Saturday, November 10, 2007

Birthday Club

Today was our fall Birthday Club party. We usually have a theme - we've done tea parties, Greek, a Hawaiian luau, but today, in honor of LSU's Homecoming Game, we had a Girly Tailgating Party. Everyone dressed in LSU attire (I had to buy something to wear) and we had Louisiana tailgating food. (I'm sure most northerners wouldn't consider Gumbo to be football food).

Here's what I made to bring. Morgan made Connie's Famous Guacamole.

I made Rachel Ray's Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. I discovered the recipe on Sweetnicks' blog. I couldn't find Frank's hot sauce, so I used Louisiana Crystal Hot Sauce.

I also made Wilted Spinach Salad with Candied Pepper Bacon. YUM!!! I doubled this recipe. It's from a Pampered Chef cookbook, Spin on Salads.

Bacon and Salad

4 slices thick-cut bacon

1 tbsp packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

1 6-oz package fresh baby spinach

1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into thin wedges (I used my handy-dandy Apple Corer Peeler Slicer with the peeler disengaged - worked wonderfully!)

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion wedges

salt and coarsely ground pepper

2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut into wedges

For Dressing:

1 tbsp reserved bacon drippings

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp Dijon mustard

For bacon, line a small bar pan with parchment paper. Arrange bacon slices in a single layer; sprinkle evenly with brown sugar and pepper. Microwave on HIGH 3-5 minutes or until crisp; drain on paper towels. Reserve 1 tbsp bacon drippings. Cut bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.

Wash spinach and drain well. Combine spinach, apple, and onion. For dressing, whisk bacon, brown sugar, vinegar, and mustard in a microwave-safe bowl until well-blended. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes or until bubbly. Right before serving, pour dressing over spinach mixture; toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Top salad with egg wedges and bacon pieces. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.

I also made Brown Sugar Shortbread. This was quick, easy, and delicious. I think I will need to make another batch next week for the family. It was just a little sweet and would be delicious with a steaming mug of something hot, like tea or cocoa. It's also a Pampered Chef recipe from the book Delightful Desserts.

1 cup pecan halves, chopped, toasted, and divided

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

2 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coarsely chop pecans. Heat a small saute' pan over medium high heat until hot. Add pecans and toast 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until nuts are golden brown. Remove pecans from pan and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and salt. Mix well. In another bowl (or in your KitchenAid mixer), beat butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add flour mixture and half of the pecans. Mix well. Dough will be crumbly. (Well, it will be unless you use your KitchenAid mixer. I also let mine knead the dough for me and took it out when it was smooth.)

Turn dough out onto floured cutting board; knead gently just until dough holds together. Form dough into a ball, then flatten into a disk and place on a round pizza stone. Using a floured roller, roll dough out into a 10-inch circle, about 3/8 inch thick. Sprinkle remaining pecans over dough and gently press nuts into dough.

With pizza cutter, lightly score dough (cut about 1/8 inch deep) into 16 equal wedges. This will make cutting baked shortbread easier. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a deep golden brown.

Cool 10 minutes on baking stone. Using pizza cutter, cut into wedges; remove to cooling rack and cool completely. If you have any left, you may store them in a tightly covered container. But shame on you if you have any left. :^D

Here's our gumbo and salad. Yum! We had SO MUCH delicious food!

I love birthday parties where the guests receive gifts as well as give them!

Here are the birthday girls! Hope you had a great day, ladies!

And.....LSU won their game!


De'Etta said...

Your parties always look so fun! Lots of great updates today.....cute photos of children and animals....

Romany said...

When we get to heaven, I'm going to YOUR parties!

Teeny said...

LOVED it!!!! Thanks again for everything...and I'm almost ready upload all of my pics for everyone. You too :-D

Cynthia said...

YUM! Your recipes look delicious! I need to be sure to plan to be visiting you sometime when you're having a party! I LOVE parties!

Kristine said...

Is that like a cookie FINGER???

The Spinach Salad recipe, Ginger . . .yum. This is going on my "must make" list.

Ginger said...

Cynthia, we'll have to throw you a "An SHS'er Is Coming To Visit" party! With loads of goodies!

Kristine, that is a chocolate candy finger with crispies - the lips had chocolate and peanut butter.

Emily said...

Oh my goodness what fun!!!!!!!!

Junebug said...

All that food looks delicious. Look at Morgan with that big knife. Cool! I have an apple/corer/peeler from Pampered Chef. I love their stuff. I am going to try that spinach salad.

Ginger said...

Yes, Junebug, Morgan always picks the big knife. :^) But she has not cut herself yet - she is great witha chef's knife! My little Giada deLaurentis!