Oliver the pug is almost one, so I'm planning a fabulous little birthday party. The soirée will be happening in his favorite park, so planning a menu that is portable and picnic-like is important. Store bought treats like chips and dips, cheese and crackers, and olives and pickles will supplement an easy, make ahead meal. BLT's get a fresh twist with the addition of turkey, arugula, and ranch dressing. A black bean, rice, and tomato salad pairs nicely and travels well. A peanut butter carrot cake will decadently finish the people food menu. For the recipes to these scrumptious snacks,
Four 10-inch flour tortillas
8 to 12 trimmed leaves of green or red leaf lettuce, washed and dried
12 ounces sliced cooked turkey breast
12 slices apple-wood smoked bacon, cooked
1 vine-ripened tomato, cored and cut into 16 wedges
1 ripe Hass avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 16 slices tossed with 2 teaspoons lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup arugula or watercress, washed and dried
1/2 recipe Ranch dressing, recipe follows
- Wrap tortillas in barely damp, doubled layers of paper towels and microwave on high for 45 to 60 seconds. Alternatively, heat the tortillas individually in an un-greased large skillet over medium heat.
- Lay the tortillas on a cutting board and start to layer the ingredients. Fan the leaf lettuce on the top three-quarters of each tortilla then lay the turkey slices on top, followed by the bacon, tomato, and avocado. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Top with the arugula and some of the dressing.
- Fold up the bottom quarter of the tortilla and then start to roll each sandwich into a cone shape. Secure the tortilla with a toothpick and slice into pieces. Serve immediately.
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup prepared or homemade mayonnaise
1/4 to 1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
- Mash the garlic and salt to a paste with the side of a chef's knife.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, mayonnaise, 1/4-cup buttermilk, parsley, chives, scallion, vinegar, and pepper to taste.
- If the sauce is very thick, thin the dressing with a couple more tablespoons of the buttermilk. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days.
1/2 cup diced peeled avocado
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups cooked white rice
1 cup chopped, seeded plum tomato (about 3 tomatoes)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl, and toss gently.
- Add rice, next 3 ingredients (rice through beans), and cilantro; toss well.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups grated carrot
1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) Reese's Peanut Butter Chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Cream cheese frosting, recipe follows
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round baking pans.
- Beat eggs, oil and vanilla in large bowl. Stir together flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and baking soda; add to egg mixture and blend well. Stir in carrot, peanut butter chips and walnuts; pour into prepared pans.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost with Cream cheese frosting.
- Cover; refrigerate leftover cake.
Serves 10 to 12.
Cream cheese frosting: beat 2 packages (3 oz. each) softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter until smooth. Gradually add 4 cups powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; beat until smooth.