It’s extremely hard for me to understand how people aren’t close to their mothers. My mom is my best friend and the first person I tell almost anything going on in my life. She knows 99% of everything about me, and would do anything in the world for me. Its not unusual to find me hanging out with her on the couch watching a House Hunters marathon on a Saturday night.
I would like to think that I know her almost as well as she knows me and sometimes I think we can read each others brains. On more than one occasion, we have blurted out the same exact thing at the same exact time.
So, when her birthday comes around, it definitely means she deserves a special dinner and a special cake.
I wouldn’t just make shrimp for anyone (I really hate seafood).
On the menu tonight was:
- Mozzarella, Basil, and Tomato Salad
- Roasted Asparagus
- Linguine with Shrimp Scampi
- Birthday Cake (of course!)
The mozzarella salad so delicious and so easy!
Fresh Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Salad
1 pint of grape tomatoes
1 ball of fresh mozzarella*
15 to 20 fresh basil leaves
fresh cracked pepper
Slice grape tomatoes in half. Julianne the basil, and then slice in pieces in half so they are bite size. Slice mozzarella into small bit size chunks. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil and pepper to taste. Toss together. Cover and let sit in fridge for at least an hour. Serve cold.
*I bought my cheese at the Italian store near my house so it was extremely fresh and huge. If you’re buying them from the grocery store, you might want to buy two balls because they can be kind of small.
I forgot to take pictures of the roasted asparagus, but I just drizzled olive oil with salt and pepper and roasted them at 400 degrees for about 2o to 25 minutes when they were completely cooked and tender.
For the main course, I made the shrimp scampi using Ina Garten’s recipe from one of her cookbooks (but you can find it online as well).
For someone who never cooks or eats any sort of seafood, the recipe was extremely easy for me to follow. I made a few minor adjustments by cutting down on the lemon a bit (my dad doesn’t love it) and omitting the red pepper flakes (my mom doesn’t love them). The best advice I can give is buy the shrimp already peeled and deveined from the market because it makes your life a million times easier, I thought it was worth the extra money. As always when cooking, make sure all of the herbs are chopped and the lemons are juice and zested before you actually start cooking. I obviously didn’t eat it, but everyone really enjoyed it and said they would eat it again in a heartbeat!
Last but certainly not least of course was the birthday cake:
Of course, the inside of the cake had to match the pig theme:
Overall, I was pretty happy with how the cake turned out. I have a lot to learn as far as cake decorating goes, but it all comes with practice. I finally used food gel coloring to make the pink color in the cake & frosting and love it! It really gives an intense color.
For the cake, I used Eat, Live, Run’s yellow cake recipe and for the frosting I used this chocolate buttercream. There was plenty of frosting to frost a double layer cake, but if I had been doing piping on the cake with the chocolate buttercream, I probably would probably have needed more. For the cake, I just doubled everything except the salt to make two 9-inch cakes.
I hope my mom had a wonderful birthday! I sure had a fantastic day cooking and baking 🙂
What do you do to celebrate birthdays?