Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Birthday Celebrations

My lack of blogging recently should tell you how crazy busy things are at work. I'm feeling the pressure of the final quarter, and I actually have a decent shot at making my number and winning a trip to the Four Seasons in Nevis. I'm sure you'll understand where my priorities are right now...

Despite some of the unpleasantness in my family recently, we were all able to wave the white flag and get together to celebrate my mom and sister-in-law's birthdays recently. They are barely two weeks apart (their actual birthdays, not ages), so it was fun to get to have everyone together for dinner, cake and presents. We ate dinner at Matt's El Rancho (a family favorite) and then everyone stayed the night at my parent's after opening presents and eating cake. It's always nice to get that little extra bit of niece time, so we ate it up as much as possible. She was a great helper in handing out (and opening) presents, and entertained us all with her very own special bedtime story. That kid is a trip!!

Helping her GiGi.
Checking out Mer Mer's new shoes.

Last year I made cupcakes for them, so I wanted to do something a little bit different. I found this really cool mini-cake pan on Amazon, and just had to order it. They both requested entirely different flavors (lemon and chocolate) and I wanted to make them their very own cakes. I love the pans, but the actual cakes were a little hard to decorate. Not my best work, but they still turned out cute.

Meredith's chocolate cake with chocolate sour cream frosting.
Mom's lemon cake with classic buttercream icing.

The cupcakes on the side are mini-cupcakes, if that gives you any reference to the actual size of the cakes. They were big enough to cut into fourths for sharing. The chocolate sour cream frosting was to die for. I had some fresh cut strawberries when I was making it, and couldn't help but dip the strawberries in it while decorating. Yum!! I also tried out a new decorating technique that was really pretty easy, but I'm sure it would turn out much better with a larger surface area to work on. I can't find the original link I used, but you basically pipe a column of dots, and then using the tip of a spreader, press into the dot and then drag it to the side. Repeat with another column of dots about half and inch away, and spread. I'm right handed, so mine go to the right. Really pretty easy, just not so much when your cake layer is 1.5 inches tall.

Overall, I think everyone had a great time!

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