I know you aren't supposed to boast, but seriously. I'm SO proud of what I pulled off for Aaron's birthday. At first, I was going to do a little party with family and a cake. Because Aaron doesn't like to make a big deal of his birthday, and I already have a plan to take him to a movie date on Saturday. But then, he went away to California from Sunday - the morning of his birthday. And I realized I could do something epic because he wouldn't be around to see all the preparations. Since I had all this time, I could do it myself, on the cheap, and totally surprise him.
The plan was to make a fun cake*, invite a bunch of friends (including ones we haven't seen in a while) and cook his favorite foods. The reason this was doable is that Aaron's favorite dinner is tortellini, chicken and broccoli - all mixed together with Alfredo sauce. And the big, flaky biscuits from the refrigerator aisle. I made a HUGE bowl of that (enough for 16 people - that is how many people showed up!), and starting on Monday, made the cake.
That is it all cut up! I was SO excited that it came out this well. I suck at decorating cakes, but thankfully one of my girlfriends visited on Monday, and she helped me put the layers together and also taught me about the all important crumb layer - which allowed me to have the fact that it was a rainbow cake stay a surprise until Aaron cut into it! I was all nervous that with the white icing you would see the cake, but nope! I did a small layer of frosting Tuesday, let it harden, and then a second thicker layer on Wednesday.
As I said, not a perfect decorating job, but he certainly was surprised when he cut into it.
Of course, the party was about 80% for the kids, and we had 8 kids running around, and they just LOVED the cake. But this was a much different party than we were used to. Everyone arrived by about 5:30, and many were out the door by 6:15 to get the kids to bed on time, so we rushed through eating dinner to get to the cake for the kids. I got balloons for each kid to bring home, and that was a hit too. It was a whirlwind party, but a big success - and I'm still smiling about it!
Cameron had SO much fun at the party. I asked him this morning what his favorite part of the party was and he starting singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Too cute.
*For those that want more cake details, go to this website for the general instructions. She does a great job of explaining what to do. There is a Martha Stewart version, but of course everything is from scratch, and I don't roll that way. I will tell you that from my experience, I used a whole thing of red dye to make the red layer - and then forgot that you need yellow AND red to make orange.... so I took some red batter and threw it into the yellow and it worked out great. To split up the cake batter, I did one box at a time (because I only had three 9 inch cake pans anyway) and put 1 1/4 cups of batter in each bowl. With my oven, that runs hot, I cooked the cakes at 350 for 15 minutes and they came out perfect. I also used FOUR things of ready made frosting. It takes A LOT of frosting to make this all stick together.