My birthday present

For my birthday, I told Joel I didn't want any tangible presents, but rather an "experience". I wanted to do something special with just the two of us, that would be fun and out of the ordinary.

What Joel planned for us was far better than I could have ever imagined.


Last Friday night, we went to The Chopping Block for a hands on, group cooking class.
We did the "Wine and Dine" class where they give each couple a bottle of wine, and let you work together in a group to create an amazing dinner.

The two other couples that we made dinner with were some of the nicest, most down-to-earth couples I've met in a very long time.

One couple, Barb and Russ were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, and the other couple, were about our age and were moving to San Fransisco for the summer. The 6 of us had a great time chatting, getting to know each other, and learning how to cook.

And, cook we did.


On our menu was:
Herbed Crab Cakes with Fresh Herb Salad and Lemon Caper Vinaigrette; Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Ginger Chutney; Sautéed Snow Peas with Bacon and Mint; Strawberry Almond Napoleon.

Check out our spread!
My dinner...and dessert!

Our dinner table

The whole group together.

It was an absolutely unforgettable night, and I would highly, highly recommend this experience if you ever find yourself in Chicago.

In fact, if you do, call me!


  1. Oh that looks like it was to die for fun! We have a place like that here I've been dieing to go to and try out some new recipes! Hope you had a fabulous birthday! XX

  2. What a fun birthday present! Everything looks so yummy too :)

  3. Gosh such a great idea!! Liam and I have always wanted to do this but haven't made the jump just yet. Looks amazing!!

  4. How cool! I've always wanted to take a cooking class!

  5. I've been here before! A friend of mine had a whole group of us there for her graduation party...what a fun experience! And sooo much wine...hahaha