Today is Paul’s birthday. Although it was a work day and school day we did plenty of nice things (mostly food and gift related.) When we woke up Clark and Tabby brought both of us breakfast in bed. They get such a kick out of doing this and it’s hilarious. First Clark brought in a tray with a note on it that said “garbage tray.” Then they brought it two more trays. We each got a handful of dry roasted peanuts (scattered loose), a couple of crackers, an individual applesauce (with no utensil to eat it with), an orange (old-I was going to throw them away today), and a cup of water. Actually, I think this bizarre assortment of things reflects the state of our pantry and fridge more than their culinary tendencies. They had attempted to bring a bowl of fruit from the fridge, but dropped it and the bowl broke.
After we enjoyed that we went downstairs where I made us all roll ups for breakfast. These are really crepes and we eat them with jam or, in Tabby’s case, Nutella. Presents were opened and admired. Then everyone went off to work and school and I went to the store and to begin work on the menu for the birthday dinner. Paul had requested chicken croquettes, which I feared would be bland, but to my delight they were absolutely delicious! I would definitely make this again. I used a store made rotisserie chicken for convenience, as well as my food processor to really mince up everything fine. And my chicken gravy was way better than the gravy I have bought in the past from the Amish market. I was afraid it would be bland but I made sure to season with ample salt and pepper, and I also used onion and celery in the chicken mixture.
I also made more sourdough bread, though these loaves were not as good as last week’s. They weren’t bad, but they didn’t have nice big air bubbles in the bread, the bottoms were too burned, and the top not golden enough (and I forgot to slash it.)
As for the cake I decided on a classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting, with non-pareils on the sides, and I dipped some strawberries in chocolate to decorate the top. I have to say, it was fantastic.
Looking for a nice simply classic birthday cake? Here’s how I made it:
The Buttermilk Cake (by the way, I certainly didn’t make this up, but I’m not exactly sure where it came from-I have it on a card in my box. maybe Martha Stewart?)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter 1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c sugar 1 tsp baking soda
3 large eggs 1 c buttermilk
2 c flour 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
(make sure your eggs are room temp, buttermilk too)
Beat the butter and sugar quite a while until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Sift the flour and bp and bs. Add 1/4 of the flour mixture to the butter-egg mixture. Then add vanilla and 1/3 of the buttermilk. Continue alternating flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. The recipe does not call for this but I added a pinch of salt.
Bake in the pans of your choice (I did two 8″ square, 9″ would be too thin) for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
5 T milk
1/3 + 1/2 of 1/3 (what’s that?) cocoa (I use Hershey’s Cocoa, you know the rectangular box, old school.)
Happy Birthday, Paul! I hope it was a wonderful day for you 🙂