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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Dinosaur Party!

I am just going to apologize now, before I start this post. I am the worst at taking pictures. During parties I even think to myself "I should be taking pictures right now" and then whatever I am doing seems so much more important than actually taking pictures of doing it. So there aren't many. But the fact that I took any pictures at all is great news!
I did grab my camera for this one. How could you not?

So Nathan turned 4! And he wanted a dinosaur party, or he did 6 weeks ago when I started planning in my head, and I wouldn't let him change when he decided he wanted a "There's a Wocket in my Pocket" party 1 week before.

I think he had a great time! He got to play with his uncles, and his cousin, plus visit with grandparents and even more aunts and uncles. And he got an exploding train bridge, at 4, what more could you want?
The great banner my mom made. My poor son would have had no decorations if not for my mom. I just didn't get to it.

I decided to go with a finger food theme because I knew it was something the boys would actually eat and enjoy, and way less messy than traditional food.

So we did mini macaroni and cheese with this recipe. Thank goodness I put them in mini foil liners, because they didn't stay together quite as much as I hoped they would. It may have had something to do with waiting to bake them until they day off. But the foil liners kept everything contained nicely.

And Pizza balls. Wow those went quickly. I made 138 for a party of about 25 people. And there was not a single one left. Maybe I'll post a recipe later. They are so good.

Then there was the cake. I may or may not have mentioned the the past just how much I hate cake. Or maybe I don't hate cake, I just don't like it. At all. Every birthday I end up making a big cake, and exactly 3 people have a piece, and then the thing sits on my counter with a big piece of foil over it for 3 days as we slowly pick away at half of it. Eating it just because it is there and we feel guilty that I made it, but not because we actually want to eat it.

So this time I decided to take a different approach, cake pops! Oh my gosh, they were a pain in the butt, but I may never make a full sized cake again! I would actually contemplate decorating Styrofoam to have a fancy looking cake, but then still just make the cake pops to eat. For the first time ever, there was no cake to clean up, because there again was not a single one left.

I learned some things for next time when making cake pops.

1.Smaller is better. Just a little bit bigger than a quarter doesn't seem like a huge deal, but heavier than that and they want to fall into the dipping chocolate or just break in half while being coated.

2.Sprinkles are your friends. It is surprisingly difficult to get the chocolate to look smooth and pretty on a cake ball on a stick. Sprinkles would have totally covered this up and made them look like I knew what I was doing.

3. Tipping the bowl you are using almost completely sideways is the only way to get the chocolate all the way down by the base of the cake pop and stick. Don't stick it straight down. It will fall off. Even if you put the stick in chocolate before inserting it and left it in the freezer for a while to firm up. It will still fall off.

4. No matter how hard you try, red cake pops on white sticks will not look like dinosaur eggs, they will just look like red balloons. If you try to add blue dots to them with food marker, it will just look like a red balloon with mold growing on it. Just give up and let them look like balloons. 
Don't they look like a bunch of red balloons?

Let's see, oh! the exploding train bridge. My sister may or may not have been making fun of me when she said "Exploding train fun for the whole family! Watch your favorite characters plunge to their death in a fiery train accident!" So maybe it's sort of a weird birthday present, but it is so cool. And Nathan has been asking for this set for exactly 8 months. Pretty much right after Christmas when he discovered it existed. But the poor thing has a September birthday and no real reason to buy him a huge gift in the middle of the year. But he kept asking about it for 8 solid months, so we knew it would be something he loved. And he has spent every waking minute playing with it since the moment we opened it. He even gets nervous about going to eat meals, because it wants to play with

Too busy to eat breakfast, must play with trains. And before you ask, No, Noah is not wearing pants. Have I posted about potty training yet?

Elise hanging out with Aunt Nina. I promise she was having more fun than it looks like!

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