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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Birthday Cooking

When it is your birthday, you generally call the shots from entertainment to dinner plans.  For my son's 25th birthday he wanted to go to Great Adventure, which we did and have the family over for a celebration, which we also did - the same weekend!

Since we were out of the house on Saturday, I had to prepare something fairly easy on Sunday.  Luckily, his pick was pulled pork.  Simple enough to season the meat (several pounds) then place in the dutch oven for about 6 hours, serve with barbecue sauce and hard rolls.  I also grilled chicken breasts for those who may not care for the pork.  The chicken could also be placed on a hard roll if one so desired.  But what else?  What makes it a party?

The classic vegetable platter is always a favorite.  My son tries to limit carbs and though he could never be 100% Paleo in this house (I could never go without my beloved carbohydrates), I do try to cut back. Veggies are bought at the farmers market when possible and I used a Pampered Chef gadget to create the crinkle cuts on the cucumbers.  So fancy!

A creamy and garlic hummus was side by side with a creamy french onion dip for both the veggie platter and a bowl of chips (what's more classic than simple and thinly sliced potato chips?).

For the main course, I wanted something different.  No potato or macaroni or pasta salads.  I still wanted the summer food vibe.  Hmmmm, more veggies... (imagine humming the Jeopardy theme song in your head for a moment.....) ah, what about grilled veggie skewers?  But the veggies don't cook at the same rate. (more Jeopardy song....)  I par boiled the potatoes and sweet potatoes so they would be slightly softer - although truth be known, I went a minute or two too far and broccoli actually wasn't a great idea at all.  I then set up an assembly line and voila!

Once they were place on skewers that had soaked for a few hours in a vase of water I sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper then let them wait on a foil lined pan until the guests arrived.

A buffet line was created in the kitchen.  Rolls, pulled pork, grilled chicken, the veggie skewers, the remaining raw veggies and dips, chips and oh yes, of course corn on the cob.

Dessert time.  We are not a huge birthday cake family and just like the rest of the meal, the celebrant selects the sweet course.  For our son, sliced strawberries, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and brownies!

Not a single complaint. A fabulous day with friends and family.  Easy prep, easy clean up.  What more can anyone ask for on their birthday but to be with people they love and to be Fed Well!?!

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