “friend” Ruthy was so jealous of the beauty of my birthday cakes that she grabbed a handful of one of the cakes before I could blow out the candles. She got in big trouble and I still had one perfect and one slightly not perfect birthday cake. I think my parents still have the pictures hidden away in a photo album.

  211. Jillian says:

    Happy birthday!!! I LOVE birthdays (celebrating my own AND spoiling others on their day!) This past birthday, my 30th, was the best and most memorable yet! Everyone I love surprised me at my favorite local hangout. The next day, my parents and best friends surprised me by putting together a meal comprised of foods from each restaurant and company I’ve ever worked for (I’ve worked in the food industry since I was 16… Cooking is my love and passion!). Multiple celebrations, multiple birthday cakes and so much happiness and love. On top of all that, my birthday gift from my boyfriend was a trip to the Dominican Republic! I hope you have your best birthday yet!

  212. Alana says:


  213. Nicole Klauss says:

    Hi Stephanie! One of my favorite birthday memories was last year. I had a mad hatter tea party, except the “tea” was different types of mixed drinks. All of the drinks were served in miniature teapots and small bottles that said “drink me” like in Alice and Wonderland. We had all sorts of different finger foods and mini sandwiches. Though it was a lot of work to put it on, my friends and I had a blast. We played board games and wore silly hats. All in all, a great birthday.

    This sandwich looks amazing by the way. Quite the balancing act to get it all to stay together. My sandwiches usually tend to fall right over when they’re that big. Hope to be entered in the contest. I just followed you on Twitter and Facebook also (not sure why I wasn’t before) :). Hope you had a great rest of your birthday yesterday!

  214. Sonia says:

    Birthday at Wendy’s with pinatas. Probably the most fun part were the pinatas! Although getting the candy when the pinata breaks down can be a little precarious :) I don’t remember anyone getting hurt, but I’m pretty sure there were tons of kids on the floor, hoarding their candy, waiting for their mamas to come with plastic bags to pack the candy home.

  215. Steph says:

    For my husband’s birthday last year, I stopped into our local Chinese bakery frantically looking for a last-minute dessert to bring to dinner. By the time I got there, nearly everything had been sold out, and there was only one lonely cake left–a cookies and cream cake decorated to resemble an owl’s face (WTF, right!?). I was desperate, and bought it anyway, but it ended up being one of the best cakes I’ve ever purchased from them. The Shun Nakiri has been on our wish list since our wedding (nobody seems to know what it is or want to buy it for us) so I hope I can create a new memory this year by surprising him with it!

  216. wenjing says:

    favorite birthday memory was hitchhiking by myself all day through Iceland to get back to the hostel I was working at. it was during the volcano eruption in 2010 and i got dropped off in the middle of an ashy cloud, in the middle of nowhere, then quickly got picked up by a nice french couple. loved exploring a gorgeous day on my own.

  217. Janice Hong says:

    My favorite birthday memory would have to be my 10th or 11th birthday I think? It was one of the last times the entire family (cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents) were able to get together before life took us in all different directions. We didn’t do anything out of the ordinary but just having everyone there, enjoying food together was memorable enough.

  218. beth says:

    Happy Birthdaaaay!
    My favorite memory was eating cake with my hubby and two little boys last year. They had never had red velvet before and were enamored with it. It is the little things that you always remember.

    I love your blog

  219. Yoojin says:

    i think my favorite birthday memory was my “sweet 16.”
    it was really cliche, and included dressing up into fancy dresses, fancy dinner with my closes girlfriends, and a spa night in a hotel room. it was the typical girl’s night, and it was so much fun!
    we ate cupcakes at midnight and didn’t sleep until 3am. i probably never do that again at my age now, but it was fun :)

  220. Yoojin says:

    oh, and not to be a superfan, i follow you on instagram, pinterest, twitter, and like your facebook page!

  221. That first photo is so beautiful! I love it! My favorite birthday memory was a joint birthday party I had with a good friend who shared my birthday. We were at a roller rink and it was 50’s themed, so there were poodle skirts and fantastic black and white saddle shoes as part of the outfit. And of course cat-eyed glasses. (I think we were 8 at the time.) So fun! And happy birthday!

  222. Chelsea says:

    Beautiful colors! This looks so so good. My favorite birthday memory would have to be my surprise 16th birthday party!

  223. So beautiful, I want to take a bite right through the screen!

  224. Peter says:

    The Mrs. surprised me with a trip up to Napa for my birthday and we shared some pastries from Bouchon Bakery. That was up there in terms of memorable birthdays.

  225. RJ st. john says:

    My favorite birthday memory is this most recent when I took over a painfully declining kitchen. After an anxiety attack and 2 red bulls, I unwrapped my Shun 9inch and took steps toward the future. Happy birthday to me!

  226. matthew hansin says:

    My favorite birthday memory was when i was about 12 when our Whole family(birthdays in our family usually had 30-50 family members show up) got thrown out of a local restaurant because everyone got into a food fight inside the restaurant.

  227. Cassandra Christ says:

    I followed on all social media.
    The birthday I can remember is one when I was little and right before everyone started to show up I hit my head on the fire place. I have a blood stain on my dress and a red spot on my forehead in all the pictures.

  228. Jeff says:

    For my 50th I met friends in Berlin and they bought a cake at a local bakery. It was an odd gray-lavender color with gold trim. The baker would not make a white cake (white is for weddings), nor a pink cake (for women’s cakes only), and no flowers (I love all the rules in Germany). It was delicious and an amazing time spent with loved ones. Happy day to you!

  229. Gigi says:

    My favorite birthday memory is when I was at home alone one year, not planning on doing anything special. I heard a knock on the door and it was a bunch of friends carrying flowers, balloons, and cake! They had brought me a surprise party. :)

  230. Steve R says:

    One of my favorites b’days was my my S.O. gave me a Boos (can always use another from you ;0 one for meet one for veggies), a shun classic santuku knife, and Bron manoline. I made fillet minion stir fry .. out of this world

  231. robbie leu says:

    11th bday- we set out a gigantic, 4′ x 6′ bday cake in our public park and had ourselves a food fight! no friend was spared from the cake attack.

  232. Dolly says:

    Every year on Labor Day weekend in Colorado Springs hot air balloons pepper the sky for some kind of “race” but I think they just float around for fun. My birthday happened to fall on Labor Day the year I turned 5. That year one balloon had to make an emergency landing and it happened during my birthday party in front of my house! According to my kid logic, I thought the balloon was landing for my birthday. The landing went well, everyone was okay and I was ecstatic about my birthday present.

  233. Roxane says:

    My favorite birthday was at least 10 years ago, when I was able to take the day off from work and spend a full day relaxing. I just became a follower on twitter.

  234. Jason says:

    I had the flu for the week before my 9th birthday. My parents had to drag me out of the house I was so tired. They dragged me into this weird store I hadn’t been to before that I had no reason to be in and I wanted no part of it. We round a corner and all my friends from school are there to wish me a happy birthday.
    Energized, we ate cake, candy and realized we were in an archery/billiards place which was pretty awesome!
    Everyone had fun, I was no longer flu stricken and I got to celebrate seeing more than just the inside of my parent’s house along with my birthday!

    following you on instagram, twitter, & pinterest. I’ve been wanting a nakiri knife and boos cutting board for awhile now! Pick me!

  235. Beth says:

    Happy Birthday! I am a big believer in a Birthday WEEK.. so keep it goin’! One of my funniest Birthday memories was a surprise 30th Birthday– everyone was there but me! It was pre cell phones and I had wandered out to a spot across town with some new friends. Eventually, I made it to the party– but only after my sisters and bff called all over town looking for me! Needless to say, there have been no surprise parties since! (I follow on FB and pinterest)

  236. J Peterson says:

    My birthday was a week ago and we cooked Maine lobsters which is always my choice for my birthday. They were absolutely yummy with Irish butter. My husband and friends also enjoyed them. For me this is the best birthday treat.

  237. Eileen says:

    My favorite birthday memory was two years ago. I went to Portland, OR to visit my brother and we went up to Washington and took a whale watching trip. The day was fantastic with a clear blue sky and the temperature was about 60 degrees. We saw all kinds of wildlife. I can’t remember what I ate that day, only the fact that I saw orca whales, a humpback whale, eagles, seals and porpoises.

  238. Jason says:

    30th Celebrated with Cousin that also turned 30 and with other Cousins

  239. Lauren S. says:

    My birthday a couple years ago was pretty fantastic. Boyfriend took me to a Brooklyn Mash dinner – 5 courses, beer pairings. It was actually several weeks after my actual birthday, but it didn’t even matter. Sharing that with him was all I could ask for.

  240. Lindsay-Jean says:

    Happy Birthday! As a kid, with a December birthday that sometimes felt like it was lost in the Christmas shuffle, I loved that my Dad always made it a point to celebrate my half-birthday. One year was especially memorable, we were at one of my favorite spots on the planet, a family house on Lake Michigan, and he surprised me a cake that was 1/2 cake and 1/2 ice cream.

  241. Barbara says:

    That looks like a sandwich I use to eat at a great retreat center. I think the only thing missing is some finely sliced radishes. Yummy.

  242. Mark says:

    My best birthday memories were going to the venerable Golden Corral. Chosen as a destination in hopes a group of prepubescent children may confuse such environment from a jungle gym, it was a rather laissez-faire way of hosting a child’s birthday party. But when the bread light came on, fresh buttered bread was all that mattered.

    Ended as the chosen birthday destination for 4 years. As opposed to, say, an arcade; which, in retrospect, would have made more sense. Thanks dad.

  243. Darren Lemieux says:

    My wife is always telling me how poor my memory is so this is a recent birthday. For my 40th my wife sent me away for a week with the “boys”. For me a guys weekend is a rare and a very needed thing since I am a stay at home dad who doesn’t have adult conversations very often. Now I know you wanted to have all the “details” but some things are better left unsaid. There was a lot of very nice single malt consumed though. Since my birthday falls near Thanksgiving we all chipped in and prepared different dishes one night and one of my buddies who is an excellent cook was prepping using his Shun chefs knife and I have been very envious of it since. I would love to have a such a beautiful set of tools in my kitchen.

  244. Danielle Turner says:

    My husband and I are both Active Duty military musicians. We just moved to Hawaii last year away from all of our friends. In conjunction with this move (one of our many through the years), I turned the big 4-0. In my day (I know I sound old), everyone celebrated “Over the Hill” with a party filled with black decorations, food and favors that alluded to the decent into old age. As much as I LOVE the color black from my many years as a professional musician, I wanted to celebrate living….life…..and still being the “new 30″….”new 20″….well, you get the point. Without the luxury of an insta-party with all of our friends, I decided to plan a stay-cation in Waikiki. We stayed at the Outrigger Waikiki Resort and made the weekend into a 4-0 festivus. It was a weekend to remember! DAY 1: Sicilian food that was delicious at Taormina. DAY 2: (B-day) I won a magnum of Veuve Clicquot in an auction to benefit disadvantaged youth, cocktails next to the pool while reading the New Yorker, dinner at Morimoto and live music at our favorite spots in Chinatown. Long story short, the night ended in casualty. Our leftovers sack from Morimoto’s was busted from the condensation from a bottle of water that I dropped beneath my feet. I was rescued by a bouncer, who patched up my leg and we UBER’d it back to the hotel. DAY 3: Bar hopping while hobbling all over Waikiki and karaoke at Wang Chung’s. We had so much fun, that we extended our staycation and partied until the next day. DAY 4: breakfast at our favorite place and then home! Did I mention the Apple Watch? Fun times!

  245. Kris says:

    I told my husband that I wanted a party for my, um, milestone birthday and that he had to organize it. I told him 6 months in advance. As my birthday approached, no evidence of any party. Our guy friends came to his defense and suggested that it might be a surprise. I told them that he wouldn’t come through and that I would most likely end up just leveraging it for a new kitchen. I have a new kitchen.

  246. Ryan Whisenhunt says:

    My favorite birthday memory is when our best friends threw me and my wife—who are 5 days apart—a big birthday Halloween bash (oh, and our birthdays are right around Halloween so it wasn’t weird). Everyone dressed up, the place was decorated to the T, and we all had a great time. Best. Friends. Ever.

  247. Carl Castro says:

    I remember when I was a kid and had a birthday party at McDonald’s. As a kid it was awesome! Now… It’s still pretty awesome haha.

  248. Cynthia says:

    One of my favorite birthdays was spent at chuck e. cheese’s many moons ago. Nothing says growing older like the smell of warm cheese and dirty socks! I’m also following you on IG.

  249. Joseph says:

    For my twentieth birthday, some of my friends in the Navy sprung for my birthday dinner in Japan. We used to go to a place that we called “Yoko’s”, because that was the owner/chef’s name. The actual name was “Snack Rich “, and Yoko’s sign outside read “Americams (sp ) Welcome”. Homemade gyoza, yakisoba, ramen were all perfect birthday dishes, paired with giant Asahi beers. If I ever make it back to Japan, I will visit the same spot in Yokosuka to see if it’s been passed on, sold, or closed down (I hope not the latter)

  250. Happy, happy, birthday! Hope you had a lovely one and that rainbow sandwich is gorgeous :)

  251. Joanna raymundo says:

    Happy birthday! Love reading your posts and seeing all your pics! Followed you on Instagram and Pinterest too but I would have done that anyway :)

  252. Joanna raymundo says:

    OH and I forgot to include my favorite birthday memory. Last year my sister and I had a fabulous day that included 85 degrees for breakfast, San Diego aquarium, cocktails and sashimi in la jolla, drunk makeup shopping at benefit, then dinner at Richard Blaise’s AMAZING restaurant at juniper and ivy!!! So basically we ate all the things. And it was good. Then I needed an extra day off work to recover and called in sick!

  253. Royce says:

    For my 21st birth I was lucky enough to get to take a road trip with my friends. Coming from Guam it’s pretty hard to get out to the US but my friends and I were able to save up enough and go on a road trip from the west coast to the east. Unfortunately our first stop was Vegas which in hindsight might have been a bad idea because we spent the rest of the trip living off of Jack in the box dollar tacos! Still, that was the best time ever!

  254. Nina says:

    A group of friends surprised me at my house at midnight on my birthday with a homemade cake and drinks. I’m a night owl so we stayed up for a few hours talking and laughing. Even though we had made plans for dinner the following night, the surprise was much more memorable. I can’t even remember where we went to dinner!

  255. Kelly says:

    My favorite birthday memory is my parents throwing me a surprise birthday party when I was 16 in the middle of October (my birthday is June). I had been away that summer and didn’t get a chance to really celebrate, so I was *really* surprised to come home from driving school (ah, to be 16) and find all my close friends at my house with a ton of amazing food. :)

  256. Danielle says:

    My birthday may be in the middle of December but I always requested a Dairy Queen Ice Cream cake, Chocolate and Vanilla. One of my grandmothers would always ask why I wanted something so impractical during winter and I would just laugh and tell her they were wonderful. But as I got older is was a strawberry rhubarb pie. That same grandmother would grow strawberries and rhubarb during the summer and then freeze enough for my birthday pie. And it always had to be hot with vanilla ice cream.

  257. Sam says:

    Last year for my 34th birthday I decided to have an adult pizza party. Despite being a huge foodie and culinary school dropout, my favorite food of all time is pizza. So, 15 of my closest friends and family all joined me at Marra’s in South Philly for a night of laughs, incredible brick oven pizza, and carafes of cheap wine. Each person ordered their own pizza or calzone it was a sea of food and we all shared. I think that was the best part, sampling everyone’s creation. Adult pizza parties are the way to go (especially if you live in Philly, NJ, or NY).

    I am now following you on IG, FB, & Twitter.

  258. vy says:

    My parents always refused to let me sleep over at friends’ houses. I always thought it was a strict Asian parent thing… and I think my mother had very serious fears about my being kidnapped. And I definitely couldn’t host a sleepover because that would be hypocritical. So for years I would go to birthday parties and get picked up around 11 when all the fun was starting. For my 18th birthday, my friends begged me to ask my parents to let me spend the night at one of their houses. I still remember being shocked when my mom out of nowhere said ok. Turns out my best friend of 10 years had called my parents beforehand to ask permission (and probably swore that she would sacrifice herself to the kidnappers if it came to that). My first real sleepover at the age of 18 and the fact that my friend spoke to my parents in private (she’s still kind of terrified of them after almost 25 years) are still two of the best presents I’ve ever gotten on my birthday.

  259. Caitlin says:

    When I was turning 25, I was having a bit of a quarter life crisis. We had to evacuate for a hurricane on my birthday (not the first time), which helped put everything in perspective, and my cousin made me a this is your life style photo album with notes and photos from all of my friends

  260. Shawna says:

    On my 22nd birthday, my mom sent me a bouquet of 21 yellow roses and 1 white rose, with a card saying, ” Through the laughter and tears of the last 22 years, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

  261. Dani says:

    The night before my 23rd birthday, some friends and I met up at a club on South Beach to watch my brother-in-law’s band, Elastic Bond, play a show…which was followed up by a surprise DJ session by Doug E. Fresh! We capped off the night with a wild drum circle on the beach, and rang in my birthday with a dawn breakfast at IHOP…one of the weirder, most awesome experiences of my life.

  262. Scarlett says:

    My birthday is always, without fail, in the middle of finals week, and for three years, the 3 installments of The Hobbit came out around the same time. My friends and I went to see the midnight premiere every year, and then had to walk back through Boston winter weather at 4 in the morning with half of us wearing costumes. It was hilarious, but very cold!

  263. Hilary says:

    I’d say my favorite birthday memory would be when I got the vhs of the Little Mermaid. We happened to be on vacation in my parents hometown that year, so we celebrated it there. My grandpa’s best friend (and later 2nd wife) hosted it at her place and it was just full of antiques and interesting things for us to explore. The celebration ended with a delicious ice cream cake and watching the Little Mermaid.

  264. Benjamin Varela says:

    My favorite birthday memory isn’t even for my birthday. My wife spent all day baking a vegan gluten free cake for our 1 year olds first birthday shaped like a unicorn. In the end he didn’t eat a bite!

  265. Rachael N. says:

    I love Shun knives! (Favorite birthday memory? Turning 26 in Maui. That island is magical.)

  266. ottilia says:

    My favorite birthday memory is getting free pizza at my local pizza shop on my birthday. I follow you on Instagram too.

  267. Jessica McNeilly says:

    My favorite birthday memory is when my boyfriend (now hubby) took me to Mackninaw Island, MI for my birthday. It is an island only accessible by boat and no motor vehicles are allowed on the island. We had a great time sightseeing and we rented bicycles and rode around the island. When we returned to the hotel for the night he surprised me with some custom-made chocolates and proposed! Best birthday ever!

  268. Such a fan of all your food photography and have been following you through Momofufku cooking blog. My fond birthday memory was the last one with my dad, the thought of having him in my life for my 10th birthday makes it a cherished memorry. That was the last birthday I spent with him, he threw me a big party prior to going on a trip. That is the best birthday memory I have had to date and I will go back in time to relive that again and enjoy it even more if I knew that would be my last to celebrate with him.

  269. Linda Liu says:

    My favorite birthday was my 19th birthday, when my friends threw me a birthday party. It was my first birthday party ever! My friends brought a lot of food over, macarons, cookies, pies, and cake. We watched Pushing Daisies (which is a great show that shouldn’t have been canceled) and basically just had a lot of food :) I followed you on both Facebook and Pintrest as well!

  270. Mary Stroupe says:

    When I was about 8 years old, my father wrote me a poem for my birthday and put it in my lunch sack. I didn’t realize this until lunch time, when I opened the sack and found the poem. It was very sweet. I don’t remember the poem (it got soggy in my sandwich and I did not save it all these 55+ years, but I remember tearing up and thinking, “Daddy really loves me.”

  271. Yi Han says:

    Happy birthday! My boyfriend and I learned a lot from your blog! Thanks!
    The year before last year, my boyfriend arranged a blowing & pizza party for me. A lot of friends and coworkers came. We had a great time!

  272. Amanda M says:

    My favorite birthday memory is probably when I graduated from college on my 22nd birthday. Joss Whedon gave an amazing commencement speech (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn866ryQ5RY) , I got to shake hands with him, and when I got up to receive my diploma I held up my graduation hat to the crowd which had “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY” written on it, and my whole class cheered for me.

  273. Tara Price says:

    My favorite birthday memory is seeing Bon Jovi in concert on my 16th birthday! Thanks for the giveaway!

  274. Stephanie K says:

    My favorite birthday memory is from last year. Three of my close friends and I decided to go on a winery tour during our Spring Break. It was a great escape from grad school and happened to land the week before my birthday. We celebrated with lots of great wine and food.

  275. Jena Eiden says:

    Every year for my birthday when I was a kid, my dad would fly out to Wisconsin (where I lived with my mom and half-brothers) and we would get a hotel in downtown Madison and have a “fancy” weekend. To celebrate, we would go to the famous downtown Madison farmers market on the square for snacks, swim all day in the hotel pool with my best friend and then go out for a “fancy” dinner that night at our favorite pizzeria. It remains one of my favorites birthday memories now that I’m an adult.

  276. Chay says:

    Eating at the best place in town when I was 13! It started a trend where we would all dress up and stuff our faces with the fanciest food for every one of my families birthdays.

  277. meg says:

    For my 7th birthday I had a big joint pool party with a friend. As we were getting reading to blow out the candles, my co-birthday celebrant did a full face + torso plant into the cake, then jumped into the pool covered in chocolate frosting. Not surprisingly, it very quickly turned into a huge cake fight!

  278. Laura says:

    my favorite birthday memory was last year when my boyfriend blindfolded me and surprised me with oysters and champagne (my favorite!!!) on the beach. it was truly perfect. i also follow you on pinterest, instagram and facebook. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

  279. Brenda says:

    Happy birthday! My birthday is on Christmas, so I always spend it with my family.

  280. Melody says:

    Let’s see, my favorite birthday. I had a lot of birthday parties when I was younger, so now I enjoy simple birthday parties. My birthday is also in the dead of winter so that works out. My favorite party was when my friends and I gathered around for a big hot pot party and watched a movie afterwards. Simple and full of love.

    I love veggie sandwiches too and thanks for the giveaway!

  281. My fav birthday was when my boyfriend (now Fiance) took me out on an all day San Francisco excursion on our 2nd or 3rd date – we ate amazing Korean BBQ.

    And even better he got me a Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes crochet stuffed animal (I am Asian girly 100%) from etsy that looked identical to the comic and right now almost 5 years later it’s still sitting on my bed :)

  282. Ryan Armstrong says:

    My 25th birthday would have to be my highlight. My birthday is near the end of June and it was already the worst year I had in my life. My Crohn’s got to the point where I was in so much pain, so I had to have surgery. Recovery was rough, I got back to work and on my birthday itself found out no one checked off the box in the system that I was back at work so I wasn’t going to be getting paid that day. So broke, finally recovered and in a horrible mood my friends and I went to a Brazilian Churrasquierra.

    My close friend Danielle knew about my days issues and I told her to just keep an eye on me and make sure I didn’t drink too much. She asked me when she’d know. I told her “When I look happy”. We get there, all 10 of us are talking, having fun, I ordered a beer but only had two smallish sips, so it was still almost full. I was starting to get very tipsy, borderline drunk very fast off those two sips alone and my friend Mike just looks at me and asks “How many drinks have you had” I look at it, say “This is my first one” and everyone looks at me and we all laugh how much of a lightweight I am after 4 or 5 years without drinking.

    This is when Danielle looks at me, leans over the table and yells “RYAN! ARE YOU HAPPY YET?” and everyone looks at her weird. I yell back “NO” and everyone looks at me like I just insulted them. She and I laugh and explain the events from earlier that day and everyone joins in the laughter too. I end up slowly nursing the drink, but when the biill came my friends told me to put my wallet away there was no way I was paying for my part of the bill, and then a friend treated me to a drink and a game of bowling at the late night/more adult bowling alley we went to afterwards.

    Good friends, fun times, what more can someone ask for after months of struggles?

  283. Kata says:

    My favorite birthday tradition involved going out to dinner with my grandparents and parents. I always got nabeyaki udon and it was always delicious.

  284. Kathleen says:

    I don’t really do much for my birthdays, but I do remember going to the aquarium once.
    I have follow you on Twitter (@kxrxkxt) and on Pinterest (@kurokat)

  285. Katelyn says:

    My th birthday thrown by my sister! Great night!

  286. TaraO says:

    When I was a kid my grandmother made me strawberry cake with strawberry frosting for my birthdays. As an adult I would say the cake was sickly sweet (in fact none of the adults would eat it), but as a kid I loved that super sweet pink cake! I’d run my finger around the edge of the cake plate, picking up the thick frosting on my fingers and licking it before the candles were placed on it (maybe that’s why none of the adults ate it!).

  287. Tracy Furgason says:

    My childhood birthdays were a boom of pink! I was such a “girly girl” and loved all things pink. My cake of choice for years was pink cake with strawberry frosting.

  288. Rebecca says:

    THAT SANDWICH. Alllllll about the veggies. Even gluten free I don’t eat much bread, but your photographs make it look so worth it. I love the shadow/contrast in your shots.

    Anyway… birthday memory. Definitely my 7 year old, decked out, American Girl Doll PJ party. I have this distinct memory of sitting around a large table in purple footie pjs, doll by my side (dressed in the same attire, miniature sized, of course), with an entire pie of pizza in front of me. Which I then demolished. Followed by miniature individual chocolate cakes that my mom made for each and every one of my “bestest friends forever,” which at the time, was about 17 people haha. Everything was just so easy back then!

    Happy birthday :)

  289. Alex Grant says:

    My favourite birthday memory has to be my 14th birthday and my very first visit to the beach.
    Growing up I was always a fussy eater, my parents had put me on a super strict diet from very young after I was hospitalized a couple of times as a child. I have severe nut and dairy allergies and they were always fearful of me trying new things.
    We went to this small fishing village in a rented motor home for a family holiday. It was the first time I’d seen the ocean and I fell in love instantly.
    On the afternoon of my birthday I went exploring on my own and discovered a fish market. All the beautiful colours and species of fish, I’d never seen anything like it. Amidst the market there was this old man with a couple of frying pans and a small gas top camping stove cooking seafood for customers who had bought fish at the market.
    He and I got to talking and when he discovered I’d never tried any seafood before he looked astonished. He asked me to watch his stand for a few mins and then came back with an arm full of lots of little cuts of fish and seafood. I must have tried 30 different fish varieties that day!
    Ever since then I’ve had a love affair with Al things fish, from Albacore tuna to, well, I can’t think of one beginning with Z, but you get the idea. I love sashimi, especially unusual fish. I’d love the chance to use proper Japanese steel to cut it..! ;)

  290. Happy birthday! Ours aren’t that far apart (mine is on Tuesday. YAY VIRGOS!) Just adore all the freshness and the textures in this sandwich. It’s really striking.

    Hope you celebrated in style!

  291. Oh… and as for a birthday memory, I think most of mine revolved around food. My mom always let us pick out our meals. I usually asked for linguine and clam sauce or fettuccine alfredo. You know, something light and healthy. And then my mom would make a cake from scratch and decorate it however I wanted. She made Sesame Street cakes, Ninja Turtle cakes, Ghostbusters cakes. She went all out. Meanwhile, every year my sister got the same thing: a pudding cake. I don’t know why…. she never asked for it. That’s just what she got. She’s still bitter about it. :-)

  292. Katie says:

    That sandwich looks amazing! Like you I have always been a huge fan of celebrating my birthday! My favorite birthday memory is from my birthday 12 years ago. My husband (then boyfriend) took me out to my favorite french restaurant in our town. We had a small table for two in front of the window looking out onto the street. I had pate, escargot, beef wellington (I thought this was a British dish though :) ) and creme brulee for dinner. Beef wellington is still my favorite dish to have for my birthday! Afterwards we went for a walk around the town square and then my husband got down on one knee and proposed! It will always be the happiest birthday of my life!

  293. allison says:

    when i was turning 11, my parents threw me a surprise sleepover birthday party with a small group of my best friends. i had always wanted a surprise party and i was truly, incredibly surprised – and then i got to spend all night with my best friends, which is exactly what i wanted. well done, parents, well done.

  294. Sarah N. says:

    I love this! What a complete veggie sandwich! I had a great birthday this year; my husband surprised me with a super fun scavenger hunt (yes, kind of kid-like) complete with clues. Happy Birthday!

  295. Theresa Kasick says:

    My favorite birthday was when I turned 7 and we flew out to California to see my godmother. She was sooo crazy and it was so much fun! Disneyland, Big Bear lake, getting caught in a sand storm, even a trip to Tijuana! I’ll never forget she also dyed my mom’s hair from a mousy brown to an amazing blonde!

  296. Danielle says:

    Followed you on Facebook, Instagram (that’s how I found you!), and Pinterest.

    My favorite birthday memory wasn’t even mine! It was my brother’s. So, on his 8th birthday he was very very veryyy into trains as all Thomas the Tank Engine fans are. So my mother and I embarked on a journey to bake him a cake in the shape of a train and caboose. Simply putting a train on top in frosting didn’t count, we had to make the train 3D and amazing. It was tough. We probably had 3 failed cakes in varying states of completion (collapsed, collapsed, and imploded due to lack of structural integrity, happily eaten by neighbors/friends). So on our 4th and decidedly final try, it was there. THE cake. It was beautiful. Held together by 2 skewers and more frosting than should be given to kids. It was a thing of beauty. Sadly we didn’t notice until later that there was a bit too much dye, which resulting in 15 little kids running around with stained teeth/mouths/faces/hands (kids are weird).

    All in all my favorite memory.

  297. All great birthdays are the same to me, so I’d like to talk about my least favorite birthday haha. This was my 21st birthday, and somehow found myself alone in a farm on Mexico. I’m not sure why I decided to come farming on my own!(?) Anyway, bright and early on my birthday, I was shoveling manure and turning over the soil like a boss. Before you know it, it’s super dark and lights are out on the farm at 8pm. I’m singing happy birthday to myself under candlelight without a cake in the company of massive spiders the size of my palm. And that’s how my super 21st bday passed!

  298. My brother and I share our birth date, even though we’re three years apart. I loved sharing our birthdays because we got a special day together, and separate parties the weekends before and after. One party we did share was at a combination gymnastics and rock climbing facility. I took rock climbing with my friends and my little brother did gymnastics with his!

  299. Sara says:

    My best birthday memory was my 33rd birthday. I spent it on vacation, by myself, in San Francisco. I took five days to see a city I’d always loved from afar, by myself, on my own terms. I ate where I wanted to eat, saw the sights I wanted to see, and started each day on my own agenda. It was a great way to treat myself, so to speak.

    Happy belated to you!

    Ps, I follow you on instagram, of course. :)

  300. Chia says:

    Happy birthday!
    My favorite birthday memory is my mom making my favorite dinner! Being one of six kids we always got our favorite dinner on our birthday and a big cake!

  301. Julia says:

    Now that I’m thinking about it, most of my birthdays have been either so boring as to be indistinguishable from any other day or involved me crying at some point, so this was actually a pretty tough assignment. The only birthday I can think of that was actually fun was my 16th. It happened to fall on a Friday and the weather was really nice and my parents let me miss school to go get my license. I remember driving into school after passing the test and honestly feeling like the coolest person who had ever lived driving the Mercury Sable that I had inherited from my grandmother. And I had missed all of my real classes and only had electives left and my friends had wrapped my locker in gift wrap and they had all chipped in and bought me this really pretty ring and it was seriously one of the best days of high school.

  302. Tom says:

    When I was 16 we went to NYC for my birthday (which falls around Thanksgiving) and we had dessert at the Plaza. I was a complete chocolate junkie, so I ordered chocolate mousse. The whole experience sounds pretty frou frou to me now but it was all so exotic and amazing at the time.

  303. Jennifer says:

    I remember one birthday, my family didn’t feel like ordering cake. Instead, my dad took a pomelo & stuck a candle on that. My twin brother and I went along with it, singing & blowing out the candles. After that, we ate out at our favorite restaurant. The pomelo cake was exactly like something my dad would come up with, and it was all in all a really fun night!

  304. Kelly says:

    Oh yeah, I already follow you on Instagram. :)

  305. Kristin says:

    When I turned 16 my friends threw me a surprise party. They all acted like they were busy on my birthday and planned to do things with me separately. The only one who made plans with me on my actual birthday wanted me to go horseback riding with her. I didn’t want to go because I’d fallen off a horse as a child and was still traumatized, but my parents insisted that I go (citing the ol’ “get back on the horse” thing…lol). I was soooo mad at them for “making” me do something I didn’t want to do on MY 16th birthday! I went, and managed to get on the horse without too much panicking (although I was on the edge of freaking out the whole time!), and my friend sloooowly led us on trails to a nearby park…and there were ALL my other friends, hanging out and waiting with cake and gifts! Oh, and my “mean” parents were there, too, taking pictures (on roll film, because it was a looooong time ago!). It was a fun surprise…but I have to admit that I did NOT ride the horse back to the stable. I took a different kind of “horse” back — one of my friends had a Ford Mustang so I rode in that! ;-)

  306. Kelly says:

    My best birthday was the year before I got engaged when my friends and I went to dinner and then to karaoke afterwards – while we were there, they brought out the cake. They had ordered a cake with a huge drawing of an engagement ring on it – clearly a hint to my boyfriend. We all had a good laugh and the following year when he did propose to me, we jokingly compared my real engagement ring to the drawing on the cake.

  307. Sarah B. says:

    My favorite birthday memory is when I turned 3, my parents had my first “real” birthday party – a piñata and everything. Unfortunately, my mom, having never bought a piñata before, thought it came already filled with candy. The kids all spent like 20 minutes breaking it open, only to find it completely empty. We still have pictures of thirty angry children ripping apart the shell of the piñata.

  308. Meaghan says:

    You know how when you’re little, when it’s your birthday, you’d take a treat into school to share with your classmates? Since my birthday falls between Christmas and New Year’s, I never got to do that on my actual birthday. But one year, the teachers had gone on strike and we began the school year a month later than normal. To make up for the lost time, rather than have the usual winter break, the days in between the holidays would be used to make up for the missed days in September. I was so young that I don’t think it mattered to me that I was in school when I was usually at home playing with Christmas presents. I was so excited to take in my two-dozen cupcakes on my real birthday, and I’ll never forget it.

  309. Cait Foley says:

    Love the vegetable sandwich–I always forget how delicious sandwiches can be.

    Favorite bday memory is going to Peru as a surprise from my (now) husband. I got to celebrate my bday for 10 days as we ate the most delicious street food–roast chicken, alpaca, corn with cheese–and see places like machu picchu for the first time. One of the tastiest trips ever, and beats most bday dinners ive ever had in the US

  310. Priya says:

    My mom used to wake me up with presents on my bed, my favorite breakfast in the kitchen and a day dedicated to making me feel special. Oh, to be a kid again!

  311. Jeff says:

    This year I watched an Ingrid Bergman movie and hit a new brewery with my wife and friends.

  312. Jeff says:

    Also, I follow you on Instagram and Facebook

  313. I love my birthday as well! Happy birthday days late. The sandwich looks divine. Please enter me for the give away and coincidentally, MY birthday is September 17th the day the raffle closes. cross my fingers. Love your blog.

  314. alia koch says:

    love remembering the chocolate making party i had

  315. jenna koch says:

    i had a gymnastics class and still remember how much fun that was.

  316. todd fettig says:

    had a birthday party and mcdonalds…i still love the cheeseburgers to this day…my go to!

  317. nurit bittner says:

    i grew up in venzuela where we had fun parties at the beach….i still remember my first beach party….miss those days

  318. elizabeth koch says:

    my most memorable birthday was my first one as a grandparent….getting to hold him was just the best

  319. CC Chapman says:

    My favorite birthday memory was the time my future husband and I bought a wedge of my favorite cheese (Delice de Bourgogne), a fresh baguette, and a bottle of (cheap) champagne. We chilled the champagne directly in a bag of ice and took our picnic to the Mississippi River levee that butts against the back of the city zoo. There we split the cheese & watched the sunset while curious giraffes watched us.

    (I also follow you on instagram [sothisiscc], pinterest [sothisiscc], and facebook [cc chapman]!)

  320. Sara says:

    My favorite birthday memory is my twenty-first– I was visiting my folks in upstate New York (I should add that my birthday is in January) and had plans with some high school friends to hit the town and celebrate my newly-legal age. Instead a giant storm descended and I was quite literally snowed in at my parent’s house. And then the lights went out. My dad build a big fire in our wood stove and my mother baked me a birthday cake by candelight (in the gas-powered oven, thankfully!). We opened up a bottle of champagne and I had the best time with my folks, surrounded by love and candlelight and the best birthday cake I’ve ever eaten. So much better than the townie bar scene. :)

  321. Cynthia says:

    Wow I was just in the market for a good knife and a Boos cutting board!

    I don’t celebrate birthdays bit I would still love these gifts!!

  322. Ryanne says:

    My best birthday memory was a party at the Skate Palace! Even better than the bowling alley!

  323. Laurie says:

    When I was growing up my parents had this hand-crank ice cream machine. We’d always make the ice cream to go along with cake for birthday parties and it was so much fun as a kid.

  324. Becky Carman says:

    It’s an old one! I had my fifth birthday party at a Chuck E. Cheese, and when we got there, we found out the entire place was having a birthday party because (apparently) Chuck and I have the same special day. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as important in my life as I did that day.

    [And I’m already following on IG, and now Twitter and FB as well! I avoid Pinterest. I don’t have enough willpower for that.]

  325. Jeanine says:

    Happy belated birthday!! This sandwich looks SO amazing and I love that you put a birthday candle in it – too cute :)

  326. Jenny says:

    When I was 4, in the days before Pinterest, my mom and my sister created a Safari themed birthday party for me, with all the kids wearing pith helmets they decorated themself and a giant sheet of cardboard with a hole in the middle painted to look like a roaring lion for a beanbag toss. My favorite part, though, was sticking my face through the painted elephant cut out.

  327. emily lewis says:

    my favorite birthday memory were all the parties my mom threw me as a kid- they were always homemade but elaborate right down to my handmade birthday crown. Her homemade pin the tail on the little mermaid was a hit my childhood friends and I still talk about!

  328. Holly says:

    My best birthday memory has to be the first year my husband and I were married. We had just moved to a new city, and I didn’t know a soul… kind of a sad feeling on your birthday! We went to a small restaurant in our neighborhood and had big bowls of simple pasta, ice cream, and so much wine.

    It’s easy to feel alone after a big move and a big life change, especially on your birthday… but getting home that night I remember telling my husband how completely full my life felt. Not an ounce of loneliness. The absolutely best.

  329. Cindy A. says:

    Thank you so much for offering such a lovely and generous giveaway. My favorite birthday memory was the year my uncle gave me a pony. He said she belonged to me, but I knew she was really his. She lived on his land, he fed her, kept her healthy, etc., but I got to visit/ride her whenever I wanted. ;)

    I also follow you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

  330. Nicole says:

    The best birthday was probably two years ago when my husband took off work and we went to Universal Orlando for the day

  331. Samantha S. says:

    I remember for one birthday, my mom rented a limo. We went and picked up all my little friends, then we ended up going to somewhere really glamorous and chic–McDonalds. It was a cute and fun little birthday, and all my little friends loved getting to be in a limo.

  332. Stephany says:

    Last year, I ended up with three cakes! :)

  333. Jonathan says:

    Recently fond our blog and I love it. Keep up the great work!

  334. catherine says:

    I just celebrated my birthday and I’d have to say it was the best yet because I got to do my new favorite thing. We went stand up paddling on a pristine alpine lake surrounded by gorgeous mountain peaks. And, of course, we had homemade marshmallow creme filled cupcakes with us.
    Thanks for the chance at this amazing giveaway and happy birthday to you!

  335. brandy says:

    My mom flt in touch with my college bestie to make sure that I was given my very favorite ice cream cake while I was away at school. <3 it meant so much to me.

  336. Camille Richoux says:

    I LOVE ALL OF YOUR FOODS. also I followed you on instagram, twitter, and facebook. I have no idea why I didn’t already considering you’re bookmarked on chrome. also, my favorite birthday memory right now is the time we got snowed in when I was 8 and my grandpa shoveled us out our little country road to get to my skating rink party. nobody was there because (duh!) it was snowed in. but my family and I had the greatest time and I listened to that seal song ‘kissed by a rose’ like 12 times.

  337. Sherry says:

    My favorite birthday memory is two years ago with my husband, my two best friends and their husbands. Six of us, kid free, eating and drinking. Lots of laughs and then going home to play Trivia Pursuit & bake a chocolate cake.

  338. Sahil Kal says:

    My 30th birthday, 12 days after our first son was born!

  339. Kristen says:

    My favorite birthday memory is of a birthday weekend: it started with margaritas and Tapas before a wonderful Neil Gaiman talk in NYC with a very good friend. We even got to meet him and chat for awhile! I then got in my car and drove three hours to meet my (now) husband and other friends at a campsite for a weekend event pre planned and unrelated to my birthday. I showed up at 1am and just planned to crash, and was surprised by the whole group with a beauty of homemade cake covered in my favorite colors (teal and purple) and some other very sweet homemade presents. it was a great weekend.

    Thanks for an awesome blog and happy birthday!

  340. Stephanie Coldwell says:

    Today is actually my birthday! And while I can’t really believe that I’m 27, it’s been a wonderful day! My 3 year old came to our bed around 8 and we all fell in and out of sleep until 10:30 then got up and played outside, came in for lunch and a nap, more relaxation then went to supper. It was my first birthday far away from family but it was a very enjoyable day with my husband and our son! :)

  341. Denise says:

    My fondest birthday memory is pretty simple, nothing fancy. I woke up to breakfast in bed made by my lovely husband who hardly cooks so that was impressive. It was a complete breakfast, eggs and toast with a side of bacon, freshly squeezed orange juice and topped with a vase of flowers. After which, we took a walk in the park and cuddle up at home watching all our favorite comedy re-runs. It was simple but nonetheless the best birthday in my opinion.

  342. Kili says:

    My favorite birthday memories have been baking cakes together with my son. Every year he chooses a new cake for us to bake together. Most have been so delicious that we have made them for others. One year we made a layered carrot cake with a lemony cream cheese frosting. It came together just like the picture. It was so tall we couldn’t fit the cake stand lid over it! Even after eating it for dessert and breakfast the next morning, we only got halfway through it. The chickens were happy campers the next day. My son, age six at the time, was delighted to share it with his favorite hens, whose eggs helped bake it.

  343. Sabrina says:

    What a beautiful veggie-filled sandwich! Mmmm!!

    When I turned 6, I had a “farm birthday” (I’ve always loved animals!)- all my friends brought their favorite stuffed animals and we competed in all types of farm-related games (watermelon seed spitting contest, egg and spoon race, three-legged races, grain sack race). We had chickens at the time and a few other types of animals :-) Everyone was outside the whole time, playing, running around, and enjoying nature.

  344. Elizabeth says:

    For my 11th birthday my dad took me out to breakfast before school. I ordered the swedish chocolate chip pancakes–yum! It was such a special treat and a great memory with my dad!

  345. T. Hall says:

    There is nothing like a bunch of fresh veggies nestled in some good bread. I dig the playfulness of your documented food life. Take care and please keep sharing your world, peace.

  346. Laura says:

    It ate my first comment! Trying again :)

    My partner and I went to Vancouver, BC two years ago for my birthday. Amazing food, adorable bed and breakfast, everything was walking distance. There was an annual fireworks competition put on by several different countries so we got to watch that at the end of the night. It was perfect!

  347. Jennifer says:

    One year I was at a conference for my birthday, which sounds terrible…But it was in Puerto Rico, at a resort on the beach, and they had an open rum bar that night. #winning

  348. Jeanne says:

    I’m always looking for a good ( or great) veggie sandwich recipe that doesn’t use “fake” meat substitutes. This looks awesome. Thanks for posting! I’m now a follower of your blog!

  349. Jeanne says:

    Right, you said a birthday memory comment. I remember the rule at parties if you tore the wrapping paper you had to go through a line of everyone spanking you. So the last present was my friend Amy and it was a huge purple box. (purple themed party) inside was another purple wrapped box, in that was another one getting smaller and smaller. And i couldn’t rip the paper! finally, it was a tiny box that had a bracelet in it and i tore something because the next thing i know I’m crawling through all my friends legs getting spanked. I think we were 8 or 9 years old. Definitely memorable!

  350. Bianca says:

    Awesome for a lunch time option.

    My favorite birthday memory started in a library. When I was in college, my birthday would always fall right smack dab in the middle of finals period. My 21st birthday was no different and I found myself eyeballs deep in neuroscience textbooks while silently singing “Happy birthday” to myself. My friends had other plans, luckily. Two of my closest friends were on the college rowing team. They made all the (very fine) freshman rowers dress up in flashy outfits and deliver cake and wine to me. It was the best and sweetest birthday surprise (and I think I actually did a-ok on finals for that term!).


  351. irene says:

    My favorite birthday memory was a surprise party when I was 8! My mom and family were all in the local park waiting for me and my dad when we arrived. They had my favorite three layer cake with them and all of the stuff for a picnic!

  352. Cate says:

    My favorite birthday memory is of my third birthday. It snowed so much the day before, the snow drifts were taller than I was. And my birthday is in October!

  353. James D says:

    My birthday is in the middle of winter so I never got to enjoy the fun of going to theme parks or water parks that my friends got to do for their birthdays. One year, I bought a bunch of discount tikets to a water park and 5 of us jumped in a car and drove to the local water park in 55-60 degree weather. It was cold and we only lasted 2 hours before chills set in, but we were the only ones in the park and had a blast!

  354. heather says:

    My mother was always creative in throwing birthday parties! I was in first grade and all I ever wanted was chocolate-that year we had a CoCo Party! We traveled to Brooklyn to get plastic molds, there was lollipop’s mini stars, animals. I was in absolute awe of this shop-there was pounds of melting chocolate chips in every color. I remember the baby blue chocolate, pink, green and purple. To me this was like jewels. I was so excited that for my bday -that in the middle of the night my dad caught me sitting on the kitchen floor with all the chips spread out and me eating like I never seen food before! I legit had the rainbow smeared across my hands and face. To say the least this was one of my favorite memories. Nothing like experiencing new treats as a child.

  355. Andrea Wang says:

    Favorite birthday memory? Ringing in 25 with omakase at Kusakabe.

    Followed on Insta!

  356. Liz says:

    My 21st birthday was awesome, and not for any of the alcohol related reasons you’d think. I was living in NYC at the time and we went to the Coney Island Aquarium and I got to hang out with the coolest walrus ever. Then we went to a Yankees-Red Sox game! I did buy my first beer at that game, but I didn’t get carded!

    (I follow you on both Instagram and Pinterest! I’m @psyckology on both)

  357. Trish says:

    My fave birthday memory is definitely my 30th. My husband (boyfriend at the time) drove us out to a secret place deep in the woods. It was totally mysterious, and awesome. When we got there, it was a house on the water in the woods filled with 8 of my best friends and a ton of really great food and wine. The best weekend ever! P.S. Following you on all 4 platforms!

  358. brooke bralye says:

    a. that sandwich is making my mouth water!
    b. my favorite birthday memory has got to be when my sister surprised me the morning of my birthday with a day filled with some of my favorite things! we grabbed coffee from a local spot, equator coffee. then got our nails done, on her dime, so sweet of her! and then headed over to the berkeley farmers market and got a TON of veggies and treats for the week!

  359. Ramon M. says:

    These veggies sandwiches look like a great picnic sandwich!

    Favorite Birthday memory was my 21st birthday that lasted for about a week ;) I got to eat at The Publican (amazing restaurant with the best charcuterie) and then went to a club with my friends for the rest of the night on my actual birthday, spent the next three days hitting the bars, and then going to a delicious restaurant called Parachute in Chicago and had a lovely boudin noir that made my night. The best part was sharing it with all my friends and family.

  360. Claudia Magdaleno says:

    This would awesome to win!

  361. I want this sandwich every single day and love how you can add in seasonal veggies when they’re available too. My favorite birthday memory was in Costa Rica. Nothing was better than being another year older, black sand beaches, and monkeys stealing your belongings on the beach.

  362. George says:

    My favorite birthday memory is going fishing at lake Erie with my grandpa when I was young. We caught some fish and deep fried them for supper at the party that night.

  363. Ciana says:

    Hi Stephanie, I discovered your blog recently and have been drooling over everything! First of all, Happy Belated Birthday! As with many great memories, my best birthdays are highlighted by the food I ate and shared. My mom plays a big part in this as her elaborate birthday desserts embody the essence of a memorable birthday celebration, indulgence and love. A throwback to my 6th birthday is a good example of this. My mom iced my cake like an artists paints a canvas with a scene from my favorite movie, Beauty and the Beast. Thanks, Mom!

  364. Emily says:

    On my 21st birthday, my college happened to host an outdoor screening of “Moonrise Kingdom” on the lawn. I cozied up with friends, a blanket (we were outside in late October in New York), doughnuts, and a thermos of bourbon for a low-key, but memorable celebration.

  365. Kelly says:

    This year, for my birthday (Sept 14th…. 2 days ago…. Just saying) I was in New Orleans. I literally ate and drank my way through the city and had no shame in telling everyone it was my birthday and reaping the special treatment. For the actual day, we went to Commander’s Palace, a Nola institution with $.25 martinis. Let’s just say it was a great day!

  366. Thomas says:

    My favorite birthday memory involved my wife’s 30th birthday, not mine. I managed to have 40 of our closest friends not spill the beans and all show up in a 10 minute window before she got home from work. In the backyard, I had a grill, a keg of beer and inflatable bounce house. She opens the door, I hand her a glass of champagne and all her friends are screaming happy birthday to her. We partied till late at night, bouncing and grilling.

  367. Jason bohan says:

    My first birthday with my wife. She didn’t know what to buy me. She went out shopping for a few hours and got me a shirt. It was hilarious.

  368. Anna Jolley says:

    My favorite birthday memory would be any one of them when I am surrounded by family!

  369. Krista says:

    My favorite birthday memory is of the party my mom threw me when I was turning 12. Like almost any pre-teen girl, I was a bit mall-obsessed. My amazing mother planned a scavenger hunt around the mall. Our two groups of girls each got $20 and the same list of things to buy. Whichever group came back with the most money left over won! The losing group had to sing Christmas carols at the top of their lungs in the middle of the mall atrium. Props to my mom for indulging my shop-crazy phase while teaching us to be savvy spenders!

    Following on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook :)

  370. Kathy says:

    Your sandwich looks epic!! For my 25th birthday, I went with 5 of my grad school friends to a paint-your-own-pottery place. It was really fun to see what kind of artistic designs a bunch of chemistry nerds painted on plates, cups, etc.

  371. Alan says:

    I was working as an Outward Bound instructor in Zambia many years ago, and my 20th birthday was due to fall on a day we were out on expedition in the bush. Before heading out, I raided the kitchen for the closest thing I could find to birthday cake, and on the day, after sending my students off alone for the night, I sat down and opened the two packets of instant pudding I’d brought, chocolate and caramel, just add water. I did, stirred like a fiend in the two tin bowls I’d brought, and sat there in the dust by a pretty stream eating two quarts of pudding, alone, feeling on the one hand a bit sad not to be able to share with anyone, but on the other hand feeling quite cheerful that I was in such a lovely place, gorging myself on sweets, no longer a teenager but an adult now, and both self-indulgent and self-sufficient in equal measure. I’ve had wilder birthdays, more romantic birthdays (and a 5th birthday when I loaned my girlfriend, Bobby-Joe Bradley a cowboy costume so she could be one of the boys, the photograph of which I still treasure, though Bobby-Joe sadly flunked kindergarten and I never saw her again), and certainly many birthdays with better food, but my 20th, alone in the Zambian bush, with all that instant pudding, is one I remember with particular pleasure. (Love your blog, which I just discovered.)

  372. Joshua Dalton says:

    My favorite birthday memory is from my 19th birthday. It was my first time spending my birthday living on my own. I was able to experiment cooking different food that I enjoyed from my childhood like homemade biscuits, crêpes, fish, among other things. Some went better than others but by the end of the day, I had been able to cook everything on my list. In the evening, I was able to hang out with a lot of my friends and just have a good time relaxing together.

  373. Michelle says:

    My ultimate love of my life is sloths. Weird? I don’t know I just love them. So for my last birthday, my boyfriend took me to an animal sanctuary where I got to hold and hang out with sloths all day long. It was amazing and something I’ll never ever forget. They are the cutest, huggable animals ever – definitely my spirit animal!

  374. NG says:

    Fave birthday memory – the surprise party where we took over a bar and had a playdough sculpting competition. In our 20s.

  375. BIlly McSwagg says:

    yo yo yo yo! this is good yo. swag m8

  376. Cindy says:

    My favorite birthday was when I turned 16. My parents took me to San Francisco and we stayed at a mansion-turned-bed-and-breakfast. I think it was called The Mansion. We had fresh croissants with jam for breakfast and at the House of Prime Rib for dinner. Best birthday food ever!

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