A Bubble Birthday

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Prepping “bubbles” for the party this weekend

I don’t often get misty eyed as the girls hit milestones – first tooth, first words, starting school. As a stay at home mom, I’ve been eager for a few chunks of time without being climbed on or poked at or whined at. (I know I’ll miss this stage later on, but for now, I’m ready for a new stage!) But I am finding it hard to believe that my sweet Peanut is 7 today! I won’t wax poetic; apparently it’s not my way.

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Funfetti Pancake Muffins for Breakfast!

Instead, let’s skip straight to the birthday party (Click here for party pics). I’m terribly pleased that I’ve made it 7 years and not one theme focused on a cartoon character. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I just love that my girls have their priorities straight – cake!

Come to think of it, the kids are probably why I got into baking. Becoming a mom (and a stay at home one at that), I became more interested in what we were feeding our family. I didn’t want to give the girls ingredients I can’t pronounce.  Besides, I knew how to make cookies; of course I could make other things from scratch, right? (Can you hear my stubbornness? No? I can!)

I tried a few things when the girls were small, but nothing memorable. We had just moved when the Big was turning 4. We were far from family and I wanted it to be a good day. It was the first time I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and after her serious deliberation, I embarked on making my very first chocolate cake from scratch. I knew I wanted to it to be as tasty as cake from a mix, but I had no idea which recipe to use! In the end, I made 4 different cakes and three different frostings over the course of 10 days before I made the actual birthday cake. With practice cakes in hand, we made friendly with our new neighbors quite quick!

Back to the bubbles. This year, the Big asked for strawberry cupcakes and strawberry frosting with real fruit. No small order, huh?

Test Cakes
Test Cakes

I did a test batch a couple of weeks ago and was shocked that it worked out (check out the mini’s in the photo)! Around the same time, I came across a Pinterest post with bubbles decorating a cake. And thus a theme is born! Pale pink cakes topped with real bubbles, a bubble bar that hopefully will quench the thirst of kids and grownups alike, and bubble themed activities and favors! Clearly, I’m not going to do well with the fitness challenge this weekend. But these cakes and day full of bubbly is completely worth it!

Check back after the weekend when I update the post with links and pics so you can have your very own bubble party. And most of all, wish me luck!!

 

 

Cranberry Orange Scones

I baked the other day. Clearly a wise choice during a sugar withdrawal.

I’ve taken to keeping a batch of muffins in the freezer for breakfast. It’s win win. The girls get a ‘good’ breakfast without having to cook on a school day. Wow I sound awful! It’s just that baking in the midst of a school morning wrangle sounds kind of like a root canal.

Mise en place
Mise en place

Now they’ve learned to expect variety at breakfast so I need to step up my muffin game!  I have a great chocolate chip muffin, but I need other options. I’ve tried a few lemon muffins but without success. Gotta keep looking!

Combining cranberries eggs and cream - this looks DISGUSTING!
Combining cranberries, eggs, and cream – this looks DISGUSTING!

I wanted to make cranberry orange muffins but my search for a recipe landed me in a scone. Of course I had to go out 3 separate times to get the ingredients. Oh well. I do enjoy a good cran-orange scone. Oh wait, I can’t. Not for 42 more days. Ugh.

Now the fun part - getting messy!
Now the fun part – getting messy!

I don’t even know if they’re any good! That’s right – can you believe it? I didn’t even taste it. But at least it smells and looks good. I love how you can see the bits of orange zest in the dough.

This is how it is to bake with the little - flour everywhere.
This is how it is to bake with the Little – flour everywhere.

The Little loves to help in the kitchen. Both girls have accumulated their own gear – aprons, whisks, chef caps, the whole nine. Kneading the dough was going to be messy so I may as well let her participate, right?

Painting on the milk - look how serious she is!
Painting on the milk – look how serious she is!

Luckily this kids liked the scones, they had some this morning. Since they’re going into the freezer, I suppose I can decide whether I like them on my next cheat day. I wonder if I can talk the Husband into today being a cheat day??

Withdrawal is REAL

Discovering how many things secretly have sugar is about as a fun seeing the calorie count at a bakery counter!  I’m fine most of the time. Except at dinner when a sip of wine might be nice. Or after the girls are in bed and my sweet tooth is at its worst. Or when that afternoon slump calls for a tiny nibble and even the healthy snacks have sugar. Or… and you see how I’m faring so far.

A few days into this fitness challenge and let’s just make it more difficult, hmm?

  1. Bake scones for the girls’ breakfast
  2. Plan a birthday party – the Big turns 7 next week
  3. Peruse cake recipes and try not to drool
  4. Attend a school function. At a Brewery.
  5. Dinner with new friends
  6. Prep for birthday week (confetti pancakes and mixers for a Bubble Beverage Bar)
  7. Sunday picnic with my BFF – that NEVER involves bubbles or sugar or bourbon. (Insert dramatic Tina Fey level eye roll here)

And that’s just next week! Thank goodness we agreed to preset cheat days – we won’t earn that point for that day, but I think it’s worth it, don’t you? Let’s be realistic. Tell me you wouldn’t eat cake for your kid’s birthday. I won’t believe you!