Thursday, August 14, 2008

Brithday Party Part III: The Spread

I had fun coming up with food ideas for Jeremiah's party. Nothing fancy, just some home-made, fun "picaderos" (finger foods). So, we choose: chips and salsa, fresh fruit, veggies and ranch dip, and what I call "hot-dog" dip. I wasn't looking forward to doing all the cutting-up for the salsa. And then I got an idea- I could just throw all the ingredients into my mini-chopper! I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of that before. The salsa was easy to make; we bought chips and crackers, made up some ranch dressing, cut up some veggies and fruit, and made the "hot-dog" dip. I've had the dip many times before (one of our staff members makes it) but had not made it. Once again, it was super easy. I just threw together ham/salami, some cheese, mayo, ketchup, and a little mustard in the mini-chopper. And it was done! It was a hit (as in, there was none leftover).
And of course, for the exciting part.... the cake(s)!

While I was in the States, I picked up two $1 Betty Crocker cake mixes (a carrot and a lemon). For Daniel's birthday, I used the carrot. For Jeremiah's, I used the lemon. Yes, I admit. Even though I love baking things from scratch (tortillas, bagels, bread, etc.), I am not too thrilled about cake. I like dessert (crisps, pies, cheese cake), but I have never been a big fan of birthday cake. As a result, I don't have a huge desire to make it. Someday maybe, but not now. So, I cheated and used the mixes. However, I don't want to start giving Jeremiah lots of sugar just yet. He likes food; he doesn't need to be introduced to super sweet things at this point. So, I found a recipe for a "healthy" cake and icing here:

Healthy First Birthday Cake Recipes - Sugar Free Applesauce and Banana Cake

8oz (2 cups) whole wheat flour
1oz (1/8 cup) wheat germ
1tsp baking soda
6 medium, ripe bananas - mashed
8 fl oz (1 cup) sugar-free applesauce
2-4 fl oz (1/4 to 1/2 cup) soy milk (I used regular)

Preheat the oven to 325 deg F (160 deg C).
In a bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ and baking soda.
In a separate bowl, combine the applesauce with the mashed bananas and milk.
Pour the applesauce mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Pour into a greased pan and bake for around 1 1/2 hours. The cake is ready when a sharp knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

And then the icing:

Apple and Cream Cheese Frosting

8oz (1 cup) cream cheese
4oz (1/2 cup) sugar free apple juice concentrate
2tsp pure vanilla extract

Soften the cream cheese as described above. (Let it sit out for 30 min.)
Simply whisk the cream cheese with the fruit juice concentrate and vanilla extract until creamy! Alternatively, try mixing the softened cream cheese with your baby's favourite pureed fruit.

Jeremiah loved it, and the rest of us enjoyed a lemon cake with homemade lemon frosting. Besides that, he ate fruit, and the rest of us enjoyed the other food.
I included these pictures previously, but here they are again:

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