Mike's birthday was last week- He requested no presents and no parties, so he got a casserole instead.
This isn't just your average casserole, though. (Maybe I should say "hotdish" now that I've lived in Minnesota for 10 years?) Mike loves potatoes in all forms, so I made a triple potato hotdish for his birthday breakfast.
The bottom layer: mashed potatoes with peas
The second layer: Cascadian Farm Organic Spud Puppies. Mike's love of spud puppies is surpassed only by his love for me, the kids and banjos, in no particular order.
The third layer: cheezy nutritional yeasty gravy. Because if you're going all-out with potatoes, there's got to be gravy involved.
The fourth layer: crushed potato chips
This casserole barely made it onto the table. I thought it would be nice to broil the top of the chips so that they browned nicely. I wouldn't really recommend that you try this. Potato chips are little grease bombs just waiting to catch fire. I'm going to try to remember this next time we're camping and need to get a fire started. Luckily, my oven escaped going up in flames (all the other appliances have broken this month, so why not the oven, too?) and I was able to scrape off the little flaming charcoal chips and top the casserole with freshly crushed, unbrowned/blackened chips. Despite the drama and distinct smokey flavor, this casserole was amazing! Super rich, totally indulgent and very potatoey. Then we had dessert!
Dessert had to be gluten free, soy free and vegan. Not super easy. Mike's been switching up his diet lately and soy is the latest thing to go. He's not so strictly vegan anymore, but he's feeling really good- Hooray!
Chocolate Peanut Butter is a pretty rockin' flavor combination in any form and this was no exception. I made little peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla balls to hide in the center of the GF chocolate cupcake batter (I use an adaptation of the GF cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World). Then I top with more batter and bake.
The finished cupcakes were topped with ganache for a quick and easy frosting.
Now I just have to think of another excuse to make that potato casserole. I think the dog's birthday is coming up. She'd want us to eat a nice breakfast in honor of her birthday, I'm sure of it.
PS- I was really lazy about posting this past week, but I've got tons of photos to share of springy meals and beginnings of this year's garden. Look for them this week!