Everyone had to get creative this year when it came to quarantined birthday celebrations. In my house, we obviously didn’t feel like it would be safe to party with people outside of our household, so what did we do? We started an Around the World Birthday Dinner tradition! Every time a birthday came along in 2020, the birthday boy or girl got to pick a country of their choice, and we crafted a delicious themed dinner based on the cuisine from that country or region. This was a great way to make each birthday special while adding a little educational value as we learned about each country. If you want to start your own Eating Around the World Birthday Dinner tradition this year, here are some examples of themed menus you can try based on some popular cuisines!
- Caprese Salad
- Prosciutto and Cantaloupe: This strange pairing is a popular appetizer in Italy! Think sweet and salty. Typically, the cantaloupe is cut into wedges and wrapped with thinly sliced prosciutto. The trick is to use a cantaloupe that is in season and freshly sliced prosciutto – none of that prepackaged stuff.
- Pasta Carbonara
- Jerk-Style Chicken
- Mango-Avocado Salsa
- Rice and Beans
- Jamaican Toto (coconut cake): This classic Caribbean cake is flavored with spices and coconut. It is a very simple cake to make and doesn’t really have many bells and whistles as faras decorations. To make it special for a birthday cake, decorate it with whipped cream, shaved coconut, powdered sugar and cinnamon!
- Schnitzel: Pronounced “SHNIT” + “suhl”, this German stable is basically fried meat – YUM! Typically, the dish is made with veal or pork that has been pounded out, breaded and fried. Serve with a wedge of lemon and dig in. You can also make Schnitzel with chicken or beef.
- Pommes Frites (french fries)
- Sautéed Cabbage
- Black Forest Cake
- Charcuterie: Charcuterie boards are becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. Who doesn’t love a copious arrangement of cured meats, cheeses, jams and nuts? Since this was invented by the French, make sure to include french cheeses like Brie, Camembert or Comté.
- Lamb Bourguignon
- Potatoes au Gratin
- French Green Beans with Butter
- Crème Brûlée
- Lamb Curry
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Naan Bread: Naan bread is a staple in Indian cuisine, and it is used kind of as a vessel for getting delicious food from your plate to your mouth. The bread is thin like a flatbread, but it is soft, buttery and the perfect blank canvas for Indian spices. You have to make naan from scratch to get the full experience – your taste buds will t hank you!
- Chutney (Spicy or Sweet)
- Basmati Rice
- Besan Ladoo (Sweet dessert balls flavored with sugar and cardamom)