Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Logan's first birthday bash

How is it that we celebrated Logan's first birthday only two weeks ago???? Wow... where has time gone?????? I feel like the days of me folding laundry in anticipation of his arrival were just yesterday...

And how has it already been a year since this tiny 6 lb. 4 oz. baby fell asleep in our arms??

Gone are the days of cuddling with him all day in bed. I often want to stay in bed much longer than he does these days. It boggles my mind just how quickly a tiny little helpless baby turns into an almost little boy (ok, I can't quite bring myself to think of him as not a baby just yet... one is still a baby, right?). A soon-t0-be-walking, starting to talk, full of personality, little boy. I'm sure that before I know it, he'll be heading off to university and I'll be wondering just where the time went. In the meantime, I'm trying to enjoy every single second that I get to spend with this precious little being. Life couldn't be any better :)

So my whole family (well except Scott, who was missed by all), came down to celebrate Logan's first birthday. We were joined by close friends and had lunch and a little party. Thanks to all who made the effort to come, as it was much appreciated, even if he had no clue what was going on (well maybe other than knowing that he was loving the sugar!).

My own decorations could never compare to Kelle Hampton-like standards. However, my sister Ashley may one day give her a run for her money and made Logan a beautiful birthday wreath:

and happy birthday banner:

to help decorate for his special day :)

And we picked him up some balloons to go with our monkey theme:

After spending an extraordinate amount of time decorating Logan's cake, I chose to make a variety of my quicker recipes for lunch. There's only so much that one person can get done with a one-year old underfoot :) So I served my mom's mac & cheese for the kids and tabouleh salad, chickpea salad, cucumber mango salad with cilantro lime dressing for the adults, to accompany the pulled pork recipe that I tried for a first time. Yes, breaking the rule of never trying a new recipe when you're having people over. But I was desperate for something quick, so I just crossed my fingers and prayed that it would be edible. And decided that I knew all of the guests well enough to just give in and order pizza if it wasn't ;) Lucky for me, we didn't have to eat pizza.

The pulled pork recipe comes from The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes cookbook. I doubled the recipe to make enough for the anticipated crowd... and have tons of leftovers in my freezer right now. Wow... I just realized that that means that the pork I made weighed about what Logan did when he was born :) I tried to get the liquid smoke at a local bbq store and was told that the only place I would be able to find it was on-line. And given that it was the day before the party, I just left it out.

Old South Pulled Pork on a Bun

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cracked black peppercorns
1 C tomato-based chili sauce
1/4 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C cider vinegar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1 boneless pork shouler, trimmed of excess fat, about 3 lbs.
kaiser or onion buns, halved and warmed

1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft. Add garlic, chili powder and pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.

2. Place pork in slow cooker and pour sauce over. Cover and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours or on High for 6 hours, until pork is falling apart.

3. Transfer pork to a cutting board and pull the meat apart in shreds, using two forks. Return to sauce and keep warm. When ready to serve, spoon shredded pork and sauce over warm buns.

This recipe is freezer-friendly.

I also served both an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version of a delicious and super easy lime sherbet punch. I mean, really, what one-year old party is complete without an alcoholic punch?? Ash got this recipe from her good friend Julie, appropriately enough, for my baby shower before Logan was born.

Lime Sherbet Punch

2 bottles of gingerale
1 can frozen limeade
1 C vodka
1 pint lime sherbet (after searching all over, I learned you can find this at Loblaws)

You basically just put it all in a bowl and the sherbet melts into frosty yumminess.

So once we were done lunch, we moved onto the cake. Did I mention how long this took me?? I originally was convinced I would never make a cake like this again, but now that it is all said and done, I'm thinking I might possibly attempt it again if I had someone to keep an eye on my little guy. I figure it must get faster with practice and I was rather satisfied with the (though not perfect) outcome:

You can get the directions on how to make this cake on the Wilton website here. And you can rent the pans for $2 at Bulk Barn.

Logan ate his whole entire piece, plus some ice cream. Can you say tummy ache?? My original thought awhile back had been that I'd make him a super-healthy, sugar-free cake, but as the time approached, I figured, who cares... he only gets a birthday once a year and a bit of sugar once won't kill him.

The cake is my grandmother's recipe that she got out of the newspaper years ago. Super easy to make. She says everyone always asks her why the name. This is apparently really a recipe of Mike Harris'.

Mike Harris' Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 C brown sugar

1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 C milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 C flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C cocoa
Mix all of the above, then add:

3/4 C boiling water

Mix. Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 30-40 minutes.

This recipe is freezer-friendly without the icing.

I got my icing recipes from the Wilton website, using their buttercream icing and their chocolate buttercream icing.

We also served an ice cream buffet, complete with waffle cones, crushed oreos, gummy bears, smarties, sprinkles, whipped cream and cherries. Obviously, for the one year old ;) I served the following warm fudge sauce with the ice cream. This is a recipe that I got from Katie years ago, when visiting her at her parents. I canned a bunch of these before Logan was born, so I was able to just pull one out and heat it.

Fudge Sauce

1/2 C butter
2 1/4 C icing sugar
2/3 C evaporated milk (or cream)
6 squares of bittersweet chocolate

1. Add butter, sugar, milk and chocolate into a pot and put in a double boiler. Cook for 30 minutes. Do not stir while cooking.

2. Remove from heat and beat. Store in jars in the fridge and reheat as needed. If you want a thinner consistency, add more cream (never water).

I also served some Glutino gluten-free cupcakes for my sister, who has Celiac's disease:

We then headed to our newly finished basement to completely spoil Logan with presents:

We all got a blast over watching Logan on his new Elmo riding toy, oooohing and aaahing for several minutes, as he excitedly pressed all of the buttons and played with the propeller. Gosh, life is simple when you're one :) And it's crazy how the simplest of things can bring an entire room of adults to laughter.

And so that's that. A party. Time spent with family and friends. Wonderful presents. Being totally spoiled. And my little guy is apparently, not so little anymore. He's one:

And he's even got his own bike and cellphone now to prove it:

He's also soon going to be a big brother, as I'm pregnant again:

This is now officially the longest post of life :)

So we're going to have our hands full with two little ones running around here shortly. As of early November to be exact. And again, we couldn't be happier :)


Kris said...

So I just learned that I shouldn't have eaten the pulled pork at his birthday party... :S I was only asked if I could have the chili sauce, I didn't know Worcestershire sauce was in it!

Lindsay said...

Oops... I guess I should have gotten the recipe out... Sorry.

mark lawrence said...

Logan’s first birthday celebration seemed amazing, and the pictures came out great. The birthday cake also looks good and I loved the recipes that you’ve shared. I would definitely try the pulled pork recipe for my son’s birthday next week. We will be celebrating with a wonderful party that we’re arranging at a popular party venue.