Happy Birthday, JoJo Bean

I know that I have been MIA, and I have loved it. Don’t get me wrong, I have missed you all, but I needed the break. I had so much jam packed into December that something had to give, for my sanities sake. Unfortunately blogging was that thing. But I’m back today for a very special reason. In 4 hours one of the most important days of the year will be over. My babygirl Johanna was born on January 12,2011 at 8:24pm and my world changed instantly. She is now 4 years old and I have no clue where the time as gone. Even as her birthday came I saw her personality become a little more mature. There’s pride in her voice when she says she’s 4 years old. It’s totally a big deal for her and I love it. But I’ve created a little bit of a monster…

This summer Hannie said “ooo, I know what I want for my birthday. A my little pony party!”. So since summer I have been gathering items to make that wish come true. But I knew that I would be exhausted so I figured we needed some kind of activity to go with that. Why not an indoor pool party? She loves the water, so it was the perfect fit!

Here are some of the photos from our pony party. The setup was taken before we were done setting up so please forgive the lack of signs to tell you what everything is. Also, please forgive me for there not being a real pony at the party. Johanna wasn’t understanding why that wasn’t possible…:

The Invitation. I had so much fun making this invite. It was colorful, and anything but boring inside, including a little treat for the guests.

IMG_20141209_162359The party table for our little guests. I eventually tied enough balloons to the chairs so that each of them would have one to take home with them. And you can’t see the signs I made from this angle but there was Spikes Chips and Dip, Rainbow Dash Fruit, and Princess Celestia Veggie Platter.

DSCN0183   Rarity’s Nail Polish Salon

DSCN0211Pinky Pie’s Pony Bling

DSCN0191Rainbow dash sunglasses!

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The treats table! I will place the photos of the labels at the bottom if you would like to download them.

DSCN0198I was so proud and happy to be able to make this cake for Johanna. She wanted lots of sprinkles, so that’s what I gave her!

IMG_20150111_201420Shoes I painted for the birthday girl. One shoe was Rainbow dash, the other was fluttershy!

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Time to sing happy birthday! I absolutely adored this single candle. It put on a great show!

DSCN0230candle1The cutie mark crusaders! So cute. The face painter did an AWESOME job!

DSCN0237DSCN0224Here are some of the posters we had up at the party. Such great work!

*dash&johanna3 watermarked1

all about johannaI am so happy the party is over. There are plenty of details I didn’t capture, like the waterbottles, orthe pinky pie punch, but it’s ok lol. I’m exhausted, and I’m just happy the birthday girl is happy.

Face Painter – fabulousfacepaintingbynatasha.com
Balloons – Party City
Poster 1 – Angie (contact me for contact info)
Poster 2 – Fiverr (contact me for contact info)
Cups – amazon
Sunglasses – amazon

applejacksapples  fluttershyscookies  PC Sugar Clouds Pinkie Pie Lemonade   PT Magical Oreos copy - Copy   Raritys Cinnamon Roll Pops RD Fruit Tray   Spikes Chips and Dip

Banana Pudding Cake

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Sometimes when you’re thinking about the love of your life, a stroke of genius hits you! That’s exactly what happened when I was thinking about my dh a few weeks ago. The man loves banana pudding and I hate it! But I loooovveee cake! Suddenly I heard harps playing, as I sometimes do, and ding ding ding! What if we put the two together! So I started to research what banana pudding recipe to use (again, I don’t like the stuff, so I had no clue what should go into it). It was then that I realized there was a better way of making it than what I was thinking. I was simply going to make a white cake with banana pudding and vanilla wafer filling. But then I saw that someone else actually put banana pudding into the cake as well. Genius! And ever since I posted that cake on my fb and instagram pages, folks have been asking me for the recipe. So here it is! I’m going to warn you right now that it’s quite a few steps, but if you love to bake, or you just adore who you’re baking for, it’s not a problem!

Cake
2 sticks butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar 3 eggs + 2 egg whites
3 tsp vanilla 3 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
One 3.4oz box instant Banana cream pudding mix
1 cup milk

Banana Pudding Filling :
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups milk
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter
3 medium bananas, sliced

Whipped Cream Frosting:
1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups heavy cream

To brush on layers:
Mix together the following:
1 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk 1 Tbsp whole milk

You’ll also need:
2-3 medium ripe bananas sliced

Step 1: Make the cake

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prep three 8″ round pans (or 2 pans and 1 cupcake pan) by lining the bottom with parchment paper or baking spray. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in eggs and egg whites, one at a time. Beat in vanilla until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and pudding mix. Add into wet ingredients in three separate additions, mixing until just combined. Don’t over mix! Stir in milk until combined. Divide batter and pour into 3 pans. Bake 22-25 minutes or until cake is golden and begins to pull away from sides of pans. Allow cake to cool 15 minutes in pan. Loosen and remove from pan. Allow to cool another 1-2 hours on a wire rack.

Step 2: Make the Pudding (courtesy of Paula Deen)
While the cake is cooling, make your pudding as follows:
Mix together sugar and cornstarch and slowly add milk. This should be cooked in the top of a double boiler, but you can cook it over low to medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. Do not leave it unattended. Slightly beat egg yolks and temper with a small amount of the hot custard; stir well. Add egg mixture to custard pot and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter. Let cool.

Step 3: Make your Whipped Cream Frosting
Combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until smooth. While the mixture is still whipping, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl a couple of times while you continue whipping until the cream can hold a stiff peak.

Step 4: Begin layering

Level each cake. Add the pudding and slices of banana between the cakes to make a 3 layer cake. Brush outside of cake with milk mixture. Decorate with leftover slices of bananas. Cover the whole cake with whipped cream frosting and top with nila wafers. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

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Yummy and Easy Cake Mix Cookies

Like most kids, the highlight of dinner for Johanna is dessert. She will eat that extra carrot, or a little more lettuce just to get to her sweet treat at the end of dinner. Her most favorite thing in the world to eat is cake. I have to say, she gets it honest. But unless I’m baking a cake for an event, or to give to a client, we don’t really have cupcakes and cakes just lying around.

Over the weekend I was browsing the web looking for a dessert to make for her when I stumbled upon the Simply Kierste website and saw the title Cake Mix Cookies. What kind of trickery is this? A cake cookie? Did they really just combine two of Johanna’s favorite things ever??? So obviously I had to try them.

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And they were delicious! Sooooooo incredibly easy to make. I always like to go the simple route when trying out new foods so I just did yellow cake mix with no frills. And instead of breaking the dough up, I just spread it on the cookie sheet and cut them out after it was done baking. You have to try this! She shares different flavor combos to try on her site. Let me know if you too love cake mix cookies, and what your favorite combination is!

Ingredients
  • Cake Mix (your choice of flavor)
  • 2 eggs
  • amount of oil or melted butter on cake mix box
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together, until well blended. (I prefer using melted butter, but either will work.)
  3. Roll into balls, and place on cookie sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper or foil and sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Use a glass to press down the balls of dough.
  5. Bake for 8-9 minutes, or until done.

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