Amy’s Birthday Brunch


Birthdays don’t always arrive when you feel like celebrating. Life can be hectic, stressful, chaotic, and downright tragic. But I contend birthdays should always be celebrated, even in the midst of life’s roar. Taking time to be with dear ones to appreciate their birth, is good for the soul.

My friend Amy wanted to keep her celebration simple this year. A small group of women folk gathering to share food, drink, and a little bit of ritual sounded like the birthday gift she needed.

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We started the festivities with a Paw Paw Mimosa. Most folks had never tasted the enigmatic paw paw fruit and were surprised that something with tropical flavor actually grows in North Carolina. More on paw paws to come!


Amy happens to be vegetarian, gluten-free and mostly dairy-free (she eats goat cheese), so I had fun with the brunch menu.
Grit Soufflé with Red Poblanos and Goat Cheese (click for recipe) went nicely with fresh fruit, and a veggie frittata.

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To add an element of ritual and commemorate the occasion we made Amy a necklace, stringing special beads and pendants on wire as we shared stories and appreciation for the birthday gal. Love flowed all around us and got strung on the necklace for future inspiration.

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No birthday is complete without cake! Flourless and dairy-free Zucchini Chocolate Torte (click for recipe)with Coconut Whipped Cream is not technically a cake but may be the best chocolate dessert I’ve ever made. It is quite simple and inexplicably good, just like a birthday spent with the ones you love.

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Click here to Download Recipes for Grits Souffle and Flourless Chocolate Zucchini Torte