Monday, February 24, 2014

a birthday brunch . . .

We celebrated our oldest son's 20th birthday a few weekends ago.

I've been anxious to share a few of my favorite photos with you, but have been sick for several days (SLOW recovery!) . . . so I'm behind on posting. I have so many recipes and projects to share with you.

Brunch is my favorite time of day to host, so I loved celebrating Nick's birthday over brunch with our family and his closest friends.

The decor was simple. White and beige linens set the perfect backdrop for bright green flowers, lemon cypress, white hydrangeas, bowls filled with green limes and bright orange clementines.

I also made silver tissue paper pom poms . . . and paper confetti using various shades of grey linen paper. They added a little birthday charm to our gathering . . . as well as the 3-foot tall number mylar balloons!

Nick's favorite cake is Tiramisu.

So for his birthday, I made an 8-layer Tiramisu topped with cocoa and shaved dark chocolate. It was TALL and beautiful. Imagine layer after layer after layer of tender white cake filled and frosted with espresso & amaretto infused sweetened mascarpone & fresh whipped cream.

And for the topper . . . I made a silver tassel garland that I swagged across the top of the cake using 2-foot tall dowels. I set the cake atop of a pedestal and placed it on our kitchen island so that it would be the first thing our friends and family would see when they walked into our kitchen and family room. It was a sight to be seen!

When it came time to sing happy birthday, we removed the garland and nestled 20 tall silver candles on top . . . and sang Happy Birthday!

~ silver tassel garland ~

Birthdays are about celebrating with favorites . . . favorite foods, drinks, colors, desserts, and people.

So along with his favorite cake, I made and served his favorite breakfast foods . . . fresh crumb doughnuts, buttermilk biscuits & gravy, roasted sausages, eggs, and fresh fruit. 

For something fun, I set up a doughnut and coffee bar on a secretary desk in our backyard. My husband and little ones picked up fresh crumb doughnuts earlier that morning. They were heavenly!


I made the items on our menu in age-old cast iron pans passed down to me from my Great-Grandma. Something magical happens to foods that are cooked in seasoned cast iron pans.

Since Nick is mid-western at heart, he enjoys hearty foods like buttermilk biscuits and gravy, roasted sausages, and eggs . . . and so every one of these dishes found their way to our table that morning. Some were served right out of the cast iron pan they were baked in!

I can't wait to share the baked egg dish that I made for his brunch. It's base is sauteed shallots, roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, creamy goat cheese, and Manchego cheese. I've made it a few times since the birthday brunch, so that I could perfect the baking and timing process.
see bake egg dish recipe here

our menu
.     .     .     .     .

roasted sausages
Sawmill gravy
home-made buttermilk biscuits
fresh crumb donuts
fresh strawberries

Tiramisu Cake

It was a lovely birthday brunch that lingered into the afternoon. I have several photos of Nick enjoying the morning with his friends and our family. I'm so happy that we could all spend his special day together!

A birthday brunch is a great way to start your special day . . . enjoying good food with your favorite friends and family.

LET'S STAY in touch!


  1. Your food photos are amazing. Can I ask if you post recipes? That cake looks so amazing. I would love to see how to make it! I love the idea of brunch for your son. Boys love breakfast!

    You are so lucky to have those cast iron pans! I have one that has just begun to get seasoned. I understand how wonderful your seasoned pans must be!

    Happy Birthday to your son!


    1. Hi Jenni!

      Thanks so much for coming by!

      I do post recipes, but I don't think that I'll be posting the Tiramisu one, sorry.
      It's incredibly long and complicated. I will share that my son's birthday cake was INSPIRED by Dorie Greenspan's Tiramisu recipe.

      Here are a few of my adaptations . . . I chose to use Amaretto for a lighter flavor; baked 4 8-inch rounds that I cut in half making a total of 8 thin layers; and finally, I covered the cake in a crumb layer of the infused mascarpone filling and then finished it with a layer of fresh coffee whipped cream (giving it that smooth finish). I topped the cake with cocoa powder and shaved dark chocolate.

      I think it's great that you're seasoning your cast iron pan. I was blessed enough to have a grandma and mom who used them for everything, so when they passed them down to me - they were beautifully seasoned. Cook and bake in yours ALOT :0)

      Keep in touch . . . and I hope you visit again soon!
      Have a great week,

  2. Wow that looks amazing! I love the photographs. It all looks delicious. Of course I have a weak spot for donuts, so that would be the first place you would find me if I were at that party.

    1. Hi Shailynn!
      Me too! Except my donut bar would be filled with chocolate ones :0)
      Thanks so much for coming by!
      Have a great week,

  3. Amazing mouth is watering, would love to have par taken of all your amazing dishes! Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY! Great photos...

    1. Thanks so much, Cindy!
      So happy you came by!
      Have a great week,

  4. Everything looks so pretty and delicious, I'm sure that everyone enjoyed the celebration.

  5. looks like an awesome birthday so fun
    come see us at

  6. Suzanne....did you also make those wonderful looking donuts??...your food looks amazing....


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