Unicorn Birthday Party

I love unicorns. I have forced them on my 2 year old daughter. She kind of loves unicorns. She’ll get there. But to help her along, I hyped up the idea of having a super cool, super sparkly, super rainbow-filled unicorn birthday party….and, in her adorably deep and raspy words,

she “y-oved it!”

No Unicorn Party is complete without these 11 things…

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1) a gold glitter unicorn 2)rainbow straws and 3) “unicorn horn” lollipop   4) temporary unicorn glitter tattoos

 

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5) unicorn headbands 6) Unicorn literature

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7) pink glitter plates 8) rainbow chevron napkins 9) a rainbow frosted cake

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10) a gold tinsel backdrop

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and of course 11) a 2nd cake with clouds, rainbow and unicorn

IMG_4437Correction…there are 12 things you need for a complete Unicorn Birthday Party…. 12) an adorable little birthday girl!

P.S…..

When having a breakfast birthday party, as we did here… don’t serve donuts with breakfast! There was no room left for CAKE!!!

Happy Birthday Lucy Lu!

 

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Olaf Cake Tutorial

What is a FROZEN party without an Olaf Cake???!

It’s a super easy way to make your FROZEN themed party extra special. With these pans, I used one box of white cake and 1/2 batch of homemade frosting (equal to 1 can of store bought). ATTENTION! All Dairy Free people!!! If you use dairy-free box mix and store bought vanilla icing, this can be a dairy free dessert for a party where an allergy may be an issue.

Here’s what I did…

oval pan, round pan, jumbo muffin pan...crisco'd ans floured

oval pan, round pan, jumbo muffin pan…crisco’d ans floured

fill each pan, half way with white cake batter

fill each pan, half way with white cake batter (as you can see I put a pastry tip in the round cake to speed up cooking and cook it evenly, probably not necessary though)

cook until golden, cool completely

cook until golden, cool completely

draw olaf on back of wax paper, flip over and trace with melted chocolate, using a pastry bag and small round tip. (buttons are chocolate covered Nilla Wafers)

draw Olaf on the back of  some wax paper, flip over and trace with melted chocolate, using a pastry bag and small round tip. (buttons are chocolate covered Nilla Wafers)

trim oval cake for head, trim round cake for body, trim muffins for neck and feet (cutting them flatter as needed to keep them all relatively the same height)

trim oval cake for head, trim round cake for body, trim muffins for neck and feet (cutting them flatter as needed to keep them all relatively the same height)…OLAF HAS A BELLY BUTTON!

remove chocolate pieces from wax paper

remove chocolate pieces from wax paper

cover the cake in white frosting, apply chocolate eyebrows, arms, small and buttons. Nose is a Nilla Wafer trimmed into a triangle and sprayed with edible orange food coloring.

cover the cake in white frosting, generously coat with powder sugar and apply chocolate eyebrows, arms, small and buttons. Nose is a Nilla Wafer trimmed into a triangle and sprayed with edible orange food coloring.

Grandpop’s Peterson’s Creamy Baked Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping

There are few things that my husband goes weak in the knees for…myself obviously ;), our kids, chocolate milk, watermelon and pure, unadulterated cheesecake.

So to show our appreciation for him this past Father’s Day, we (and by we, I mean, me doing all the baking while my kids kept coming in the kitchen asking if they can have some cake yet) made him a beautifully rich, plain cheesecake with Strawberry topping. The recipe is one I received from my Grandpop Peterson, but slightly altered by way of replacing the Sour Cream and Peach Melba topping he used, for simple strawberries instead.

It’s simple to make and and keeps well in the fridge for days of cheesecake bliss.

Here’s what I did…

Beat 16 oz of cream cheese

Beat 16 oz of cream cheese

While that was beating, I prepared the graham cracker crust.

crush about 6 graham crackers in the food processor

crush about 6 graham crackers in the food processor

you need 1 Cup of Graham Cracker crumbs (p.s. Cinnamon Sugar ones are SO good!)

you need 1 Cup of Graham Cracker crumbs (p.s. Cinnamon Sugar ones are SO good!)

4 Tablespoons Butter to be zapped in the microwave until melted

4 Tablespoons Butter to be zapped in the microwave until melted

ZAP!

ZAP!

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup sugar

Combine the sugar, crumbs and butter

Combine the sugar, crumbs and butter

add 1 can of sweetened condensed milk and beat until smooth

add 1 can of sweetened condensed milk and beat until smooth

soooooo smooth

soooooo smooth

add 1/4 tsp salt

add 1/4 tsp salt

add 3 eggs

add 3 eggs

add 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

add 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Pour it over the compacted crumb crust

Pour it over the compacted crumb crust

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tap it on the counter to release bubbles…ready for the water bath

Baked for 55 minutes at 300º F

Baked for 55 minutes at 300º F

cover the top with strawberries and drizzle hot jam over them to make them nice and glossy

cover the top with strawberries and drizzle hot jam over them to make them nice and glossy

nothing better than cheesecake for breakfast to kick off a great Father's Day!

nothing better than cheesecake for breakfast to kick off a great Father’s Day…complete with handmade cards and cool new mug!

Here’s what you’ll need…

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Sour Cream Summer Pound Cake

Nothin’ says summer like a Sour Cream Summer Poundcake. Paired with fresh whipped cream and berries, this recipe is perfect for a post-bbq no frills dessert or the a beautiful flower bedecked wedding cake!

Here’s what I did…

ingredients: pastry flour, eggs, salt, sugar, sour cream, butter, baking powder, nutmeg, lemon

ingredients: pastry flour, eggs, salt, sugar, sour cream, butter, baking powder,  lemon

add butter and sugar to mixing bowl

add butter and sugar to mixing bowl

cream until white and fluffy

cream until white and fluffy

add sour cream

add sour cream

add vanilla

add vanilla

baking powder

baking powder

zest of 1/3 of a lemon

Here comes the Summer part……….zest of 2/3 of a lemon

and salt

and salt

whip together until smooth

whip together until smooth

add 2 eggs and whip

add 2 eggs and whip

add 1 cup of sifted flour and whip

add 1 cup of sifted flour and whip

repeat with two more eggs and more flour

repeat with two more eggs and more flour

repeat again

repeat again

line the trays

line the trays

using a bag, fill each liner half way with batter

using a bag, fill each liner half way with batter

thanks to my very talented 5 year old, I could use both hands to pipe out batter, and not juggle a camera too

thanks to my very talented 5 year old, I could use both hands to pipe out batter, and not juggle a camera too

baked and ready to cool

baked and ready to cool

incredibly moist cake and fine crumb. It's subtle lemon flavor is just enough to brighten it up.

incredibly moist cake and fine crumb. It’s subtle lemon flavor is just enough to brighten it up.

Sneak peek at the cake sampling for Andrew and Randy's wedding cake using this recipe!!!!

Sneak peek at the cake sampling for Andrew and Randy’s wedding cake using this recipe!!!!

Here’s what you’ll need…

Sour Cream Summer Poundcake

2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter ( at room temp.)

3 C. Sugar

 1 C. Sour Cream

2 tsp. Vanilla

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

Lemon for Zest

 6 Large Eggs

3 C. Pastry Flour

1 Tube Pan, 2 Loaf Pans, or 2 Cupcake trays

1) Cream butter and sugar until fluffy

2) add sour cream, salt, powder, lemon zest and vanilla

3) add 2 eggs and mix then 1 cup of flour and mix

4) repeat step 3 until all eggs and flour are combined in

5) grease and flour tube pan, 2 loaf pans or put liners in cupcake pans

6) Bake at 325ºF for 80 mins (tube), 60 mins (loaves), or 20 mins (cupcakes) checking regularly with tooth pick and removing as soon as the center is not sticking to toothpick

A Dessert To Honor A Ballerina: The Pavlova

While walking frantically through the grocery store, after work yesterday, searching for a delicious dessert inspiration to hit me, (We were having some friends over in a few hours (freaking out!) and they were bring the entree and I was doing salad and dessert) I came across the berry section of the produce aisle and what do you know, all the berries were on sale. Hallelujah! Berries…something with berries. Boom! It hit me. Pavlovas!

I stumbled upon this gem of a dessert a few years ago, when it struck me as unique and genius. I love meringue, right, and a pavlova is like a meringue crossed with a….a marshmallow…and I love marshmallows too, so naturally when I discovered how the two could become one, I was doomed. It gets better. The top of this miraculous ballerina cake is loaded with whipped cream and fruit. Berries by the quart. It’s so light and fresh, you can literally eat a whole half of the cake and feel justifiable.

Pavlovas are named after the Ballerina Anna Pavlovna Pavlova, supposedly created in New Zealand, or Australia by argument, in honor of the beautiful Anna.

Anna Pavlvoa. The inspiration...delicate and airy

Anna Pavlvoa. The inspiration…delicate and airy

It’s a very fitting tribute. The crisp flaky outer shell of the “cake” is delicate and ruffled like a tutu, and the center is moist and fluffy like a cloud. One bite and I feel like I could pirouette through the kitchen…stop me now.

Here’s what I did

ingredients.

ingredients.

6 egg whites ready to whip...see those beautiful yolks? don't chuck em! save them for something else!

6 egg whites ready to whip…see those beautiful yolks? don’t chuck em! save them for something else!

whisk together the cornstarch and the sugar

whisk together the cornstarch and the sugar

add the salt and the cream of tarter, then add the sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time on Med. High

add the salt and the cream of tarter, then add the sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time on Med. High

My mixer is a ballerina...look at her spin

My mixer is a ballerina…look at her spin

almost there

almost there, just added in vanilla and vinegar

the rub test

the rub test

feels a little gritty, needs to whip a few more minutes

feels a little gritty, needs to whip a few more minutes

stiff peaks

stiff peaks

no more grit

no more grit

trace an 8" circle on parchment...boy was that fun measuring all the circular items in my kitchen

trace an 8″ circle on parchment…boy was that fun measuring all the circular items in my kitchen

flipped my circle over so the pencil graphite isn't touching my cake

flipped my circle over so the pencil graphite isn’t touching my cake

plop it out into the circle

plop it out into the circle

push it out to the circle edge, flatten the top and sweep up the sides to create a stubby little volcano shape

push it out to the circle edge, flatten the top and sweep up the sides to create a stubby little volcano shape

300º preheated oven

300º preheated oven

just finished baking...now it's time to dry out

just finished baking…now it’s time to dry out

Blueberries. Raspberries. Blackberries. Strawberries. Berries!!!!! Rinsed and Drained, gently patted dry

Blueberries. Raspberries. Blackberries. Strawberries. Berries!!!!! Rinsed and Drained, gently patted dry

step 1: place dried pavlova on serving plate

step 1: place dried pavlova on serving plate

load with Fresh Whipped Cream... or Cool Whip...whatever you got time for

load with Fresh Whipped Cream… or Cool Whip…whatever you got time for

step 3: add the berries and sprinkle with powdered sugar

step 3: add the berries and sprinkle with powdered sugar…P.S. if you don’t want yours to be broken, don’t let your 5 year old “help” you get it ready. “Help” = pick apart and eat 

cue harps...ahhhh....

cue harps…ahhhh….

flaky shell with marshmallowy interior...we almost finished off the whole thing before I remembered to capture this image...close one.

flaky shell with marshmallowy interior…we almost finished off the whole thing before I remembered to capture this image…close one.

Dinner, thanks to the very talented Lorraine, was a-ma-zing and dessert, thanks to Anna Pavlova, was just as satisfying

Here’s what you’ll need…

Pavlova

1 1/4 C sugar

6 egg whites

2 Tbsp Corn Starch

1/4 tsp. cream of Tarter

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp vinegar

Whipped Cream or Cool Whip

2 pints Bluebberies

1 pint Raspberrries

1 pint Blackberries

handful of Strawberries cut up

powdered sugar for dusting

Whip egg whites until frothy then add in tarter and salt. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch. add by the Tablespoon into egg whites on medium high speed. Once stiffer, add vanilla and vinegar. Whip to stiff peaks and make sure its not gritty, by rubbing a small amount between finger and thumb.

Trace an 8″ circle onto parchment and form meringue into a flattened volcano like shape within the circle. Bake at 300ºF for 1 hour and let it rest in the oven for 2 hrs or overnight. It may crack and fall as it cools…its ok.

Fill with whipped cream and top with berries.