double birthday all the way!
The title of this post, by the way, is the same subject line in the invites to my birthday party this year.
That’s because this marks the second year of the double birthday party that Jennifer and I put on. We’re 3 days apart, and with many of the same friends, it seemed best to invite everybody to one big party. Plus, more cake!
We started the tradition last year of baking each other cakes. Jennifer made a wonderful lemon & orange pound cake (upper left), and I made a chocolate sprinkle cake (lower right).
I got the idea from Oh Happy Day (where I steal a lot of party ideas, frankly), and nailed it.
It took exactly all of one giant bottle of sprinkles. The best way I can describe the method of applying the sprinkles to the sides is this: pour a bunch in your hand, and then slap your hand (gently) onto the side. Complete until covered. There will be a LOT of sprinkles falling. Next time I will also look for larger sprinkles.
The cake itself is my tried-and-true “fancy box cake” recipe:
- Get one box cake mix (in this cake, two, because this was a 3-layer cake!)
- Substitute apple sauce for oil
- Substitute buttermilk (or regular milk) for water
- Add an extra egg
I’ve done those substitutions for chocolate, lemon, red velvet, really any type of cake, and in each instance they came out great, and very moist. You can add other bits in as needed: for a lemon cake, put in a little lemon zest; for red velvet, add a packet of hot chocolate mix and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
This cake was chocolate, and I put a tart plum jam in between each layer to offset all the sweet frosting (butter-cream, store-bought, because I got enough to do already) and sprinkles. Delicious.
We had lots of other tasty treats as well:
Next to Jen’s cake is pesto guacamole. Yes, Pinterest. Yes, NAILED IT. I cheated, though, and added pre-made pesto. I don’t have a food processor, so home-made pesto is not something I’ll be making any time soon. At least not until after the wedding. I’ve got some exciting appliances on that registry, let me tell you.
In the foreground is baked brie. I borrowed the plating idea from The Glamorous Housewife, but modded the ingredients. I took a wheel of brie, and sliced in half. I put inside a couple tablespoons of pepper jelly and half a chopped clove of onion. More jelly and garlic on top, and bake until bubbly.
Because we’d been busy finishing up the dining room, decorations were a little last minute. But thanks to the 99 cent store, I was able to get some cute banners that I’ll definitely re-use later.
Easy! I hung a few paper globes in the living room (similar to the Halloween party) and called it done. We had put up the giant wall map just the day before, so I felt I had spruced things up enough already.
The real fancy part came from the guests themselves. We dubbed it a “choose your own era” costume party and encouraged everyone to dress up from whatever decade they fancied. And I finally got an excuse to wear a dress I’ve had hanging in my closet for at least 3 years.
I don’t know if I should brag or keep this a secret, but I found this lovely piece at Ross. I know! The shoes were a Valentine’s Day gift, and are from b.a.i.t. The hat I found one weekend at Creative Reuse, and it matches *perfectly* and I was so excited when I saw it, because I knew it was meant to be paired with this dress.
So of course I decided at the last minute not to wear it and go with something else. In my defense, I just don’t feel right wearing big hats indoors.
These lovely flowers were a birthday gift from last year, and this is probably the second time I’ve ever worn then. I have a few pieces from this seller on Etsy, and love them all. So still a win, in my opinion, in terms of dragging things out of the closet.
And now time to think about March! My St. Patrick’s Day board is, well, almost non-existent. March is going to be a busy month, so we’ll see what happens!