Thursday, November 16, 2006

Joy's 4th birthday

I used to do birthday parties for my kids every birthday every year. We haven't done much with parties over the last couple years and now I remember why. The kids get presents and don't want to share and NO ONE is happy by the end of the day. But I'd forgotten all that. Joy had never had a party and I enjoy planning them. The party went well, we just had a lot of fighting afterward.

Our kids do not eat anything with artificial colors in it. (It causes hyperactivity and aggressiveness in the younger kids and depression and other mood disorders in older children and adults. Don't believe me? Try removing all artificial colors from your diet for two weeks, then re-introduce them and see how you feel.) This can be quite a cake decorating challenge. In addition, I am very sensitive to caffeine which means no chocolate ever. So far the kids seem to share my sensitivity although we haven't tested them intentionally. (Are you kidding? Intentionally give children something that gives them MORE energy?!) So we don't get color from chocolate either.So in case there are others like me who want to have colorful cakes, but skip the nasty chemicals, I thought I'd share how this one worked out. Plus I'm proud of it.

Joy was having a bug theme for her party and wanted a butterfly cake. It came out really cute. I cut a sort of cigar shape from the middle of a round cake for the body, then moved each of the side pieces to the opposite side to make the wings. I made a batch of butter cream frosting and frosted the whole cake white. Then I used the butter cream recipe, but substituted frozen grape juice concentrate for the milk for a pretty purple color. I then went for pink by making more frosting with cranberry juice concentrate. It was beautiful, but not much different than the purple. For the antennae we cut strips of pink construction paper and curled the ends.
Joy and cake

cake close up

It tasted great too! Just a hint of fruitiness in a creamy frosting. Mmmm good.

Joy told me today that her party was too short. I think that means she had a great time.



rachel said...

We try really hard to stay away from artificial flavors and colors, and I had been wondering how I would ever decorate a cake. Great idea! Your cake looked beautiful.

I enjoy reading your blogs. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

That is so cute! Very resourceful, I would not have thought to do any of that!

Hope yall are doing well! I havent been reading for a while...need to catch up.


sarah said...

I saw Alton Brown (Good Eats on Foodnetwork) make avocoda cake icing one time. It makes a very green shade of icing, might be worth a try sometime :)

Brad said...

Interesting thoughts about the food coloring. Do you have any specific web sites or books that offer more information? Any good alternate recipes? By the way the cake looks great!