1. I’m knee deep in preparations for a huge party we are throwing this weekend. We will be combining a celebration of Miss M’s christening and the babe’s birthday, and somehow the guest list has crept up to around 70 people. I’m rather surprised at how in-stride I’m taking this, because I remember when Daniel and I were engaged and I freaked out about cooking dinner for his family, which I think was 9 or so people. I have to say I’m a lot more confident in my cooking skills now. Plus I’ve outsourced 90% of the food to willing volunteers, so I can focus on decorating details and cupcakes. Those are the things I really enjoy, and I’m having a lot of fun with everything.
2. My pinterest board gives an idea of what I’m going for: lots of bright colors, balloons, and bubbles. Also a pinata. Basically designed to blow a certain 2-year-old’s mind.
3. My go-to chocolate cake recipe is Hershey’s chocolate cake. I usually follow it exactly, and I’ve never had a bad batch. The last step of adding boiling water seems strange, but the cake is always so moist. Once I substituted coconut milk for regular milk, and it was excellent, I might try that again in the future.
4. As for frosting, I had several completely disastrous experiences with frosting + high heat and humidity in the past before I discovered the secret to no-melt frosting. And the secret is: shortening. I know, gross, but a) no one can tell and b)it beats the heck out of butter based frostings, which last 2.5 seconds before completely melting into a greasy puddle. Even without any refrigeration at all, the shortening-based frosting holds indefinitely. My method is to add things as I go and not worry about following a recipe, but here are the ingredients:
shortening, milk, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and dream whip powder (not sure if you can get that in the states, but I think it is just powdered cool whip). Combine with a mixer, adding liquids or more sugar as needed to get a nice texture.
5. This is the first time I’ve shopped for party supplies in Belize, and it’s been interesting. Getting a pinata was as simple as popping over the border to Melchor, where multiple shops have a wide selection. I got a huge (HUGE) traditional star, and boy did I feel authentic carrying it past all the tourists when I went back through customs. It was all of $10 US. Helium for balloons is a different matter though-- I’ve been to 3 different stores that sell helium balloons, but all of them are out of helium. I've been told that the whole country is out of helium, so I guess I'm stuck.
6.Miss M will wear the family christening gown, sewn by my mom and worn by all my siblings and myself. It is absolutely perfect. As for traditions from Daniel’s side, we will be having the Mass at the chapel that his mother built, and where all the grandchildren have been baptized.
7. As for the Babes, he will be wearing a mini guayabera. The cuteness factor is 1000, but as it is white, my strategy will be to put it on as we are walking into church, and probably peel him out of it as soon as we leave. His current hobby is picking up handfuls of dust from the dirt road and pouring it onto his head. Enough said.