I swear I know how to cook. I even know how to bake. Though I occasionally can be found lacking in presentation, I almost always nail taste. And every year for birthdays I try my hardest to up my presentation skills and turn out something impressive. I have improved... definitely improved. But this year as I prepared treats for Scarlet's special day, I pinpointed one of the areas in which I am seriously lacking.
I am inept at using food dye.
Admitting it is the first step, right?
I could go back over the years and show examples of this ineptitude of mine but I will save myself the esteem hit and just have you take my word on the matter. In my best efforts, I tend to turn things into very inedible looking colors.
Well, I recently went about to solve that problem. I had been informed that part of the issue was the cheapo liquid dropper food coloring I have always used. So, I invested in a few of the more fancy gel colors. I bought a red, yellow, and blue. A little kindergarten art class knowledge put into use and I would have every color I needed.
So, for Scarlet's school cupcakes, we tackled the ultimate dying challenge - Rainbow Cupcakes..
(The picture is linked if you want the recipe)
I followed all of the directions to the recipe, except for the pesky direction that asked for white cake mix instead of yellow. No white in the cupboard... plenty of yellow!
And then Scarlet and I sat down with our three bowls of cupcake mix and had a little art lesson.
Scarlet, what will happen when we add red dye to this mix?
It will turn red.
Scarlet, we don't have green food coloring. But what two colors can we combine to make green?
Blue and yellow!
And for next layer, Scarlet, what color will we get when we combine red and blue?
Mmmmm..... mom that looks kinda brown.
You're right... let's add a bit more blue.
It doesn't look brown anymore! It looks grey.
Yup, sure does. Maybe a touch more red.
Yeah mom, it's brown again.
Learned my art lesson for the day. Red + blue = purple, but red + blue + yellow cake mix = tootsie roll brown.
Luckily, preschoolers don't really care what color their cupcakes are. And as they were celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday on the same day, the quirky colors just blended right into the festivities.
I am sure my children will someday reach an age where their mother's lack of appetizing looking birthday food will matter. By then I will either have to start truly channeling the inner Martha Stewart I know is just hiding in me somewhere... or just buy them bigger presents. Yeah, that might work.
Scarlet received some extra fun birthday presents this year. Topping the list were definitely the electric barbie guitar from her aunts and the purple ruffled umbrella from her friend Jane. (Jane informed her mother that all princesses need an umbrella, turns out Scarlet whole heartedly agreed and has toted it around with her everywhere ever since) Not to mention her birthday money from Grandma Charla. She treasures those dollars and scans every store we walk into, searching for the perfect items worthy of her precious money.
But the most popular present came a few days late from Grammy. And ever since its arrival, we have been having regular tea times.
Dad is frequently invited to attend. Asher is usually uninvited as he tends to literally crash the party.
I picked up the fancy mini lemon cakes from Costco for some truly divine tea party treats.
Rhode doesn't usually enjoy all the manners imposed on him during tea party time but the grub is good, so he goes with it. So thank you, gift givers for your abundant generosity. And thank you mom for saving many of my ill fated dishes previously used for their tea party games. It is very nice to have cups in my kitchen once again.
I love having a five year old. Babies are fun and all but five year olds are funny, silly, smart, appreciative, curious and loving. Sure, babies talk back a little less...
Scarlet wanted all things princess for her family birthday day. She walked downstairs to the Disney princess party song, "Happy Birthday Princess" which somehow got stuck on repeat for the majority of the day. Two weeks later, still stuck in my head. She was in heaven.
She sat down to her specially requested birthday breakfast.
And then got to open her very first present of the day.
I had purchased this little pink dress at a thrift store and gave it a little sewing club attention...
then took a piece of lace and with a little pinterest advice, we have
The Princess Scarlet
I am not sure how I scored such an amazing deal, but it just so happens that on the Saturday that was her birthday the local library was throwing a huge Prince and Princess party. Seriously. Talk about time/effort saver.
So we showed up with some friends
andenjoyed a princess themed storytime followed by a room full of every royal themed craft available.
Scarlet made a crown, a wand, a ring, a necklace (all bejeweled and glittered) not to mention the princess inspired games, treats and presents.
They even had more manly themed crafts.
She even got the chance to take pictures with some "real princesses".
After taking the pictures, Scarlet asked if they were actually princesses.
"What do you think?" I asked.
"I think they probably were not," she said. "But their dresses were really pretty!"
Scarlet requested a Rapunzel cake and I tried my best to deliver.
I also tried my best to take the picture of the cake immediately after it was finished so it looked semi decent. I am not sure what went wrong with my buttercream frosting, but something was amiss as the frosting slowly melted as the evening wore on.
We barbecued dinner with a few close friends (family parties are only so successful when you have no family in town so we included some adopted family into the celebration).
I am so excited to have Scarlet. She gets smarter and more beautiful every day. I love what a sweet sister she is for her brothers. She loves preschool and dancing around the kitchen and all things lovely and sparkly.
Scarlet's preschool is a big fan of celebrating the holidays. And I am so with them. It is always fun to really get into the little random days. At our house that meant green pancakes, green milk, and kids dressed in green with clovers on their cheek (an Earl tradition).
And I am all about fun class parties, but Scarlet's little school is maybe going a tad bit overboard. They have a party for EVERY holiday. And, one week prior to all of these parties, there is a sign up sheet outside the classroom with 20 different blanks so every parent can bring something to the party. All 20 of us. To every party.
As you can imagine, that translates into a party with a LOT of treats. I signed up for brownies and brought some very yummy and very bite sized mint brownies. After school, I asked Scarlet what her favorite food at the party was.
"The cheetos! No... I think maybe the ice cream. Or, your brownies were really good. The other brownies were not very yummy."
And that doesn't include the juice boxes, the assorted fruit and veggie trays (which I am sure saw little to no action) nor does it include the rice crispy treat they were sent home with.
As our children literally bounced their sugar high bodies out of class, Scarlet stopped me just briefly to remind me, "Mom, don't forget to sign up for the Easter party!"
Maybe this time I will sign up for paper plates...