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And the moment you’ve all been waiting for…


See the cake??? It’s FRUIT! The ‘cake’ is a solid cylinder of watermelon decorated with cantaloupe and strawberry hearts, blueberry polka dots, red and green grape circles, and topped with a cantaloupe star. The candles are princess crowns recycled from last year’s princess beach theme. Because pink and princess are never out of style for little girls.

It is not a paragon of perfection by any means. I was too crunched for time. I would have liked to smooth out the cylinder shape, cover the holes left by the watermelon seeds, better hide the toothpicks, and add many more fruit decorations. I can’t wait for next year’s cake! Did I mentioned Katie asked for it in cupcake version for her 5th birthday? That should be interesting.

I originally found the cake idea on Pinterest. As soon as I saw it, I was in love. The mama at See My Footprints is my hero for dreaming it up. See the inspiration cakes here and here.

Thanks to Kate at Modern Alternative Mama, the rest of the food was a hit too! She gave me an advanced copy of her newest e-cookbook to try, Simply Summer, earlier in the week. I saved myself some gray hairs and planned the menu around it. The recipes truly are simple, consist of REAL FOOD, and most of the recipes focus on ingredients we can eat. Score! I was happy to see some recipes that included strawberries. It was a Strawberry Shortcake birthday party after all.

The Chicken, Spinach, and Strawberry Salad was the star of the buffet table. My brother-in-law who does not eat vegetables – as in none – had two servings and sought me out to tell me how good it was. The meatless version I made for our vegetarian friends disappeared just as quickly. There are sure to be versions of that salad at many barbecues we attend this summer. My mom is even making it a permanent fixture in her recipe repertoire.

Any substitutions I made to the recipes were minor and didn’t affect the flavor in the least. I am beyond impressed. It made the very real stress of preparation for a REAL FOOD party with 20 + guests feel like a breeze.

The Menu

  • Citrus Iced Tea
  • San Pellegrino mineral water with white grape and apple juices (guests mixed their own for sparkling juice)
  • Pasta Salad (hubby, Katie, and I passed)
  • Chicken, Spinach, and Strawberry Salad with Marinated Chicken
  • Applegate Farms beef hot dogs with buns (no buns for us, so we ate naked dogs)
  • Potato Salad (allergen-free, including no eggs)
  • Honey Mustard Sauce (to accompany the potato salad and hot dogs)
  • Fruit Salad
  • Watermelon Birthday Cake

*the items in bold are from Simply Summer

I am happy to have partnered up with Modern Alternative Mama to promote her new cookbook. This is the first cookbook I have used since starting GAPS in April 2011, and the first I have supported enough to promote. I think you will love the simple yet flavorful recipes as much as we do!

Click here to check it out!


This post is part of Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday.