Sunday, August 5, 2012
Savannah Cake, Watermelon Cake, Hulk Cake and Birthday Dinners!
Some of my regular readers may remember that every July I have a few days where I am on birthday overload. SR's and JK's b-days are six days apart; my dad's is a week earlier, and my mom's is a week later. For the kids, I have a long day where we have two birthday parties back to back. It's fun, but we always take a deep breath when it's done. I always let the Blessings pick what kind of cake they want and what they want for the birthday dinners. Since we eliminated artificial colors and flavors and preservatives, along with the already eliminated msg and corn syrup, a couple of years ago, they only get to have the "bad" stuff on their birthdays. They can pick anything they want to eat at their parties. With that in mind, two of the cakes below have colors in them, but one is all natural, and I'll share what I did with that. Enjoy the birthday tour!
SR turned 15 on July 20th, which was the same day as her acting class. I made these cookies 'n' cream cupcakes for her to share, which we have at least once a year. They are from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.
SR wanted to go out for her dinner and picked one of our family's most favorite restaurants: Andy Nguyen's II. Do not mistake this for Andy Nguyen's, which my mom took me to on my birthday; this is No. 2, and although it is not a vegan restaurant, the veg choices there are excellent. It is so unfortunate that this shot came out blurry because their Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup is outstanding. We always ask for extra tofu to be added. Some of the fam likes to add steamed rice to their bowl with the soup.
These are their Vegetarian Rolls - so good.
These are their Crispy Noodles with Tofu - awesome.
This is their Vegetable Fried Rice without egg - yums. Andy's is located at 10145 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova, CA. Their phone is (916) 362-2270. They know us so well that when I call them up, Vinny the co-owner, says my name before I can say who I am. A nice touch.
The next day was the birthday parties. JK turned 6 on the 26th and said he wanted a Savannah cake for his party. Savannah cake, hmm? Well, I first tried to find a little bag of toy animals that were Savannah-like to decorate the cake, but no luck. So, GR and I made the animals from play dough. GR made the giraffe, crocodile and snake, and I made the tiger, elephant and lion.
For the cake I used my recipe for my White Cake with White Buttercream Frosting . I baked it in a 9x12 pan. I made the frosting as usual - I took about 1/4 of it out and stirred in 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. of turmeric into it. I divided the rest in half; to one half I blended in 2 Tbs. of cocoa. I spread the white sky on first, then added the hilly brown, then used a fork to spread on the Savannah grass. I thought this came out pretty cute. JK got to keep his little animals.
SR remembered GR's 10th Birthday Cake and wanted that again but wanted it to be deliberately made to look like a watermelon cake. So, I made the cake the same way, but I put in 2 cups of chocolate chips in the batter and skipped the sprinkles on top. This is such a moist cake. To avoid artificial coloring, you could use sweetened and reduced asparagus water for the frosting and pureed strawberries for the batter.
We actually left for camping on JK's birthday, and we had a blast celebrating it in the woods. For his dinner, he picked tofu fried his favorite way: plain. He likes to dip fried tofu in ketchup and raw tofu in soy sauce. :-) He wanted a banana and strawberry salad and Kids Love It! Potato Salad .
He wanted a Hulk cake, so Mommy did her best with a butter knife and fork. I made the White Cake with White Buttercream Frosting again in two cake rounds but added 1/2 cup of cocoa to the batter. I saved a a small portion of the frosting and kept it white and added various amounts of green coloring to get his hair and skin. I tried to make him grimace - what do you think? I brushed his hair very nicely, though. :-) Normally I would have used asparagus or artichoke water to make the coloring, but with my energy levels lately, I copped out... But he only got colors on his birthday!
I had the clever idea of putting the candles in Hulk's eyes and teeth. Creepy! Hulk on fire!
Here's what a slice of Hulk looks like.
We had a great time camping and celebrating little ones' birthdays! Thanks for sharing the memories with us.