People blow off the stress of being professional and maintaining social etiquette in many ways. Some people drink martini's at a karaoke bar. Some people drink beer at a sports bar. I drink wine and indulge in a 'tween saga like a high-schooler that broke into her parents liquor cabinet (not that I endorse that or anything). It's no secret - I've been honest with you in the past, and if that made you question my sanity you might want to skip the rest of this post. Because friends, I indulged. And I took my like-minded friends with me :)
I mean, have you ever thrown a birthday party for someone who didn't attend the bash? I didn't think so. Let alone someone who lives 2,500 miles away and doesn't know your name. But if that's what it takes to make a group of grown women giggle like teenagers on Prom night, I'm in. And I'll host.
So I did! Some of you might know that Twilight's now-famous werewolf "Jacob Black" (Taylor Lautner) had an important birthday this month. You might know that because his 18th birthday was celebrated in the tabloids with highlights on E! News. I know that because it was the day that my girlfriends and I could stop feeling creepy about wanting to touch his rock hard abs. The idea for a birthday party came after about 3 bottles of wine one night and I grabbed hold and ran with it. The result included formal invitations, a $75 PartyProducts.com order, and an unforgettable trip to Michael's puffy paint department.
Like I said, we indulged in the crazy. Here's a breakdown of the evening:
7pm: Guests find my apartment by the "Team Jacob" poster hung on my front door and choose from a selection of New Moon pins to fasten to their shirts
7:30pm: New Moon bootleg I bought for $5 on the subway is popped into the DVD player and t-shirt making begins, complete with sparkles and fabric paint
8pm: "Pin-the-kiss-on-Jake's-face" game takes place, winners receive beaded rings inspired by the Quileute tribe
8:30pm: Dinner and birthday cake (yep, we sang)
9pm-? Multiple corks popped and wine imbibed like we'd been thirsting for it for 100 years
I know you wish you could have been there! We had a fabulous evening and the cake was a real winner. After throwing out a red velvet cake that was more brown than red, a quick Google-search brought me to Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate cake recipe. It was perfectly moist, not too dense, and had a deeply rich chocolatey flavor that will make it my new go-to chocolate cake. And the edible cake-topper I ordered from Gogo Cake was a real crowd pleaser! I used a cream cheese frosting and the combination was as tasty the night of the party as it was for breakfast, lunch and dinner the following 2 days that I ate the leftovers.
What makes me grin ear-to-ear like Alice Cullen on a shopping trip is the fact that several of you actually requested this post - I love you guys! Sometimes it just takes a little silliness to make you smile.
And guess what! You're in for a treat. I'm heading west for a ski trip for the next few days and Claire of Culinary Goddess will be my very first guest blogger while I'm away! I'm always salivating over her culinary creations so I can't wait to see what she has to share. If you haven't checked out her blog hop on over - she's a darling San Francisco-based food blogger with sweet stories, inspiring photos and tasty recipes. You'll love her!
"Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages), softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
With an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Turn mixer to low speed and blend in powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. If refrigerated, the frosting will need to be brought to room temperature before using.