Thursday, January 18, 2018

Chess Board Cake

This birthday cake took some good advance planning--not so much on the cake side, because it was pretty easy to make and assemble after ordering a couple of chess molds from Amazon for the chess pieces and squares on the board--but more so that I had to learn to play chess. I have never known how, but my husband grew up playing chess and loves the game. He's never been able to play against me, though, so I thought it would be fun to surprise him with a chess board cake and then play against him on the cake--interactive cakes are the best! I was visiting some family the month before with the kids while hubby was home working, and I convinced my 2 teenage nephews to sit down and teach me chess. Goodness those boys were patient with their slow aunt, and helped me through the basics of it, and let me practice on them. I even won one game against them...they may have let me, I'm not sure, but I'll take the win with a proud smile on my face!

The longest part of making this cake is probably taking them time to make all the pieces in the molds with candy melts. It took a lot of chocolate...I think it was almost 32 oz of white and 32 oz of dark chocolate. One those were all done all I had to do was bake and frost a 12" cake in some dark chocolate ganache and then put all my little squares on one by one. If you are wanting to go the extra mile, you could always bake the inside of the cake to resemble a chess board (I have one of those kinds of cake to show you coming up on my blog), but I only wanted my board to be 2" high so it looked like a real board. 

 When hubby got home from work on his birthday he was both totally surprised by his cake and that I actually knew how to play the game. He sat down at once to play me...I put up a good fight, but in the end as you can see, it was checkmate on me (I don't even know--is that the right way to say it? I still have a lot to learn). I guess it was good that the birthday boy won. We'll just pretend that I let him win, right?!
 My kids wanted in on the fun too, so we also made checkers pieces out of molds we got from Amazon and let them play a few rounds of checkers. Man they are competitive...they get that from me ;)
After several rounds of chess and checkers, we all got our just desserts, and got to eat our game. It was quite satisfying if I say so myself!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

My Little Pony Birthday Party

When Princess #3 turned 4, life was all about My Little Pony. She loved to play with her ponies, watch the movies, and even pretend she was one of the ponies. It was an easy decision what sort of party she would want this  year. I was excited when she decided on this. I had seen different unicorn cakes floating around on youtube and facebook, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do for her cake. We made her cake into one of her favorite ponies, Rainbow Dash. 

The pony's hair was my favorite part to do. I love the colorful locks.
And obviously, if you are going to do a Rainbow Dash cake, the inside had better be rainbow too!

I really love doing backdrops with crepe paper. It fun, colorful, easy, and inexpensive. Add some white balloons for clouds, and you have a perfect backdrop for Rainbow Dash and the rest of the pony party food.
Cake isn't enough for all the little pony party goers, so we added some other edible treats for the kids--Rainbow Dash Fruit Skewers, Applejack Apple Slices, Pinkie Pie Pink Lemonade, Twilight Sparkle Unicorn Horns, and Rainbow Dash Rice Krispy Treats

This Pony Party not only had some delicious treats, but also some fun games that the kids could play and "horse-around" doing ;)

Pin the Tail on Pinkie Pie, Making Rainbow Dash necklaces with fruit loops, and the kids' personal favorite...

Rarity's Hoof Painting Salon. By the end of the party those girls had the cutest, sparkliest hoof in the block.
Happy birthday from Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, AppleJack, Rainbow Dash, and all the rest of the ponies!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Mermaid Birthday Party

 OK friends I know that I have been MIA for quite awhile here on my blog. Honestly, the past 2 years have been the craziest two years of my life. We had our 4th baby, then moved 3 weeks later from Iowa to Texas for a one year fellowship, then just to pack everything back up and move across the country again to Idaho. I thought the transition to 4 kids would be a piece of cake--everyone told me that after 3, what's one more, right? Wow, my world got thrown upsidedown and I had my first experience with post partum depression. I have had some wonderful family and friends in my life that helped me through this time, and now I feel back to me and life is a little less chaotic. We are now settled, I finally have a house with 2 ovens! (Wow, I am still doing a happy dance about that one!), and now it's time to play catch up on my blog. Don't worry, I didn't stop baking during these couple of years. I have plenty of cakes to show you. I will do my best to get them all up on here within the next couple of months. They may be a little big out of order, but at least they will be up!

During our year in Texas we had a fun mermaid birthday party for my older 2 girls. Since their birthdays fall right before Halloween, they tend to want their party to go with the costumes they decided on for Halloween. This year it was all about the mermaid.
 This cake was one of my favorites to make. I had been wanting to try out this new technique I learned online with the ombre effect in fishscales using modeling chocolate. It worked out well, and was much easier to do than I anticipated. The buttercream ruffles for the waves on the bottom tier were done with an oversized french star tip with some white streaks of buttercream in my bag filled with blue buttercream. I found a mold to make the shells and starfish, and the seaweed was easily done by twisting some extra modeling chocolate pieces.

 I'm not the best sculpter of people, or mermaids, out of fondant and modeling chocolate, but I still like how my two little mermaids turned out. They are sitting on the ocean floor made up of crushed graham crackers (you could use brown sugar too).
 Adding a few edible pearls (found in the cake decorating section at Walmart or most craft stores) added the perfect last touch to the cake.
 We had a fun spread of some other under the sea cuisine
Some edible Oysters and pearls made with buttercream and an edible pearl sandwiched between two lemon cookies.
 Blue jello with fish in them--maybe not the best idea. I made up the jello and when it was almost set, pushed a swedish fish in it. The jello sort of made the fish start to dissolve and when the kids finally ate it, it was a strange consistency that no one liked. Maybe skip this one next time ;)
Some vanilla pudding topped with graham cracker sand to portray the beach, and white chocolate shells made up these yummy treats.
 The jellyfish hanging behind the table were my favorite! All you need for these are chinese lanterns, found in any craft store, streamers, clear tape, and a good show to watch on Netflix while you are cutting and twisting streamers every 2-3 inches. I also added some thin, shiny curly ribbon for a little more sparkle and texture.Honestly, I loved these so much I left them hanging in my home for the next month, until it was almost Thanksgiving and we were having a house full of guests come into town, and my husband said the jellyfish had to finally go back to the sea.
 Here are my two mermaids. Aren't they cute! Even with the missing teeth! These were their Halloween costumes--I usually let them wear them for their party, but we had too many running around games outside with water, that I made them change back into human clothes for the party, and done their mermaid fins later. We made these necklaces for all the kids to wear at the party--just a small shell from the dollar store, a fake pearl, and some glitter glue. These were a hit with all the kids.
 Besides the water relays we did, we also raced to see which team could make a person into a mermaid the fastest with crepe paper, and we painted little sunken treasure chests.

Finally before heading home we let the kids have at our "octopus" pinata. I know, it looks a little pathetic. This was one of those crafts you do with the kids entirely for letting the kids have the experience making paper mache. Our streamer legs needed a little more stiffness to them, but they still had fun busting him open and racing to get the underwater treasure hiding inside him.

I hope you enjoyed this one. We had a blast with this party--their only birthday party in Texas, so we could actually do water games and be outside without freezing! All their other parties in Iowa were so cold at the end of October.  Cheers until next time!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Sesame Street Birthday Party

It took my third baby turning 3 years old to have a sesame street party at our house. I'm surprised it took that long. Sesame street was a childhood favorite of mine, and those characters still have a special place in my heart. Elmo won over her heart, so this year it was all about him. I convinced Princess #3 to let me add in a few of the other characters too, to keep Elmo company. That seemed to appease her.

You guys know by now that I am all about the cake at parties. I was so excited to do this cake. I loved the bright Sesame street colors. You can't help but be happy with all those colors around. The classic Sesame Street street sign with her name and age on it was a perfect decoration for the top tier with Elmo, Big Bird, and Cookie Monster underneath.

I can't help but smile with all those happy faces staring back at me. I had some blue fondant on hand and some red and yellow modeling chocolate too, so I did Big Bird and Elmo out of modeling chocolate and Cookie Monster out of fondant. Modeling chocolate was easier to use and is what I would recommend using if someone tries it themselves.

 Cupcakes probably are overkill with a cake there to serve too, but when I saw this idea on Pinterest, I couldn't not make them. They were calling my name. Super easy to make, just bake up some chocolate cupcakes, cut a mouth shape out and use the grass tip to make their fur. Add some googly eye, a nose on Elmo, and a cookie in Cookie Monster's mouth, and you are done!

And a Sesame Street party just can't happen without some delicious cookies for Cookie Monster and all his friends and fans.

In case guests wanted something other than cake and cookies, we had an Elmo and Big Bird fruit platter with some sweet strawberries, blackberries, and oranges for Elmo, and pineapple and banana for Big Bird. Some yogurt and blackberries finished off the eyes for both puppets.

For decorations we made these cute pom pom characters. I had a hard time getting rid of these guys after the party. I think I kept them hanging up for 2 more months, until I finally had to take them down because we were selling our house and moving across the country. It broke my heart to throw them into the trash. I guess if I made Oscar the Grouch I wouldn't have felt as bad putting them in the garbage ;)

A cute little framed sign and some colorful letters scattered around the table finished things off!

 ...and of course Princess #3's Elmo joined the party for some food and fun. He may or may not have tried to eat a cookie monster cupcake while he was up there.

This post has been brought to you by the letter C and the number 3! Happy birthday!