Ok ok, the final birthday post for the Fudgelet. I think. Unless there are more random surprise birthday parties popping up, haha. I did a lot of work for the party, starting with the invitations. I wanted to have a custom one since I had a certain theme in mind, and I also wanted to include a part for people to write a message for him when he is 18. I am saving his cards and some other mementos from his first year, and then when he is 18 I thought it would be nice to go through the stuff together. We can share with him the memories he wouldn’t remember, and he can decide if he wants to keep the items or not. Just a small box, nothing big. I might even add to it over the next few years. Who knows. Anyway, I never found an invitation that would work. Or, at least, one that was reasonably priced. So, I ended up buying blank cards, printing the written part (I had to send them to a store since our printer doesn’t do color), and assembling them myself. It took some time, but it was fun. I even had a picture mosaic for his first year.
I have made chili before, and even shared it on here. And again here. After growing up not having it very often (someone in the family didn’t care for beans-ahemDadahem), I enjoy eating it. On its own it is good, but it is even better with cheese and other toppings. Mmmm. Kind of like a baked potato. I made this recipe on a warm day, but thankfully we have air conditioning, so I can ignore the weather a bit and make the food I am in the mood for. Or at least the food I bought groceries for. (It seems silly to complain about, but isn’t it a little annoying when you expect rainy/cool weather and plan a comfort food meal only to have really sunny, warm weather instead?)
As mentioned previously, we had a mini party for the Fudgelet’s first birthday, and then a bigger one with friends. Both were after a family one in Maryland. The family one was a hybrid July 4th/Birthday party. And the Fudgelet didn’t get any cake that day. I know, sad sad. But, I figured if he had waited this long, he could wait a little longer and have a special cake with ingredients I knew. Since he wasn’t quite 1 year while we were in Maryland, and I hadn’t received the “all-clear” from the doctor on foods yet, I wanted to wait. Since then, we have received the “eat all the foods” (except choking hazards) comment, which means that the Fudgelet has had all sorts of treats since. I’ve made him grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…. and we are trying to work in other new foods, too. He has been a little picky with his solid foods lately. As in, not wanting much of any of them right now, so we have to cross that hurdle first.
I decided to save the friend party pictures for another post when I hope to share some food recipes from it. For today, it is our simpler family party.
There are many posts coming about the Fudgelet’s birthday parties. Yeah, Mr. Party Animal has had 3 parties all for himself. The first was a family/July 4 party back in Maryland, so it was not super Fudgelet-centric. But, then K and I did a family party for the three of us. I made cake, and not just any cake. He got a Momofuku Milk Bar cake. But, that’s nothing compared to the party we threw for our friends to celebrate with us. Over the few years of living here, my friends are basically K’s friends. He’s been here over a decade and all, so I took on his group with him, and love them, too. After getting pregnant, I wanted to meet some other moms/future moms. I ended up getting my own group of friends. Well, even though some people were unable to make it to the party, we still had 2 dozen people! Eek! It meant that I needed to make large amounts of foods to ensure everyone would be satisfied. Not a big deal, since I had been brainstorming food ideas for a while.
We are getting back to the start of a school year. All of the commercials with school supplies, television shows will be starting new seasons, cooler weather will be coming…but not just yet. Right now we can still enjoy summer and the extra sunshine it brings. How will you spend your days?
This is a fairly straightforward cake with a hint of fancy. The fancy comes from the brown butter and vanilla bean. You can even add some rum or other flavorings if desired. It’s half breakfast, half snack cake. There wasn’t a picture in the cookbook, so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but it ended up as I expected. It is not your typical fluffy, light cake. But, I think that’s part of the reason you can eat it all day long. It’s not too sweet, either.
First, a shoutout to my Aunt V who sent this recipe to me. It looked a bit different…basically, I decided to do a riff on what she sent me. The combination of chocolate and peanut butter is always so delicious, so it’s not like you can go wrong. And look at the results….