Happy Birthday!

Friday was my mom’s birthday.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Just like last year, she invited her girlfriends for a nice evening with yummy food. Unlike last year, there was no way for the ladies to sit outside on the patio. It’s been super rainy and yucky here; our neighbor actually lit a fire on Friday. So we extended the dining table and had the party inside.

Like last year, I played catering service and prepared all the food. I started on thursday by making a lemon sheet cake that my mom took to work on friday. When I was a kid, this was my favorite cake. There was no birthday party without it, and it’s still a crowd pleaser today.

When I was done with the cake, I started preparing as much as I could, then made the rest and set the table on Friday. I wanted my mom to be able to relax on her special day. She had to work on Friday, so when she came home I had lunch ready (tortellini with sage butter), and after that she took a nap. She grated zucchinis for me so I could hop in the shower quickly, but other than that and preparing drinks she didn’t have to do a thing.

So, without further ado, here’s all the yumminess:

I used the smaller dessert plates cause the table was pretty crowded. I was glad I could squeeze in some candles and flowers (which were leftovers from my barbecue last weekend). We kept the rest of the light lower than in the pictures; the candles created a nice, warm light.

Let’s take some closer looks at the food!

Honeydew melon, which was super yummy, with original Austrian smoked ham.

I love the combination of the sweetness of the melon and the smokey, salty taste of the ham. Yum!

Chicken skewers with the parmesan-lemon-dip I already made last year and peanut dip that we bought.

I only seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper and a little sweet paprika (which I LOVE for chicken). The parmesan-lemon-dip was a big hit again! I’m so glad I found that recipe!

Of course I made antipasti again!

I made red pepper, carrots and mushrooms. I seasoned the peppers with rosemary and thyme, the carrots with rosemary and sage, and the mushrooms with sage and marjoram. And salt and pepper, of course.

I didn’t make zucchini antipasti this time, because I made zucchini cakes:

I served them with ranch dressing, and everyone LOVED both the cakes and the dressing. This was gone first, altough I doubled the recipe. I didn’t expect them to be such a hit!

I put together a cheese platter:

I pretty much followed this cheese platter tutorial. I used a round platter that actually spins, which was pretty convenient. I chose parmesan, Saint Albray and soft goat cheese, which I rolled in chopped chives. I really want to like goat cheese, but to me it just tastes like petting zoo.

I also served fruit to go with the cheese and the smoked ham.

Grapes on the cheese platter and pineapple and more melon in a separate bowl (love that blue one, by the way). I don’t know what those red things in the background are called; they’re like tiny red peppers. They’re filled with cream cheese, and they taste sweet and spicy. Really yummy, but not homemade (bought them at Aldi).

Not to be missed: Tomato with mozzarella.

I just love those tiny mozzarella balls! They’re so perfect for skewers like these (I used halfed cherry tomatoes).

And then we had some olives, dried tomatoes, filled mushrooms…

If you live in Germany: These were all bought at Aldi. They have a really great antipasti selection! Try the dried tomatoes in oil; chop them up and serve over pasta with a bit of the oil. Yum yum yum!

My favorite part of the night was hearing everyone say to each other how much they liked the food! It was a lot of work, and my back and feet hurt, but it was a lot of fun too! And the best reward is hearing that everyone likes the food and appreciates the work that went into it.

But…

It’s not a birthday without cake, right?

Yesterday, my grandparents came over for cake. We served the rest of the lemon sheet cake, my mom made butter cake, and I made yellow cake (already made it on friday).

It’s not as moist as I expected, but still super yummy!

I didn’t make the frosting though… Back in April, when I graduated, we visited a store in Düsseldorf that sells British and American food, and we bought a can of Betty Crocker that I finally used now.

The root beer I bought is long gone. I’m still mourning it.

Today my mom and I went to her co-worker’s birthday party. She got a bag I made a while ago, and I’m happy to report that she loves it!

And when we came home in the afternoon, I finally took a nap.

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday!

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