June 28, 2009
Penguin Party Bash
Whew! The penguin party is over and I'm sitting down and still for the first time in days. Man do my feet hurt, but it was all worth it! Miss G had a fabulous birthday party, with family and friends and a grand old time was had by all. That's my kind of party!
Last year, the afternoon of her Tinkerbell birthday party, just after everyone had gone home, Alexis turned to me and said "Next year I want a penguin birthday party!" When I told people about this they assumed she would change her mind sometime during the year, but Alexis much like me, is all about making a decision well in advance and keeping to it, so a penguin party it was!
This year the cake was very simple. It wasn't anything difficult, but Alexis loved it and it took me next to no time to decorate. That my friends is my kind of cake!
I baked 4 - 13 X 9 inch cakes to make the ice shelf, 1 - 8 X 8 inch cake to sculpt into the hill the igloo was going to sit on and 1 cake in a heat proof round Pyrex bowl to make the igloo. I used the pieces that I shaved off the "hill" to make the terrain more "natural" and bumpy for the ice shelf. I placed the cake on a big board covered with blue cello paper to make the water.
I also cheated a bit. When I realized how many cakes I was going to have to bake to make the ice shelf and igloo and calculated that the recipe I was going to use was going to need 30 cups of cocoa powder I decided that I was going to go the cake mix route. I normally make all cakes from scratch, but you figure out how much 30 cups of cocoa is going to cost and you can see how expensive it was going to be to make this cake! I ended up using the chocolate variety from Dr. Oetker and it was really fabulous!
I also used the Wilton Buttercream icing recipe that I normally use. I used a 3/4ths to 1/4th cup ratio of shortening to butter since I'm not a fan of an overpowering butter flavor in my icing. I also use vanilla and almond flavoring in my icing. I sprinkled the top of the cake with a silvery sanding sugar to help the icing have that sparkly snow/ice look to the surface and it worked fabulously!
The penguins are all resin figures. I briefly thought about making fondant or marzipan penguins and then rapidly talked myself out of it. I treasure my sanity after all! ;oP
I made penguin sugar cookies too. These were some of the best sugar cookies I have every had! I ordered some black sprinkles and things from Fancy Flours and they included some recipe cards in my order. One of them was for a "No Fail Sugar Cookie" and let me tell you these lived up to their title!
I also made a little army of penguin appetizers! Black olives (jumbo and small), pearl mozzarella and carrots. They took bout 20 minutes to make and I got a lot of compliments about them! Someone I follow on Twitter recommended that I Google penguin appetizers and these were just too cute! I used mozzarella instead of cream cheese because Alexis isn't a fan of cream cheese. Black olives are also one of her all time favorite foods, not to mention an adoration of "white cheese" as she calls it, so it worked out nicely!
Overall it was a very nice party. The kids ran around in circles and generally did their kid things, the adults sat/stood around and chatted, ate some food and enjoyed each other's company. You can't ask for better than that.
So now I'm going to take a few days off. I'm seriously wiped out! My parents have been at my sister's house and are coming to stay with us for a few days. I'll probably post What's For Dinner between now and then but most likely I won't post a recipe until Thursday. I'm going to sit (which I haven't done in days!), relax and enjoy spending some time with my Mom.
Hope you all have a good week!
Posted by Dianne at June 28, 2009 11:34 AM
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You did the theme proud. I want one of those cookies. I made the olive penquins last Christmas and they were a big hit! Great job. Whats next years theme??? :)
Posted by: megan at June 28, 2009 12:51 PM
Wow Dianne, you really outdid yourself. And I'm sure no one knew you used a mix - because really, 30 cups of cocoa powder? Can you say "break the bank"?
Everything looks great, and I really love the penguin olives - too bad my kids hate olives!
Posted by: Megan at June 28, 2009 1:22 PM
She says Scooby Doo, but we'll see. She only said it once. If she says it a few more times I'll say we have a winner! ;oP
Posted by: Dianne at June 28, 2009 7:26 PM
Gorgeous job on the cake, Dianne! Wow--how much cocoa does your usual recipe call for? That seems like an awfully large amount, even for the amount of cake you were making. Oh, and I love the penguin olives. I don't like olives, but Brianna loves them--I'll have to make the penguins for her.
Posted by: Di at June 28, 2009 10:47 PM
Those little olive penguins are sooo cute!
Hope Miss G had a terrific time!
Posted by: Dar at June 29, 2009 1:42 PM
I was very pleased with how the penguin olives turned out. They were so cute all lined up in a row. While I was making them Lex kept pilfering them and eating them. She definitely enjoyed them!
She had a really good time at the party too. The weather was gorgeous and the kids were in and out and played and played. It was a lot of fun! Chaotic, but fun!
Posted by: Dianne at June 29, 2009 9:25 PM
It all looks wonderful Dianne. You did a fabulous job. The cake and cookies turned out lovely but those olive penguin are so darn CUTE! Love 'em!
Enjoy your break and visit with your parents!
Posted by: ingrid at June 30, 2009 10:24 AM
Thanks Ingrid! We had a fun time. They headed back to TN yesterday and drove part of the way. They'll go the rest of of the way today.
Posted by: Dianne at July 2, 2009 1:54 PM