Some folks my age dread their next birthday, but I get excited because I know I’ll be eating free food… and free food always tastes better!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, EAT FREE!

Baskin-Robbins
Sign up for the Baskin-Robbins Birthday Club, and get a coupon for a free scoop of ice cream on your birthday.

Krispy Kreme
Become a Friends of Krispy Kreme member, and get free doughnuts on your birthday.

Noodles & Company
You sign up for their Noodlegram and receive a free meal for signing up as well as on your bithday.

Ruby Tuesday
Get on the So Connected e-mail list, and get a coupon for a free burger on your birthday.

Red Robin
Become a Red Robin eClub member and get a free burger on your birthday.

Red Lobster
Join the Fresh Catch Club, and receive a surprise gift (free appetizer coupon) on your birthday.

The Melting Pot (my personal favorite)
Become a Club Fondue member, and receive a printable coupon for a free fondue for two on your birthay.

Sonic
Sign up for Sonic Cruisers fan club, and you’ll receive a coupon on your birthday for your choice of a regular order of tots, a medium fountain drink or a regular cream slush.

Enjoy your birthday and eat up! If you know of other birthday freebies, share them in the comments.

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garlic-butter-recipeI like garlic and I really like butter, so it should go without saying that I love garlic butter!

Garlic butter is best known for making Garlic Bread or Toast (which I love to make and eat with a big plate of spaghetti…, but I digress). Garlic butter also provides a flavor boost to all kinds of dishes. Try it on steaks, chicken, mashed potatoes, bread and rolls and vegetables such as corn on the cob (that’s so good), green beans and steamed carrots. Did I even mention seafood, oh and don’t forget to add a heaping garlic butter pat onto your perfect baked potato.

Garlic Butter Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine softened butter, minced garlic and parmesan cheese.
  2. Season with Italian seasoning, pepper and paprika.
  3. Mix until smooth.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Garlic Toast Recipe

Ingredients

  • Garlic Butter
  • Loaf, French Bread or Italian Bread

Directions

Cut bread about 1/2 to 1 inch thickness. Spread garlic butter on both sides of bread. Put on cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until toasted, about 20 minutes. Turn if necessary for even browning. You can also toast it under the broiler (Broil 4″ from heat for 2-3 minutes or until golden).

Grilled Garlic Toast
Place buttered bread slices on hot grill and cook on each side until the bread begins to show grill marks. Flip and continue grilling. Remove when the bread starts to get crunchy.

Le Whif

Le Whif

It is the chocoholic’s dream – a sweet treat that gives all the joy of chocolate without any of the calories.

The new sweet treat, Le Whif is a revolutionary new way of eating chocolate – by breathing it! Its inventor, David Edwards, who helped develop inhalable insulin and is working on an inhalable TB vaccination, threw out the idea of breathable food while teaching an engineering sciences class at Harvard several years ago.

Along with several students, Edwards developed a modified inhaler and settled on using chocolate particles that are 80 to 300 microns—too big to enter the lungs and trigger coughing, he said. The device coats the user’s mouth with the taste of chocolate—at less than 1 calorie.

The culinary possibilities of whiffing will be revealed during a year-long Le Whif World Tour. First there’s the launch party in Paris on April 29, then ten days at the beach bar of the Majestic Hotel during the Cannes Film Festival, and finally an appearance at one of the world’s major candy shows, the All Candy Expo, in Chicago. The tour will culminate in a culinary exhibition and degustation at Le Laboratoire with several major international chefs.

tax-dayI hope that the IRS does not break your piggy bank. But if you are looking to pinch a penny or two, some food-friendly folks are offering savory freebies and discounts to help you get through tax day, April 15th, with a smile on your face and sustenance in your belly.


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Cinnabon is hosting a Tax Day Bites! promotion, wherein every mall-based Cinnabon will give away free Classic Bites on the 15th from 5pm to 8pm. Locate your nearest Cinnabon.

maggiemoosMaggie Moo’s Ice Cream and Treatery is also ponying up the sweet stuff, offering one free single-scoop cone to every customer in all their stores, nationwide.

McDonald's

Baltimore area McDonalds will be giving away small hot McCafés or medium iced McCafé Coffee throughout the day on April 15th. The free coffee will be at outlets in Baltimore and the surrounding counties of Howard, Baltimore, Cecil, Carroll, Harford and Anne Arundel. Stores that don’t offer McCafes yet will offer other types of coffee for free.

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PF Chang’s China Bistro is offering 15% off your food and drink purchase on tax day. Find location and make your reservation.

papajohnslogoPapa John’s is once again providing last-minute filers, or “pro-crust-inators,” a “1040” online deal. Through midnight on April 15, consumers can cash in on this tax break by entering “1040” as a promotional code at www.papajohns.com for a large, original crust pizza with up to three toppings for just $10.40.

====> Check out the list of Birthday Freebies.

Made this for the family tonight as a change of pace and everyone loved it!

I love red petite potatoes because in addition to the attractive bright skin color, they offer a combination of fast cooking time, excellent flavor and are receptive to spicy seasonings.

I also enjoy grape tomatoes, usually in a salad or a standalone snack.  With a higher sugar content than many cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes have become fast food, finger food and kid-friendly. They have a long shelf life, and unlike most cherry tomatoes, can be eaten neatly in one bite, making them a squirt-free choice for social occasions.

The following recipe that combines these two, makes for a great change of pace side dish.  This dish accompanied our Roasted Chicken and Italian Pole Beans earlier tonight.

Roasted Petite Red Potatoes and Grape Tomatoes

  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees F,
  • Rub potatoes with softened butter or olive oil,
  • Toss in a bowl with salt, fresh cracked pepper and Italian seasoning to thoroughly coat,
  • Place potatoes in a roasting pan and roast for about 30 minutes or until softened, turning frequently to brown all sides,
  • Add tomatoes about 15 minutes prior to pulling the entire dish out of the oven.

Roasted Petite Red Potatoes & Grape Tomatoes

Roasted Petite Red Potatoes & Grape Tomatoes

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Let’s celebrate with the throwing of water and great food.

For the second year in a row, the Office of Commercial Affairs of the Royal Thai Embassy has organized Thai Restaurant Week to celebrate Songkran, or Thai New Year, April 13-19. DC and Boston area Thai restaurants will celebrate Songkran, each in their own unique way, offering special menus, discounts, or traditional Thai New Year’s performances.

My favorite Thai restaurant (I ate there last night) Pana Thai, (7224 Muncaster Mill Road, Derwood, MD 301-990-8501) is participating!

More information and a full list of participating restaurants is available on the Royal Thai Embassy website or in the Washington Post article Spring Brings Thai Specialties.

Suk-san Wan Songkran