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I celebrated my birthday—best-laid plans...

Updated: Jun 9, 2022

Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday. The plan was to meet my husband, Mark, and do something fun before we met the kids at a French bistro for dinner.

Best laid plans . . .

I got to New York at our prearranged time but there was no word from Mark. I knew he was in a client meeting and presumed he was delayed.

What to do with the three hours I had in front of me? I didn’t want to wander aimlessly in and out of stores. I’d read that Target had taken over the old Barnes and Noble on East 86th Street and thought that, since I never go there, it might be fun to explore. I walked in and was immediately told they were not open; the store was still under construction. That wasn’t helpful.

I remembered there was a really good Mexican restaurant further east on 86th Street, Maz Mezcal. The perfect place to enjoy the beautiful afternoon.

I sat down, made myself comfortable, and ordered a frozen margarita. Realizing that I’d better order something to prevent the alcohol from going straight to my head, I added a cheese quesadilla to my order.

Food started arriving and I delighted in the assortment of colors gathering in front of me.

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a beautiful, older woman stop and start walking toward me. She lowered her mask and, smiling, said, “You look so happy”!

“I am,” I replied, refraining from telling her it was my birthday and just enjoying her smile.

She continued, “I looked over and you just looked so happy.”

“Thank you,” I said, “I really am. I‘m enjoying this beautiful afternoon.

“Where is your drink? she asked.

“Oh, it’s coming,” I said.

She giggled. “Good!” And she walked away.

I sat there thinking life is good! And then my margarita arrived and that was good too.

You can’t control what’s going to happen, but you can control how you react. What a wonderful unplanned rainbow meal I was having.

And then Mark arrived, just in time to join me for that drink before we met the kids for a great dinner at AOC Bistro.

It was a wonderful birthday indeed.

Simple quesadilla

Serves: 2

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes


2 large flour tortillas

Olive oil enough to just coat the pan

Your choice of cheese:

Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Manchego or Queso asadero (a Mexican cheese that melts easily) Do not use pre-shredded cheese as it is coated to keep it from clumping and will not melt properly.


Use a skillet large enough to hold the tortillas flat on the bottom of the pan.

  1. Shred enough cheese to coat the bottom of the tortilla.

  2. Heat the skillet and coat lightly with oil.

  3. Place one tortilla on the bottom of skillet.

  4. Cover it with shredded cheese.

  5. Place the second tortilla on top.

  6. Cook on medium-high heat until it starts to brown.

  7. Using a spatula, push down gently on top of the tortilla then flip it over.

  8. Cook until the bottom has browned.

  9. Remove from skillet onto a cutting board.

  10. Using a knife or a pizza wheel, slice into sixths and serve.


This post was created prior to our site upgrade. Comments at the time of our upgrade included:

Arlene Vaquer September 24, 2021

I hope your birthday was wonderful. Isn’t it nice to stop and ‘smell the roses’ or in your case, enjoy the colors and the taste of your appetizer! —Arlene

Le Kitchen Cookbook

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Bon Appétit
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