The Great 12th Birthday Bake Off

The-Great-12th-Birthday-Party-Bake-Off-1

It happened! Joon’s 12th Birthday Bake Off! It was just as crazy and fun as you can imagine.

The-Great-12th-Birthday-Party-Bake-Off-2

We had two teams of four girls each. Joon has been really into baking for a while and it turns out her friends are too. Who knew? I guess The Great British Baking Show has a big influence on a lot of us.  I had wanted to rent out a professional kitchen but that turned out to be very expensive (insurance was involved)  so we held the party at Payam’s mom’s house instead which worked out great because she has a large kitchen, two ovens and it was super fun for her to be right in the middle of all the activity.

A lot of things could have gone wrong but… they didn’t!

The-Great-12th-Birthday-Party-Bake-Off-3

It was a flurry of activity. All the girls got along famously.  Of course there were a few tense moments but nothing like the messes I’ve gotten myself into while baking over the years. These girls are pros.

The-Great-12th-Birthday-Party-Bake-Off-6

The parents were the judges and occasional helpers but we pretty much stayed out of the fray and tried to be fair to both teams. That was a little tricker than you’d think. I had to stop myself multiple times from wanting to help clean-up or influence their decisions… “Are you sure you want to mix sweetened condensed milk with strawberries and water to create a glaze?…” I bit my tongue.

The-Great-12th-Birthday-Party-Bake-Off-7

It was a crazy mess, naturally. But soooo much fun!

The-Great-12th-Birthday-Party-Bake-Off-8

I am really thankful to Payam’s family and how willing they are host my crazy whims. So far, so good!

The-Great-12th-Birthday-Party-Bake-Off-9

The last part of the competition was clean-up. A very important part. The floors were a bit sticky but for the most part they did a great job.

The-Great-12th-Birthday-Party-Bake-Off-10

The red team made a vanilla sponge cake with lemon filling and lemon frosting. It was my personal favorite but then I love tart things.

The-Great-12th-Birthday-Party-Bake-Off-11

The black team made a strawberry vanilla sponge cake with strawberry filling and strawberry frosting. It was delicious!

It was hard to pick a winner but in the end the black team scored just a smidge more points, which was awesome for the birthday girl. We gave them spray-painted golden spatula trophys as a prize. I think they could care less about the trophys it was very much more about the process than the end result. In fact, I think all the girls had tasted so much cake and frosting along the way they were sick of it by the end and didn’t even want to try a piece.

The-Great-12th-Birthday-Party-Bake-Off-12

We opened gifts and called it the best party ever!

The-Great-12th-Birthday-Party-Bake-Off-5

Happy Birthday Joon! You inspire the best kind of fun!

Here’s an eleven minute video of the whole thing if you want to see more. :) I apologize in advance for my laugh.

 

 

Rapunzel is back! (for a visit)

rapunzel-is-back-2

Rapunzel came to visit! She’s gone now. I’m a little behind in writing about it.

When she was here she special-requested that we have a beach day for old time’s sake. Then we got a little busy and only managed to squeeze in a beach dinner which was totally fine with us!  I don’t love sitting around at the beach all day as much as I love sitting around at the beach in the evening, watching the sun go down and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.

rapunzel-is-back-5

I took my big new fancy camera and tried to capture some memories. Everyone is growing up so fast.

rapunzel-is-back-6

I’ve been logging my days lately on a silly mood app (I can’t recommend it because it’s not really that helpful) and I have to say that this day at the beach registered as my best day all month. I think I just like spending time with family and taking photos. Those might be my two favorite things.

rapunzel-is-back-8

Beach food isn’t so bad. I mean, it is so bad but that’s kind what is so good about it. Melty marshmallows with Nutella, crispy charred hot dogs with mustard and ketchup and Dorritos… mmm!

rapunzel-is-back-3

Bug and Joon really got obsessed with roasting things. Cheries, salt and vinegar chips… did you know you can use Dorritos as kindling? Good to know!

rapunzel-is-back-4

Payam is always the master of fire ceremonies.

rapunzel-is-back-7

The girls are master posers.

rapunzel-is-back-9

We sat around and talked and then had cherry pit spitting contest for old time’s sake. So classy.

rapunzel-is-back-10

We watched the sun go down and burned things.

rapunzel-is-back-11

rapunzel-is-back-12

It was a good night. And now Rapunzel is back home and we miss her but it was really nice to have her around for a minute!

rapunzel-is-back-14

We’ll have to really put out the effort to get to the beach again and not just when guests come to visit.