15 January 2013

Tea for 2

This past Sunday was my daughter's 2nd birthday party. Her actual birthday is December 30, but this was when we had her party. The funny thing about little kids parties is how short they are! When you take the kids to the park, they never want to leave and they can play and play and play! Though, when it comes to a party; the shorter, the better. With little tempers and tired eyes these cuties wear out fast and show it. So, we keep it short and sweet around here! I really wanted to try my hand at some DIY projects I had been stashing away since September when I started planning this whole sha-bang! (With her birthday RIGHT after Christmas I have to pace myself!) So all the planning, crafting, baking, and prepping took well over a week in total to complete. But with how great it all turned out, it was well worth it!
The food/snack table we served fresh fruit, deviled eggs, sandwiches, and pink wafers with lemon bars. As well as lemonade, tea and coffee to drink! The sandwiches were (from the left) peanut butter with my mom's homemade strawberry jam, tuna on wheat bread, and cucumber with mayo-cream cheese and dill. The fresh flowers were arranged by my mom in law and put in these cute mason jar drinking glasses! And the little tea cups on the table were crafted by my mom on her Cricut and filled with a mini cupcake. Edit: Opps, I forgot the mention the deviled egg recipe! Its hardly a recipe at all,but they were the first to run out, that good! So we bought some of those already boiled and shelled eggs at the store for half the eggs used, the other half we boiled ourselves. We cut the eggs in half, took out the yolks and mixed the yolks with about a cup of mayo, ½ teaspoon of salt, pepper, and dill. I think it really depends on the eggs, so taste it and add more of what you need! Then plop a scoop back in the egg and sprinkle with paprika! Yum!
The little pink wafers I bought at the store. To me they are SO gross, I bought them just for a pop of color. Riley loved them as a kid but I just cant buy them, its like even right out of the package they taste stale, ugh hah! The lemon bars I made the night before with my older sister. The recipe for them is 1 cup softened butter, 2 cups flour, and a ½ cup sugar. Blend that together. Get a 9x13in pan, ungreased and press the dough into the bottom, this will be the crust for your cookie. Bake that at 350°f for 15-20mins. For the filling you will need 1½ cups sugar, ¼ cup flour (blend, then add in:) 4 eggs and the juice of 2 lemons. Pour over the crust and bake again for 20minutes. I let them set over night, then I cut them into bars, after I sprinkled them with powdered sugar and arranged on the cupcake stand.
(Full recipe here)


    For the cake, this is a 3 layer cake made from strawberry cake mix as the 1st and 3rd layers and confetti cupcake mix as the middle layer (leftover from the mini cupcakes). This beast of a cake was actually pretty tricky to get together! Thank goodness my older sister was there to help me with this as well! We made the layers in round cake pans. It took a lot longer to make than what the box told us! But once they were done we took the first layer and placed it on wax paper, then frosted the top and set the middle later on that, and repeated with the top layer. We read online that you should frost the entire thing to get a nice layer on it, and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or leave it overnight. Let that layer be the crumb frosting. Then do another layer later to be the pretty frosting. I ended up doing 3 layers total! It took about 2 ½ containers of frosting for the whole thing. But it turned out really yummy and pretty! The hard part was the transfer from my house to my mother in laws where the party was being held, and getting it onto the cake platter! I probably don't have ANY good tips for that haha!
Lastly, for the goodie bags, I made little meringue cookies and made thank you cards that look like tea bags to go inside the bigger tea cups my mom made. The meringues I thought would be easy and quick to make but it ended up just being one of the two. Easy! Which is good, but I only got to watch one episode of Downton Abbey that night not two :( Hehe, anyways. First you need to preheat your oven to 200°f. Then in a large bowl whisk 3 large egg whites. After, add in ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar, and whisk some more till the egg whites form soft peaks. Then you will slowly, slowly add in ¾ cup of sugar. Now the recipe calls for superfine sugar, which I didn't have, so that's why I say slowly, slowly, so it has time to dissolve. Once it forms stiff peaks then you can add in ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract, whisk till blended in. I scoop the mixture with a large serving spoon onto a silpat covered cookie sheet and baked for 2 hours. The recipe did say 1 ½ hours, but they were a little gooey underneath still and the 2 hours was perfect in my oven. To ensure they are cooked through you can leave them in the oven and just crack the door and let them sit over night on the cookie sheet in the oven. I put about 3 in a bag and tied it, then put them in the little tea cups with a thank you. The invitations were very similar to the thank you cards!
All in all she had a super great party! Everyone showed up, which was so fabulous! Auntie Amy, we wish you could have been there!! We missed you! And to everyone who was there, thank you so much for celebrating with us! What a great birthday and time spent together! We're so grateful to have been able to spend it with a lot of people who we love and love our little family!
♥ What did I tell you about fading fast? Just hours after the party and shes ready for bed! Silly Siena, that's a doll cradle not a bed for you! Happy Birthday little girl! ♥

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