**Happy Thanksgiving, kiddos! Hope you guys are enjoying your day – take photos and notes… I want to hear all about it tomorrow!**

Actually, my birthday was a couple weeks ago. But, I didn’t get to write about my adventures because of my recent bout with strep throat. So I shall write about it today!

As much as I say that I feel like I am getting old and that I don’t like celebrating my birthday, I’m lying. I really love celebrating my birthday because I love two things – a good party with family and friends and cake (especially the cake).

And I got a lot of cake this year.

Like these fabulous chocolate hazelnut cupcakes made by my good friend L. We ate them “elementary school” style – AKA we stopped class in the middle to have the sweet treat. It was the perfect break during six-hour class block.


My friend L should be a baker – look how beautiful this cupcake is with the chopped hazelnuts sprinkled over the chocolate ganache frosting.

Then there was the cake my family gave me for our impromptu Halloween weekend at home.


Then my sister made me a fabulous birthday cake (double chocolate fudge with rainbow sprinkles) that we, along with my good friends, ate before a night of drinking and dancing.


It’s beautiful… And I am glad that she didn’t put 25 candles on it – that would have made me feel really old.

But the best thing about my birthday is that I can eat everything that I want with no apologies (not very different from any other day though!). My sister surprised me with a breakfast out to a fabulous hole-in-the-wall breakfast joint that had the cutest sign out front.


But there was no way for me to finish everything on my plate… and you’ll see why.

When I walked inside, I knew it was a place that served good food and had great atmosphere. The tables were small, it was a little rundown, and the staff hurried around, but the food was amazing (and portions were huge).

We got to sit at the bar overlooking the open kitchen and I took the opportunity to snap some photos. How insane is that griddle!


The back part was covered in breakfast potatoes and the front was covered in foot-wide pancakes. Yes, foot-wide pancakes.

I wanted it all.

So many fabulous choices and so little stomach space. I decided on a variety of foods to try. I needed to try a huge pancake because E said that they were a specialty here, so I order a chocolate chip pancake. But I also wanted sausage gravy, so I got that too!

Here’s my pancake – it’s fluffy, warm, and studded with chocolate chips and slightly drowned in real maple syrup. It was heavenly.


But it is also a foot in diameter – here’s my sister’s hand showing how huge this pancake is.


It was perfection.

I also got sausage gravy. Let me tell you a little about sausage gravy. According to my two food television loves/obessions, Mr. Alton Brown (from Good Eats) and Mrs. Ree Drummond (AKA The Pioneer Woman), there are two schools of sausage gravy-ness. One school states that you fry up sausage and then make the gravy with the sausage drippings. The other school states that you cook crumbled sausage and make the gravy with the sausage still in the pan. The sausage gravy I had for my birthday was from the second school and it is definitely the way to go. The salty sausage cuts through the grease and adds a great texture to the gravy.


And when it is served over crunchy breakfast potatoes, there is nothing better.

Served with a tall glass of chocolate milk, it was the best birthday breakfast I ever had.

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(Sorry, Mom!)

I had a fabulous birthday, filled with food, fun, and friends and family. I am a very lucky Grad School Foodie.

Love your one year old (and hopefully one year wiser) friend,