18
Oct
10

Purple Haze and Birthdays…….


I am not necessarily a tradition based person.  We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas with any sort of tradition.  In fact, we haven’t celebrated either of those two holidays for 2 years now.  They are merely two paid holidays from work.  That being said, I seem to have fallen into a tradition in October that used to only be reserved for my Halloween born grandson.

For the past three years I have made a special birthday cake for my friend and grasshopper, Emily.  Her birthday falls on October 15th.  Emily made several delicious home-made pizzas and I made a spice cake with cream cheese frosting for her 24th birthday.  For her 25th birthday last year, we celebrated by going bowling and eating the Root Beer Cake.  As Emily is maturing to the ripe old age of 26th, her birthday cakes are evolving as well.  We decided several months back that this was the year of the Purple Haze cake.

Crazy delicious cake!

I used my Red Velvet cake recipe and substituted Wilton gel violet food coloring for the “traditional” red color.  Although I had hoped the cake would be a more distinct purple color after it was baked, it was still a huge hit.  I’d like to think it was my crazy baking talent that made it so tasty, but perhaps it was the “special” butter used in the frosting  between the  four layers  that made it truly an experience.  As the late Jimi Hendrix would say “Are you experienced?”  After eating the Purple Haze cake, everyone was indeed experienced.

A light, birthday nosh and the Purple Haze cake

Emily wanted salad platters for her birthday meal.  She mentioned seeing salad platters in food magazines and she wanted them for her birthday dinner.  We ate kinda late, as she and Chuck came directly to our house from Breitenbush Hot Springs where they had spent the night and then spent the day soaking in hot springs, being pampered with soothing massage treatments and feasting on amazing vegetarian cuisine.  They were ready to continue eating  healthy fare and then indulge in a wicked treat of a birthday cake.

Emily did all of the food styling on the platters

I roasted potatoes earlier in the day, as well as crisp stirred fresh organic green beans.

We love our grains!

A couple of days before her birthday, Emily and I brainstormed about what we wanted on the platters.  We got all organized and made a list of possibilities.  There were a few more items on that list, but what I managed to throw together, I’d say everyone was more than satisfied with the food of the weekend.

Feta cheese on the outsides of the platter, moving in to the wheat berrie salad and then spicy quinoa  in the center, topped by chili powder sprinkled avocado slices.  So simple.  So good!

Tastes so good and it's so good for you

A little do ahead work and you have a light meal

The potatoes were tossed with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic and onion powder and roasted in a 350 degree oven until done.  I sautéed the green beans in peanut oil, fresh chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, kosher salt and cracked pepper.  A splash of some mirin and put the lid on to lightly steam the beans for a minute.  They stayed bright green and very snappy.

We also had a bowl of mixed greens from the garden dressed with a creamy pesto concoction that I whipped up from what I had on hand.

And then came dessert………………………………

I was going for a certain look....

Ok, so when I think Purple Haze, I think hippies, tye dye, trippin’, Jimi Hendrix music (duh).  I envisioned a cake that looked like it was tye dyed.  This cake look more like stained glass window on the top (which was pretty cool) and the tye dye on the sides reminded me of some kinda medallions.  At any rate, it was a fun cake to make and it made an excellent conversation piece.  We kept it center stage on the table and sat around it, almost in worship.   But eventually we had to cut it.

It had to be done

See, it doesn’t really look purple in the picture, but it really had a purple tint to it in real life.  The frosting is my favorite vanilla butter cream.  The frosting between the layers  has coconut and almond extract.  The outer frosting is tinted vanilla.  It was a damn good cake.

Emily kept saying “this is the best birthday ever!”  Coulda’ been her best birthday ever.  Coulda’ been that she was exhausted from a spa day and a long drive.  Coulda’ been a belly full of delicious, nutritious food.  Or it coulda just been the cake talkin’.’

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9 Responses to “Purple Haze and Birthdays…….”


  1. October 18, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Mmmm… It’s been so much fun eating fresh greens, fruits and a variety of other produce from your VampireGran garden at nearly every meal all summer and most of spring, that I’m thinking we need to set up some sort of rudimentary greenhouse so that we can keep the produce coming well into fall and maybe even winter. Hey, maybe we can set up our huge basement project-room into a hydroponic tomato/lettuce/herb farm! Just sayin’.

    That purple haze cake was really something else. Delicious, and… maybe I’ll be fully recovered by Emily’s 27th birthday.

    • October 19, 2010 at 3:44 am

      I didn’t mean to put you in a coma, honest! I’m pretty sure the 27th birthday will be something spectacular but not lethal. Hey, I like the hydroponic vegetable garden idea. God knows we have the space.

  2. 3 cat.
    October 18, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    It’s torture looking at your delicious pictures, seeing you at work knowing you baked something wonderful again, and not getting any. WHERE’S MY PIECE?? Can we make a deal?? Can I bribe you?? You know I love coconut and almond. Maybe I should just make the cake, eh?

    • October 18, 2010 at 10:10 pm

      Hey Cat, are you a pool player? Our billiards room is right next to the kitchen… if you hang around playing pool with me, you’d never again miss a single thing that comes out of Miss Patty’s oven. I thought you should know.

    • October 19, 2010 at 3:46 am

      Hi Cat! You don’t need to bribe me, just chastize me some more and I’m sure you’ll get a piece of the masterpiece. And, by all means, you should make the cake!

    • October 19, 2010 at 9:07 pm

      Alright already! I give in. Next time I will bring you a piece of whatever I make – pinkie swear!

  3. October 19, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Food looks fabulous! All so delicious and beautifully presented. Great work on the purple haze cake – it looks really good!
    Sunshine

    • October 19, 2010 at 9:06 pm

      Hi Sunshine – the cake was delicious! I’m sure your dread locked buddy from your post and his lady would have loved it. Thanks for checking in.
      Patty

  4. 9 Angel Kelly
    October 22, 2010 at 11:51 am

    flippin amazing – is it all gone or should i come by later? the whole entry is amazing and i would like to hear more about the spicy quinoa….i also want to confirm you are on the calendar for Nov 2 and discuss what you need etc.

    love to you & yours


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