Birthday Dinner!

My dear husband turned 33 last Tuesday. Since I was working that day, we realized a real celebration would be too hard to pull off well. Instead, we celebrated 1 week late. Since I was not working, that gave me plenty of time to prepare his annual birthday feast. I did nearly the same menu as last year, because, really why mess with something so tasty.

Here is what we had:
Short Ribs (This year I did them in the crockpot!)
Orange-Honey glazed carrots
Braised Leeks
Buttermilk Honey Bread
Mashed potatoes (This was the only change from last year - mashed potatoes and short ribs go together like peas and carrots.... or like mashed potatoes and short ribs...)

But the highlight was the dessert. Every year since we've been married, I've made Jeff a German chocolate cake for his birthday. This year I asked him a few weeks ago what he'd like, and he requested root beer float cupcakes. He'd had these on his mind ever since seeing them on the food network. We actually went to this cupcake place in Boston just so he could get one, but the person right in front of us ordered the last one. So last week I did a little "research" trying to find the perfect recipe. (This consisted of me making a few small batches of cupcakes to taste test.) The runner up was a recipe from the always delicious smitten kitchen. I actually preferred this one, because it had chocolate in it, and I'm always up for things that taste more like chocolate. Since it's not my birthday, I let someone else make the final call. The cupcake part was a recipe from guilty kitchen. It uses root beer extract (bought at walmart, near the vanilla) and really gives the cake a strong root beer flavor.

Most of the recipes I looked at called for a whipped cream frosting or root beer flavored frosting. I just did a good vanilla buttercream, to sort of mimic the ice cream portion of an actual float. They were a big hit. Everyone seemed to love them, especially the birthday boy. I had a little too much fun decorating them:

I have a feeling these are going to be part of birthday celebrations for years to come.

Happy Birthday, Honey!


Ken said…
Jeff -- happy belated birthday, and way to pull off a great birthday treat. Rootbeer float cupcakes sound excellent. Did you (somehow) hear about my baked goods birthday?
Banana said…
We just made some Honey Buttermilk Bread last night after reading this yesterday--very unlike me to make yeast bread on a whim; I usually think about it for a week or two first! It's yummy. Jack helped me and was very proud of himself once it came out of the oven and he ate it... I think he was sort of amazed that we could make, well, REAL bread! Hmm, perhaps we should do this more often. :)

By the way, I'm too am smitten with Smitten Kitchen! I'm in pretty deep. So many things to make, so little time!
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