Monday, May 19, 2014

Frozen birthday party

I like to think hosting a birthday party for twenty kids and twenty parents is a good way to keep some semblance of normalcy during the terribly stressful period of transition in foreign service life.  Either that, or I'm completely nuts.  We hosted the party in between Addie and Bella's birthdays so both girls could have a special birthday with their friends one last time in Ethiopia.
They are all obsessed with the new Disney Frozen movie (me included, who isn't?) and it was a fun theme to plan.  My parents had send treat bags and homemade lollipops from a candy shop on the Oregon coast. Bruce's Candy Kitchen makes candy that is not only beautiful but it's also delicious.  The twirly pops went well with our frozen theme as a take-away gift.
We spent the Sunday prior to the party hanging balloons and streamers and snowflakes.  I purchased Frozen character decals to place on the walls.  For the party activity, I fell back on my usual craft of decorating sugar cookies.  I just didn't have it in me to be creative so the kids were given pretty bags with two snowflake sugar cookies and sprinkles to decorate them. I made my favorite sugar cookie frosting that dries nicely and let the kids dig it out of little dishes with a knife.  For the Christmas party I took the time to put the frosting in bags for piping (Good Lord am I nuts?).  I decided that was too time consuming. The craft was a hit.  Ultimately, I've decided the main reason kids (and grownups) love this so much it because frosted sugar cookies are a wonderful indulgence.  I spotted lots of moms and dads stealing bites of their kids creations.
Bella and her best friend Teffase decorating cookies.  These two ate the entire ramekin of frosting together.
The day of the party ended up being one of the rainiest, non-rainy season days I've seen in Addis!  But we weren't deterred.  I scanned our must-drink-before-we-leave liquor cabinet and came up with two cocktails the parents could enjoy during the party.  One contained a gorgeous espresso granita and Kahlua.  Delicious!  The rain didn't seem so gloomy when you have something sweet and boozy to drink.

Lunch was Mediterranean beef kofta and chicken kebab sandwiches with hummus, tzaziki sauce  and homemade pitas. I spent a good part of the week prior planning and prepping the meal. The kids enjoyed baked mac 'n cheese with broccoli.  If I'm being real, the parents enjoyed the pasta as well.  I had splurged on American sharp cheddar cheese.  After eating local cheese for so long, American cheddar tastes super salty and sharp and just plain rich!
The cake was the real hero of the party.  I wanted this cake to blow my girls' minds and I was rewarded greatly when they saw the final product. I planned this cake for months.  I ordered the Frozen figurines as well as the sugar snowflakes.  The three tiered cake was frosted with light blue vanilla buttercream and vanilla meringue frosting for snow.  The bottom tier was chocolate with caramel filling, the middle tier was orange with orange curd filling and the top was chocolate with strawberry filling.  The blue tinted sugar "ice" was made with the same technique as I used here.  It was much easier with simply shattering the candy.  This cake required a lot of labor but every single minute was a labor of love for me.  You can see some more detailed photos over at Ladytroupe Sweets blog.
The party was so much fun and the kids all had a great time.  It was the first party where Addie wanted only her girlfriends from her class to attend.  Bella had a few little boys from her class that are her close friends but for the most party the party was very girl-heavy.  It was sweet and a little less loud and crazy.  I find that even at first grade the girls and boys get in groups at parties and get one another all riled up.  It's so funny to see at such a young age.  Anyway, I'm certain we have lots of girls only parties coming in our life.  That is until it suddenly is cool to invite boys again.

It was a relief to have this party finished so I could get back to my organizing and sorting for our move.  But truth be told, I am also a little sad that we won't be throwing parties in this house anymore.  It's been a great house for entertaining and we've thrown some seriously epic parties in Ethiopia.  It's been a good entertaining run for me.  I will miss it.  


Nomads By Nature said...

That cake is gorgeous! Well done!

rhea scott said...

Interesting blog and pictures. Loved the pictures of kids birthday party