First off, Happy Birthday Ben!
My sister, Katie, planned up a lovely dinner for us that included all of the favorites. It is her boyfriend, Ben’s birthday…and Ben is a former Mellow Mushroom Pizzologist (amazing pizza maker). They made an amazing vegetable pizza and a white pizza. Mmmm!
To make things go a bit quicker, we bought the multi-grain pizza dough from Publix.
And then there was pizza.
- Marinara sauce
- Green bell peppers
- Turkey pepperoni
- Red onion
- Part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Special white sauce
- Ricotta cheese
- Feta cheese
- Artichoke hearts
- Baby portabella mushrooms
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Heat all in a pan until they are beautifully blended.
- Brush all over pizza dough.
- Bake pizza
- Brush all over the crusts of each type of pizza…and sprinkle with more Parmigiano-Reggiano.
She also had me make Ben’s favorite: Red Velvet Cake.
adapted from Zoom Yummy
- 5 cups unbleached cake flour
- 4 tablespoons special dark cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups light buttermilk
- A LOT of red food coloring
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter (1 cup) (room temperature)
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs (room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 16 ounces 1/3 fat cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Combine the flour, salt and cocoa powder together in a bowl.
- In another bowl, mix the buttermilk and food coloring.
- In your stand electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy (about 2 minutes)
- Add eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix again.
- Then, on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the sugar mixture: starting and ending with the flour mixture.
- Next, in a small bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar, allowing it to fizz and quickly fold it into the batter.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Pour 2 cups into a 9 inch round cake pan, greased and lined with parchment paper on the bottom. (I baked two at a time….4 cake layers…8 cups total batter)
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- While they are baking, prepare the icing.
- In a large bowl, beat the whipping cream until it has stiff peaks.
- In a another bowl, beat the cream cheese, vanilla extract and powdered sugar.
- Fold the cream cheese mixture into the whipping cream.
- Chill the icing for about an hour until it is hard enough to easily spread.
- Once the cake is cooked, take it out of the oven, let it sit for about 5 minutes in the pan, then turn over onto a cooling rack. Let them cool completely before icing.
- Spread each layer with the icing, then dirty ice the sides and top (dirty icing: icing the cake with a thin layer of icing…it doesn’t have to be pretty and it can be filled with crumbs too)
- Chill the cake for about an hour. (Don’t forget to put the icing back in the fridge too.)
- Ice the cake and decorate with your favorite sprinkles.
Thank you Katie and Ben!