Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Birthday to The Love Magnet

Shhhh! It's tradition to sneak into the birthday child's room and wake them up with singing. The whole family crowds in and starts to sing........
The Love Magnet does not wake up.
Are you kidding me? She has woken us up around 4:30 every single morning for the past week, asking if it is finally her birthday. Now she decides to sleep in?!

Wake up Love Magnet! With great herculean effort, she sits up...
Thankfully she wakes up in earnest when she realizes the day is here. No pictures as we were rushing for the bus. Later I took birthday treats to her summer school and met the peer tutors. These kids do not get paid. They are absolutely amazing. The Love Magnet surely thinks so.

Grandma and Grandpa arrived that evening. With Mr. Wonderful and Secondborn at scout camp and Firstborn working, we made for a small dinner party. Still, it was so much fun to be with grandpa...

and grandma.

The Love Magnet made sure that everyone knew it was her birthday. She was so excited to be sung to and to get a birthday sundae.

That night we sang Happy Birthday just as The Love Magnet instructed us "with cha-cha-chas, Mom!" She picked out her own cake as I didn't have time to bake. (It was finals week, for heavens sake!) The Love Magnet thinks all birthday cakes should be chocolate.

One of her fave gifts came from her brother. She wanted to wear them to school.

The next morning, as soon as my finals were done (what was I thinking?!) I rushed home to finish getting the Birthday Tea Party ready. Did I say how grateful I was for my mom? She saved me. She came up with this fabulous tea-party hat craft. Those hats were originally for the 4th of July. Take off the red/white/blue ribbon, add tulle and flowers, and it become instant glamour.

My mom also provided nail polish and fingernail jewels to make little fingers ready for a party. The girls loved the girls fun instead of games. Afterwards, we had a photo session. Just a few:

The Love Magnet was surprisingly good at posing. Where on earth did she learn that?

They were ready to do kicks...

and dance poses...

All the girls were finally ready for a tea party.

The girls weren't sure what to think about trying cucumber sandwiches and cranberry-orange scones. I told them they must take one bite and then could politely refuse. We practiced manners for hostess and guests.

The Love Magnet knew the drill and ate everything.

The best for last: singing and candle blowing!

I had a lot of compliments on the cupcake recipe. I tinted the frosting barely pink and sprinkle pariels in pink and yellow. The cake itself was the best cupcake I have ever eaten. Give the credit to the inventors of this fab recipe. Here it is:
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing: Vanilla Buttercream, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers.

In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Vanilla Buttercream:
The vanilla buttercream we use at the bakery is technically not a buttercream but actually an old-fashioned confectioners' sugar and butter frosting. Be sure to beat the icing for the amount of time called for in the recipe to achieve the desired creamy texture.
(My notes: I added much more powdered sugar than called for as I wanted a stiff frosting suitable for piping.)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Yield: enough for 2 dozen cupcakes or 1 (9-inch) layer cake


Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOVE MAGNET! You're growing up into such a beautiful big girl :-)

My name is Sarah said...

Happy Happy Birthday Love Magnet. I can't wait to show Sarah your pictures when she gets home. She will love the hats. You look adorable.

Al, Wendy, Max, and Lil said...

Happy Birthday!!!! Love, Aunt Wendy :)
I will try that cupcake recipe...I'm sure it is divine. But, C...if you never have tried the COCONUT CUPCAKES by Ina are in for a treat!

Kimberly said...

Happy Birthday sweetheart!
What a fun party, wish we were there.

Emma said...

oh my, so cute, see ya later today at the cabin :-)


Happy Birthday Sweet Love Magnet