Victor’s birthday is Monday.

After being together for almost 16 years, we’ve finally reached the point where we no longer have to go out and buy tons of ridiculous and/or extravagant presents we just don’t need.  Those early years are chock full of new cameras, new sweaters, new this, new that…  but when you look in the closet and you haven’t worn the last three sweaters, yet, there’s just no reason to get a fourth.  Besides, it’s actually good to be sensible now and again.

It does, however, mean that a little extra thought and effort needs to take place to make the special day actually special.

Thank goodness for food!  (Seven bouquets of flowers do not count as ridiculous and/or extravagant!)

To start the birthday weekend, I made a Pork Marsala.  I sliced a pork tenderloin into medallions and pounded and then dredged them in a seasoned flour (salt, pepper, garlic, sage).  I then sauteed them in a splash of olive oil.

I removed them from the skillet and added a pat of butter and then sauteed about 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms.  When they were cooked, I added about 3/4 cup of Marsala.

When it came to a boil, I added the pork and cooked it down a bit.  I then added about a half-cup of beef broth.

Brought it all to a boil and then thickened it with a bit of corn starch.

Rigatoni and spinach on the side.

The surprise part was throwing Victor out of the kitchen after dinner!  Usually, if I cook, Victor cleans and if Victor cooks, Victor cleans.  It’s a great system.

Brownies have come out of the oven and I think I might even make frosting for them.

What the hell.  It’s Victor’s birthday!