Sunday, September 17, 2017

Giant Cupcake - Take Three!

My son turned one last week!🎂 How is that even possible?! It's such a cliche to say this but his first year just flew by! Balancing an insanely hectic work schedule with wife and mommy duties has been intense as always, but I make sure to make time for the things that matter!

I couldn't decide what kind of cake to bake for his birthday, and I thought why not do the giant cupcake again? I mean I already had the cake pan and I had baked it twice already so it seemed like a no-brainer. Of course if you remember from my previous two attempts, the giant cupcake is such an anxiety inducing feat to pull off, I wondered if I  would be able to get it right again. For a moment I considered ordering a cake from some of the many delicious bakeries around but then what would be the fun in that!

With my 5 year old daughter as my trusted little helper, we assembled everything we needed and set to work on the cake. I pulled up my old blog post of the minnie mouse giant cupcake I made for my daughters 2nd birthday and followed those instructions to a tee. I am always so thankful for this blog!

As with my previous attempts, things did go wrong. I somehow managed to overfill the cake pan even thought I put exactly right amount of batter in the both sides of the pan. So it dribbled over my brand new oven! I had to leave it in a lot longer to make it bake all the way through, so the edges were crispy to say the least! Thankfully the crunchiest parts got trimmed off, so it all worked out.

This time I used baking pam spray instead of the crisco &flour combo and the cake fell out of the pan beautifully! 🙌🏾 We left the cake to cool and got to work on the edible cupcake wrapper. Everyone who saw  the pictures of the cake assumed the cupcake was in a silicone wrapper. I'm not sure why I never thought of that option, I could have potentially saved myself a ton of work last time but that would be too easy. Its so much more fun when the entire cake is edible! The last time I attempted this, it took a few failed attempts before I finally got it right.  This time I knew exactly what to do so it was pretty straight forward.  I melted down the candy melts and applied a thick layer to the inside of the pan. Allowed it to set in the freezer and then repeated that with another thick layer and left it over night in the freezer.

The next morning we assembled all the parts. First by trimming and frosting all sides of the bottom of the cake to get it to fit inside the cupcake wrapper shell. This is the most nerve wracking part because the shell could just crack into pieces if not properly made. Once that was done the rest was pretty straight forward. I added the top of the cake and frosted it. I clearly need better frosting skills, I tried to use a whipped frosting which kept melting right off the cake and looking goopy so I scraped it off with a knife to give it a more 'cinnamon swirl' look and then we added his birthday candle and brought my son out to see it!

I have to say, he was altogether supremely unimpressed with the cake, he loved the candle but couldn't possibly have cared any less about the cake. But it was still totally worth it! My daughter and I had a blast working on it together and he will get to look at the pictures one  day and realize how much his first birthday meant to all of us!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

We started solids (AGAIN)!

When baby J turned 6 months old we had already started to assemble all our baby food making gear. We kept all the gear from last time such as the mumi & bubi trays, the mash & serve bowl and of course my trusted blender. But instead of the ball canning 4oz jars we used last time,  I decided to try the plastic food jars by sage spoonfuls

These are supposed to be a better option because they have measurement markings on the back and since they are made out of plastic you don't have to worry about them cracking from the wear and tear of being frozen and heated up. After using these for the past few weeks I can say they are satisfactory but nothing special. They don't seem to have a fully airtight seal especially in the freezer. I wouldn't buy these again or recommend them, but I'll make the best of them since I already have them. I would rather use the mumi & bubi food trays for freezing. 

I also decided to switch things up a bit and not offer my son his first foods in the same order as I did with my daughter. I have to say that my blog has become such a good source of information for me 😁, I am constantly so thankful that younger me somehow had the time and dedication to post such detailed information about everything😂!

We decided to start with pureed carrots which he loved, followed by smashed peas and mashed avocado.  All three were super easy to make, the carrots were cooked in water til soft and then pureed in a blender with breastmilk.

Pureed carrots in Sage Spoonfuls jars
When it came time to offer peas I decided not to blend it but instead go back to using my NUK mash and serve bowl the good thing about that bowl is it preserves some texture and is perfect for mashing small portions that would simply disappear under the blades of a blender. I cooked them in a small amount of water until they were as soft as peas can get.

The avocados were by far the fastest and easiest because there was no cooking involved, I just put a few slices in the mashing bowl and had a quick batch of basic guac ready in seconds. He gobbled it all up!! I guess so far avocado is his clear favorite.

I'm constantly asked how I find the time to make all this baby food and I genuinely have no special answer to that question. I'm  passionate about the food my kids eat and I think of introducing solid foods as such a fun adventure to embark on, I couldn't imagine doing it any other way.