Our sunshine birthday party took place in the morning--something to consider when planning around naps.
This time of day called for a brunch menu with food all ages could enjoy such as cheesy Southern grits and Cheerio-filled paper cups. Our menu also included sausage balls, fruit cups and an assortment of muffins.
The sausage ball recipe comes from my dad, who always makes them for me. It is so easy, though, anyone can mix up a batch quickly.
To Make Cheddar Sausage Balls:
Mix together 1 pound sausage, 2 cups baking mix such as Bisquick and 2 cups sharp cheddar.
Roll into 1-inch to 2-inch balls and bake at 350 degrees until cooked through.
Serving muffins seemed like a better choice for a brunch in lieu of traditional cupcakes. Guests chose from blueberry, lemon butter and bacon-herb muffins.
I made lemon butter muffins and they were the big hit at our party. They provided a decdent, more rich flavor option to the muffin selection.
The bacon-herb muffins, were a last minute addition when I realized my serving piece was a three-tiered stand, and I wanted a single type of muffin per tier.
It worked out well because the bacon-herb flavor was an unexpected savory alternative to the usual sweet tastes of muffins.
Finally, I also made blueberry muffins because they are a classic choice, really easy to make and delicious. Halfway through the baking time, you sprinkle sugar on top of each muffin, which gives them a bit of a crunch and a slight sparkle. So good!
In addition to the muffins, a small lemon layer cake was available for anyone expecting cake, but the most important sweet treat was the birthday girl's very own smash cake.
So named because little hands literally mash it around on a highchair! The smash cake is like a rite of passage for one-year-olds who may not have had a taste of cake before.
Although you can use a piece from a larger cake, a mini-version is a special and cute way to say happy birthday. Many bakeries even give them at no cost when you buy the larger cake.