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Even though my birthday was one week ago, last night the celebrations continued! Denise and her husband Don hosted a dinner party in my honor.

Upon arriving, I was greeted not only by Denise, Don and Jenna, but by the man of the house…Samson.

Look at that face!

When planning the evening’s menu Denise went online to my Pinterest board for inspiration. She found a recipe I pinned from the Whole Foods website: Tequila Lime Salmon!Except in this instance she substituted chicken for the fish.

In addition she made delicious eggplant marinated in balsamic vinegrette. I realized it’s been far too long since I last had eggplant. Note to self: I must plan a meal with it in the very near future.

As for beverages, Denise had prepared a pitcher of fruit water which included sliced apples, pears and oranges. We combined that with a sparkling pink wine that Jenna had brought along and created a pink sangria-esque beverage! Delicious.

We had a great time enjoying the tasty dinner and chatting with Don and Denise about married life and Jenna about her new niece. Then it was time for gifts….

From Denise:

I’m so excited! Z and I had seen this on Groupon awhile back and thought it would be such a cool thing to have. While I love me some water, drinking it plain can get boring. I cannot wait to test this out and experiment with different flavors.

From Jenna:

Assisting with my quest for an acceptable red wine. Jenna told us of her extended conversation with the clerk at the store, explaining to him my taste preferences. This is what he recommended. I’ve never heard of a “sweet red” but I feel like that could be a good compromise for me…consider it my training wheels in the world of reds. I shall report back.

Someone else also enjoyed present time.

The evening concluded with Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake bars. Phenomenal.

As a parting gift Denise gave me her old magazines to look through. Now that she’s a married woman and all.

Guess I should get planning!