Birthday Cake, BBQ, Crunchy Chinese Salad, & Twice Baked Potatoes Top this Family Birthday Dinner

The recipe for this three layer red devils food cake is given as Brian's Red Devils Food Birthday Cake on 6/11/10.
What a busy day!  This is always the way when a special birthday rolls around.  Everything to be just perfect requires planning and coordination so I am not so tired by the time it gets here to enjoy the event!! As my late Father-in-law always told me, "Growing older is not for sissies!"

God Bless Brian for smoking the pork butt on Saturday as it makes things so much easier on Sunday!!  Not all the mess of that clean up and it is so much easier to pull the pork and cut out any fat or waste when the meat is cold.  The meat is also a lot moister if allowed to grow cold and reabsorb it's own juices.

Smoked, pulled, then slathered with sauce Boston Butt.
The previous post gives the way we prepared the pork.  I do always use Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce as half of the final sauce but in different ways.  I think it is too thick and too sweet but I love the flavor.  I mixed it 50/50 with the sauce Brian had me make as I thought it way too spicy for our crowd.  It worked out fine and there were lots of good comments plus there is only about a tablespoonful left!

These are easily made ahead and can even be frozen then baked.
The twice baked potatoes are always a hit and that recipe is given as a side dish to Roast Beef Au Jus Dinner on 5/31/10.

There is seldom any left when this cake is on the table.
To make Emily's birthday cake special I decided to use her favorite color and decorate her cake using fresh flowers.  It seemed quite the grown up girl kind of a thing to do.  A trip to our local Schnuck's Supermarket and beautiful miniature deep purple carnations looked to be just perfect.  After snipping them just below the bud I rinsed them and dried them.  Shortly thereafter they crowned the cake and showcased the candles. Emily seemed delighted!

The new "do again" hit of the meal was the Crunchy Chinese Salad.  My adaptation comes from a recipe I found on one day last week.  We make an Asian slaw a lot this time of year and this is similar.   What attracted me is the added crunch with more Ramon Noodles than usually called for and the peanut spiked dressing.  Plus, I have cabbages splitting in the garden from the heat and I can use this new twist as a new way to serve it up!

The crunch and the peanut flavored dressing sets this salad in a class of it's own.
Ingredients for Crunchy Chinese Salad:

2-3 pounds of Chinese Cabbage or green and red cabbage shredded
5-6 green onions with tops sliced
3 pkgs. Ramon noodles
1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. pine nuts or sliced almonds
1/4 C. sesame seeds


1/2 C. + 1 T. canola oil
3 T. creamy peanut butter
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. rice vinegar
2 T. soy sauce

Note:  The benefit of using the  Nappa Cabbage (Chinese Cabbage) is that the leaves are very porous and soak up the dressing beautifully.  But it is quite flavorful with it's green cousin.

Remove the core from whichever cabbage you are using and shred it to you families liking.  Place this in a large bowl and mix in the sliced green onions then set aside in the refrigerator. (You may want to put this in a plastic bag for now until serving time.)

Place the three blocks of Ramon noodles in a large (gallon size or bigger) heavy plastic bag and pound them into small pieces using a rolling pin or smooth sided meat tenderiser.  Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat and melt the butter.  Add the broken noodles, nuts, and seeds then brown them lightly stirring constantly as not to burn.  Set them aside to cool. 

Using a small pan measure the oil, peanut butter, sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce into it over medium-high heat.  Stir to melt everything together and bring to a full boil.  Boil for one minute then remove from the heat and cool fully.

When you are ready to serve toss the cabbage, green onions, the Ramon mixture, and dressing all together until well coated.  Serve immediately.  Yield 12-15 servings.  Enjoy.


Marina said...

Looks impressive!

cambric cotton said...

My family loves the crunchy asian salad during the warmer months. It is always at the family bbques that we have, that cake looks just gorgeous.

Diane Cosby said...

Thank you both so much. She loves purple and she's a big girl now so I was trying to be a little more elegant than say "Hello Kitty" or some of her past little girl loves.

Lizzy said...

What a fabulous party menu! The cake is spectacular!!

Diane Cosby said...


Jtan said...

Very innovative on your Ramen Noodles! First time I came across salad with Ramen noodles =) Thanks for sharing! All looks great!