Turning Twenty-Three: A Home-Cooked Birthday Dinner in Paris

So as y’all may have read I’m now 23! But I did want to tell you about the wonderful birthday party I had last week in Paris.

After a year of living with a host-family in France, I was seriously missing being able to host dinner parties. (I love dinner parties.) So when my good friends generously lent me their house for the weekend and okayed a dinner party at their place, I invited over my scant remaining friends in Paris and started cooking.

Last Weeks Paris July9

My French friends’ gorgeously designed abode

After an early-morning trip to the farmer’s market in town (how French!), I spent the rest of the day preparing my birthday menu and trying not to sweat to death. This year my birthday, July 21, fell smack-dab in the middle of a ninety-degree heat wave in a country that rarely has air-conditioning. Yay.

IMG_6673

Once the guests arrived we raised a few obligatory toasts, after which I requested that we pray. Though I’m not a religious person, during my nine months in Europe I had never once held hands at the table and prayed. And I have to say, it felt good to send some thanks up to the heavens- I really do have so much to be thankful for!

For the main course I prepared Ina Garten’s lemon chicken with croutons, and as usual Ina didn’t let me down at all… it was tasty! With the chicken I served a butter lettuce salad with shallot vinaigrette, the same one I make everyday in France.

Last Weeks Paris July7

My lovely friends who made it to the party.

As the soundtrack of Manu Chao, Gotan Project and Jacques Brel played on, I served up the cheese course: salers, bleu d’auvergne and chèvre.

IMG_6677

IMG_6683

IMG_6691

We finished off the meal with a super-simple financier, or almond cake which I paired with a home-made apricot sauce. While I love cooking, I hate baking so I make this easy cake every time I have a dinner party.

IMG_6692

IMG_6694

IMG_6697

While my other friends left to catch the last metro, Edna stayed over for a mojito nightcap and some late-night girl talk.

IMG_6703

Last Weeks Paris July8

IMG_6777

And when the couple who let me borrow the house came back from vacation, we had a lovely laughter-filled dinner out on the terrace. Then my favorite French couple gifted me a beautiful shamrock necklace, which they said was “to bring you luck on your travels.” So sweet.

IMG_6804    

And while a small dinner party was quite a departure from last year’s birthday celebrations, it was exactly what I wanted.

 What do you like to do for your birthday?

8 Comments

  1. That sounds like a wonderful birthday party! I’m glad you got to host a dinner party. My apartment currently is not outfitted for those sorts of occasions, so I can understand missing them dearly! You’ve got a lovely bunch of friends/family in Paris, and I love the necklace for good luck!
    Amanda @ Adventure Year recently posted..Book Shelf: The Lost GirlsMy Profile

    Reply
    • It’s so hard to find a big enough space for a dinner party so I totally know what you mean… lord knows my next apartment will be too small for them! Thanks for your sweet comment, Amanda :)

    • Thanks! We had a lot of fun making it :). And I was sad you couldn’t make it but I’m sure we’ll meet up at some point in the future x

    • It’s my favorite way as well! Good food, wines and friends are really all you need.

    • Thanks, Diane! I think living in France and cooking at work has helped me improve a bit :)

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge