Birthday Dinner

There hasn’t been much cooking going on in our house lately.  On July 2nd, we left for an 11-day Alaska vacation.  We got home, I spent two days doing laundry, and then Gray and I headed to Mount Vernon to visit my parents for a few days.  The only thing I had to do with this meal was to make the requests  —  until it came time to assemble the cake.  That’s because this is my birthday dinner.

My mom always made a big deal about our birthdays when my sister and I were growing up.  We typically got a few presents, but the big deal was the birthday dinner.  We got to pick out every single detail of the meal.  Over the years, everyone settled into their favorites — my sister always asks for cherry delight, my dad goes for banana pudding, and I request my dad’s ribs and crunchy coleslaw.  This tradition continues on — and even at 35 (plus 12), I still make a point to go home during July so that my mom can make me a birthday dinner.  After all, why should I deprive her of such joy even if I am a grown adult?

By the way, here’s the slaw recipe:

Crunchy Cabbage Salad

  • 1 bag coleslaw mix
  • 1 package Ramen Oriental Chicken Flavored Noodle Mix, noodles broken into pieces (save the flavor packet for the dressing)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package chicken flavor packet from the Ramen noodles
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Toss the cabbage, noodles, and onions in a bowl.  Mix the ingredients for the dressing.  When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the slaw mix and toss well.

But I never fall into a routine for my cake.  It runs the gamut — dirt pudding, a bakery cake, apple pie.  I had trouble deciding on this year’s cake — but then I had an epiphany.  I remembered a cake my mom stumbled onto a few years ago.  This thing has my name written all over it — chocolate cake, peanut butter cream cheese frosting, Oreo pieces, chopped peanut butter cups, fudge frosting.  It’s like Missy created this just for me!

Missy’s Peanut Butter Passion Cake

for the cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup room temperature coffee
  • 1 cup buttermilk

for the frosting:

  • 8 ounces room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powder sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces non-dairy whipped topping

additional toppings:

  • 1/2 cup chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
  • 2 cups chopped peanut butter cups
  • 1/4 cup prepared fudge frosting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 2 – 9″ round pans and set aside.  Using an electric mixer, combine sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Beat for 1 minute.  Gradually add remaining ingredients, alternating wet and dry, and beat for 2-3 minutes at medium speed.  Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for approximately 30 minutes.  Allow to cool, then refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, powder sugar, salt, peanut butter until smooth.  Using a spatula, fold in whipped topping until smooth.  Chill frosting about 1 hour.

To assemble, cut the rounds in half so that there are four layers.  Spread a layer of frosting over the first round, then sprinkle with cookie pieces, peanut butter cups, and drizzle fudge.  Place the second layer over the first and repeat until all layers are on.  Then frost the remainder of the cake.  Once frosted, sprinkle the top with cookie pieces, peanut butter cups, and drizzle with fudge.

birthday caek

Happy Birthday to me.


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