celebrating year one

1st Birthday 009Last Thursday was Natalie’s first birthday. It also marked the survival of our first year of parenthood. To celebrate the milestone, we had a house full on Saturday night.

The menu consisted of salami from Salumi (mole and hot sopressata – always a big hit), peas with pancetta (from Michael Symon’s cookbook), my mom’s chicken cutlets (a family staple – they have to be kept hidden until dinner time) and veal ragu. For dessert, a wide assortment of cupcakes from A Cookie & A Cupcake plus a mini cake for Nat, and 6 flavors of Jeni’s (huge hit – except for my young nephew who just wanted vanilla – oops).

If you’re looking for a hearty pasta, try this one. It’s so good and was well liked by all,1st Birthday 031 even the picky ones. Easy to make too. Two days before the party, I almost had to think of another dish. I was supposed to get the shoulder from Heinen’s, but after a chat with the butcher, found out I wasn’t – which sent me on a mad dash to find veal shoulder. I tried Miles Market, Mustard Seed, Whole Foods, a small butcher in Bainbridge, Metropolitan Market – no one could help, though I was impressed with Met Market’s effort. Finally, a friend suggested Mr. Brisket. I’ve had his stuff before at various gatherings, but have never been there 1st Birthday 034myself. I called and the next day found myself having a really good turkey sandwich from Mr. Brisket and picking up 6 lbs of beautiful veal. They were really helpful, reasonable, friendly and therefor earned my business (they deliver, too!).

Granted it’s the first time we’ve thrown a party for a 1-year-old, but I think it was a success. Good food, wine, wonderful family and friends and of course, the most delightful birthday girl. It’s been nothing short of an amazing year and we thank God for every moment of each day with her. Happy Birthday, Natalie!


  1. Posted December 13, 2009 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    A very happy first birthday to your daughter. I went insane planning a menu for my son’s first birthday this past April. Next year, pizza delivery :)

  2. Michelle V
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Thank you! We had the exact same thought! It’s crazy what we do for the first birthday party. We also half joked and said we are going to have her next party in July when everyone can be outside. Figure we have a few years before she can really catch on :)

  3. Posted December 14, 2009 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I love her eating her little cake. So freaking cute! I can’t wait until she starts talking and walking.

  4. steve
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    So much for this darling, looks like she enjoyed the cake. And on a Jeni’s note, we stopped in Columbus at the High St location and ended up buying six pints, packed up in a foam box with dry ice. Some will be gifts I guess. Bourbon butter pecan, pear riesling, cocoa zin, belgian milk chocolate and I can’t remember the other two.

  5. Tom
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday to your little one.
    While I am a big Mr Brisket fan and shop there frequently, just an FYI. You could also try Giovanni’s for some of those hard to find cuts of meat. On Mayfield Rd in Lyndhurst, in front of the Greens.

  6. Posted December 14, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    i love a cookie and a cupcake so much.

    also, she is beyond precious, you and jamie did good. ha