I cooked very little this time around -- two cakes, cookies. The lemon cake was a huge hit, and super-easy. Purchase daisy cake tin from Party City (about $10, I think). Make one package Duncan Hines lemon supreme cake mix and bake. Let cool, slice in half, laying two cake halves with cut sides up. One one side, spread Dickinson's lemon curd (about half a jar). Sprinkle with Ginger People baker's cut crystallized ginger. On the other half, spread readymade cream cheese frosting (1/3 container). Carefully put halves together. When top half breaks, don't worry about it -- you're going to cover that up with frosting anyway. Just push them together neatly. Frost with remaining cream cheese frosting. Dust generously with yellow sanding sugar. Delicious, and super-easy. Inspiration: Epicurious recipe for lemon icebox cake, but mine is pretty different, since I wanted something very kid-friendly, and classic cake seemed a better match for kids than pound cake. The adults loved it too.
The punchbowl holds a yummy mix of Minute Maid pomegranate lemonade (two jugs) and ginger ale (one big bottle), topped with balls of fresh watermelon. Pretty and delicious. I wanted to add fresh mint from the garden too, but Kevin claims we didn't plant any yet. How did I manage that? Must fix. We also put out an assortment of fun sodas -- clementine, lavender, lemongrass, raspberry, grape, etc. And the little paper cut-out flowers on the bendy straws (Party City) were a big hit with Kavi and the other kids.
Angel food cake from a mix, again in the daisy pan, topped with strawberries and with a bowl of fresh whipped cream. Party City provided some fun decoration in the shape of flower and butterfly lollipops.
I actually didn't make the cookies -- Shruthi took over for that, because I have always had bad luck with shaped cookies and she is a pro. But I bought the adorable little butterfly and flower cookie cutters -- that has to count for something, right? Shruthi made a zillion tiny cookies from one batch of Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough, rolled thin (you can make about a hundred from one batch!), and they were yum, although Ann and I were kind of pathetic in our decorating attempts. My grip strength is incredibly weak -- I'm never going to have a career as a cookie decorator.
Shruthi poses with blueberries in her mouth.
There was much fun conversation.
Even though our guests were mostly adults, I really enjoyed having all the kids running around. Babies Gavin and Catherine played together quite nicely.
And Kavi really enjoyed running around on the balcony with Robert, Paris, and Jazz. She was particularly fond of Jazz; she and Paris got into a few fierce disputes over Kavi's bicycle.
Kavi was a little overwhelmed by the whole singing happy birthday thing. Mama's butterfly tattoo was not sufficient to console her. But in the end, cake and ice cream, eaten mostly with her fingers, did the job quite nicely.
Kavya had a great time at her party. I can't quite believe she's two!