Monday, January 3, 2011

Birthday Bash

Before I go into the adventures of my first menu excursion, I want to thank all of you who have read my blog and those who have become subscribers.  It really means a lot to me that you would take the time out of your day to read this.  Also, some of you may be interested in my sister's blog called Saturday Morning Treasures.  You can find her at  She is totally into garage sales and finds the neatest things to set your table with, among other things.  So check her out and learn how to buy things at an inexpensive price but looks like you paid a fortune!!! 
Now, onto the adventures!!!  The first thing I started to bake off was the pound cake.  I knew it is a heavy cake and a large one on top of that (10" bundt pan) so it would take a very long time in the toaster oven.  I should have went to my mother-in-laws and baked it off because I have batter everywhere in my brand new toaster oven!  Because I went to school for Patisserie and Baking, you would think this would have been the easist feat of them all.  Not true.  I am ashamed to admit this was the hardest of all the menu items.  It really was too much batter, so as I said earlier, I had batter everywhere (smelled good though!) I managed to finally get it baked off and let it cool in the window.  When I turned it out onto my homemade dessert plate, it fell in to two pieces.  I had some pretty choice four letter words for that one.  If you are icing a cake this would not be a problem because you could cover it up and no one would know the difference.  This was not one of those cakes.  What to do, what to do.  I just cut out 4 large pieces, made some strawberry coulis and drizzled it on top and placed cut strawberries around it.  Not what Paula Deen had in mind but when life gives you make lemonade!  Or as one of my friends would say, you pair it with salt and tequila and make margaritas! 
I next started roasting the carrots and making the green beans with the new potatoes.  I have to say the green beans and potatoes were excellent!  Really, really, southern dish but it was good!  The carrots were suppose to be roasted for 30 minutes but it seems a toaster oven takes way longer than a regular stove.  I roasted them for about an hour until they were finally done and they too were very good.  The chicken was really easy to make.  You just season it, stick a can of beer up its rear and throw that puppy on the grill.  Very tender and juicy.  Biscuits...easy, corn....easy.  The corn!  A piece of bacon was wrapped around it and holy crap that was good!  A flavor explosion was going on inside of my mouth. 
Now let's talk about the Lace Hoecake Cornbread.  Has anyone ever heard of this?  This must be a deep south dish.  I have never heard of it myself.  It took me a few tries but once I got the hang of it, it seemed pretty easy, I guess.  I mean, what do I have to compare it to?  Honestly, you have to at least try it once in your life, but it was not my thing.  I also have to remember that perhaps some of this food comes from a very different generation.  One that maybe didn't have fancy grocery stores.  You just threw together whatever you had, whatever you could afford. 
I had fun cooking this menu and it was an all day affair.  If you are not an experienced cook, I would suggest you have someone help you.  Overall, I give this menu a very enthusiastic two thumbs up! 
Below you will see some pics.  I would like to thank my sister-in-law, Kerrie, for taking some of them and my mother-in-law, Elizabeth, for letting me use her camera.  My camera crapped out on the very first pic.  I mean really crapped out!  Good bye Polaroid! 

The Menu:

Paula's Birthday Bash
Beer-In-The-Rear Chicken
Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Corn on the Cob
Green Beans with New Potatoes
Lace Hoecake Cornbread
Roasted Carrots
Buttermilk Biscuits
Buttermilk Pound Cake with fresh Strawberries (and my added strawberry coulis)
Fresh Whipped Cream

I will let you know on the next blog what menu I will be cooking next!  Thanks for reading!!!


  1. Wow! Baking a cake in a toaster oven? That seems pretty daunting, I think I would have given up. I think I have had something called hoecakes. It was in Tennessee, when I attended the BBQ for the rehearsal dinner. They were like miniature pancakes, I didn't really enjoy them, and I didn't really care for the BBQ either. Well anyway the pictures of the food looked extremely scrumptious! The table set up was very nice, refined but not over powering. Keep up the good work Aunt Anne!

  2. Wow! All the food looks amazing!!! I really admire you for being an artist when you cook. Wish I had that talent.

  3. Glad you enjoyed it all.....I know how hard you worked on everything...I really enjoyed helping with the pictures....and the beauty on the can...well she is beautiful....but not as much as you....glad you put that picture I took of you on here also....everything looked wonderful....Love You!!!

  4. Mmm that looks good. You're tablescape is fabulous and goes great with the food! Thanks for the promo on your blog!

  5. I for got to ask. Whose birthday? Yours isn't until later this month.

  6. It was the menu for Paula Deen's Birthday Bash. LOL! For my birthday it would be dinner for two at a Mexican restaurant!