Wednesday, June 19, 2013

a summer-inspired birthday dinner

This beautiful card inspired a quiet summer birthday dinner for my mother-in-law, Jeri.

When I saw it for the first time, I smiled . . . and thought of her. 

I love its bright, cheery colors . . . and feminine, fun design.

I am blessed to have such a wonderful mother-in-law.

She has always shown such unconditional love, caring, and giving to her family . . . a beautiful example to us all.

So it was my privilege to help make her special day, extra special.

~ fun mini bunting ~
and white garden roses

With the birthday card I found as my inspiration, I began planning the details of her evening dinner. 

I found this tablecloth in my collection, and thought it was perfect. Isn't it pretty? 

~ buttercream yellow, pastel green, periwinkle ~
and shades of pink 

Since we've been enjoying gorgeous weather here, I set up our dining outside . . . and I'm so glad that I did, because it was a beautiful evening!

In true Summer fashion, I kept our table setting simple . . . 
                  bud vases brimming with white garden roses . . . 
         and place settings of white chargers  and crisp, white plates. 

Playful green bunting stood tall in the center bud vase. 

Sweet wishes on our chalkboard!

And for dinner . . . 

I wanted to serve a simple (yet special) Summer menu . . .

fresh kiwis and strawberries
candied walnut & cranberry spinach salad
with Cranberry, Walnut & Gorgonzola dressing
fancy poppyseed chicken
with toasted almonds and sauteed Shitake mushrooms

Our kids and I made Jeri ~ aka Grandma ~  a 10-layer lemon cake.

We lovingly named it . . . the Lemon Penthouse Cake!
((Our kids named it after "Fix It Felix's Penthouse" in the movie "Wreck It Ralph."))
((As for me, I named it The Leaning Tower, as Swiss Meringue Buttercream doesn't 
hold up well in heat!))

The Lemon Penthouse Cake was Barefoot Contessa's Classic Yellow Cake recipe  with the zest of 1 lemon . . . . and then layered with fresh Lemon Curd and Miette's Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I garnished the TOP and sides of the cake with fresh raspberries . . . they were a wonderful compliment! And pretty too!!

It was a pleasant dinner that ended well after the sun set that evening.

There's something magical about good company, good food, an evening breeze, and a sunset. 


  1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! So glad you did because that led me here...hello new follower!! This birthday dinner looks great. I love that tablecloth. Can't wait to check out more of your blog!


  2. You are so talented in your presentation. Well done.

  3. What a delicious looking cake! A lovely idea to eat outside. What a nice evening it must have been for your mother in law.

  4. Oh my gosh, that cake is to die for! Did I mention that white cake and raspberries are my fav? No chocolate cake for me. The pretty pastels and whites made for a stunning table setting. I am sure that Jeri was thrilled. I just celebrated my birthday on the 17th. Wondering if by chance they were the same day? Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. Happy belated birthday, Jann!

      Jeri's birthday is on the 18th :o)
      Have you ever tried lemon cake with raspberries? If you haven't, then you must! It might be your new favorite.
      Thank you again for hosting SYC!


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