Maleeya’s Minnierella 4th Birthday

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I can’t believe that Maleeya is already 4-years-old. It’s almost a month later and I’ve been slacking on my food blogging, but this was a very special birthday party catering and since I’ve blogged about each of her birthdays, I can’t stop at 3. So here is the 4th edition.

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This year Maleeya had a Minnierella (Minnie Mouse as Cinderella) themed princess birthday party for her friends at our house. My mom made Maleeya’s beautiful pink dress for her Minnierella costume and my sister decorated the house. Everyone enjoyed playing games, catching up, delicious food and togetherness and I don’t think we’ve ever had so many people in our house at one time, which was really fun. We had a special feast of Maleeya’s favorite foods for her party. I asked Maleeya what she wanted to serve at her birthday party and her list was as follows: latkes, fruit, veggies, salad, chicken, strawberries and cake. So with those directions in mind, as well as some special Vegan and Gluten Free requests, I came up with this menu and we had a blast.




Fruit Tower and Melon and Grape Platter

Fresh Vegetable Tray

Sweet Sesame Chicken Skewers

Turkey Meatballs

7-Layer Bean Dip

Pico de Gallo

Grilled Sweet Soy Chicken Drumsticks

Italian Pasta Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad

Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

Bread Basket


Grilled Vegetables and Tofu

Thank you to everyone who helped celebrate this very special little lady, or as she liked to be known that day, Minnierella. Happy fourth year of fun, love and excitement, Mighty Maleeya!




Chicken and Biscuits

I have a great love for American comfort food. I know most people tend to think of comfort food as just southern style but what I’m talking about are the dishes that comfort us in our own way. My mom fried chicken that she shook in flour and the smell of the crispy skin coming out of a paper bag she used to drop the chicken in, to take the oil off, was mouthwatering every time. Maybe this fried chicken isn’t my mom’s chicken, but it’s still pretty damn good. I love the addition of smoked paprika, parsley, garlic and lots of black pepper, making this chicken a different style of excellent. I served my chicken with a very simple homemade buttermilk biscuit along with honey or strawberry jam. I hope everyone has a little fried chicken in their lives.

Fried Spiced Buttermilk Chicken

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces for frying or buy a package of pre-cut pieces

3 cups buttermilk

Approx. 2 ½ cups – 4 cups all-purpose flour (depending on how much dredging you do)

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon dried parsley

2 tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons garlic powder

vegetable oil for frying

In a large bowl, pour buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon dried parsley to the buttermilk and then add chicken and cover. Refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.

Take chicken out of the buttermilk and shake off excess buttermilk.

Season the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Place flour in a large Ziploc bag with smoked paprika and teaspoon of dried parsley and then shake together till well incorporated.

Add chicken to flour, a couple of pieces at a time.

In a large heavy bottomed pan or cast iron skillet, pour vegetable oil to about 1/3 of the way up the pan.

Heat oil until about 325 degrees.

Place chicken in hot oil after excess flour is shaken off (make sure not to overcrowd chicken).

If necessary, cook chicken in two batches; skimming oil after each batch.

Cook about 10-12 minutes on each side. The internal temperature of your chicken should be around 175-180 degrees.

Drain on a rack over a sheet pan sprinkling with a bit of salt just after taking out of the oil  and consume or keep in foil in a warm oven till ready to eat.


Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour sifted and extra for rolling out dough

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 stick butter, sliced into 8 pieces and frozen

Plus 1 tablespoons of melted butter

3/4 cup buttermilk


Heat oven to 475 degrees.


In a large bowl, place sifted flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and incorporate well.


Add one piece of frozen butter at a time to the dough, either with a pastry cutter or a fork. Mash the butter into the flour mixture to create coarse dough.


Add buttermilk a little at a time till everything comes together well. Do not over mix.


Take the dough and place on a floured surface. With your hands, gently press the dough together to form a medium-sized rectangle, then cut it into about 11-12 biscuits, which are about 1/2 inch thick.


On a sheet of parchment with flour, place the biscuit and freeze for about 25 minutes.


Transfer the parchment to a baking sheet. With a brush, paint the tops of the biscuits with the tablespoon of melted butter and cook in preheated oven for 20 minutes or till golden brown.


Serve right away.