Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Birthday Feast

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This weekend we had a fantastic time with my dad, sister and her boyfriend in town.  My sister got to stay a few days and that visit happily overlapped with two days my dad was in town as well.  I don't get to see them often as they live in Indiana and Oklahoma, respectively, so every visit is a little gift in itself.

My dad is celebrating his 60th birthday this week and since he will be stuck working away from home (his company is located in VA), we wanted to have a special dinner just to celebrate while he was here.

As far back as I can remember, food was central in birthday celebrations for our family.  That one day a year the birthday girl (or boy!) was able to dictate what we ate from the drinks to the entree to the dessert.  It was a lot of power for a 5 year old to have and some years the selections were less than stellar, thanks to my younger sister's preference for strawberry soda!  Most years we all just sat back and enjoyed taking the time to share a special meal together and eat some seriously yummy cake.

My dad always chose to have a birthday cherry pie rather than a cake, so this year my sister whipped up a batch of her famous cupcakes (she has started her own small business baking and selling them out in Indiana for events) complete with a vanilla bean/bourbon cake, cherry filling and a whipped chocolate mascarpone frosting.  AMAZING.  We all ate way too many of those things!

As far as the dinner, I wanted to make something special, but simple.  We went with pulled pork and three different summer salads and as a nod to my sisters past (thankfully!) predilection for berry sodas, a raspberry-lime rickey to drink.

Check out the recipes below, they all were fantastic and I tweaked each one slightly to benefit our tastes, but that pork was by far the easiest and tastiest I've ever made!

Simple Pulled Pork

Tomato Corn Salad

Honey-Lime Fruit Salad

Raspberry-Lime Rickey

Springtime Potato Salad

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