dr. seuss

Dr. Seuss – Cat in the Hat – 1st Birthday Party!

First Birthday Party

Oh what fun, Sawyer is one!! This is a bit overdue since he turned one on the 10th but I figure, better late than never!

We had a blast throwing Sawyer his very first birthday party! It was so much fun since both sides of grandparents could both come! With living so far away from everyone, that sure doesn’t happen very often! You could really tell that Sawyer was loving all of the attention, almost like he knew that the day was all about him. I knew that I wanted to do a Dr. Seuess – Cat in the Hat theme because he has so many of the books and loves the “Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That” TV show. He grins and dances every time it comes on!

 

First Birthday Party

First Birthday Party

I was so excited to make all kinds of food and especially his very first cake! I decided to make him his own smash cake and then make cupcakes for everyone else! I even made “Green Eggs & Ham” by making the filling inside of deviled eggs green and making ham wrapped pickle rolls to go along with. My husband and I came up with some cute “Seusical” names for name tags for the food. We had things like:

Punchalafizzer (Punch)

Green Eggs & Ham

Oodles of Noodles (Pasta Salad)

Trufulla Trees (Veggies)

Barbaloot Fruits

And a few others too. It was fun and really brought out the kids in us! Well…that doesn’t really take a lot 😛

First Birthday Party

First Birthday Party

First Birthday Party

 

For the cupcakes I made Thing 1 & Thing 2 inspired cupcakes. The use of cotton candy for blue hair wasn’t really my own idea…I had seen this on Pinterest a few times! I made red velvet cake and a vanilla buttercream icing toped with blue cotton candy. Then glued on little circles to the paper but instead of saying Thing 1 & Thing 2 it said “Sawyer is 1.” Little tip, if you ever want to make cupcakes with cotton candy on top, make sure to put the cotton candy on shortly before serving. Luckily I did this so it worked out okay but after sitting for awhile the cotton candy kind of just dissolves into blue crystals on the cupcakes. This oddly enough worked out and gave it a nice texture anyway! I think it just depends on what the humidity is at and the fact that it is sitting in icing.

First Birthday Party

First Birthday Party

For Sawyer’s smash cake I made a white cake (Okay, I’ll admit it, I used boxed cake! But hey, I didn’t have a lot of time and to be honest, I think boxed cake tastes delicious!) iced with vanilla buttercream. For the buttercream I just used 1 C butter, powdered sugar, 2 tsp vanilla and milk. For the powdered sugar and milk I didn’t really measure. I just added until it all mixed together with a good taste and consistency. I made the Thing 1 & Thing 2 characters by melting white chocolate and adding color to it. The chocolate tends to harden back up a bit when you add food coloring so I added just a tiny bit of coconut oil and it melts it right back up really smooth. I had printed the characters out on paper and layed wax paper over top so that I could see the characters through it. Then I just piped the melted chocolate on the wax paper tracing the characters. I wasn’t sure if it would turn out or not but they ended up looking great!

First Birthday Party

The funniest part about the whole party was Sawyer eating his cake! We literally just sat and watched him for so long! We sang him Happy Birthday, blew out his candle and then gave him his cake. I kind of expected him to be a bit iffy about it because he doesn’t like getting gooey things all over his hands. But I mean c’mon, it’s CAKE! So I thought he’d be diving in at least a little! Nope, after nearly poking it he already has a completely disgusted look on his face! My husband goes and grabs a baby fork and to my amazement he actually uses it! He sits there and eats his cake with a fork! I love that little stinker so much!

First Birthday Party

First Birthday Party

First Birthday Party

First Birthday Party

 

Whippersnappers

 

The GRINCH! Red Velvet-Cheesecake Cupcakes

Grinch Red Velvet Cupcakes

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things about this time of year is Christmas candy and allllllll kinds of Christmas themed desserts. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a major, and I mean, MAJOR sweet tooth! So I decided I needed to get things moving along in the dessert-making department! Better yet…cupcakes! Who doesn’t like cupcakes?! I am very thankful that my husband works with a ton of guys who can take all of the extras off my hands. I am always baking up new things and sending them off to work with him. If it weren’t for that, I would probably have to stop baking because I would eat it all myself! It doesn’t matter if I hide it away in a container, wrap it up and freeze it…doesn’t matter. I WILL know that it is there and ultimately decide that I have to have it.

I’m not really all too great at actually coming up with dessert recipes myself so I actually combined a couple of ideas that I found from a couple of other talented people! I saw the most amazing Grinch cupcakes on pinterest and wanted to do something similar. The original cupcakes came from Sugar Swings blog, to check out their recipe click here. They did theirs with peppermint, which is also an amazing idea! Also, check out the heart they added in the middle!!

I decided to go a different route with mine with…red velvet! Doesn’t get much better than that right? Wrong! Add cheesecake and cream cheese icing and you have perfection!

I used a cheesecake filled red velvet cupcake recipe from Sweet Little Detail’s blog. Check out the recipe they used for their Surprise Red Velvet Cupcakes.

I have been wanting to make cupcakes for awhile now and red velvet is my favorite! I wanted to add some Christmas to them so why not the Grinch?! My son “helped” me with these cupcakes so it was very interesting but fun! Since he is on the move these days and crawling all over the place, it is nearly impossible to do any baking anymore. Thank goodness for the amazing invention of the front carrier! Well…my back doesn’t thank me, but at least I can get some stuff done and have my little one nice and content! Worth it 😉

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My little helper…

Here’s how I did them:

First, make the cheesecake filling to set aside so that it is ready.

Filling:

1 – 8oz pack of cream cheese

1 egg

1/3 Cup sugar

About 1/2 a bag of white chocolate chips (or however many you prefer!)

Blend the cream cheese, egg and sugar in a bowl until very smooth, then stir in the white chocolate chips. Set this aside until later.

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes: *To make sure to give credit where credit is due, this cake recipe is Bakerella’s Red Velvet Cake recipe. I originally found it through Sweet Little Detail’s blog 🙂

2 1/2 Cups flour

2 Cups sugar

1Tbsp cocoa

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1 1/2 Cups oil

1 Cup buttermilk

1 Tbsp vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

2 oz red food coloring (I used a red velvet emulsion, which worked great! Use less if using this instead of regular food coloring)

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners or spray with nonstick spray.

Whisk eggs in a bowl, add remaining liquid ingredients, mix and set aside. Mix all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fill pan with batter about 2/3 full and then top with a spoonful of the cheesecake mixture. I filled mine very full and they turned out great! I pushed my spoonful of cheesecake mixture down into the batter a bit with a knife.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Now for the frosting! I usually just guesstimate the amounts until I get the consistency I want but the amounts I used this time for this frosting turned out amazing! I was disappointed that I didn’t have much leftover to devour but it is probably for the best!

 

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 – 8oz pack of cream cheese

1/4 Cup butter (half stick)

4 Cups powdered sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla

 

Beat cream cheese and butter well until creamy. Add vanilla. Add powdered sugar little by little until you get the consistency that you want. I then added green food coloring to make my Grinch cupcakes! But you could leave it white or do whatever you so choose to fit whatever theme you are trying to do.

Grinch Red Velvet Cupcakes

 

Grinch Red Velvet Cupcakes

 

Grinch Red Velvet Cupcakes

…and Ta Da!! Those are my Cheesecake Red Velvet Grinch cupcakes! I just iced them thick with frosting, added edible eyes and made white chocolate santa hats! You could do any design you want this way. Just melt white chocolate in the microwave and add a bit of food coloring to it. I then piped it onto wax paper in the shape of santa hats and put it in the freezer to set.

My son had a lot of fun “helping” me with these cupcakes! Aka putting his hands in the BRIGHT red batter without me realizing it and getting it everywhere! 😛 He sure has fun watching me though and that’s all that matters.

Have fun with your holiday baking!

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 Whippersnappers