January 29th rolled around just like it does every year and I braced myself…my oldest turned 17!  I know, I know, don’t get weepy or sad, don’t reminisce about him being a baby and don’t tell him stories about things he’s done in the past.  Well, I must say, I am very proud of myself because I didn’t do any of those things.  It was truly a miracle because, I can cry at the first frame of a Hallmark commercial and when it comes to my boys, goodness, tissues can fly!  Like I said, I got myself ready and planned the day – decorations, cards, gifts and of course food.
We had a wonderful day and I think the birthday boy loved it too … even the goofy card from his brother, the special gift from dad and the very sweet but sappy card from me.  We had a great day full of special birthday wishes and  celebrated with cheesecake from one of his favorite local bakeries with a few extra touches just to make it “his.”  After 17 years, you’d think I’d have this birthday thing down pat but really, not so much, although I am getting better at it.  At the end of the day, I know my boys are growing up and I love how they are finding their own way in life and becoming men that Rob and I are proud of.  So, Happy Birthday RCM … Mom loves you!
Sugar Balsamic Strawberries

2 pints of strawberries, washed and hulled
1/4 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • Wash and hull strawberries.
  • Cut each berry into quarters and place into a glass bowl.
  • Drizzle balsamic vinegar over fruit and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Mix gently.
  • Cover and leave on counter until ready to serve – up to 3 hours.
Chocolate Sauce

4 oz. of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon extract
Pinch of good sea salt
  • Combine first 3 ingredients in a small sauce pan over low heat.
  • Stir constantly until chocolate is melted.
  • When mixture is smooth, add vanilla and salt.
  • Serve at once or can be kept in refrigerator, covered for up to one week.