Five Days to Go!

This is our Christmas forecast, people:

*sigh* Looks like we’ll be sporting shorts on Christmas again this year…

Last night our dear friends, B and F, host their annual Pre-Christmas dinner party for our family and my cousin’s family. There were 6 kids and 6 adults. B decided to let everyone create their own pizzas this year! What a fabulous idea! The outcome was an inventive array of wonderful cheesy goodness. Her selection of toppings was quite creative. She had everything from your usual pepperoni and mozzarella to some different choices like cucumber, carrots and feta cheese. After dinner we let the kiddos exchange gifts and then we all ate homemade chocolate cake. It was almost 11 PM by the time we left. It was a lot of fun and I greatly appreciate B and F’s hospitality! Nothing beats good friends and good food!

Today, my project is to work on birthday cakes. I decided to go homemade this year and put my Wilton Cake Decorating Class skillz to good use. Friday is Wildman’s actual birthday and I’m hosting a family get-together to celebrate both his 3rd and my youngest cousin’s 25th birthdays. I’m making 2 cakes. Wildman’s will be a white cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. It will be decorated with various candies including M&M’s (his ultimate favorite) and gummy worms! My cousin’s cake will be strawberry with chocolate buttercream frosting. Her cake will be decorated with these adorable, over-sized sprinkles. They look like pastel polka dots. I really hope these cakes turn out well. The first nerve-wracking stage is done. I’ve baked the cakes and gotten them out of the pans intact. Whew! I hate that part. I’m always afraid they’re going to break in two. Next, I need to level the cakes with a bread knife. We don’t need wobbly layers! Then, I’m going to frost those bad boys with the “crumb catching” layer of frosting. This step consists of applying a coat of watered-down frosting to the naked cakes and allowing it to dry. Ideally, this layer of frosting seals in the tiny crumbs and creates a nice surface to work up some buttercream magic. I’ll take some photos of the final product. Hopefully, they’ll look semi-professional!

Wildman’s preschool holiday party is tomorrow too. I volunteered to help out. Note to self: don’t volunteer for this next year. It’s too darn busy this time of year with all the holidays and birthdays and stuff. Anyway, I’m bringing the goody bags and snacks. Since I brought in cupcakes for Wildman’s class on Wednesday for a little class celebration of his birthday, I decided to bring a healthier snack for tomorrow. I’m bringing applesauce and chewy granola bars. I hope the kids aren’t too pissed I’m not bringing in more cupcakes or cookies. I did sneak some candy canes and chocolate coins into the goody bags though. That should help give them a nice sugar buzz when they get home 🙂

Busy times!

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Aileen
    Dec 20, 2007 @ 20:34:34

    **sobbing** I miss decorating a palm tree on Christmas!!

    Great ideas for the cakes!! I do a crumb catching layer too… and put it in the fridge to let it set before frosting again. I can’t wait to see photos of your creation!! I’m sure everyone will love it. I can almost taste the strawberry cake. YUM!!

    Happy birthday wildman!! Hope you have an extra special day!! 🙂

    P.S. I have yet to make a successful pizza at home. It never comes out like in the pizzeria… and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong….

    Reply

  2. adventuresoffour
    Dec 20, 2007 @ 20:38:26

    We’ve only decorated the palms in our front yard. Did you actually have one in a pot in your house that you decorated. That would be pretty cute!

    Crumb catching layer is drying as I write this. Hmmm… Fridge idea is a good one. I might just have to try that.

    I’ll pass on your b-day wishes to Wildman.

    My secret for an awesome pizza is to mix Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese into dry crust ingredients. Then I bake it on a pizza stone. The stone makes it come out just perfect!

    Reply

  3. Aileen
    Dec 20, 2007 @ 21:11:35

    I joked to a friend that works for cooking.com that I wanted to make the perfect pizza as a christmas gift, and I think he might have sent me a pizza stone. We’ll see. My dad used to make pizzas at a restaurant… I can have him make me a bunch of doughs for the crust and then the kids and I can decorate them. What’s your favorite topping?

    Try putting it in the fridge before you frost it a second time. It works really well.

    Reply

  4. adventuresoffour
    Dec 21, 2007 @ 01:38:47

    My favorite topping is… well, it’s a toss up between Italian sausage and mushrooms.

    The stone makes all the difference! I hope you get one!

    I didn’t try the fridge thing trick this time. My crumb layer was already dry when I went back into the kitchen. Next time!

    Reply

  5. bethany actually
    Dec 21, 2007 @ 17:22:46

    Aileen sent me here, holding a gun to my head. 😉 I just wanted to say that if you make cakes more than a couple of times a year, you should invest $3 in a 10″ leveler! I got mine at Wal-Mart and it makes leveling cakes soooo much easier than using a bread knife.

    Reply

  6. adventuresoffour
    Dec 21, 2007 @ 19:01:53

    Bethany- Aileen is good for that. Holding guns to people’s heads. 🙂 Thanks for the cake leveler tip! I’ll have to look for it the next time in Wal-mart! That’s where I found the nifty polka dots. I had the two boys with me so my browsing time was limited to about 10 seconds. I didn’t get a chance to even glance at the levelers! It’ll be on my list now!

    Reply

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