Friday, July 2, 2010

A Birthday

Recently, we celebrated M's 8th birthday. She has now reached the milestone of no longer needing a booster seat in the car. She is also growing up (too quickly) in other areas as well.
We like to take the girls out to dinner at a restaurant of their choice as part of our celebrations. M requested Red Lobster. However, this year, we used our parental veto powers and decided that she needed to experience the next level in dining out. We took her to Key Wester instead. It's still a pretty casual place, but the atmosphere and food quality are a significant step above Red Lobster. We had a wonderful time. If you go on Friday or Saturday night, they have someone playing the piano in the Reef Room or on the deck, and he sang Over the Rainbow for her, and then Happy Birthday a little later. That took her by surprise and made her feel self conscious and a little silly. The food was excellent too. Of course, this is a dangerous game that we played as well, since there is now no going back.

M had requested a nightstand for her birthday, along with an alarm clock and lamp to go with it. I watched for the right opportunity and was able to find a matching dresser as well, and saved 40% in the process. After opening her presents, she asked her Papa if he could help her "install" the alarm and lamp.

We created a homemade Wizard of Oz theme, and surprised her with it. Poppy plates, lollipops, Rainbow cake and all (Thanks, Aunt Miranda!) I asked everyone to wrap her gifts in green paper, and we built the Emerald City with them. Of course, having furniture to wrap really helped the effect.
Just in case you wonder how I did the cake, here are the instructions:

Mix up a white cake (you can use a mix, but I used the Betty Crocker Silver White cake recipe). Divide into six bowls (for me, each portion weighed about 7.5 ounces). Here are your color recipes:
  • Red-18 drops red food coloring
  • Orange-12 drops yellow, 4 red
  • Yellow-12 drops yellow
  • Green-12 drops green
  • Blue-12 drops blue
  • Purple-9 drops red, 6 blue
 I spread three layers in each of two 9 inch round pans. You could also use a 9x13, or make cupcakes. How particular you are about the evenness of the layers is up to you. I used a simple white buttercream for the frosting. In retrospect, the silver white cake might not be the best recipe to use with this type of cake. It tasted delicious, but mixing in all the colors caused the fluffy egg white part to get not so fluffy. The result was a yummy, but very dense and flat cake.

Happy Birthday, Daughter!