Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Kiwi Birthday Party...


Here are a few pics from Master J's Kiwi birthday party which happened yesterday.  I am still scraping bright red icing off the floor and finding popcorn in strange places, but it was all worth it, as it was a brilliant morning of fun for him and his friends. (If you'd like to read my other posts about the party preparations, please do so here, here, here and here.)


It all started well - healthy even - with a little fruit and...


...some wai (water).

But then we got on to the real party food.  Nearly all traditional New Zealand favourites...






The chips and onion dip (don't worry, there were chips), went down a treat which was great considering my mother sent the ingredients all the way from NZ for the day!


And of course those Kiwiana cupcakes I blogged about previously here and here...


All served on a table covered in chalk cloth, with a lovely big NZ drawn on it...


and of course, what would a party be without a little bunting?



I found these fantastic fully biodegradable plates made of palm leaves at my local supermarket, I thought they suited the theme as well as saving on washing up!


The kids seemed to enjoy eating the food "picnic style".


My birthday boy.


We then stripped and wiped the table and it was time for...


Chalk!


Then cupcakes...


Then Happy Birthday was sung, and the cake bought out (more pics of the cake here)..



I think he was a little uncomfortable with all the attention...


... and then the part that almost physically hurts - cutting into that cake that you spent so many hours decorating :).

-----------------------------------------

Here's a few things I've learnt about throwing parties for small children:

*  Always have some food available as everyone arrives, even if it's just crackers and fruit.  Some kids arrive really hungry and it's best to have something to offer.
*  For kids under 4, don't worry about party games - instead try an activity such as playdough, drawing on the windows with special crayons, colouring in, or an easy craft.
*  Always have a box of tissues and a box of wet wipes on the table. :)
*  Have a rubbish bin under the table where the food is so people can empty their plates into it rather than bringing them in to the kitchen.

LMx

9 comments:

  1. That looks so awesome. Love the decorations and drawing on the table cloth - so cool. Well done you.

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  2. Wow, that looks amazing, and yummy! Can I ask, where did you find the blackboard tablecloth-what a GREAT idea!

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  3. Hi Max... Thanks for dropping by! Chalkcloth can be purchased by the metre from some fabric shops, and online. It is made in Mexico, and it can be a little hard to find. I got mine sent from the UK here to Switzerland - I was lucky to find a shop that would send it. I'm sure there would be a stockist somewhere in NZ if you wanted to google it. It really was a fun way to occupy the kids in between the food and the cake!

    LM x

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  4. Kiora!
    Oh my goodness..love your young fella's birthday party. Makes me want to go home right know.
    Watched "Boy", last night, the 2nd time, with my hubby, he reckons he's an honorary kiwi!
    Do you get home sick?
    How long since you left home?

    Tracy

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  5. Hi Tracy!

    Thanks for your lovely comment :). I haven't watched Boy yet (I can hardly believe that I'm admitting to that). I want to get a copy of it and invite some friends over (not Kiwis) and watch it - thanks for the reminder!

    I do get homesick every once in a while, it usually hits from out of the blue, but not so much now as happened in the first year. Whenever I think about home I just remember what it's like to travel 30 hours with two small children and that cures me! :)

    We moved here in December 2007, so it's been nearly 3 and a half years.

    And you? You are in Perth? It's actually a long way from NZ isn't it?

    All the best and I'm glad I found your blog.

    LM x

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  6. Your cake looks fantastic!
    Just a couple of questions, were the kiwis on the top of the cake made entirely of fondant?
    Also the inside of the cake looks absolutely delicious. Any chance you could put the recipe up?

    I'm sure your little one had a fabulous birthday party, you did a marvellous job.

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  7. Hi...

    Thanks for your kind comments! Sorry it's taken a few days to get back to you - my daughter has had chickenpox! :(

    Here's some answers to your questions:

    The kiwis were made of cake and fondant. I used the top, rounded part of my cake that I cut off to level it off.

    I used a round cookie cutter, about 2" in diameter and cut some circles out of the cake. Then I rolled a ball of fondant (doesn't matter what colour as it won't be seen) and then pushed it on top of the round of cake. I then rolled out the brown fondant and covered the whole thing, gathering it in at the bottom where it can't be seen.

    The instructions in the book tell you to use mini muffins to make the Kiwi, which I think is probably a good way to do it too. I made the tiny cake and all three presents out of solid fondant because it is actually easier than covering cubes/shapes of cake.

    Here is the recipe for the cake (it IS amazing - tastes as good as it looks). And it is dairy free, which may appeal to some people.

    450g plain flour
    1 & 1/2 cups good quality cocoa
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    3 tsps baking soda
    3 eggs
    2 & 1/2 cups caster sugar
    1 cup oil
    2 tsp vanilla essence (extract)
    Double shot espresso or 1/3 cup of very strong black coffee (instant is OK if you can't make espresso easily at home)
    1 1/2 tbs white vinegar
    2 cups (250ml) water

    Line and grease a 26cm spring-form cake pan.

    Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Beat together the eggs and sugar, then add the oil, vanilla, espresso, vinegar and water and mix thoroughly. Using an electric mixer, beat the dry mixture into the wet mixture until smooth. Mixture will be very dark and quite runny.

    Bake for 1 & 1/2 hours at 180 degrees c. Check at 1 hour. Cake is cooked when skewer inserted into it's centre comes out clean.

    Ice with ganache, buttercream, cream-cheese frosting - all are fantastic accompaniments to this cake. Enjoy!

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    Replies
    1. That water measurement should be 2 cups (500mls) - Sorry!

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  8. Oh, and when you line your cake tin, make sure that the lining comes up at least 3cm above the top of your cake tin - this cake can be a real riser!

    LM x

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Hi,

Thanks so much for your comments - I really appreciate them!

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