Birthday Dinner for Friends

During my catering days, I had the blessing of rarely having to make desserts, especially birthday cakes or wedding cakes. It's something that I have always conveniently avoided by having my partner or other bakers to do it.

Growing up in Korea, I never saw my mother bake a cake; we did not have an oven in our kitchen. So when my friend asked me, "Oh, could you do a cake?", the word "yes" just rolled out of my mouth before I could think how stressful it would be for me to make one. Was I in a trance? My "yes" personality is still very alive even after forty-something age.

I wrestled with the cake and spent more time than the entire meal. And after completing the cake, I was completely exhausted. Baking is so hard for me.....I wish I liked baking.

With the left over batter and icing, I made some cupcakes for my four children. They were so happy to get such special treats. Glad that they enjoyed them because it will be a long~ time before they get something like these again!

But for the rest of the meal, I was HAPPY to put together a nice summer menu for my friend and her family:

Hot Crab and Artichoke Dip with Crackers
Tomato and Cucumber Sandwiches

For Entree:
Kabobs of Beef Tenderloin, Pesto Chicken, Shrimp, and Vegetables
Orzo Pasta Salad
Blanched Asparagus with Basil Cream Dressing
Fruit Platter
Assorted Bread with Boursin Cheese

Chocolate-Raspberry Ganache Cake with Chocolate Butter Cream
(aka: Why-Did-I-Say-Yes Cake)

Cucumber and Tomato Sandwiches

Beef Tenderloin, Veggies, Shrimp, and Chicken Kabobs

Cool, refreshing Orzo Salad with Lemon-Mustard Dressing (for recipe, click here)

Fresh Fruit Platter

Blanched Asparagus

Assorted Bread with Boursin Cheese


  1. Yummy! YUMMY! Wish I was at that party! I would LOVE to have the recipe for the orzo salad...

  2. I wish I was at the party, too, Em. Just the food went! See previous post on Orzo recipe.

  3. The cake is BEAUTIFUL! You shouldn't stress about it!

  4. i'd love to get a copy of that cake and frosting recipe you used... it looks simply amazing!

  5. OOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! That sounds great to bad I wasn't there I LOVE baking!!!!!