Why Making Your Own Birthday Cake is Awesome

Yesterday was my birthday, and I made my own birthday cake.   Some seem to think that’s wrong, because on your birthday you should not do the work.  But let me just tell you… making your own birthday cake is actually awesome.

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Obviously if you hate making cakes, it’s not awesome. But if you like baking, you should consider making your own birthday cake because…

  1. You can make it as ridiculous as you want.  I wanted a tall cake, so I decided 4 layers was essential. Let’s be honest, 4 layers is really unnecessary, but hey, it’s my birthday.  4 layer cake it is!

  2. It will be exactly what you want.  I love lemon.  8 lemons went into my cake with lemon cream filling and raspberry whipped cream.  I’m not sure who else would take the time to do that if not me.

  3. If you mess it up, it’s ok.  It’s your cake.  No one can hate you because it’s your birthday.  My cake was slightly crooked.  Eh! I’ll survive.

  4. Your birthday is a pretty darn good reason to make a cake, and it’s fun!

  5. It’s basically a gift to yourself.  You’re awesome.  Celebrate you with cake!

  6. You won’t be disappointed, because you know exactly what to expect.

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So if you’re birthday is coming up.  Consider making your own birthday cake.  I promise, it’s more awesome than it seems.

Of course, if you make a cake for yourself, don’t eat the whole thing yourself.  Make sure people sing to you…

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then slice it up and share with the world!

Thanks for everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday and Happy Birthday to everyone celebrating their birthday as well!

What’s your ideal birthday cake? 

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Breakfast Sliders

One of my favorite things to do is  recreate things I tried in restaurants.  A few weeks ago, I met up with a friend for brunch in Long Beach.  We shared an appetizer and an entree and sipped bellinis.  For our appetizers,  we shared some breakfast sliders.

After one bite, I was in love.  I mean… biscuits, eggs, bacon, sausage gravy.

Everything you want in breakfast in one delicious bite.  I knew I had to recreate them, and so I did.

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Breakfast Sliders

1 Recipe for Crazy Good Biscuits
1/2 lb breakfast sausage
1/3 cup flour 3 cups milk (I used low fat)
garlic salt
12 slices of bacon
8 eggs (I used Eggland’s Best)

First make your sausage gravy.  Crumble and cook your breakfast sausage in a large skillet or pot.  Make sure you buy the kind in the tube, not the links.  Once the sausage is almost cooked through, add flour and toss.  Cook a few minutes.  Stream in milk, slowly, stirring constantly to break up lumps.  Add garlic salt to taste. Remember the breakfast sausage is pretty salty on its own so you won’t need too much.  Set aside, leave on simmer to keep warm.

Next make your biscuits and cook your bacon until crispy and set aside.

The last step is to cook the egg.  Scramble the eggs in a bowl.  Pour eggs into a greased, heated skillet.  Cover and allow to cook a few minutes until almost cooked through.  You’re basically making a big egg pancake that you can slice and fold. Once the eggs have almost set, flip over and cook another few seconds.  Remove from heat and slice in half, then slice each half into 1 1/2 – 2 inch thick strips.  You should have 10-12 pieces.

Now assemble your sliders. Slice the biscuits in half.  On the bottom half, lay some sausage gravy, then take an egg strip and fold in half and place on top of sausage gravy, lay on some bacon and top off with top of biscuit.  Repeat until all your sliders are ready.  This recipe will make about 10-12 sliders.

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These coincided with the fact that Eggland’s Best send me some egg coupons to throw a Brinner Party.  These were the perfect appetizer.

So if you’re having a Brinner party or if you just want to have an awesome breakfast-inspired treat, this is it.

breakfast sliders

ALSO, this is my entry for the Eggland’s Best “Your Best Recipe” contest.  Cross your fingers for me, then submit your own recipe!

Here are the contest details:

2014 Eggland’s Best “Your Best Recipe” Recipe Contest:

  • Visit the Eggland’s Best website to learn about their 2014 Eggland’s Best “Your Best Recipe” Contest
  • Eggland’s Best will be accepting original recipes through their website until July 31st
  • One Grand Prize Winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize and a year supply of EB eggs
  • Category winners will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and a six-month supply of EB eggs

Pretty awesome, right?  Who doesn’t want to win eggs and money?

Speaking of which, one more day to enter the Eggland’s Best giveaway to win some Eggland’s Best Eggs and a $25 Visa gift card!  Click here to enter!

 

What’s your favorite brunch/brinner appetizer??

Brinner Party: Build Your Own Breakfast Burrito

Disclaimer: The Eggland’s Best coupons, promo items, information, and two gift cards have been provided by Eggland’s Best.

I’m a huge fan of breakfast for dinner.   I probably have breakfast for dinner at least twice per week.  The beauty of breakfast is that it’s flexible.  While usually my breakfast for dinner (aka Brinner) is usually pretty simple (i.e. eggs and beans), you can get full on fancy with brinner.  I’m glad to know other people share my affinity for Brinner, especially Eggland’s Best.

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Eggland’s Best is an egg company.  You might have seen them around the grocery store or on Twitter or Facebook.  I had never tried their eggs before but when they offered some up to throw a “Brinner Party,” I was all over it.

I mean who can say no to eggs? They’re a little bit great (don’t forget how awesome Egg Salad on a Hot Dog is!)

Given my love of Eggs, Brinner and Food Parties (Hi, remember Peanut Butter Party and Chicken & Waffles?), a Brinner party was a natural next step.

We all know any good dinner party needs:

  • A drink
  • An Appetizer
  • An Entree
  • Dessert

I hit 3 out of 4 with this party.  You won’t believe this but I actually skipped dessert! (Who am I?!?!)

I had high hopes for dessert, but didn’t follow through because everyone was too full from the menu.  Must have been all those eggs! (PROTEIN! It keeps you full!) <— This is NOT me making a health claim… not that I ever do.

This brinner party also coincided with the World Cup Final.  So of course, any sporting event (and brinner party) needs a good cocktail.  I went with peach bellinis with fresh homemade peach puree:

PeachBellini

Super simple.  Peel some peaches, throw them in the food processor (or vitamix) and mix with your champagne of choice.  Then ta-da! Serve up! No added sugar just peach and alcohol.

With cocktails served, first up were the appetizers.  Since the world cup was going on, I decided to keep it sports friendly.  I don’t know about you, but sliders are one of my favorite sports-watching-foods.  So how about some breakfast sliders?

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These are all sorts of awesome.  Biscuits. Eggs. Bacon. Sausage Gravy.

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You’re welcome.  I’ll do a full recipe post on these soon!

After the game and some chatting and hanging around, it was time for dinner.

When it comes to dinner parties, I’m a big fan of interactive meals.  I think my friends are starting to get tired of it, but I love having make-your-own-____ meals.  It takes the pressure off of the host to have everything timed perfectly and it also lets guests pick and choose what they like (in the event your guests are picky or have food allergies).

When I was brainstorming the perfect Brinner party meal that would be tasty, fun and hearty, I couldn’t stop thinking of burritos.  So that’s what she wrote… Build Your Own Breakfast Burrito Brinner Party!

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As everyone made their burritos, I snapped a few photos.  I love seeing what everyone decided to add to theirs.

Included in the breakfast burrito bar:

  • Burrito Sized Tortillas (seriously enormous)
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Tater Tots
  • Breakfast Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Chorizo
  • Avocado
  • Sour Cream
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Salsa
  • Cotija Cheese

I had an awesome time with this Build Your Own Breakfast Burrito Brinner Party.  I hope my guests did too!

In addition to being awesome and providing me with plenty of eggs for this Brinner party, Eggland’s Best is also giving one lucky Foodologie reader an Eggland’s Best Prize Pack!

 

To Enter, Head over to Facebook and Click the Giveaway tab on my page

You can get a new entry every day by tweeting about the giveaway.  You can also enter by liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter or commenting on this post.  No matter what you do, don’t forget to go to the Giveaway Tab on Facebook and use the little module to enter there.  If you don’t use that, your entry won’t count!

So spread the word and tell the world about this Brinner Party!

The Giveaway ends July 24th at 12am and is open to US residents only (sorry, no P.O. Boxes).  Winner will be announced that day.

 

What’s your favorite way to have Breakfast for Dinner (BRINNER!)?

Egg Salad Hot Dog

I’m pretty sure Honey Boo Boo would love this meal.

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I saw her fill a bath tub with mayonnaise once and the play in it.  That tells me she’d be all over this.  It’s really all sorts of classy.

Eggland’s Best sent me some eggs for a party I’m planning soon, so clearly I’ve been thinking about eggs a lot.  I had the idea on a random day that egg salad would be great on a hot dog, because I’m pretty much sure hot dogs go great with most things.

I’m not sure I’ve ever told you this, but I love hot dogs.  No really.  Like a lot.  It’s borderline weird how much I like hot dogs.  So when I thought hmm I bet egg salad would be good on a hot dog (because that’s what I think about in the middle of the day, totally normal), I decided to put it to the test and Jesse was my guinea pig.

Jesse came home to find my creation even though we had plans to do some grilling.  I think we were both pleasantly surprised…

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I know it sounds like a weird combination, but I promise, it’s really tasty.  Also, since this is clearly the classiest of meals (insert heavy sarcasm), I won’t judge you if you want to eat this in private. But let’s be honest, you should probably own the classiness and tell the world about this awesome combination. eggsaladhotdog

 

Egg Salad Hot Dogs

4 eggs, hard boiled
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 heaping teaspoon Barn Burner Mustard
dash of garlic salt
1 green onion, chopped
4 hot dogs
4 buns

Dice hard boiled egg.  Mix egg with mayo, mustard, garlic salt and white part and half the green part of one green onion.

Heat hot dogs as you’d like. Boil. Grill. Microwave.  Whatever you prefer.

Lay hot dog on bun. Top with egg salad.  Garnish with remaining green onion.  Serve with ketchup if you’d like.  Makes 4 hot dogs.

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I tried to keep it light on the mayo.  What really added the flavor here was the mustard.  I’ve told you about Green Mountain Mustard before: HERE and HERE.   Seriously, their Barn Burner is what makes this awesome.  If you can’t get your hands on this mustard, maybe try putting some hot sauce in the egg salad.

To top off the classiness, I have to tell you I put ketchup on mine.  No regrets.

Ok so egg salad on a hot dog.  I’m going to need you to trust me (and Honey Boo Boo).  It’s pretty great.

awesome

 

What do you think?  Egg salad on a hot dog? Any other strangely awesome combos?

Blueberry Lemon Thyme Pie in a Bourbon Crust

Before this week, I hadn’t made a pie in a really long time.  I had almost forgotten how fun it is to make a pie.

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There’s something really special about making a pie.  I think it has to do with all the steps.  It’s a process, but almost always, it’s worth it.

With this pie, it’s totally worth it. I can honestly say, I thoroughly enjoy making pies.  I love making the dough and using my fingers to break up the butter.  I love rolling out the dough to fit the pie pan.   I should also tell you that I’m a little bit in love with the crust.  I decided bourbon was a good idea, so I used bourbon instead of water.  Then I decided thyme goes great with blueberries and lemon. So why not?  I won’t lie, the thyme gives the pie a really earthy flavor.  I’m not sure it will be to everyone’s liking.  If you aren’t into earthiness, omit the thyme and you will have one rockin’ pie.

The only part of pie-making that I’m not crazy about is chopping fruit.  With this pie, this is a non-issue. pieingredients

This is pretty much the pie for those who don’t like to chop things.  There’s really zero chopping involved.  Just rinse your blueberries, grate your lemon and pluck some thyme off the stem, then throw it all together with some sugar and flour.  It all is pretty simple. blueberrylemonpie2

Of course with any pie, you can always get fancy.  Lattice tops are always fancy.  I tried to get even fancier by using a spoon to crimp the edge.  Oh and the little heart adds a nice touch, right?  All sorts of cute! blueberrylemonpie3

  I’m a fan.  If you’re in the mood for a fancy pants pie that is comforting and earthy (is earthy a bad thing?), this is the jam:

Blueberry Lemon Thyme Pie in a Bourbon Crust

For Crust:

350g all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, cold
1/4 cup bourbon

For Filling:

1.5lbs fresh blueberries (5 cups)
3/4-1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp fresh thyme  

First make your crust.  Mix together dry ingredients.  Cut your butter into cubes, using your fingers work into your flour mixture until you get coarse crumbs.  Add bourbon and work into a ball.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.  Resting is a critical part of pie dough  making.  If your pie dough is shrinking, it’s because it hasn’t rested enough. So let it chill in the fridge a few hours. Pour yourself a glass of bourbon while you wait.

When you’re ready to make your pie, make your filling.  In a bowl, combine all ingredients Roll out the crust, half for the bottom and half for the top.  Place one half in the bottom of the pan.  Fill with fruit filling.  Then make a lattice top (or just roll it out and cut a few slits in the top), crimp as desired.

 If you want some cool pie crimping ideas, check this out. Put your pie in the freezer while you preheat your oven to 350F.  Once heated, bake for about an hour or until the blueberries are bubbling all around. Allow to cool completely and serve. eatingblueberrypie

Blueberry pie always looks like a mess when served.  But that’s part of the fun of pies.  Unlike layer cakes, pie aren’t perfect.  They’re messy and chunky, but overall pretty great.

 

I’m really interested to try more herbs in pies.  I’m thinking maybe strawberry basil might be a good combo.

Any other ideas?  How do you feel about pies? Fan? Not so much?