Busy, busy, busy here. Boy Lacer had his birthday party today, his first ever ‘proper’ one. We had three of his little friends over (about as much as this flat can hold) and his Grandma. A party meant that yesterday I had to spring clean this flat from top to bottom, followed by lots of sewing and preparation. The spring cleaning was hard work, particularly the kids’ room which is normally in such a state, specially recently, that makes me turn on heel and walk out every time I go in and that took me most of the day and consequently my feet are killing me.
I had decided to sew the actual party bags; the party had a loose dinosaur theme, so they had dinosaur appliques and were personalised with each child’s name, in the bag was a small drawing pad, pencils, sweets, cake and a dinosaur.
I quite like the appliques, specially the middle one but in hindsight I should have appliqued the T-rex onto a darker fabric, as the applique fabric background colour is too similar. Note the ribbon handles? That’s what sewing at midnight the night before calls for.
Actual birthday party day called for baking three things; butter cut out cookies from How to Be a Domestic Goddess (the go to recipe for cut out biscuits that actually work, I bake these every birthday season (and in this house birthdays are in a season) and often at Christmas, you can see an actual photo of Girl Lacer’s 5 biscuits here (scroll down to about the middle)), birthday cake and brownie bowls for the ice cream. Luckily I’d already got some dough for the cut out cookies (I’d made some for Boy Lacer’s actual birthday and stuck half the dough in the freezer as it freezes well and the recipe does produce a lot of dough), so those were quick to make. Then it was the birthday cake, Bill Granger’s Cake for a Crowd that I made the other day, at the request from Boy Lacer. Cake for a Crowd is as incredibly yummy as it is incredibly easy to make, although I really must get an electric whisk with variable speed settings, as my whisk only has one speed setting and that setting is plaster cook, walls and cook book mode. So the cake was easy to make. Then it was the brownie bowls from Nigella’s Kitchen, which I had vowed to myself that I’d trial before the day, as I’d never made them before but never got time, but those (all mixed together in a saucepan) proved easy and relatively quick to make to. In between all this baking I was getting Boy Lacer dressed, doing last minute tidying and finishing preparing birthday bags and activities and before I knew it the guests had arrived (and I had to sneak into the bathroom to quickly brush my teeth as I had been rushing round so much I’d forgotten).
The party itself was kept simple, really just a glorified playdate, the kids were let loose on the toys and then at lunch time I fed them pizza, cheese and bacon potato skins and lots of crisps (bad 21st century mummy for not including crudities but I couldn’t find any pre-cut in Sainsburys and I couldn’t be, well you can imagine after all the rushing round what I thought). Dessert was the aforementioned brownie bowls (I had got the tin from here) and was topped with a choice of vanilla or Phish Food ice cream and sprinkles and I have honestly never seen a noisy room of children go so quiet before, thank you St. Nigella. They all demolished them.
The tin only makes six servings, so I didn’t really get a proper chance to try one but the bit I did try was delicious, moistly sticky, not too chocolatey and a faint hint of toffee, I think this may be our dessert of choice this Christmas (given up trying to get this family to eat ‘proper’ Christmas food). My only hint is to make sure you do sift the flour as the mix does get lumpy.
The Cake for a Crowd was as good as last time, but some how inexplicably my bag of icing sugar had gone missing, so the cake was icing-less (but still topped with dinosaur sweets).
I am now a very tired Mrs. Lacer.