We have recently celebrated my Alla’s (mother-in-law) 77th Birthday and I wanted to create something new and unique for her birthday since she is my #1 Fan! She loves everything that I make, so glad!

Alla's 77th Birthday Dinner table

Alla has been a Mom to me since I was a teenager!

I met my hubby and his family when I was just 16 years old. 

My in-laws have been the parents that I have always wanted.

In life, you reap what you sow!

Alla 77th Birthday

Watch the Video of Alla’s Birthday Dinner table

There are just so many details that are impossible to photograph but you can see in the video.

I usually set up the table a few days in advance. It helps me visualize how it will look and how many dishes I need to prepare.

My initial menu is always longer than what I end up with.

Two hands limitation and energy to cook everything in a couple of days shorten my plans.

But, we always have plenty of food for my small crew and Mother-in-law always leaves my house with a week worth of dinners. 

Since we had a Beachy, Ocean, Tropical decor, I’ve decided that I should create a Seafood/Fish dishes to go along with the theme. 


Birthday Menu


Caprese Salad
Coleslaw Salad
Cod Liver Salad
Deviled Smoked Salmon Eggs
Crabmeat Shells
Mussels in Garlic Butter Sauce
Garlic Bread
Boiled Young Potatoes with Butter, Garlic and Dill

Main dishes:

Shrimp Skewers
Salmon Skewers
Veggies Skewers
Shrimp and Scallops in Creamy Parmesan Garlic Sauce
Fried Rice



Puff Pastry pinwheels and puffs with Banana, Nutella and Nut filling
Orange Chocolate Almond Cake
Seasonal Fruit
Baked jam
Sliced orange with grapes

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

How to make Caprese Salad

Tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella.

Good quality Olive oil, minced basil, diced garlic, lemon juice, salt/pepper.

Cod Liver Salad

Cod Liver Salad

From the bottom layer:
shredded boiled potatoes, green onion, cod liver, eggs mixed with mayo and dill.

Deviled Smoked Salmon Eggs

Deviled Smoked Salmon Eggs

Since the biggest problem with deviled eggs is peeling them, I use my Instant Pot to cook the eggs. Then the peeling process takes no time at all!!!

I just mix the egg yolks with cream cheese, minced dill, and salt/pepper. Smoked Salmon shaped into roses on top, sliced cucumber and radish to decorate.

Easy, right?

Crabmeat Shells

Crabmeat Shells

While shopping at Publix and buying the Puff Pastry to make desserts for Alla’s birthday, I saw these cute little Athens Foods Mini Fillo Dough Shells next to the puff pastry dough. 

You can easily create fast appetizers for any party with these already cooked shells. Just assemble these shells on the day of the event. They will get soggy if you put any filling into them and store. They are crispy the first day.

I’ve decided to make an easy crabmeat filling since I had a can of crabmeat available.

Inside: crabmeat, mayo, ¼ teaspoon dry mustard, lemon juice, salt/pepper. 

Mussels in Garlic Butter Sauce

Mussels in Garlic Butter Sauce

This was a last-minute decision. Publix had a BOGO (buy one get one) sale on these delicious mussels so I just had to warm them up and serve! 

Definitely recommend these. Very Tasty and great for any occasion. 

Shrimp, Salmon and Veggie Skewers

Salmon, Shrimp, Veggie Skewers

I have used my beloved Cuisineart Griddler to grill these skewers at home.

I have marinated shrimp, salmon, onion and peppers in low-sodium sauce, teriyaki sauce, garlic, ginger, and light olive oil overnight.

Then grilled on skewers the next day. 

Shrimp and Scallops in Creamy Parmesan Garlic Sauce

Shrimp and Scallops in Creamy Parmesan Garlic Sauce and Pasta

I definitely will need to make a separate post for this Amazingly Delicious post, but since I just eyeballed everything the recipe isn’t ready for public consumptions.

Approximate recipe:

Add light olive oil and butter to a medium-hot skillet. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Saute shrimp and scallops until no longer pink. Add a tablespoon or more of flour, about 1/2 cup half/half and white wine, Parmesan cheese, paprika, and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes until sauce thickens. Garnish with parsley.

Fried Rice

Fried Rice

How to make Easy Fried Rice

I had some leftover cooked Jasmine rice. 

1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. light olive oil
2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 large eggs
1 carrot, diced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups. cooked long-grain rice
3/4 c. edamame
3 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce

Heat a large skillet over high heat.
Add butter and oil, cook garlic and carrot for two minutes.
Add cooked rice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and cook for a couple of minutes stirring until heated through.
Move rice to the sides making a room to cook the eggs.
When eggs are cooked, add edamame and green onion.
Mix well.



Click here for the Orange Chocolate Almond Cake recipe

Puff Pastry pinwheels and puffs with Banana, Nutella and Nut filling Orange Chocolate Almond Cake

Puff Pastry pinwheels and puffs with Banana, Nutella and Nut filling

puffs with Banana, Nutella and Nut filling

The Puff Pastry pinwheels and puffs is very similar to Nutella Chocolate Spirals recipe, but with sliced Banana, Nutella and Nut filling

Love Summer Fruit selection

Fruit plate

My crew loved the setting and the food!

I hope you will enjoy these recipes as much as my family does!  

If you use and like any of the recipes, please let me know! I love getting feedback!

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