Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I's Fourth Birthday Party: Part 2-The Cake

The cake. Oh, the cake. It turned out way better than I could have ever expected. So, without further adieu, I present The Cake.

(photo courtesy of east.west.)

First, we baked three separate cakes: two 9" x 13" rectangles and an 8" square. I used the Deep Chocolate Vegan Cake recipe from Moosewood and let them cool. Next, I made the Fluffy Buttercream frosting recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and left it at room temperature. We stacked the two 9" x 13"'s on top of each other and centered pieces of the 8" square on the middle top of those and put them in the freezer to cool. Meanwhile, Huz made templates of the car out of cardboard to use for carving the shape. Then, he got the terrifying job of carving the cake.

He did a super job!

Once the cake was carved, we spread a thin crumb coat layer of frosting over it and returned it to the fridge to cool.

While it was cooling, I added color to separate bowls of frosting. I used blue for the main color of the car.

Then I decorated.

I found some vegan fondant at Michael's and was going to use it to add a bunch of details, but it was hard to work with and I didn't end up using it for much.

Some scraps of fondant became rocks to hold up the checkered flags I made from fabric and toothpicks.

And here is the birthday boy receiving the cake!

(lack of excitement is par for the course with this guy!)

Next post will be pictures of the party.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I's Fourth Birthday Party: Part 1- Preparations

A few weeks ago, my baby turned four. Its been pretty magical watching him grow into such a sweet and funny little person. I can't believe how fast the time has flown. Everyone says it does, but its hard to believe until you experience it for yourself. To honor his birthday, Huz and I threw him an awesome race car themed party.

Once little man turned three years old, he began asking for a race car birthday cake for his fourth birthday. I'm not sure if he saw one somewhere or just dreamed it up, but he repeatedly asked for one throughout the year. If you know me well, you know I'm a huge procrastinator and even though I had the whole year to plan this birthday party, I waited until a couple weeks before his party to start planning it. So, we called on some amazing friends to come help us clean up the yard and handcraft the activities and favors for the party. Huge thanks go to east.west and nortagemdar and their husbands for the tremendous amounts of help they lent us!

The first order of business was getting the yard cleaned up and ready to host 40 people. Huz built this amazing fence around the garden using reclaimed boards from our old garden boxes. It turned out better than I could have imagined and now I have a farm in my back yard!

Next he built a compost bin out of old pallets. We're planning on painting it an aqua color soon.

I missed out on taking pictures of our friends helping with yard work because I was volunteering at the lab.

A few nights later, the gang came over and helped us with the party stuff.

The Husbands pooled their creative ideas and painted this awesome bean bag toss game. I've recently discovered its actually called Cornhole. *Insert Beavis and Butthead laughter here.*

I made some bean bags out of random fabrics I had lying around.

Bee drew this awesome racing dude for Pin the Helmet on the Driver.

and her adorable hair helped me stitch up the favor bags. It took all of our efforts to print the race car on the fabric. Our poor printer almost didn't make it.

I also had a blast making these awards to pass out to all of the little winners at the party.

Finally, we made this special birthday boy race car shirt for I to wear to the party. This was made using the freezer paper stencil technique. I love freezer paper!

Stay tuned cause the next post in this series will be all about the cake!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Its Summertime!

And the living really is easy. When its over 100°, there's nothing like popsicle cheers and tiny hands covered in popsicle juice.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Restaurant Review: Amici's Pizza

It appears that I'm grasping at straws to find content to update this blog with. Its not that I don't have new things I'm working on, but I've been too lazy to ship out gifts and know that some of the recipients may read this and spoil their very overdue surprises. In the meantime, I'll give you a restaurant review.

A couple of months ago, Huz and I discovered a new vegan cheese, called Daiya, while vacationing in Southern California. This amazing new vegan cheese melts, stretches and tastes a lot like the real thing. We can't purchase this stuff in our next of the woods, so we bought extra and created a stockpile in our freezer at home. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and this is no exception. Our Daiya has run out and we've been brainstorming ways to get more. Daiya's website states that you can purchase it in San Francisco, but can enjoy it in Vacaville. Done. We loaded ourselves into the car and drove to Amici's Pizza in Vacaville and feasted on pizza with cheez! A rare event for a vegan indeed!

Overall, Amici's dining room was open and inviting. The service staff was decent, but we got seated quickly and our pizza arrived super fast. The kitchen was also wide open so guests could watch the chefs spinning pizza dough up in the air: a total treat for I. We ordered a large pizza that was half Asante (the menu stated that this was a vegan pizza!) and half Veggie with Daiya instead of dairy cheese. The pizza was amazing and the Daiya totally lived up to our expectations: melty, stringy and tasty. The crust was thin, but light and airy. So good!

Here's a close up of the Asante. This was my favorite.

Check out that crust! Oh, I wish I had more!

And here's a glorious slice of leftovers. On a side note, check out the new placemats, tablecloth and napkins I made for us. I quilted a strip of scraps into the top fabric and I love the way it turned out. I think I'm developing quite a love of tasteful patchwork. Think cool, not country cute, though. There won't be any ducks with bonnets or geese with fiddles around here.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Time to Update this Thing

Alright! I'm back and ready to start making this blog happen again. Oh yeah.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Contemplating Costumes

I've never been one to get very excited about dressing up for Halloween. I can only remember being pumped about dressing up for a couple of my childhood Halloweens. There was one year that I thought it would be great to dress up like a punk rocker in my pre-teen years and let my older sister spike my hair up with Knox Gelatin and then a few other costumes where I wanted to be a hobo (for some reason I chose this costume several times). Once my son came along and his first Halloween approached, I thought I should try being more enthusiastic about celebrating this day with him.

For his first Halloween, we adorned a brown winter bunting of his with a felt tail, converted a paci into some bucked teeth and whiskers and gave him a felt stick to carry so he could be a beaver. It was pretty adorable.

We dressed him as a Mariachi for his second Halloween.

At the time of his third Halloween, he was obsessed with the children's story Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, so he dressed as Mike. It was not much of a costume, and most people didn't know who or what he was. It appears that we're also condoning the use of corn cob pipes by toddlers. Oops.

Now that he's three, I was hoping he would come up with some crazy, imaginative and elaborate costume idea, but that's not exactly the case. For a couple of weeks he said he wanted to be this.

Now he wants to be this.

That's right. A blue letter I.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I Spy Pillow Bags

They're like hot cakes.