Saturday, March 31, 2012

Eleventh Birthday Party

Beware, today we have a long post.   We've been promising the details of Tubby's eleventh b-day bash for awhile, and now we've got it together.   Eleven is an important birthday.  We even filled the house with flowers

 For obsessive Harry Potter fans   like us eleven has special significance.  After all its at age eleven that young witches and wizards first discover their magical powers and enroll in Hogwarts.  

 So thanks to Birthday Express Tubby's eleventh birthday had a Harry Potter theme.

He started his morning with his favorite breakfast, kibble topped with Sardines.  Then he opened his first present an adorable initial shirt from the great store Diva Dog Designs.  We discovered Diva Dog at the Super Pet Expo. 
 The adorable initial shirts reminded me of the Harry Potter sweaters 

so it made the perfect gift.

 Cake is an important part of any birthday and this year we decided to make Tubby a Carrot Banana Bread Cake.  It was a hit:

Carrot Banana Bread Cake

1 1/2 cups coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs beaten
3 mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped baby carrots 
1 tub low fat cream cheese
Happy Hips Chicken and Banana Treats 

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease a bone shaped cake pan.   Stir together coconut flour ( a great high protein, grain free, flour substitute) and baking powder.  Whisk the eggs together and stir in the honey and oil.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir.   Mash the bananas and add to the mixture, stir again.   Fold in the chopped carrots.  If the mixture seems to dry add a little water, you want cake batter consistency.  Bake for 45 minutes, watch closely to prevent burning.   I burned the cake a little but luckily the frosting covered it.

For the frosting stir the low fat cream cheese together with food coloring and spread on the cake.  Decorate with the Happy Hips treats.

After cake Tubby opened his remaining presents.   He got a very cute tweed jacket from Rover Dog on Etsy 

It has little elbow patches on the sleeves which is what really makes it.  Now Tubby looks like a professor, he can give his PHD having Dad a run for his money.

Tubby also got an Owl from Olive Green Dog 

 Every Hogwarts student has to have an owl.

It wouldn't be a birthday without treats, so Tubby got some of those too.   Duck treats Mighty Dog Treats.   Bob was definitely hoping Tubby would share.

 After taking some more embarrassing pictures

we started in on the cooking.  Since it was a Harry Potter party we need a true English feast.  It was mom's birthday too, so we needed some people yums.  Mom decided to make a traditional British Sunday lunch, with roast beef, veggies, cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire puddings, and Trifle.  

Roast Beef

3 1/2 lbs of beef top round
2 medium yellow onions
2 carrots
1 bulb of garlic
springs of thyme and rosemary and some sage
olive oil salt and pepper

Take the meat out of the fridge two hours before you start so that it comes to room temperature.  Preheeat the oven 475.    Rinse and roughly chop the vegetables, you needed peel them.   Break apart the garlic bulb, but don't peel the cloves. Place the vegetables and all the herbs in a baking dish.  Set the meat atop the vegetables and rub all over with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.    Place in the oven and turn the heat down to 400. 
Roast for about an hour until the internal temperature is 130 degrees Farenheit.

Horseradish Sauce

5 tbsp  cream fraiche
1 fresh horseradish
olive oil
salt and pepper
minced chives

Peel and cut the horseradish into 1 inch chunks.  Mince 3 chunks up in the food processor until you get about a 1/4 cup of horseradish.   Zest the lemon and add to the horseradish, stir in the juice and the cream fraiche.   Drizzle with oive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Mix in the chives

Roast Vegetables

2 1/2 lb baby cream potatoes cut in half if large, or left whole if small
6 parnsips peeled and cut in large chunks
6 carrots peeled and cut in half
1 bulb garlic, cloves separated but unpeeled
3 springs rosemary
salt and pepper
olive oil

Bring a very large pot of well salted water to the boil.  Boil the potatoes and carrots for 6 minutes and then add the parsnips and boil four minutes more.  Make sure to let the vegetables reach a full boil before starting the timer.

Drain the veggies.  Remove the carrots and parsnips and then shake the potatoes about in the colander to break them up a bit.

Using the side of a large knife bash the unpeeled garlic cloves up a bit.  Pick the leaves off the rosemary.  Take a large roasting plan and place over two burners, heat  the olive oil and  and add the garlic and rosemary to the pan, stir around a bit and salt and pepper well.   Stir in the vegetables and mix up well.  Put in the oven when you put the meat in, roast one hour.

Cauliflower Cheese

1 large cauliflower, cut in florets
2 sprigs Rosemary
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
1 2/3 cups Cream Fraiche
2 cups grated cheddar
salt and pepper
1 slice of bacon, uncooked
1/2 cup bread crumbs (preferably Panko bread crumbs)

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the cauliflower 5 minutes, drain.   Stir together the cream fraiche

Yorkshire Puddings 

3 eggs
1 cup flour
a pinch of kosher salt 
scant 1 1/4 cup of milk

Whisk together the eggs, flour, salt and milk until you get a very smooth batter.   Pour into a large measuring cup and set aside.   If its sits for about a half an hour to an hour you will have a smoother batter and better puddings.

After you take the meat out of the oven, turn the heat up to 475 and preheat fully.   Take a muffin tin and add a teaspoon of Crisco to each compartment.  Place in the oven and heat 5 minutes.  Take out of the oven and pour the batter into the muffin tin.   Cook 15 minutes, don't open the oven door.

Orange Raspberry Trifle from Ina Garten

you can find the recipe here.

It was mom's birthday too so she got some pressies.  Mom got all the Star Trek movies, first and next generation.  We can wear our Stark Trek shirts while we watch them with her.

She also got some MST3K DVDs that's another of mom's favorite nerd shows.   Then there was a mysterious box

filled with dog toys from Olive Green Dog, but she didn't give the toys to us.  What gives?   Seems like something is up.

After we opened the presents Tubby put on his pugjamas and his Harry Potter hat from All You Need Is Pug and settled in for a Harry Potter movie-a-thon.



  1. What an awesome birthday, Tubby! Cake and food and toys and clothes. We love the pictures of you going for your cake! A true pug!

  2. Happy Birthday Tubby! What a wonderful idea for a birthday party. We loved all your gifts and cake. We will have to try out that recipe and take it to one of our doggy meetups. Happy Birthday to your Mom too of course!

  3. Well Tubby, that was just the best birthday bash ever! I love your new tweed jacket. You look pretty dapper in it! What a feast you had there too! Your Momma must have been pretty happy with the Star Wars set. We have them too!

  4. Hmmmm...what do you think is happening with those toys?? Looks like you had an awesome party though! That cake looks delicious! Can you save me a piece?!?! Hope you had a great day!

  5. Oh Tubby
    What a special little puggy you are! Happy Birthday little one! Just look at all that food and stuff just for you! I wish I was there! Happy Birthday

  6. One birthday party is a delight but two to celebrate is double delightful! I love your theme too and how you carried it through the whole event.

    I do know what that extra little box will be for...I do.

    Happy Birthday to both of you and can I just say I checked the two sites you shared of poochie clothes and talk about cute!

    Oh and thank you for the abundance of recipes too!!!

  7. Happy birthday, Tubby! Look at the wonderful birthday party your parents had for you! You are such a lucky boy!!

  8. Yum!! That cake sounds delish! Looks like the party was a lot of fun too :0) Happy Belated Birthday Tubby!

  9. Oh Dog! A belated happy birthday Tubby! You guys eat sooooo good! Then I saw that roast and veggie.... can I be adopted by you?

  10. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY TUBBY! Your birthday celebration was great! We told our mom to take lessons.

    Your birthday cake sounded so yummy. Thanks for the delicious recipes.

    11 years old! That is a super magical number indeed!

    Nina, Myshka, Sasha, Betsy, Lucy, Phoebe and Lily


    You are too adorable in your initial sweater and party hat. That is one yummy looking birthday cake. Mmmm, I can almost taste it.


  12. Wowsers, that was quite a pawty!! Happy 11th Tubby! You hansome pugger you. The cake looks EXTRA yum. Be sure to give your mum Birthday sugars for her too.


  13. Happy belated Birthday, Tubby! Looks like you had an awesome time. Your colorful cake looks sooo yummy. I hope you got to eat the whole thing! My dad loves your little tweed coat and told me he wants to order one for me. He's always trying to make me look "refined" and "distinguished". Oh brother! Next thing you know he'll want me to wear a monocle and carry around a pug-sized pipe!

    It sure looks like you are a big Harry Potter fan (or at least your humans are! hee hee). Also, what's up with that box of toys that is just sitting around? You've got to let us know.


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