March 21, 2010

Celebrating Jay's Birthday

Yesterday was Jay's birthday. I made his favorite breakfast, Eggs Benedict. Personally, I don't like it, because I don't like Hollandaise sauce, but I make it for Jay on special occasions.

[By the way, here is the easy way I make "fake" Hollandaise sauce: Combine 1/4 c. sour cream, 1/4 c. mayo, 1 tsp. lemon juice, and 1 tsp. mustard in a small sauce pan and heat. This is enough to cover 2 eggs. Jay says it's great.]

Jay spent most of the day helping Collin make his car for the upcoming Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. That was how he wanted to spend the day, so he was happy.... especially since he likes how it's turning out.

I spent most of the day (after my 10 mile bike ride....aaahhhh) making a birthday cake for Jay. He usually wants "Hula Hula Dream Cake," but this year he wanted something like it, but strawberry. So I had to get creative.

I found a fantastic recipe* for strawberry cake on (How do I know it is fantastic since I'm not eating sugar? Well, I accidentally licked my fingers when I was making it.... ooooooops. And besides, Jay said it was. I put a piece in the freezer for me.). I modified the recipe a little bit.

To make it like "Hula Hula Dream Cake," I mixed a large box of instant banana pudding with 2 cups milk and 8 oz. cream cheese and spread that on top of each layer, then covered the whole thing with 8 oz. Cool Whip.

Then Jay and I went to District for dinner. It has become one of our favorite restaurants; we have been at least a half a dozen times and have never been disappointed in the least. The food is delicious, the service is excellent, the atmosphere is nice, and the prices are very reasonable (dinner entrees are $15-$23). (Plus it's in a great location if you are headed to an event downtown afterward.) The menu is changed a bit every season, but there are a few items that always seem to be there, and they are definitely worth trying; the Baked Tomato Soup, the salmon with shrimp risotto, and the short ribs. (The breakfast buffet is delicious too.)

Last night we tried the Shrimp Po' Boy Sliders as a starter. We were kind of sad to not have the tomato soup (we have had it every other time we've been because we love it, but we decided to try something different) but the sliders were excellent! Then Jay had the filet mignon, which absolutely melted in your mouth; it came with potatoes and mushrooms which were also very good. I had the halibut, which was slightly spicy and very delicious, and came with jalapeno cheddar hush-puppies and a crab fondue that was HEAVENLY! I couldn't stop gushing about it every time I took a bite.

Then we walked a block to symphony hall and enjoyed the Phoenix Symphony concert featuring Mozart's "Requiem." It was excellent, as usual. It was a very nice evening, and a great way to celebrate the birth of the man of my dreams. :) (He is going to hate that I put that in.....)

(from with a few modifications)

1 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
1 (3 oz.) pkg. strawberry jello
4 room temp. eggs, separated (the recipe didn't separate them, I did)
2 3/4 c. pre-sifted cake flour (I used all-purpose, but I did pre-sift before measuring)
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. strawberry puree (I just threw some frozen strawberries in the food processor and chopped them up fine, then measured out 1/2 cup. I put the left overs on top of the filling.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9" round cake pans. Cream together butter, sugar and gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks one at a time; mix well after each. Combine flour and baking powder and stir into batter, alternating with the milk. Blend in vanilla and strawberry puree. Beat eggs whites until soft peaks form; fold into batter. Divide the batter between pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool on rack at least 10 minutes before carefully removing from pans.

NOTE: The batter was really thick, making a very dense and moist cake, but that's not necessarily bad. If you want it lighter/fluffier, I would probably add a little more milk and a little less flour.


  1. Sounds great! I never got around to trying the orginal...what did he thing about the strawberry version? Let me know and I try it. Did you take a picture?

    I hope all is well with you.

  2. have succeeded in making me sooooo hungry!! I, too, am off sugar. However, I am eating one "treat" a week. Just didn't have the guts to go cold turnkey. However, if I'm making something such as a cake, I allow myself one lick...have to make sure it's good and that I got the ingredients right! :)


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