Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My birthday boy

Pin It Brice's birthday was Sunday. Since I had to work that weekend last year, I decided this year needed to be good. So I came up with a few plans to make the weekend what I dubbed "birthday extravaganza".

It was supposed to kick off with a low-key evening at the Chili's bar taking advantage of our free appetizer, but Brice had been sick and he wasn't feeling up to it. So instead we started with a (surprise #1) breakfast at Chick-fil-a the next morning, testing out the new spicy chicken biscuit. (BTW--not all that spicy--I still prefer Bojangles'.) Then we headed to Dillards to pick out one of his presents (surprise #2)--an overcoat so he won't freeze at his interview in Boston. He looks quite dashing, I think:
We tried to use a Living Social deal that we had for skeet shooting after that, but Groupon had sent out a deal the same week and the place was packed. After an hour, we decided we'd better try another time.

That night we had dinner reservations and "after dinner plans" so I took the unaware husband to a Hibachi grill (surprise #3) and met another couple he didn't know was coming (surprise #4). After we ate, he got a Japanese birthday song, complete with funky drum and pre-ordered dessert with candle and digital photo (surprise #5). I had planned for us to go to the bar after for late-night trivia with our friends (surprise #6), but we had a bit more time to kill, so we hung out at the apartment for a bit.

His actual birthday on Sunday was lacking in quite as much surprise since we had snow on the way and I had planned to leave it a bit open. I was going to make his cake-substitute, but we ended up working on some chores and undecorating and ran out of time.

So yesterday and today I made these:
These are cake balls. I had them a few weeks ago at work for the first time and decided that I could probably live on them. Here is the recipe I used. You can use any flavor cake mix and frosting and add sprinkles or nuts. It's so versatile. I did Devil's food cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles for my chocolate-lover husband and strawberry with cream cheese frosting by request for the girls at work. If you read the comments, the first person gives some extra direction that I found to be quite useful. I recommend refrigerating the cake and frosting mixture until it is easy to roll into a ball in your hands, like Play-Doh in Sunday school. This creates a much more compact ball than the melon baller method, which is what I did with the first batch, the chocolate ones. These did not come out looking as neat. After rolling your balls, freeze them. This can be anywhere from a couple of hours to overnight, it won't make much difference. They are tasty at this point, but the recipe calls for them to be dipped. I bought chocolate chips and white chocolate chips for this, but I probably should have stuck with the almond bark method. I will next time. I had to work to add water to get mine to the right consistency. I also ran out of white chocolate before I was done, hence many of the strawberry are simply drizzled.

I definitely recommend these :-)

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