Friday, May 2, 2014

Happy Birthday Frank!!

I am almost ready for my guests to arrive.  The Chicken Marsala, Ting's Wings, Italian Baked Chicken and Oven Baked Mostaccioli is ready to go into the oven.  I will make the Fettuccine Alfredo, Glazed Carrots and Green Beans right before dinner.

The Mostaccioli is just cooked to package directions, topped with Frank's Meat Sauce, sprinkled with Mozzarella cheese and then baked at 350* for 30 minutes before you want to serve it.

I also baked the brownies and made Frank a Strawberry Almond Torte.  This is one of his favorite desserts and I make it often, all summer long. The recipe is adapted from Pillsbury Bake Off Cookie Book, copyright 1967 and one of the first cookbooks I got when I was first married in 1974.  It is an oldie but a goodie with tons of great recipes.

First, you make a basic Butter Cookie dough.

Divide the dough and press it into two round cake pans.

Make the Almond Topping.

Divide evenly and spread over cookie dough.

Bake until Golden.

Whip the Cream

Fold 1 qt. of Strawberries, sliced, into half of the whipped cream.
Put on one of the cookies.

Top with second cookie and remaining whipped cream.

Top with Whole Strawberries.

Strawberry Almond Torte
adapted from Pillsbury Bake Off Cookie Book


2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1 t. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl of stand mixer using paddle attachment.  Divide dough in half and press into bottom of 2 round cake pans.  Set aside.

Almond topping

1 egg
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. almond extract
1/2 c. almond paste

Beat egg in small bowl of stand mixer, using paddle attachment, until foamy.  Gradually add sugar and almond extract.  Beat until thick and ivory colored,  Blend in almond paste and mix well.  Divide in half and spread over the cookie dough in each of the cake pans.  Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

Whipped Cream

1 pint heavy cream
2 T. sugar
1 T. Brandy, optional
2 quarts strawberries, washed and hulled, one quart sliced.

Place the heavy cream into a large bowl of a stand mixer using whisk attachment.  Start whipping slowly gradually adding sugar and brandy.  Increase speed as cream thickens and whip until light and fluffy with soft folds.

Fold the sliced strawberries into half of the whipped cream.  Place one of the cookies on a cake plate and cover with strawberries and cream.  Place second cookie on top of topped cookie and spread with remaining whipped cream.  Arrange whole strawberries onto the whipped cream. 

This Torte will also make a perfect dessert for Mother's Day.  I am sharing it on Inspiration Monday.


  1. Happy Happy Birthday to Frank! The food and cake look terrific. Best Wishes for a very happy time!

  2. Happy Birthday Frank! Wow , what an awesome birthday menu! Enjoy your day! God Blessings today and through the coming year. :) Wow wendy, I love your recipes! You should have your own cookbook,
    " Whipping it up with Wendy" LOL!!

    1. That is a great name Karen!!! We will have to have you over for dinner while you are taking care of the boys for John and Kirsten.


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