Sunday, February 12, 2017

Stella's Baking Party

Five years ago a wonderful new person joined our family. Her name is Stella and she is a key ingredient in our family mix.

Stella enjoys helping me cook and especially bake. To celebrate her birthday we decided to host a baking party. She invited fourteen of her closest friends and family to join her.

We began by having each kid decorate their chef hat and the box they were going to use to keep the cupcakes they made. Stella wore a cupcake hat I crocheted for her.

After the crafts the kids had a cupcake walk, pin the cherry on the cupcake and a matching game where they had to match the cookie cutters to the outline already traced on paper.

Our weather has been unseasonably warm, so we decided to have our pinata outdoors. A couple of weeks ago, we took the kids to Munchies to celebrate some good news we had received regarding our adoption. While leaving I noticed that the communal dumpster area in the parking lot was unlocked. I had been on the hunt for some boxes for my pinata so I decided to take a look at their recycle bin.

I found a large furniture box that I thought would work well for that purpose so I reached in and took it. It barely fit in the trunk of our SUV.  The next morning I got to work tracing the shape of a cupcake, cutting, taping and decorating it. The cardboard box was made of double thick corrugated material. I initially used masking tape as it was shown in the instruction video but our tape would not stick for long, so then I decided to reinforce it with duct tape. Needless it to say, by the time I was done that thing was indestructible.  The kids all went at it for a while and got some dents in but did not brake it. Finally someone hit the bottom of the cupcake pinata and managed to get a tootsie roll to drop to the ground. This re-energized the kids who all began aiming at the same spot. After a few more hits by the older ones the bottom was loosened up and more candy began to fall out after every hit. The younger kids got so excited that they began to rush towards the candy while someone else was still hitting the pinata, so we decided to call it good and Todd grabbed it and after having all the kids gather around him, ripped the bottom part so that all the candy would fall to the ground.

Andrew was a trooper. He was running on one abbreviated nap and lots of candy that afternoon. Fortunately my friend Claudia and her husband Jordan stuck around and were able to entertain him and help with the party. That was especially helpful for the last activity. Each child received four cupcakes, frosting and a selection of sprinkles to decorate their desserts. It was 20 minutes of pure madness to keep up with what each of the children needed, but they all enjoyed decorating and sampling the treats.

Afterward Stella got to  blow out her birthday candle and to open presents while the kids ate their ice cream cake with one of their cupcakes.

Planning the party was fun. I got to do a few things I had not done before such as try a new cupcake recipe and make a pinata. The ice cream cake was new for me too. I decided to make it out of  three layers of Fat Boys ice cream joined together by hot fudge and caramel. After assembling the 2x3 rectangle I placed it in our freezer overnight. In the morning when I went to get it so I could frost it, I found the top two layers had slid and frozen into the picture below. 

I wasn't going to waste good food so for a second I considered it frosting it as it was and calling it modern art. But then I thought better of it and managed to carefully re position each Fat Boy square in its rightful place. In the end, no one was the wiser. 

Stella is an amazing little girl, with an infectious laughter and a twinkle in her eye. She loves her siblings and is especially close to Andrew, her partner in crime and playmate while the older two are in school.

I love my little princess ballerina who will wear dresses or a leotard (or 'nastics as she calls them) every day and night if I let her. Who loves to twirl, read books and who gives some of the best hugs and kisses in the whole wide world.