Birthday parties here kind of tear me apart. I am torn because my husband never has the weekends off. Does he have to call in? Does he have to take a personal day? Or the worst, an unpaid personal day? He was really bummed because he couldn’t come to mine, here at our house in August. I just really wanted to cook for my family and have some recipes to put up on the blog (most of which I forgot to take pictures of so you never got to see, oops! and didn’t think to just post the links like I am doing here). It wasn’t a big deal anyway, more of an excuse for the kids to get together, too. Plus, I made them all watch the Doctor Who marathon that was on BBC America that day. They only let me get away with that because it was my birthday (my uncle and brother-in-law hid out in my daughter’s room to watch TV). Nevertheless, I knew he was upset. So when he took his vacation the week following my son’s birthday we knew that was when we would celebrate it, and it would be a big one.
I was way stressed out, but I always stress out and my husband hates it. It was after Christmas, and I have to clean the house, and plan a menu, and get party stuff. I needed to find time in between all that to pack clothes for five and some food and extras to take on vacation but I knew it would all be worth it. I put all the Christmas stuff away along with most of the gifts and cleaned all of upstairs and planned the menu and had all my party supplies before we left. We decided to only bring condiments and a few things we had on hand at home to bring on vacation and go grocery shopping when we got there. That helped, and I was able to completely de-stress on our vacation.
Cut to four days later and we are checking out of our room about four hours early and I am starting to freak out. My goal that day was to clean the rest of the house. My husband worked on the yards and helped to manage the kids. I also made three sourdoughs to use for the party. On Friday, I woke up bright and early and went to the grocery store and along with the groceries, rented three movies to help with the kids. I baked Robert’s party cake and baked some brownies. Then I made a Target run. I came home and got a veggie platter ready and another with pickles and olives and made a Potato Salad. Then I cut out the brownies into football shapes and did the same with the cake (I got the method and look for it from Cake Mix Bible but I made a 9 inch two layer instead of a single layer 10 inch, the Chocolate Cake was my favorite Cake Doctor recipe that I have used before and the frosting was Chocolate Buttercream). Then I started on the Oreo Truffles, after which I made then refrigerated one of three warm dips (Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Quick and Easy Taco Dip, and BLT Dip) that were for the party. We set up a bit by putting the food table up and we moved some chairs around and cleaned up a bit more. I still had two more dips to make, not to mention finishing up the cake, brownies and Oreo truffles but I was exhausted. It was around 11pm and I set my alarm for 3:30am (the party was at 2pm). When I woke up, I was ready to go, actually totally refreshed.
I did make some coffee still though, duh.
Minor crisis when I touch the cake layer that I had trimmed before my nap and it was hard! I was entertaining (OK, freaking out about) the idea of starting over when it finally struck me to trim it again across the top and voilà, crisis averted! I frosted the cake in chocolate and then I had to make white frosting for the details. I detailed the brownies, Oreo truffles, and the cake. I set the rest aside to use later. I made the last two warm dips, covered and put in the fridge, and then I dipped some strawberries in chocolate. I detailed those and I was pretty much done. The rest was party set up. We did go down to the wire and it would have been later but my sister and dad got there early to help. We ordered a sandwich and some chicken for a main course and my sister brought pasta salad. I also made some Meatballs and my Homemade Ten Pound Buns. The latter and the three dips were the last things in the oven that day. I was completely able to enjoy myself because I finished everything I wanted to do and the food I wanted out there was out there. My husband had a great time too. He gets kinda bummed if he feels people are leaving early but we had a few late partiers so he really felt it was a good party. Robert, of course, had a blast and the next day when I asked him if he liked his football birthday party, he gave me a hug and a very enthusiastic, “Yes!”
If all the food seems bad for you and fattening, that is kind of what I was going for. I wanted a tailgating/pre-superbowl vibe happening. I felt kind of bad for my mother-in-law, though, she had just started Weight Watchers.
GeekyLink time! If you thought that Doctor Who reference up top was just fleeting well, think again. This morning I saw 25 Celebs Who Have Appeared on ‘Doctor Who’ and I wanted share it with those of you that still do not take The Doctor as seriously as you should for the pop culture icon that he is.