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A Serving Dish That Sells the Meal

Yesterday was my birthday and this is the dinner my hubby made for me… fresh and local!

We started out with oysters on the half shell.

Which came about because of this fab blue serving dish. We bought it in April and I’ve been dying to use it for raw oysters just because it reminds me of an oyster shell. What do you think? PS – the oysters didn’t go over so well with Kaleigh, but at least she tried them 😉

On the side was a dish of diced onion soaked in raspberry vinaigrette, optional to enjoy with the oysters.

After the oysters we moved on to fresh Salt Spring mussels steamed in white wine, and served with French bread.

The only thing that’s missing is a metal bowl for the shells. Did you know a metal bowl is a must just to hear the tinging sound the empty shells make when they land in it?

And from the BBQ…

Grilled fennel, lamb chops, nugget potatoes, roasted red pepper, and chorizo sausage. The chorizo was also chopped into the steamed mussels to add a little kick to the broth.

And on the side for this course were marinated silver skin onions…

And roasted elephant garlic.

Did you know that elephant garlic is milder than regular garlic, and goes perfectly with all kinds of things?

Including a tray of cheeses and pâté like this…

Which we randomly enjoyed near the end of the meal.

Guess who was full?

We took a break to watch a movie before having dessert… a made-from-scratch by Clemens birthday cake. It was a lemon cake with raspberry cream filling (as in fresh raspberries and Bavarian cream) topped with thick chocolate ganache icing.

The icing was chocolate rich – made from pure melted chocolate (I saw the chunks of chocolate being melted!), and believe it or not it was more chocolate than I could eat. But maybe that had something to do with the richness of the meal beforehand!

Tuxedo candles anyone?

This was a meal laced with so many of my favorite things… and apparently we still have caviar and crème fraîche to enjoy that got completely overlooked with the rest of the meal prep. I’m good with that. It’s never too late for caviar!

What would you wish to have for your birthday menu? Do you have a unique serving dish that sets the tone for a meal?

And thank you so much to everyone for all the birthday wishes. I was blown away and super touched. You helped make my day a better-than-I-could-imagine great day! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!

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  1. TRIPLE WOW!! Well done Clemens & Kaleigh!! I can smell and taste the dishes from this side of the screen. You lucky girl Sheila, it seems that you had a lovely, loving birthday and you deserve it ~:D Nice serving dish, perfect venue for oysters (or mussels)~~~~

  2. Do you live with a professional chef, Sheila?! Everything looks amazing!! Wow!! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed your birthday… you WERE spoiled just a little, weren’t you?!

    • Hi Victoria!
      Clemens loves the kitchen (whew!) 😉 He’s happiest when he’s preparing a meal; it’s his pass-time pleasure… Maybe he missed his calling? Me on the other hand, not so much! I’m happiest when I get to eat the meal :-), grumpiest when I have to prepare it! But I’m a great clean-up chef!!!

  3. I do NOT do oysters, but I am seriously impressed with your hubby! Happy birthday!!!!

    • You make me laugh! I’ve had a few respond who do NOT do oysters… I never did until I met Clemens. They are unsightly, seriously, but somehow he’s turned me around on them!!!

  4. Oh, your birthday was amazing, Sheila!!! I’m sorry I missed this post before… it surely made me hungry!

    My birthday will be next Thursday… I need to show this to my hubby!! LOL

    Can I ask you something? Can you give me the mussels recipe? I’m craving that right now! 🙂 We have wonderful mussels here and I never make them, but always order it in restaurants. I think it’s time for me to try to cook it! Or better, steam it!

    All the best for you, sweetie… you know you’re one of my favorites out there!


    Luciane at

    • So you are a Leo! Your birthday is on the same day as my very special Aunt’s, and she’s a very cool person. I know you’d like her 🙂

      I have asked Clemens for the mussel recipe, and will get that to you as soon as I can – he’s the real chef in our household 😉

      XO Sheila

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