so much fun, so little time to blog

Where to begin…

So, Liam is 4.

liam gregor
black fondant!

Crazy, right?

We had a big kid, Bumblebee Transformer party.

transformers invitation
mission: celebrate

The invitations were printed on 4×6 photo paper. The background image is from Digital Citizen. I added text in Picasa using free Transformers Movie font. Super fast and great results.

It was a casual backyard party. B set up an obstacle course (boot camp) using water noodles and reclaimed wood balance beams. It was really cute and set up in like 15 minutes.

obstacle course
boot camp

The kids enjoyed it… but still wound up in the dirt.

digging in the dirt
nothing better than a pile of dirt

Burgers, dogs and chili were served at our fabulous new picnic table.

picnic table
thank you, brian!

We always have some project or another in progress around the homestead, for better or worse. Lately, Brian has been hitting them out of the park. The table was inspired by the fresh exchange, with a gutter in the middle for icing drinks. It’s nice and low so we can sit on the ground and the legs are removable, so we can slide it under the house when not in use. The legs and supports are reclaimed pallet wood and the top is 16-foot 1×6 pine planks. He stained the top wood “sunbleached.” It probably needs another pass or two to get to a color similar to the legs. I adore this table. Just love it.

underside of table
removable legs

I promise to take more pics when it’s decked out for a grown up party. It is so awesome.

Back to business… Obviously the party would not be complete without a Bumblebee cake.

bumblebee transformer cake
more than meets the eye…

The bottom cake was for grown ups. It’s Colette Peter’s Bourbon Chocolate Cake (I skipped the coconut) with bourbon ganache filling and basic vanilla buttercream frosting. I have found my new go-to chocolate cake recipe. It is a crazy simple recipe – you don’t even need a mixer – and made an incredibly rich moist cake. 1-1/2 recipe made two 10-inch layers. No joke, this was still moist after a week. It was frosted with yellow buttercream using this excellent technique to smooth. The paper towels that we had on hand were rather textured, so I expect it would have been smoother with a different brand.

The ganache was simple. Chop 8 oz. of dark chocolate into your stand mixer bowl. Heat 2 cups of heavy cream to a low boil and pour over the chocolate. Cover with foil and let stand until the chocolate melts. Add 2 teaspoons of bourbon and whip until it’s spreadable. It was more than enough for the filling between the two layers of the 10-inch cake. Probably enough to actually fill and frost, but there were no complaints about eating the extra straight out of the bowl.

The top cake was German Chocolate from The Art of Chocolate. It was good, but so much more work than the Bourbon Chocolate. The three 8-inch layers were filled and crumb-coated with buttercream and then covered in the better part of 2-lbs of Fondarific Black Fondant. What a mess. Black everywhere. E V E R Y W H E R E. The transformer icon was yellow Fondarific and took forever to cut out, using this Autobot logo as a stencil. Took about 2 hours to do the fondant and it was far from perfect. Like really far. Just means I need more practice…cake, anyone?

Saturday morning, the finished cake was met with an enthusiastic, “Awww, that’s not the one I wanted.”


However by party time, Liam was much more excited.

liam gregor
my cake!

We had a great day. The kids party started at 11:00 AM and the last grown ups left at 10:30 PM. And we still had chili and cake left over!

Last, but definitely not least… Thank you, Pam, for taking all the photos! There would be no record of Liam’s big day without you.