For a change, we actually have plans for the Fourth: some friends are coming over and braving the city's festivities at a park we can walk to (chili cookoff!) and then there's some other friends are throwing a party this evening. (It's kind of strange being old enough to have people you know from work that have moved on YEARS ago.)
My birthday was Tuesday. It was good - but because I am really good at spreading it out. Tuesdays I have 2.5 hours of Game Theory, an hour roundtrip spent on the bus, 4 hours of work, and judo. So:
Saturday I tried to modify Ruth Reichl's fantastic cheesecake recipe (from Garlic and Sapphires if the book weren't so funny, I'd be telling people to go get it at the library just for the recipes) into an espresso cheesecake reminiscent of Cafe Brazil. Plain layer, coffee flavored layer, mocha flavored layer. Good, but then the recipe calls for a sweet sour cream layer - too tart to play nice with the coffee flavors even though it was perfect with the lemon zest original. Next time: chocolate ganache layer! Also I'm totally going to start making cheesecake crust out of shortbread cookies.
Sunday we made Scallops St Jacques (yes, because the description sounded good in the first Spenser novel. yes, I'm a dork) and baked potatoes. Amazingly, baking the potatoes was the more finicky part. They take forever! and it's a pain to guess when they're done. The sauce was totally awesome and a great baked potato topper. Cooked scallops are still too fishy for me - they were ok, but not great. I picked them out and fed them to my obliging husband. The mushrooms really make the dish.
Tuesday I got promoted to a judo orange belt. Let's not talk about how incredibly insanely bad the test was - that seems to be the one part my club does really badly. At least I don't have to deal with it often.
Next week is an all-week math conference - conveniently located downtown. I also need to get cracking on my Game Theory paper (I think I have an idea for it.. ) and do something for my research. I should do another homework problem before people come over...