Pic of the Week.

The birthday girl, yours truly, and the awesomest Beth.
The birthday girl, yours truly, and the awesomest Beth.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I spent my weekend in Baton Rouge, mainly for a great friend’s birthday celebration.

In years passed, I’ve made this same girlfriend a dessert of her choice to celebrate. I’ve made her angel food cake with homemade frosting (covered in neon sprinkles), and toasted matzah with chocolate and chopped nuts.

This year, she was having a football-watching birthday party, so we opted for something a little more interactive: a shortcake bar.

So, a few days before the party, I made enough shortcake for 35 people. I used Alton Brown’s recipe (for just the shortcake part):

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup half and half
Melted butter to brush shortcakes
Ice cream or whipped cream

Heat oven 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in butter and shortening. Mix in half-and-half. Drop by large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until brown. Cool and eat with berries, ice cream and/or whipped cream.

Then, I was pretty excited to make the toppings. I used Martha Stewart’s recipe for “quick jam” to make two separate syrupy-like toppings, one strawberry and one mixed berry (blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry).

1 pound of strawberries (or other berries), hulled and quartered

1/3 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

Pinch of salt

Combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, mashing with a wooden spoon, until the strawberries break down and the jam has thickened, 7-9 minutes. Transfer to a clean glass container and let cool completely. Refrigerate for up to two weeks.


I also got whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate chips, and a giant tub of ice cream for the shortcake bar. It looked great! I think at first, people weren’t so sure how to go about the assembly, but it caught on after awhile (after the beer had settled).

It was so good to be able to spend a little time with my good friend and meet new people, too! It was a busy weekend, but certainly a good one.

This weekend, I’ll be heading to KANSAS CITY — do I have any blog readers in Kansas City besides Matt and Becca (who are about to get HITCHED this weekend, hence the getaway)? If you’re in the area and would like to drink to with me, shoot me a message, and let’s do this!

Cheers to weekend adventures all over this dang country!

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