Geez, well, the days leading up to my party were completely a blur. I was going back and forth from Stater Brothers to Target and back over and over again. My oldest had soccer practice and then I had a meeting for my other soccer player the next day. The day after that, my girls had auditions at their dance studio, and getting all their stuff ready that they needed was a bit nerve-wracking. All the while, I was trying to shop for, and finalize the menu for, and prep for, the meal that I was going to make for my family when we celebrated my birthday.
First off, I actually got a card from my husband for my birthday! It was unexpected, and I am a sucker for them, so that made it awesome. Of course, the gift he got me didn’t come till the next day but I loved it because I picked it out and it was something that I needed and wanted. An apron! An Anthropologie apron! The price was comparable to others I had looked at and shipping was free plus they have a really nice selection so hopefully this won’t be the last. It really came in handy making this big meal. I do feel a bit bad, my husband didn’t get to celebrate with us. He had to work, but usually my birthday isn’t a big deal. My family and I go out to eat and that is it. I just wanted to cook this year.
Did I mention that I picked the HOTTEST week of the summer, to cook this meal? Yeah, that happened. Fortunately, it didn’t get above 82° in my house, with the oven on, in the late afternoon (we get the afternoon sun in the living room), even though it was about 25° hotter outside. My air and fans were working overtime. My family kept asking me, in the week leading up to the party, what we were having and I swear as soon as I settled on “lasagna” the weather decided to start warming up.
For the party, I had been cleaning the house all week. My two and a half year old did not make that easy. Everyday, a new set of 25 different toys would litter the floor. My oldest helped me lots on the day of the party. The threat of “Okay, I guess your cousins can’t come over then,” was REALLY effective! Trying to get house stuff, party stuff, and food stuff ready at the same time is always a challenge. This was the first time that I think I did well time wise with my prep work. I did run a little behind on my cake and that pushed a few other things behind. The prep work I did for the lasagna was spot on (food processor work, I don’t have one, I have two small choppers so I made sure to do that ahead of time since I would have to do work in smaller batches). I am wondering, though, if I couldn’t have made the entire thing the night before? Maybe I can try that out soon because, unfortunately, the lasagna is the one recipe I won’t be posting. I didn’t take any pictures! I really liked it but I still think I am going to change it a little before I try it again then put a post up for it.
Dicing the pepperoni was kind of a chore and took a bit more time than I was prepared for. I looked up one of the sources credited for the recipe and she suggested using the mini pepperoni and I am SO going to do that next time. The puffs were so flavorful and overall (not counting chopping pepperoni) really easy to make! The kabob came out of the necessity to have a second dessert for unadventurous relatives. I cannot actually take credit for making them, my oldest did. All mommy did was cut up the strawberries and pound cake and put on the chocolate at the end.
My GeekyLink, today, is a promo for FRINGE. The best sci-fi show (besides Dr. Who, of course) that you are not watching. It follows a Fringe Division of the FBI that is kind of like the X-Files. There is an alternate universe (or at least there was until the end of last season), unethical(?) scientists, and extremely smart women characters. John Noble is amazing in it. Eye candy Joshua Jackson is in it, or at least I hope he still is, he kind of fizzled away at the end of the season finale. That is what the promo is about. Please check it out!
Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
adapted from Cassie Craves
3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or italian/pizza blend)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
1 cup cubed pepperoni (or package mini pepperoni rounds)
1/2 cup store-bought pizza sauce
Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 24 cup mini muffin pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and italian seasoning. Whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, parmesan cheeses and pepperoni. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Stir the batter and divide among the mini muffin cups. I used a 3/4 full cookie scoop. It made it SO easy! Bake until puffed and golden, 20-25 minutes.
When ready to serve, warm the pizza sauce in the microwave to use for dipping.
Sara Lee frozen pound cake
semi sweet chocolate cake
The amounts vary depending on how many you want to make. Wash and hull the strawberries. Cut the cake into one inch squares. Put the kabobs together any way you want. Lay the complete kabobs on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Melt the chocolate and drizzle over your finished kabobs. Put in the refrigerator to set.
So easy an 8 year old can do it!