Monday, February 25, 2008

More birthday celebrations for Chloe!

Yesterday we had the big family party for Chloe’s 1st birthday – about 40 people plus a few kids which was just manageable – lucky I have a backyard now as there is no way they would have fit in the old place & lucky the weather held off & it turned out to be a great day despite the forecast. For food I decided on a nice table spread rather than a bbq as I thought it would give me much more time to sit & relax which was a nice theory but still didn’t work, food needed to be heated, passed out & drinks pushed on people too of course. I spent the previous weekend making loads of quiches which always leave the plate before they even hit the table, I think I only managed to score 1 myself yesterday which is a shame as I sit here starving today & wishing for leftovers. Also on the menu were dozens of sandwiches, fairy bread, sausage rolls & some cocktail franks which I thought would be fun for a kids party but I think are not going down too well today.

There was also a very delicious punch full of champagne, riesling, kirsch, lemonade, strawberries, oranges & apples.

For the fun part the cakes, I made this amazing pink cake, it’s a shame you cant see the inside as it was a vivid purply color thanks to the raspberries & pink food colouring. The recipe comes from Rosie Bakes a Peace of cake though I did change her decorating just a little to suit the theme, great recipe, great cake that not only looked good but tasted fantastic too, everyone loved it. I also made these yummy yoghurt & orange blossom cakes from Gourmet Traveller, which have been blogged about here previously if you want the recipe. They look fantastic & I love the Persian fairly floss. Note that I cheated a bit & made them as cup cakes to save time on icing them completely, great idea seeing as how I was still finishing the cakes as the guests were arriving. My mum also made loads of fairy cakes & cup cakes & I cant believe that every last bite got eaten, so much for my feast of leftovers today….

So the first year is over & I’m really looking forward to the 2nd – sure it will just as much fun as the first if not more.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Chloe!

Yesterday my gorgeous little baby Chloe turned 1, I cant believe the year has gone so fast. We are having a big party for her on the weekend so yesterday I made a simple but yummy cake to celebrate, as well as being full of butter & sugar it also had pumpkin & prunes so I figured the first cake Chloe would eat wouldn’t be as bad as it could, we will leave that for the weekend! She loved it which is the main thing anyway. This recipe is courtesy of my friend Suzanne, I first tried it at her place a few months ago & loved it. It is light & moist & the orange flavour stands out, and don’t worry you cant taste the pumpkin if that would bother you. More cakes coming soon if I am satisfied with the results this weekend.

Reflecting on the last year with Chloe, it has been amazing, completely different to how I expected motherhood to be, as my friends would tell you I was probably the least maternal or settled of the lot of us so it came as a big surprise how quickly Chloe stole my heart completely. The year has been challenging, full of fun & laughter & nice to slow down for a change. I cant say I am ready to leave her to go back to the office so I’m glad that I am lucky enough to only be going back part time, that will be hard enough (just over 1 week to go). I wont get too mushy on you all now but will leave you of a photo of the pretty girl herself.

Pumpkin and Prune Cake

250g butter
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
¼ cup orange juice
¾ cup cold mashed pumpkin (not butternut)
½ cup finely chopped prunes
2 cups SR flour
1/3 cup milk, approx

Cream butter, orange rind & sugar together until light & fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then stir in orange juice, then sifted flour alternately with enough milk to give a soft consistency. Stir in pumpkin & prunes.

Spread into a greased Deep 20cm round cake or ring tin lined with greaseproof paper. Bake in a moderate oven for 1-1 ¼ hours (round tin) or 45 mins (ring tin) until ready when tested with a cake skewer. Stand for 5 minutes to cool then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For my icing, I mixed up some icing sugar, lemon juice & rind & boiling water, pour over cake & top with shredded coconut.