Janea’s second birthday

Ja-Ja, my niece, has evolved into a little lady since her first birthday. Now double her age, she has grown into her actual name, Janea. For her second birthday celebration, this Saturday, I built the menu around a savory birthday cake made of macaroni and cheese. I have some decorating ideas floating in my head, but we’ll see how it evolves.

Janea doesn’t get many sweets and she certainly prefers pasta to sugary foods, so I know a mac n cheese cake will be right up her alley. I’m serving that and a feast of mezze dishes that I can serve all at once, at room temperature and be done with. For dessert, the rest of us will be enjoying a chocolate peanut butter cake. I am not sure what I mean by that… I’m thinking of devil’s food cake with a peanut butter filling and creamy, dark chocolate frosting. I’m inspired by the memory of these store bought Drakes rolled up cakes, like a Yodel, that had a peanut butter filling. Does anyone remember the name?

Did I mention that I met Rose Levy Bernbaum at IACP conference last month? I love her Devil’s Food Cake recipe. So it will be that and something I make up with peanut butter and cream, like a ganache. For the mezze, I’m inspired by Claudia Roden’s “The Book Of Jewish Food” YUM! YUM! YUM! Pics to come…

  • MENU
  • Mac N Cheese Birthday Cake
  • Middle Eastern Meat Pies
  • Hummus / Tabouleh / Tzatziki Platter with Warm Pita, Grape Leaves & Crudite
  • Homemade Falafel with Tahini Dip
  • Roasted Cauliflower
  • Honey & Chili Marinated Beets
  • Pickled Green Tomatoes, Red Peppers & Green Beans
  • Balsamic Roasted Fennel
  • Minted Zucchini
  • Cumin Mushrooms
  • Tamarind Okra
  • Quinoa Salad
    with braised chard, white beans, basil, feta, red onion and tomatoes
  • Lebanese Cous-Cous Salad
    with scallions, butternut squash, currants, almonds and lemon
  • Mujedera: Lentils, Rice and Fried Onions
  • Yukon Gold Potato, Olive & Carrot Salad
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

  • Hibiscus Iced Tea
  • Ginger Mint Lemonade

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