Friday, August 3, 2012

A Book Party

Posted by, Paulette

Last weekend I traveled to San Francisco to attend a birthday party for my adorable nephew. He's a bit of a miracle baby, since my sister's doctor told her that she would have difficulty conceiving, and he came without any medical assistance at conception. After he was born he was air lifted to a children's hospital due to complications. His second birthday was truly a celebration of life!

The day after my mom and I arrived, we were put to work making this book garland.

My sister Rachel had all kinds of inspirational pictures pinned in Pinterest, and had all of the supplies ready for us to assemble. The book covers are made of card stock and the insides are cut from catalogs and other scrap paper. The little star flags are leftovers from making the confetti that was scattered on the table.
While we were busy doing this, Rachel was making delicious gluten free double chocolate cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting.
They were so good, I couldn't leave them alone!
She found the recipe in Artisanal Gluten-Free cupcakes by,  Kelli and Peter Bronski

The Artisan Gluten Free Flour Blend

Makes about 3 cups

1 1/4 cups Brown rice flour

3/4 cup sorghum flour

2/3 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup potato starch

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon potato flour

1 teaspoon xanthun gum

Combine all ingredients, whisk thoroughly by hand to mix well and store in an airtight container. If you don't plan on using the flour soon or regularly place the container in your fridge to preserve freshness.
NOTE: Recipe makes about 3 cups but you will only need 2 1/2 cups to make cupcakes.

You will need

1 cup salted butter

1 cup water

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups Artisan GF flour blend

2 teaspoons xanthun gum

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. line standard cupcake tins with paper liners

2. heat the butter, water, and cocoa over medium heat in saucepan until the butter is melted.

3. Meanwhile put the sugar in a mixing bowl. add the butter-cocoa mixture and mix at low speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture is cool.

4. add the eggs one at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition.

5. add the sour cream and vanilla. mix. scrape down sides.

6. in a separate bowl, combine the flour, xanthun gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix mix with a whisk. break up any clumps.

7. add the dry ingredients to the cocoa mixture and mix for about 10 seconds at medium low speed until well mixed.

8. scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix an additional 5 seconds at high speed until smooth.

9. divide the batter evenly among the paper lined cups. Make the top of the batter as smooth as you can. (this seemed impossible to do BTW)

10. bake for 25 minutes.

11. allow the cupcakes to cool in the tines for about 10 minutes then remove from tins and let cool.

12. FROST!! I used the classic buttercream recipe for frosting and used hersheys Dark cocoa.  If you don't have a recipe for frosting here is the recipe the book gives you to use.

1 cup salted butter
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used dark)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips or pieces melted.

1. cream together butter, sugar cocoa, cream and vanilla until light and fluffy.
2. mix in the melted chocolate. if frosting is too thick add additional cream 1 teaspoon at a time. 

The next day was the day of the party. And we were moving at the speed of light to get every thing done!

There was a lot of cleaning to be done after all of that baking and crafting the day before, but there was still a ton of food to prepare too! 
Mom made beautiful vegetable and fruit plates and a delicious fruit dip.

There wasn't an exact recipe for this, but I heard that it contained sour cream, Greek yogurt, Madagascar vanilla paste, cinnamon and sugar. Many of the women in my family are dump cooks. We dump or sprinkle in the ingredients until it looks and tastes right.

We also served corn chips with your choice of salsa, ranch dip, or guacamole, all of which were purchased ready made, making at least some of this party easy!
 These bacon chicken bites were very easy to prepare and a big hit!

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Nibs

What you need

chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
honey mustard or honey and ground mustard seeds
tooth picks

What you do

cut chicken breasts into small bite sized pieces.

cut bacon in half and wrap around chicken.

pin in place with a toothpick.

repeat until desired amount.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

put the bacon wrapped chicken onto a roasting dish with wire.

spread honey mustard sauce over chicken.

Place into oven for 30 minutes.

Take chicken out and check for doneness and flip each one and put back in the oven for another 15 minutes or so to let the bacon crisp up. You can reapply honey mustard at this time too.

Bacon should be crisp and chicken should be thoroughly cooked.  enjoy. 

For drinks, a fruit infused water made with limes and raspberries and Tang were served. All of the foods were displayed on top of stacks of books. A side note about the infused water. If I were to do this again, I'd cut off the lime skins. They made the water too bitter.

And finally no child's birthday party is complete without a big messy cake for them to dive into. The cake we had planned didn't get finished in time, and so Daddy was the hero of the day. He brought home a cake to replace it.
 And Baby "J" did his best to pose for those birthday pictures!

This blog was initially started to share the lives of the 3 sisters, Paulette, Jvona, and Rachel. And somehow I've become it's major contributor. I guess I'll just have to take regular trips to California and Florida to report for my sisters. I'm starting a traveling fund. Anyone want to contribute?


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