March 09, 2012

Birthday Menu for an Amazing Boyfriend!

birthday cake pancakesI thought I'd do something a little different with today's post by doing a recap of (most of) what I ate yesterday. Not because I want to give you a glimpse into my daily eating habits, because yesterday's mealplan was most definitely not typical of what I normally eat, but because yesterday was my boyfriend Ryan's birthday and I wanted to share the delicious food we celebrated with!

I try not to write too much about my personal life on here, so all you need to know for context is that Ryan is pretty much the best boyfriend in the world, and I like to spoil him whenever I can, especially on his birthday!

So as he slept in yesterday, I got to work throwing together some birthday cake pancakes to start off his day on a festive note. They're basically pancakes made with cake batter and sprinkles, so they look and taste like birthday cake! I've actually made these for his birthday before, but that time the only sprinkles I had were brown, and when you mix brown sprinkles into batter, it kind of just tints the whole thing a dull pink colour. They still tasted good, but didn't look so pretty. This time I was sure to buy the proper rainbow coloured sprinkles, and used a rainbow bits cake batter for even more colourful fun!

birthday cake pancakesThese turned out so pretty and tasted amazing! Ryan kept commenting on how much it tasted like he was eating cake. The recipe for the pancakes can be found at How Sweet Eats - the only change I made was to top them with whipped cream instead of icing, because I already had whipped cream in the fridge and thought it would make the pancakes even more cake-like.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen my frustrated tweet yesterday about taking a bunch of pictures of my breakfast, eating it, then realizing I'd had the camera setting on 'small', so the pictures were all unusable. Well, that was this breakfast, and as a result, we had birthday cake pancakes all over again this morning just so I could rephotograph them. No complaints here - I liked them even better today!

The afternoon consisted of some healthy snacking, since cake pancakes don't exactly give you the right kind of energy to get through the day. For dinner, I offered to make Ryan anything he wanted, but he ended up choosing to go to the Buffalo Wild Wings that just opened up near us instead. I must admit I was quite relieved - not only do we love the food there, but it made dinner a lot more relaxing and fun when I didn't have to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen instead of spending time with him.

Buffalo Wild Wings mealThursday also happens to be cheap boneless wings day at Buffalo Wild Wings, so we ordered a variety of different boneless wings, all of which were delicious. I also got a salad on the side because I hadn't eaten any vegetables yet all day and I was craving a salad more than anything!

The only request Ryan had made for his birthday was that dessert had to contain something with peanut butter. Last year, I made the chocolate peanut butter cake from Smitten Kitchen (originally from Sky High, a book I'm still dying to get!) that has gotten rave reviews all over the internet. I wasn't absolutely crazy about it, but that's just because I don't particularly like chocolate cake (everyone else loved it). The year before, I made Dorie Greenspan's chocolate peanut butter torte (as seen on Annie's Eats), which Ryan still raves about to this day.

reese's peanut butter fudge pieSince I don't like repeating recipes, I wanted to try something new this year. Before I even started my usual internet search to find a recipe, Natalie from The Sweets Life posted this Reese's peanut butter fudge pie. As soon as I read that she had made the exact same cakes that I had the past two years for her sister, and that this year she made this pie, I knew it was a sign that I had to make it this year too!

The recipe is originally from Cookies & Cups, and basically consists of a graham cracker crust, a fudgey chocolate layer containing mini Reese's peanut butter cups, and a peanut butter cream cheese topping that is to die for!

reese's peanut butter fudge pieThe "pie" was delicious, but RICH! This is definitely for serious chocolate and peanut butter lovers only, and even they will probably only want a very small sliver of this pie. Ryan and I both really liked it, but we wished the chocolate layer was about half the size it was, as it was a bit thick to get through and took away from the delicious peanut butter topping a bit. If I were to make this again, I'd probably just cut the chocolate part in half, and use chopped Reese's cups in the middle instead of placing whole ones into the fudge layer, so that they're more evenly distributed. It was still delicious though, and I'm told that the leftovers Ryan took to his coworkers today very quickly disappeared! Apparently none of them agreed with me about the chocolate being too thick, so maybe it's just because I'm not that crazy about chocolate (or maybe they're just too kind to complain about free food!)

The recipe can be found at Cookies & Cups, though I also recommend Natalie's idea of topping the pie with additional chopped Reese's peanut butter cups.

Ryan wanted me to take a picture of this bite, which contained almost perfectly even amounts of each layer:

reese's peanut butter fudge pieAfter all the unhealthy eating we did yesterday, I decided to whip up a batch of kale chips this morning to send with Ryan to work. If you read food blogs regularly, you've surely seen lots of recipes for kale chips by now, so I won't bother posting a recipe here. They're a healthy snack made by baking kale in the oven until it reaches a crisp texture, so you can snack on them all you want without feeling guilty!

Ryan has never tried kale chips before (or even kale for that matter), so I knew he'd be skeptical. To help ensure that he'd like them, I seasoned mine with buffalo seasoning (which we'd picked up at Buffalo Wild Wings a while ago).

Here's the beautiful green kale before going in the oven:

kale chips pre-ovenAnd the not-so-pretty, but much more delicious kale after being baked:

baked kale chipsI sent the whole batch off with Ryan, then called him later today to ask what he thought. I probably shouldn't have been surprised that he wasn't a fan of them. I believe his exact words were: "It tastes like I'm eating a tree." Fine by me, I just drove to his work with my sister and we rescued the remaining unappreciated kale chips to eat ourselves - we thought they were delicious!

Overall, I think Ryan had a great birthday, but we'll both be eating pretty healthy for a while now.. Except, of course, for those three leftover pancakes in the fridge and that half a pie we still have to finish!

Do you have any special birthday treats that you like to make for your loved ones?


  1. That peanut butter pie looks amazing. Thanks for making me hungry! *HAH* That's one lucky birthday boy.

  2. Alright, you might have to be in charge of planning my next birthday menu because OMG this all looks so awesome!  Cake batter pancakes = major swoon. I'm actually in the process of making Deb's PB chocolate cake for my sister's birthday so I'll have to go check out your post on be honest, I'm in it for the cream cheese frosting!  Happy birthday to your boyfriend!

  3. haha thanks Joanne!   That's funny that you're making that cake too - I actually don't have a post about it because I made it back before I had my blog, but I'm pretty sure I didn't change a thing with the recipe.  I remember the frosting was my favourite part too!

  4.  Thanks, Courtney, too bad I can't send you some pie, there's still tons leftover!

  5. It sounds like Ryan had a great birthday!  I love just about any peanut butter dessert and all of the ones that you posted look amazing.  Jake likes the rainbow bits birthday cake so I usually do that for him.

  6.  You should try the pancakes for his birthday then!  I've never used the rainbow mix before, or any cake mix really, but it's fun to use it to make things festive!

  7. Wow, Ryan sure is lucky! Everything looks great :)


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