Monday, April 2, 2012

The Party Round-up

The party was so much fun even if I did spend all weekend cooking/baking and gnawing on my shoulder for it to stop raining. We had two amazing friends offer their homes when they saw the rain on Saturday.  Not only did it stop raining, it was absolutely gorgeous! My aunt's house has one of those front yards that you spend a good deal of time dreaming about for future homes or party sites.  We are so lucky that she has lent her home TWO years in a row. 
I had a lot of fun decorating the cake, (thanks for asking Jesabes!) this is the exact fondant that I ended up using.  I know that there is a lot in the world of fondant but for a cake or larger item, this stuff rolls out really nice.  I ended up rolling out the fondant and covering the cake.  How to get the fondant on the cake was not really that apparent on most websites but you roll it around the pin and then unroll over the cake and cut around the edges.  I used corn starch for dusting and that worked well and was cheap at the grocery story but I have no clue where else you would use it.
Here are my issues with the cake, fondant, etc.  I lowered the temperature on the cake so the layers would be flat which they were.  The cake was SO dense as the cake doesn't fully rise with the lowered temperature.  You couldn't have put another layer on the cake as people would not have been able to chew the darn thing. I used the wilton fondant smoother, you don't need it.  I had also purchased the offset spatula which I FORGOT to use when crumb icing the cake.  IMHO, the crumb icing on top makes the cake lumpy or I am rolling out the fondant too thin. 

After this stage, I took the remaining fondant and dyed it red with this gel paste.  My hands looked like I committed a murder.  I had no food safe gloves on hand and you really need to use your hands to get the color mixed well.  A really great sales person at Surfas told me that it has to be gel paste to get a really nice color and the red that was achieved took almost the full .75 bottle.  I lacked any of the Wilton nifty tools to cut a border so I used a knife and cut a long strip and placed it on the board and not the cake.  I used a few different sized stars and a little water to attach them.  My problem at this point was my hands were red and getting red on everything that I touched so I couldn't touch the cake, making adjustments a little tricky.  Olivia is sitting on a big star but could have been a bit bigger.  I ordered the cake topper from Etsy and she did the sign for an additional $5.  There is no way that I could have made that topper. 
I had planned on making two cakes but I was extremely sick the prior weekend and with DH being out of town, I ran out of time. So I used a box cake recipe and made cupcakes in a cone for the kids.
DH yelled out that we were short a few cones and that the kids should come and get them resulting in a rush to the table.  Way to play it cool, DH.  I used very little frosting with heart sprinkles on top and the kids loved them.  I will definitely be repeating the cupcake in a cone idea in the future.  The cone gets sturdy after you bake them and a little stale but irresistible to small people.  I absolutely loved the holders and was too cheap to buy more than three.  LO dropped one of them BEFORE the party resulting in a broken top but we went with it.  I purchased them at Lowe's of all places. 

Other items that I had a lot of fun making were the sushi rice krispie treats that are not too visible in this picture but show the paper straws in the canning jar which I loved.   I used mini swedish fish on top, green fruit roll-ups complete the look but my grocery store didn't have any and I was still unsure if I was going to make them.  Other items that I made that didn't make the party were white chocolate covered pretzels with red sprinkles.  White chocolate doesn't harden very quickly so I popped them in the refrigerator when I was done dipping and I was unhappy with the yellowish tint on the white chocolate.  I meant to redo them but ran out of time.  I also made mini pigs in the blanket but I bought smoked dogs and I thought the smoked flavor was a little weird so DH ate them. 
I made jelly sandwiches with my jam for the kids and cut them with a cookie cutter into a pig shape.  I don't have a good pic of the platter so try to use your imagination on this one.
I ended up putting my gum balls into a jar with lollipops and using them as centerpieces with our homemade hats as I had a hard time believing that people would mow down on gum balls even if I loved the colors.  Also, I really didn't think the kids would wear the hats.  DH, LO and I ended up buying the more generic candy downtown which was a fun adventure. 
Lastly, the balloon artist was greatish.  Her creations were amazing. 

Yes, that is a mermaid! The bummer was that I had no idea that the balloons popped if they touched the grass.  I had visions of her making toys for the kids to play with at the party.  Unfortunately, telling a two year old not to have their new toy touch the grass which is like 10 inches away is impossible.  DH thought she wasn't making enough animals as he didn't see them but there was a lot of collateral damage. 

This year's party was sooooo different from last year and the MAIN reason was that I saw LO for about two seconds.   She was playing with her friends, going down the slide or running around.   I had my eye on her but she was doing her own thing. 

Sitting with friends

Talking to babies
And eating cake.  Cake is all she wanted for her birthday, but she was pretty happy about the car too.