I recently celebrated my 39th birthday, so I had some friends over. The occasion made a good excuse to try some of the recipes I’ve had pinned & they were enjoyed by all.
Along with the beautiful cake, I had cheesy olives, coconut balls, lasagna rolls, & deviled eggs. I was working up until people arrived, so all of my pics are after the eating had commenced.
Naturally, the cake was the jewel in my crown. I made Betty Crocker’s Orange Cream Poke Cake. It was delicious & everyone raved about it.
The only changes I made to the recipe were to make it a layer cake instead of a sheet cake, add mandarin oranges & shredded coconut, & instead of orange juice in the frosting, I used some of the juice from the can of mandarin oranges. I topped the frosting between the layers with the coconut & oranges, then used more of the oranges as decoration on top of the cake & around the edge. I also piped frozen whipped cream along with the oranges using a plastic sandwich bag. (Put the whipped cream in the bag, snip off the corner, & squeeze it out.) I also used french vanilla cake mix instead of plain vanilla, & I will stick with plain vanilla the next time. It wasn’t bad, I just don’t think it was the most complementary flavor.
My one suggestion for this recipe is make your frosting ahead of time. It is made with a box of jello mix & a box of pudding mix added to whipped cream, among other things, so it needs time to set-up. When I frosted my cake it was too thin, so I had to keep adding powdered sugar to it to stiffen it up. I had extra, & later noticed the leftover icing had thickened to a much better consistency for spreading.
EDIT: 4/17/2014 – I made this cake again, using Golden Vanilla cake mix & letting the frosting mix chill in the fridge for a few hours before using it. The Golden Vanilla was a good swap, but the frosting did not get much thicker. It will still too thin for a frosting a layer cake.
My guests’ second favorite dish was the lasagna rolls. I used Kraft’s Spinach Lasagna Rolls recipe. The only change I made to this one was doubling the recipe. I must have overstuffed them because I only got nine, while the original recipe made six. I did forget the cheese on top & that made a difference. The were fine right out of the oven, but got a little dry soon after. More sauce would have helped as well.
My favorite was the Cheesy Olive Appetizers. I had something similar at a baby shower & couldn’t get enough of them! Cheesy & salty, mmmmm. I followed this one to the letter. Based on the comments, I do recommend using real butter instead of the margarine or a spread. One commentor said he substituted margarine & his melted flat instead of staying round. In that vein, be sure to give them plenty of freezer time. Mine were in there for hours & stayed round when cooked. The ones I had at the baby shower were flat, but I don’t know how she made hers. (The hostess was also a caterer, so she wouldn’t tell me. 😛 )
The Pineapple Coconut Snowballs were really easy. The only change I made was adding crushed pecans. It was a perfect touch.
Last but not least, I made Paula Deen’s Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs. If you can believe it, this was my first time making deviled eggs. They are a must at my family’s dinners, so I’m not sure why it never occurred to me to make them before. It was an easy & straight forward recipe, & I didn’t make any changes.
Have you tried any of these recipes? What are some of your favorite birthday or party foods?