My Favorite Sister

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Who is my favorite sister? I’ll give you a hint: she’s extremely smart, loves good food, and lives west of the Mississippi. I wore her hand-me-downs (and hand-me-ups) when I was younger. I look forward to seeing her every Christmas. Lastly, her birthday is on August 13th.

Any guesses??

The answer(s) is in this picture!

I'm the pasty one on the left.

That’s right! Both of my sisters were born on August 13th … six years apart. When I was little, I remember wondering what it was like to share a birthday with my sister. Neither of them seemed to mind, but that nonchalance could have been due to their understanding personalities.Β  Also, when I say that I wore their hand-me-downs AND hand-me-ups, I wasn’t kidding: Courtney is younger than me, but she’s been taller than me since she was about 10 years old.Β  Yeah, I feel … short πŸ™‚

So! In honor of BOTH of my sisters’ birthdays, I made some special grub. I hope to whet their appetites so that they’ll be looking forward to when I can actually make them a birthday meal.

First up: tacos! When we were growing up, my older sister D would always request tacos for dinner. I always looked forward to tacos, too, especially those little bowls of taco toppings.

D’s Birthday Tacos

1/2 Tbsp veggie oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 hot pepper (jalapeno, etc.)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup beer (!)
6 – 8 oz. of some sort of protein.Β  We didn’t have beef, so I defrosted and crumbled up a couple of veggie burgers.Β  Beans, tofu, chicken, even tuna would also suffice.Β  Note un: If you use a veggie burger as your protein, make sure you actually like the taste of it.Β  Because I didn’t.
Salt and pepper.
3 – 4 tortillas or taco shells

Lettuce and tomato

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft and translucent.

While the onion is sauteing, roast your hot pepper. You can roast the pepper by broiling it in an oven or toaster oven until the outside blackens. If you’re like me and you don’t want to turn on the oven in the middle of summer to roast a tiny little pepper, you can use this handy device:

Or, if you have a gas stove, just use heat-safe tongs to hold the pepper in the flames. Be careful, of course.

When the pepper is cool, peel off the skin, mince, and add to the onion along with the minced garlic and protein (crumbled veggie burgers here). Saute for one minute.

Add tomato paste and heat through.Β  Pour in beer and use a spoon to scape all the tasty bits off the bottom (deglaze).Β  Lastly, add salt and pepper to taste.Β  Note deux: If you are using veggie burgers as your protein, you may wish to exclude the salt, as veggie burgers tend to be very high in sodium.

Prepare the rest of your fixin’s.Β  Preparing the taco toppings was always my favorite part.Β  Well, specifically this part:

That would be a delectable smoked cheese fromΒ Sugarbush Farm in Vermont.Β  Most of the cheese made it in the tacos and not in my mouth, I swear.


As I alluded to before, I wasn’t crazy about the veggie burgers I chose for the taco filling, but if I had used some other protein the filling would have been EPIC!Β  The beer was a nice extra πŸ™‚

Now, I DO have another sister.Β  One who happens to be a Master Gardener. You’ve previously met Courtney in this guest post, and I’m sure you’ll agree that you just can’t get enough of her! In honor of her green thumb, I decided to have a simple heirloom tomato and wax bean side “salad”.

I prepared the tomato by slicing it and sprinkling it with a little sugar.Β  Before you explode on me, I just want to clarify that yes, I PREFER tomatoes best with their natural sweetness and no additional enhancement.Β  However, sugar on tomatoes is a common simple dish that I enjoyed in China and wanted to recreate at home.Β  While I won’t be sweetening my tomatoes often, a little sugar was a nice treat for a special occasion.Β  Even if that special occasion isn’t technically my OWN birthday.

Lastly, a peanut butter mousse cake to finish the birthday dinner:

Preparing the chocolate ganache, made from 1/4 cup heated cream poured over 2.5 ounces chocolate, then stirred until the chocolate melts:

Peter spreading ganache over the frozen mousse cake:

Happy Birthday to my favorite sisterS in the whole wide world! I cant wait to see you both soon! πŸ˜€



  1. I swear women have seasons in which they are more likely to conceive. My husband is born 2 years + 1 day after his brother. My cousin was born 1 year + 1 day after his brother. It’s really common!

  2. Happy Birthday to your lovely sisters Jessie πŸ™‚ Hope they both have a great day. We don’t have that phenom in our house, but, hubby and my youngest both share the same birthday – August 29! Guess that means my mother-in-law and I have the same productive days πŸ˜‰

    I LOOOOOOOOOOVE that peanut butter mousse cake!

  3. Wow, sounds like you made them a delicious feast! I’m sure they feel very lucky to have you as a sister Jessie!! πŸ™‚

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Jessie’s two sisters!!!!!! That is so awesome that they share the same birthdays, Jessie! I think I actually remember Courtney’s guest post. She shared some drinks with us right? Sorry if I got that wrong though. For you to make all that yumminess and your sisters aren’t even there to celebrate with you (which I think is super sweet by the way), you guys must do some serious celebrating when you actually do get together. I think I just might have a party to crash soon ;-).

    Although I’m not a huge fan of beer straight up, I love that you used it in your taco ingredients. Which reminds me that I still need to try beer can chicken. Sorry, got sidetracked. You’ll notice that happens a lot with me. And all that cheese! MMMMMMMM! I love finger food like this cause you can be messy with it and it still wouldn’t matter. Come to think of it, I don’t think my kiddies have tried tacos, thanks for tonight’s dinner idea.

    Sugar on tomatoes? I never knew they did that in China, interesting. I know a lot of Chinese (I’m not speaking for all Chinese people but a lot of my relatives) like to put salt on their fruits. I’m a little ashamed to say it but I enjoy my fruits that way too.

    And lastly, you are killing me with your yummy peanut butter creations Jessie. LOL. I know I can always substitute with almond butter, but it’s just not the same. DROOLING over your peanut butter mousse cake that I cannot have :-P. Ok I must leave now. Hope you and Peter have an awesome weekend! HUGS HUGS HUGS!


    Thank you so much for all your honest and professional opinion on my post! I really appreciate your advice and opinions!

  5. Happy Birthday to both of your sisters! I love that they were born on the same day but so many years apart.

    I think your older sister D is right on the money with requesting tacos for dinner. Yours look so fantastic, as does the mousse. Your sisters are so lucky to have a wonderful cook like you in the family!

  6. Happy Birthday to your sisters!! What are the chances?! So cool that they were born on the same day!! πŸ™‚

    Your bday tacos look awesome and wowwwwwwww… that PB mousse cake looks absolutely DIVINE!! πŸ™‚

  7. So nice of you to cook for them and the cake looks heavenly. That is funny that they have the same birthday. My sister and I are 4 years and 1 day apart, so it was like sharing a birthday. But, we also like that ours are just exactly 6 months from Hanukah, so we get full present showering at both. My sister is coming to visit me on the island in 10 days.

  8. This is so cute! Happy birthday to both the THIH sisters! πŸ™‚ It’s crazy they were born on the same day so many years apart. One of my sisters was born 4 years and 2 days after me. She was due on my birthday and we all “joke” that she knew what was good for her hanging in there a couple of extra days. haha Let’s just say that as a kid, I really liked having my own day. πŸ˜‰ Anyway, I used to think this sort of thing was pretty rare, but my boyfriend was born on the same day as his sister — 2 years later. So I guess it’s more common than one would think!

    Your entire birthday-honorary meal looks delicious, but especially that peanut butter mousse pie! I like your version with the chocolate ganache topping. I’m going to have to make this for myself!

  9. how cool is that having both your sisters birthdays on the same day! Your taco’s look so very very good, and that peanut butter pie….wow…what can I say except cut me off a big piece please!!

  10. That is so interesting that your sisters have the same birthday! I imagine it would be kind of weird as kids, to always have to share the attention…but I also think it’s pretty cool.
    I love your title for this post because my sister and I always call each other “favorite sister” (we are our ONLY sisters…we’re just big dorks). Anyway, I think it’s great that you’re close with both of your sisters and the food you made looks amazing. Peanut butter mousse cake? Could anything sound more decadent? Happy birthday to your sisters and I hope you all had a great time!

  11. our family used to always make tacos on our birthdays for dinner! its a tradition!! and what a yummy way to celebrate BOTH your sisters birthdays!! happy birthday girlies!! <3

  12. Whoa I can’t believe that your sisters were born on the same day! Crazy.

    Very cute post and I love that you cooked for them even though you won’t be able to be with them. However, if you decide to cook for ME for my birthday…I’ll be coming over.

  13. Happy belated birthday to your sisters! That is INSANE that they were born on the same day but not the same year! Your parents know how to stay consistent! LOL! πŸ™‚

    That dessert looks amazing! They’re lucky to have you as a sister πŸ™‚

  14. No way! Same date? That’s crazy.

    Sounds like a great time. It’s nice your close to family πŸ™‚

  15. thanks sister.
    see you soon!

  16. WOW!!! That PB mousse cake looks AMAMAMAZING!!!! I want to reach my hand through the computer and eat it πŸ™‚ The tacos look fabulous too. Your sisters are lucky to have such a talented middle sister! I vet that smoked cheese really made the tacos that much more spectacular. Yum, I’m really into cheese lately.

  17. This is such a sweet post! It’s pretty cool that both your sisters have the same birthday! The food looks amazing, especially that peanut butter mousse cake!

  18. Happy Birthday to your sisters!
    My mouth is seriously watering after reading this post. haha.
    That cheese looks insanely good! yum!

  19. That is bazaar! What a beautiful tribute! I love the recipe for the tacos – but can’t believe you use beer…!!! (and not tequilla – hehe)


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