So...here it goes
Day 26: Host a Pumpkin Party
I don't know how this happened, but I didn't take one picture at my pumpkin party...let me check my phone...NOPE, not one! Well anyway, I invited a few of my friends over and asked them to bring their favorite pumpkin treat. It was just how I planned it and more. I had three friends as well as my parents and Ayden. My friend Melissa brought 2 pumpkin treats that I hadn't had before; pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (yummy) and Paula Deen's Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake (so yummy, there isn't a word for it). Kim didn't like pumpkin (weird, cuz she had all of the treats there, and seconds, I believe), so she brought some of her red pepper jelly (over cream cheese and crackers...so good!). And Ron...Ron walks in with pumpkin beer and pumpkin coffee creamer. HA, she split one beer with Melissa and that was that for the beer.
All in all, it was a great night of visiting, eating, and (lots of) laughing! I plan to do them every year!
Day 27: Make Cupcakes for Ayden's First Birthday Party
I decided not to buy a cake from Publix for Ayden's birthday. As it would have been much cuter, I wanted to make cupcakes for 2 reasons; 1 because I love to bake and 2 it's cheaper!
So I decided to make two kinds of cupcakes. I know I wanted pumpkin cupcakes (I have a slight obsession with pumpkin) and I let Berkley choose the other flavor. He chose funfetti. So then started the quest for a funfetti recipe (as I try not to bake from premade mixes). I was able to find nice recipes for both.
2 1/4 c flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t nutmeg
cream together until light and fluffy:
1/2 c softened butter
1 1/3 c sugar
beat until frothy 2 eggs and then beat into butter/sugar mixture
beat in 1 cup of pumpkin
add 3/4 c milk to butter, sugar, egg, pumpkin mixture, alternate with dry ingredients, ending with dry
fill cupcake cups 2/3 full and bake 25 minutes in 375º oven.
Yield: about 2 dozen cupcakes
For the cupcakes: 1 cup whole milk, divided 6 large egg whites 1 tbsp. vanilla extract ¼ tsp. almond extract 2¾ cups (11 oz.) cake flour, sifted 1½ cups (10.5 oz) sugar 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder ¾ tsp. salt 12 tbsp. (¾ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature ½ cup multi-colored sprinkles
For the frosting: One batch whipped vanilla buttercream
Additional sprinkles, for decorating
• Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a liquid measuring cup, combine ¼ cup of the whole milk, egg whites, vanilla and almond extracts. Whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix briefly on low speed to combine, about 30 seconds. Add in the butter and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles wet sand, about 30 seconds. Mix in the remaining ¾ cup of milk, then increase the speed to medium and beat for about 90 seconds more. With the mixture on low speed, add the egg white mixture in three additions, mixing for about 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Gently fold in the sprinkles with a spatula.
• Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about two-thirds of the way full. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool in the pan briefly, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
• Prepare the vanilla buttercream. Add the buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Frost as desired. Garnish with additional sprinkles.
Whipped Vanilla Buttercream: (and it was YUMMY)
Yield: enough to frost about 2 dozen cupcakes
1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. (3 sticks plus 2 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted Pinch of salt 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (optional) (or 1 tsp vanilla extract) 2 tbsp. heavy cream 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Day 28: Host Ayden's First Birthday Party
I didn't go over the top with a theme and whatnot for the party. Don't call me a bad mom or anything, but he's one. Since the party is for him, I'll wait until he can enjoy the "theme" more. So we just invited the local family and some of our closest friends. We kept it simple by ordering pizza from Domino's. I made meatballs that sat in the slow cooker with a sweet & sour type sauce. We had veggies, coffee, sodas. I was more concerned with not overwhelming Ayden. As far as opening gifts, both Ayden and Gus were more concerned with the tissue paper. Gus was a great help in that he pulled the tissue paper from the gift bags to reveal the gift, but that didn't always help keep Ayden's attention.
|Nevermind the syrup stain on the floor, that's a story for another day|
|Ayden wasn't too keen on digging right in to the cake. He kept trying to shake off the frosting|
|Finally he tasted it and not too much longer, he was ready to be done. Thank goodness for no sugar high.|
Well that's all for today, see you tomorrow! (hopefully)