Sunday, August 9, 2009

Have Your Cake & Eat It Too

For FD's 30th birthday celebration with our families he requested this giraffe cake (photo) from his childhood.

It was as tasty as it was cute.

For his birthday dinner we had a array of apps from Paula Deen's 7-layer Mexican dip to bacon-wrapped cream cheese stuffed hot peppers that were seared on the grill.

For dinner we had Rz wild duck (mallards, woodies, and gadwalls) with marinated flank steak, a spinach pasta salad, a 24-hour layered picnic salad (photo), fresh fruit, garlic cheese bread, and local corn on the cob.

Dessert consisted of the giraffe cake and a Stained Glass Cake.

The only things better than the food, of course, were the company and the cause for such a celebration. Lucky FD who gets multiple birthday dinners throughout the month of August.

24-hour Layered Picnic Salad (combination of mother-in-law's recipe & Cook's Illustrated with notes)

6 c. lettuce chopped (I used Bibb from local farmer)
1 t. salt
1 small red onion, halved and sliced thinly
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1 c. frozen peas
3 small radishes
3 small mild peppers
3 small cucumbers, halved, seeded, and sliced
6 small carrots, sliced thinly or shredded.
1 lb bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled

1 1/2 cup Mayo (NOT Miracle Whip)
3 T cider vinegar
1 T hot sauce
2 t sugar
1 1/2 t black pepper

Directions: Place 1/2 of lettuce in bottom of a very deep glass bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 t salt. Layer onion, eggs, and radishes. Then add 1 c. of frozen peas. (Make sure peas are still frozen; basically you want the peas in the middle of the salad to keep it cold.) Layer peppers, cukes, and carrots. Add remaining lettuce, sprinkle with 1/2 t salt. Top with bacon and cheese.

For dressing combine all ingredients in a bowl then spread evenly over top of the salad.

Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 8 hours up to 24 hours.

To serve, remove plastic wrap and toss until salad is evenly coated with dressing.

Note: Feel free to substitute different veggies for the ones you know your family likes as well as cheese. Depending on how much you like heat feel free to add more or less hot sauce to the dressing. Serves about 12.

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