I confess, I love my birthday. This is not news to my family who I suspect writes the day on their calendars in BOLD 72 font lest they forget to call me or Facebook post at 12:01 am. But you may not be aware of just how serious I am. I begin the day earlier than usual, (why miss a minute), and answer every phone call like this: ‘Hello it’s me and it’s my special day!!’

Most people are still speaking to me.

You know the folks who make you promise not to have a cake and sing happy birthday to them? What’s wrong with them??? I say, sing away, make a fuss, bring the pomp and the presents and oh yes, some jewelry never hurts. It’s my special day after all!

This year lived up to all my expectations: Friends, family, way too much fried food (which in its own way extended the birthday a few days but that’s probably TMI) and no post-party depression in the morning. Although I did roll over in bed and quietly sniffle…it’s not my special day anymore. Sigh.

Being the Food Therapist I was prepared with a morning after ‘pill’. Anticipating a low, I had a recipe ready to go. Something simple, festive, and that would remind me that although I had to wait another year for my special day, I only had to wait a few hours to feel celebratory.

Readers of my new book, Cook Your Marriage Happy, the first title in my Cook Yourself Happy series, will be familiar with my Chill on it Icebox Cake. This version takes it up a little notch, just like our age, and possibly our belt loops.

Purists and professionals please do not look down your noses. Icebox Cake, customized, is a little party on a plate. And it looks way more impressive than it is to make, as opposed to how long it takes me to look impressive (aka no older) each year.   My version is similar to what our local bakery used to call a Victory Cake. Its colorful and creamy and decadent.

Simply layer strawberries, kiwi, and banana with whipped cream or cool whip on graham crackers or chocolate wafers three times. Add another fruit? Sure. Make up your own size dish? Why not? Then pop in the fridge.

Looks very nice in glass, such as a loaf or trifle dish, takes all day to meld, but when done, comfort food and a Victory presentation. And hey, isn’t every birthday just that, a Victory?

As always, you can cook yourself happy through ANY situation and even when you’ve had the happiest of weeks, you can cook yourself even happier! Happy birthday to me (I may have mentioned that I had a special day) and to you too! Hope your special day is full of singing, dancing, presents, whipped cream, and love.