Beach Birthday Cake
Beach Birthday Cake

So I turned 36 last weekend.  I almost kept it a secret, because for the first time in my life, I kind of felt like I was getting a bit old.  But rather than stare at my skin in the mirror and think "I've really got to up my moisturizing game", I headed to the beach with my boys, just outside of Pt.Reyes, away from our little town into the middle of nowhere. We had a picnic and the kids played in the sand while Adam and I laid in the sun and added to our freckle collection.  We hiked down the coastline and searched for shells and other beach curiosities- I found a dozen or so egg-shaped pieces of rock (pictured above) just coated with dried up tiny barnacles.  I don't know what I'll do with them, but I'm sure you will see them again. And on our way back we stopped at Hog Island and picked up a couple of dozen oysters to take home. It was a good day...and then we feasted, first on oysters (both of my boys are slurpers), then on a slow cooked meatloaf ragout that had been stewing all day while we were gone, and then on cupcakes. I had to lie down after all that eating.  Here are some pictures from the day, and the recipe for our delicious supper.  I think 36 is going to be just fine...

Slow Cooked Meatloaf Ragout
Slow Cooked Meatloaf Ragout

Meatloaf Ragout

2 lbs meatloaf (from the meat counter)

1 32oz can San Marzono whole plum tomatoes

1 32oz can San Marzono crushed tomatoes

1 onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, smashed

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tbsp dried basil 

1 tbsp cinnamon

Salt and pepper

This is really quite simple.  Form the meatloaf into golf-ball sized rounds, and brown on all sides over medium heat.  Transfer them with a slatted spoon to a slow cooker.  Add the remaining ingredients, breaking the whole tomatoes open while as you put them in, and cook on low for 3 hours.  We ate ours over Riccia pasta drizzled with olive oil.  Decadent and delicious.