Planning the Princess Birthday, the Perfect Project for a Glitter Mama

A dream is a wish your heart makes.

~ Cinderella

My baby girl is turning 5!!!

She’s telling me that I don’t get to call her the “baby” anymore…yea, right…she’s still my baby ūüôā

And because she is a Princess, you know, I get to have the most fun prepping for her birthday gathering on Monday.

I used to be one of those gals that would run up (or send Christopher up to) the party store, gather all of the trappings of a boxed birthday party, blow up balloons, and call it done.  Well, we also usually make some kind of crazy cake.  But the rest has been more of a boxed sort of birthday plan.

The more I art, and the more I collect stuff, the more I get away from the boxed approach and go more towards a do-it-yourself approach.

This birthday, Bella’s 5th, is coming together really really super-sweet!! ¬†And cuz she’s all girl, a true Princess, I get to decorate in pink and shiny and flowers and glitter and all of the trappings of girlie stuff, perfect for a glitter gal like myself. ¬†It’s better than Happy I Love You Day! ¬†Along with the lovelies for the cake and the decorations, Bella’s getting some new tutus and dress-up pretties, and I’ve made some cute little packing tape artsy journals and favor bags for the kidlets, that will be tucked in with candy.

I’ll have pics of the interesting swags that I’m making, once I get it hung up and installed. ¬†I put up some kind of Birthday Banner for each of their birthdays, they range from paper flags, to butterflies with words on them, to paper chains. ¬†This one is a yellow and pink and fringe and lace thing. ¬†And they all seem to think that I’ve upped the bar, since I had the sewing machine out for this one. ¬†They’ve all started putting in their orders for their next birthday soirees!

And when I’m back, I’ll show you what we come up with for the custom birthday cake. ¬†We have made quite the assortment of cakes over the years, some of them are total masterpieces, while others are, uhm, well, embarassing, heehee.

Here’s a fun look at some of our past cakes to tide you over till then. ¬†These are quite the memories in our little fam, the kids remember the cakes that we make with joy and laughter and sometimes even a bit of anxiety (see the Elmo cake)! ¬†The beautiful white and raspberry cake is Bella’s birthday yummy from last year, you can see it in more detail, along with the recipe links and so forth here.

Al's Cake

Pokeball ice cream cake\

Ry's Cake

350Bell's Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ally 4 cake 2Sunshine cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a wonderful weekend, I’ll be here playing Birthday Prep. ¬†Be sure to check back for pics of all the festivities!

xoxo

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Do You Love Bread Pudding Like I Do?

I might have told you before that I am really not the cook in the house.  I mostly view cooking as a chore, and not as a creative outlet or as pleasant in any way.  I get stressed out in the kitchen.

Now don’t get me wrong, I really do love to eat. ¬†I do love watching Christopher in the kitchen. ¬†I do love helping pick out new dishes to try, and helping choose flavors that I hope he uses in our next meal. ¬†I love to decorate the table. ¬†I’ll even do the dishes.

But I really don’t care much for the actual cooking.

Occasionally, though, I do get a wild hair and get excited about baking something.  In fact, I have mastered the art of the cookie.  Of course, I think that comes along with the whole package of Mommy Magic.

I love bread pudding. ¬†I haven’t met many bread puddings that I didn’t love. ¬†I especially love the kind of bread pudding you get back down South, and having grown up in Texas, with a bunch of family from Louisiana, I especially love New Orleans-style bread pudding.

I found a super-yummy recipe on http://www.allrecipes.com for a very yummy, very simple, French Quarter Bread Pudding. ¬†Oh, my, gosh! ¬†It’s really a great recipe.

I will give you the couple of things I adapted. ¬†I know, you’re supposed to try the recipe as is first, before you make any adjustments. ¬†But I wasn’t sure how the whole bread pudding thing was going to go over in my house, so I didn’t know if it would be any time soon before I got to make it again and adapt it…

So here’s what tiny little things I did a bit differently than the posted recipe:

  1. I had Christopher make the french bread here at home.  He made a nice, dense bread for me.  Yummy.  I had a hard time not munching the bread straight away.
  2. I did NOT add raisins.  Yuck.  I do not like raisins in my bread pudding.
  3. I used heavy cream rather than half and half.  I like a thicker bread pudding.
  4. I doubled the cinnamon, nutmeg, and the vanilla.
  5. We baked up some pecans in butter and brown sugar, and then drizzled the top of the bread pudding with that and more melted butter.

Okay, so the extra sweet from the brown sugar on top was a bit sweet, next time I’ll work on a bourbon sauce, I just didn’t have any bourbon on hand this time. ¬†Otherwise, this was so yummy, it looked beautiful, it was the perfect texture…and no, my kids weren’t crazy about it. ¬†I think if they would’ve given it more of a chance, they might have loved it…they just thought it mostly looked weird. ¬†I think that was my opinion of bread pudding when I was a kid. ¬†So much lost time, sigh.

I hope you get a chance to try this out, it really is one of my fave new recipes.

And please!!  Let me know if you have any good bread pudding recipes, as I do love them!!

Yummy Birthday Cake, Recipe and Notes for Your Pleasure

I promised you that I’d bring you pics and the recipe for the new cake we made for Bella’s Birthday celebration dinner…

Christopher does most of the cooking in our house…I see cooking mostly as a chore, while Christopher sees cooking as his favorite artistic expression. ¬†That probably explains why no one will eat my cooking and they all love his!!

I am really good at ideas and inspirations, so I find stuff for him to make.  His gift is taking the ideas and flavor inspirations and making wonderful creations for us.

I do get to help with all of the baking, though.  I have mastered the art of cookies, and I have been conquering the cake.

We’ve been making all of our kidlets’ birthday cakes over the years…some of them turn out to be wild and even a bit weird Elmos or garden flowers and even Lightening McQueen cakes. ¬†Some times we don’t do the character thing and keep it to yummy and beautiful creations, like strawberry shortcakes or chocolate-cake-and-cream-roll cakes. ¬†But they are always a work of love and joy and celebration.

Bella’s Birthday Bash Cake was adapted from a recipe from Martha Stewart Living magazine. ¬†I actually get the hard-copy magazine delivered to my home (one of the best gifts I have ever received), but I will include links to the recipes online for you. ¬†On a side note, Living¬†is one of the best sources of inspiration for all kinds of neat stuff ~ color schemes, decorating, how-tos, party planning, collage fodder, crafty projects, recipes, all kinds of stuff. ¬†Some of the inspiration is exactly what is in the magazine and other inspiration is indirect, but every month it is chock-full of great stuff. ¬†I visit the online site for ideas regularly as well. ¬†I most often go to allrecipes.com for food ideas, but Martha Stewart totally rocks!

You can find the recipes here for the Raspberry White Cake and the Meringue Frosting.

I know that ours doesn’t look exactly like Martha’s cake, but we opted out of the flaked coconut on top of the cake and put on the raspberries. ¬†Bella loves all things produce, and for her, more is better.

Christopher and I actually did this whole thing together.  We had a great time, and the cake turned out beautifully and yummy and was a big hit.

I would only suggest a couple of adaptations for the next time around:

  1. We used Knotts Berry Farm raspberry jam for the goo in between the layers.  It was way too sweet.  WAY too sweet.  Next time we will make our own raspberry compote for in between the layers.
  2. We did not fold a bunch of raspberries into the batter just in case the kidlets didn’t like the cooked raspberries. ¬†The batter got a little bit dry, as the batter accounts for the juice in the raspberries cooking into the batter. ¬†Next time I will add a bit more whole milk to make up for that and keep the cake a little more moist.
  3. I cooked it too long, by about 3 or 4 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook, just let the cakes get barely golden before getting them out of the oven.

But the flavor and texture were both awesome, the meringue was the perfect amount of sweet and fluffy, and the whole thing is a fairly simple recipe and didn’t take too long. ¬†Definitely one we will try again in the future!

Prompt: ¬†Do you have a favorite cake recipe? ¬†I would really love to hear about it ūüôā