Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tilapia With Roasted Vegetables for the Birthday Girls

For various reasons--inclement weather, schedules, etc.--my friends and I celebrated our January birthdays on February 1 this year.  We have been doing this for about twenty-five years, give or take a year, now.  It all started when we had just moved here.  After church one Sunday, I overheard Jane and Diana discussing having lunch to celebrate their mutual birthday.  Never shy, I stepped right up to them and announced that I, too, had a January birthday.  What could they do but ask if I'd like to join them?  

We've dined out and in.  Now we take turns hosting the party in our homes.  Ellen, another January celebrant, joined us a few years ago.  Sheila has also joined us as a party guest and our crafting instructor.

This birthday, Jane was our hostess and preparer of our lunch.  The recipe is originally from Weight Watchers and was deliciously tweaked by Jane.  Her recipe is below and contains her changes.  The dish is beautiful to behold and oh so good!  It was accompanied by yeasty rolls.  Our birthday "cake" was actually carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting that disappeared before I had a chance to photograph them.  

Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables and Olives 
Serves four, but is easily extended for more.

Step 1
Spray large rimmed sheet pan with nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix together the following and spread in the pan: 1 pound small red potatoes (halved); 2 yellow bell peppers, cut into bite-size pieces; 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped; 2 teaspoons olive oil; 1/4 teaspoon salt; and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. 
Roast, stirring twice, until potatoes are almost tender, about 30 minutes.

Step 2
Add 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved, to roasted vegetables and stir to combine. Arrange 4 - 6 tilapia fillets on top of vegetables and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Roast until tilapia is opaque throughout, 10 - 12 minutes.  

Step 3  
Divide vegetables and tilapia evenly among plates. Sprinkle evenly with 1/8 cup chopped green or black olives or capers and serve with lemon wedges. Serve with a light green salad and dinner rolls.

These chilly snowmen and snowladies kept us company at the table.

These bookish fellows were charming.  The smaller one is reading one of Jan Karon's Mitford books.  He has excellent taste.

Our craft this year was making felted wool flower pins.  The wool is recycled from old sweaters.

Aren't they beautiful?  

We headed out into the frigid temperatures to go home.  Our hearts were warm with love and friendship!


  1. There is something awesome about friends gathering, eating good food and celebrating life.

    Happy belated birthday wishes to you.

  2. The Flower pins are adorable, the snow men handsome and well read, and the meal with my favorite fish looks scrumptious. Most splendid of all is the friendship and tradition that you celebrate together!

  3. Bonnie, I remember you writing about your lunch together last year. I am a little envious! Having a birthday at the very end of December I need someone to celebrate with:) Oh to have the bookish snowmen for my table this week when I host my book group. Tilapia is one of my favorite white fishes. I do hope you had a wonderful birthday. Bonnie

  4. Happy Belated Birthday Bonnie!! Isn't it wonderful to have such great friends to share special days and special times with?!! I do too, and my female friends are so dear to me!
    Love the wool flower pins!!!
    xo Kris

  5. I love tilapia with I was there!

  6. What a great way to celebrate your birthdays!

  7. Celebrating birthdays together for about 25's amazing!
    Happy belated Birthday, ladies!
    These bookish fellows are really adorable.

  8. Felted wool is of interest to me..One day:)So cute..

    I love Jan Karon's books..
    So wonderful you keep celebrating together.All the best.
    My kind of recipe:)

  9. I LOVE the reading snowmen!! And I also love tilapia! The pins are way cool, and I would love to make heart ones with Ella this week. I have a lot of felt squares, the kind you buy in craft stores. So what else do I need, only a pin back, right? Now, what kind of glue did you use?

    1. Ginny: No glue. They are sewn together. The flowers are made from felted wool sweaters and we used a flower template to cut them out. My friend, who is very artistic, did all the planning, brought everything and held our hand the whole way.

  10. Such tradition cannot be broke. Happy belated birthday!!

  11. What a sweet tradition! I hope it lasts for another 25 years... and more!

  12. Happy belated birthday! What a fun and delicious way to celebrate. :)

  13. It is lovely to have such a nice way to celebrate your birthdays. Your lunch sounds like it was very good.

  14. Happy belated birthday Bonnie!!
    I love tilapia and envy your snowmen:))
    here is so hot!!!
    I wanna arrive soon autumn!

  15. What a wonderful tradition you have started!The menu looks delicious but the importance is being together to celebrate. Love the cute pins! Any chance you will do a tutorial for us?

    Happy belated birthday to y'all!

  16. i just love the flower pins and the fish looks fantastic. What a wonderful party and you are so blessed with wonderful friends

  17. You are so lucky to have such a wonderful tradition with friends! Happy belated birthday to you.

    What a delicious luncheon. Good friends like yours are such a treasure!

  18. Bonnie,
    Your flowers are gorgeous and the lunch looked pretty good too. We are going to wet felt ours (????) from merino wool. I hope to have a picture later today.


  19. I'm here on your blog for the first time, after seeing your comment on my sister Doris's blog. How awesome to find a tilapia recipe first thing! Totally our favorite, and this recipe sounds amazing. I will definitely be using it! Thanks!

  20. Ah! Happy belated birthday to all of you! What a fun way to celebrate. Thank you for sharing another delicious post. I hope you are having a joyful week. You certainly made mine a bit brighter!

  21. That is a wonderful tradition. The meal looks delicious and I love the plate it is on. Oh and happy belated birthday!

  22. What a wonderful way to celebrate birthdays! I am, of course, sending belated wishes your way. It sounds like you all enjoyed the annual celebration and came home from it with flowers to ward off the last gray days of winter. I hope the week is treating you well. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary


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