Sunday, September 4, 2011

Elizabeth's Birthday Celebration

As a family, we celebrated Elizabeth's birthday on Saturday. The tradition of having the birthday honoree pick all their favorite meals and activities for the day continues. Elizabeth kept her choices pretty simple which was great for me by trying some new homemade items in keeping with my recent motto of "why buy what I can make".

Breakfast was a selection of fresh fruits - watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, grapes and raspberries with homemade muffins. I made blueberry muffins and Val made banana crumb muffins and both were delicious.

Lunch was a Chef's salad which she has picked for a few years in a row now for lunch. A bed of nice crisp Romaine lettuce, some sliced turkey breast, sliced ham, slivers of American cheese, cubes of Cheddar cheese, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and wedges of hard-boiled eggs. There was a choice of two homemade dressings - The Best Salad Dressing in the World (literally the name of the recipe we found online by googling the best salad dressing in the world) and homemade Ranch. There were also 3 store-bought dressings. There was a choice of homemade honey oatmeal bread and homemade sourdough bread. I made some red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for dessert for lunch. Elizabeth loves red velvet cake (might be the choice for their wedding cake) and I had been wanting to try a recipe for them so it was the perfect time to give it a shot. They were delicious!

Dinner was a "make your own pizza bar". I made another batch of pizza dough on Friday and stuck them in the freezer so Saturday morning all I had to do was pop the frozen dough in the refrigerator to thaw. By dinnertime they were ready to be rolled out. I took the dough that would normally make a medium size pizza and divided it in four to make individual size pizzas. Once I had the dough rolled out on a piece of parchment paper each person came in and topped their pizza. The toppings included a choice of jarred pizza sauce, the homemade sauce I had made earlier (which is way too spicy), cooked ground beef, slices of pepperoni, caramelized onions, sauteed green and red peppers, sauteed mushrooms, black olives, shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan. Each pizza went in the oven for 8 minutes. It was a lot of fun and everyone got exactly the perfect pizza for them. Her dessert choice was Peanut Butter Pie which is somewhat of a family favorite.

With my new motto, here is a list of what I made for this special day:
Blueberry Muffins
Sourdough Bread (from previous batch where I had stuck one loaf in the freezer)
Honey Oatmeal Bread
Ranch Dressing (using some of the mayonnaise)
The Best Salad Dressing in the World
Red Velvet Cupcakes and Cream Cheese Frosting
Pizza Crust
Pizza Sauce
Peanut Butter Pie.

I have been posting a recipe a day lately and now I am faced with the decision of which recipe to post and I think it will be for my blueberry muffins which I have been making for years.

Blueberry Muffins
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup milk
2 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Mix all ingredients except blueberries until smooth. Add berries. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 25 minutes.

These muffins come out perfect every time, the trick is not to overbeat the batter since it has baking powder in it.

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