A Small Birthday Celebration!

Hey everyone, & happy Monday!  I hope ya'll had a fantastic weekend; we certainly did.  On Saturday morning we went to a cooking demonstration at one of our local Bashas' Grocery stores.  Of course the main reason we went was because the handsome young chef seen below, was one of 5 who would be a part of this "Healthy Cooking" series.

AZ Magazine Healthy Cooking Event Series
Presented by Bashas'

Michael Stebner - True Food Kitchen
Yep, this young man is our son.  After his introduction, Michael said he was a bit nervous (absolutely not true) because the first chef who taught him the love of cooking was in the audience.  I was looking around to see who that might be when he said "My Mom is here today.  And my Dad also!"  My heart skipped a beat & then swelled with pride as everyone applauded.  He did an outstanding presentation (he truly did, I'm not just being prejudiced here), & everyone was clamoring afterwards to shake his hand, talk with him, & get his picture.  They were treating him like a "Rock Star," & treating The Man & I like the parents of a Rock Star!  It was such a fun experience!

The 2 dishes he prepared (everyone got to sample, too) are the following, & I added links to the full recipes of each.  They were both very good.

Avocado, Walnut & Manchego Bruschetta (Recipe HERE) 
 Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad (Recipe HERE)      

Next up on our weekend was a small celebration for our daughter's "41st" birthday on Sunday.  Yikes, 41 years!  How did that happen?  Anyhoo, ya'll know I like to make my own cards.  So about a week ago, I came up with one for our daughter.


The creative process -- just keeping it real!

Ta-dah!  I won't show you the inside because it's all sentimental, mushy & very personal......lol!

Amy is a big fan of The Pioneer Woman & loves Ree's first cookbook, which we gave her a few years ago for another birthday.  When The Man bought the latest one for me for Mother's Day, I knew we had to get one for Amy, too.  Perfect present!

And what could be better for the birthday cake than this Strawberry Shortcake Cake from the new cookbook (Recipe found here on her website)or on pg. 246 of her new cookbook.   This is the pic from Ree's website that I shared yesterday.


And this is my version.  

Sorry, but I didn't get a photo of a nice cut wedge because everyone was so eager to try it, that I completely forgot to take one.....lol!  I will tell you that it was a super-hit!  Absolutely delicious & very rich.  I think I would try making it next time without the cream cheese frosting & just add a dollop of whipped cream to each serving or make a small batch of the cream cheese frosting & only ice around the sides.  It is definitely an A+ recipe!

Our meal was very simple, just hamburgers & hotdogs (the kids' favorite).  I added a salad.....

Apple Salad w/Candied Walnuts, Bleu Cheese, & Pomegranate Vinaigrette (Recipe found HERE).  I also added chopped Red Pear in place of one apple & tossed in a few Craisins.  It is a delicious salad -- even the kiddoes liked it!

We have vegetable-lovin' kids, so this large bowl of "freshly picked from the garden" cherry & pear tomatoes were quite the hit for snacking, along with fresh pineapple.  I also added some slightly grilled pineapple slices to the burgers -- that was so tasty!

All this red & golden deliciousness was picked that morning.

I have a tough time stopping the action to take photos once everyone gets here, & we get into the business of visiting, eating & having fun.  Soooo.....these are my only pics!  I'll just try to do better with people pics next time, which will be in a week when the entire family comes for Memorial Day....lol!

As always, I truly appreciate your visits & most especially your sweet comments.  I appreciate ya'll & hope you keep coming back.


  1. what a lucky family to have so many people who can create such yummy food! and kids who eat veggies, that is a miracle!

  2. Congratulations to your son. Those two dishes look heavenly. I love strawberries and this cake looks delicious. Parents of a rock star...how wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Now that is some yummy looking food! Congrats to your son on a job well done. I can feel your pride right through the computer screen! lol
    Happy Birthday to your daughter.
    It looks like you had a great weekend!

  4. Congrats to the chef! =) What fun and the food looks A M A Z I N G! =)
    xo ~Liz

  5. It looks like you had a marvelous weekend! Congratulations to your son and his parents! :) I know you guys are so proud!

  6. Hi Cas! Oh, the cooking class sounds like fun and your cake, yummy! Congratulations to your son! How wonderful.
    Shine with pride! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  7. You're making me hungry!! It all looks & sounds so good! I know you must have been so proud to be in the audience for your son.

  8. Congratulations on your son's incredible presentation! I didn't know you had a chef in the family. Lucky you! Sounds like your daughter likes to cook too since you got her that cookbook. I bet the food is always good at your house.

  9. that looks DELICIOUS what a fun fun fun experience! found you via the blog hop xo

  10. Hi, Cas

    The food looks great and cake. Seem like a great weekend.


  11. What a great story about your son. You must be so proud, and those recipes look scrumptious! And, close to your daughter, I'll hit (ahem!) 40 this year, and would love to get PW's cookbook for a gift!

  12. Yum! The cake looks amazing Cas.

    Happy Memorial Day weekend to you!

  13. I bet your son is a rock star cooking in front of a crowd like that! *awesome* I want to try the Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad. YUM!

  14. How exciting Cas! Congrats to your son! YUMMY!~


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