Monday, January 26, 2009

Exhaling

Birthday week has come and gone, R and G are a year older, we have another party's worth of memories created and I have learned a thing or two myself in the process:

1. Boxed cake mix just tastes better. I hate admitting this, but after much research and trying, the cakes baked for R and G tasted okay, but nothing like a good boxed cake mix. My regular readers will know how difficult this is for me to admit because my kitchen motto is that we can always "make it better" ourselves. Not so with cakes. They were okay, and the boys loved them, but they were a bit dry, a bit stiff and just not like Betty Crocker.

2. Bought cakes from a bakery are worth every penny. I spent a good few hours on Saturday creating two cakes for the boys. My hands hurt from all the squeezing and my kitchen counter looked like this:

I basically spent all my free (ha!) time on Saturday creating these:

I was proud of how they looked, but I also cringed when they were cut into a couple hours later.

3. Natural food dyes just don't cut it. Ok, so maybe if I had a girl that wanted a pastel princess-y cake, the natural food dyes would have worked. But for a red racing car (what R and G both requested), the natural dyes were a joke. I don't think a magenta-ish/gray car would have garnered a good reaction from R. I am a bit embarassed at how much I spent on the food coloring, so if someone out there has a child with a Food Dye allergy, please tell me and I will mail to you, gratis.

After all the baking, entertaining (we had SPH's folks and my folks staying with us this weekend), and party planning, I am taking a mini-cookcation for a few days. Thankfully Shannon is up for our Monday night dinner co-op tonight, and I have a dinner date planned with a friend later this week. I have a feeling my freezer will get a look or two for the other meals.

Have a sweet week,
SPC

9 comments:

Erin, Nick and Merrick said...

With ya on the boxed cake.....
also with the grocery store cakes!

Slacker Mama said...

The cakes look great...sorry they were such a PITA to do!

I'm actually having Marathon Mom over for dinner tonight. We stole your idea for a dinner swap!

fearlesschef said...

The cakes are fantastic! I'm sure your hands are still killing you, but wow was it worth it!

Just a note about the cake mixes that I find interesting: when they were introduced to the post-war market the housewife was less than impressed with the consistency of the resulting cake. In fact, they rejected most of the "convenience items" in favor of doing it themselves, because no matter the amount of time saved, it still never tasted quite right. A few months ago, I was watching an episode of Good Eats and Alton mentioned that the cake mixes of today are actually superior to the homemade version because no matter the brand, so much research has gone into the ingredients, that you are nearly always guaranteed a perfect cake. How times have changed! And sometimes, I do agreed with Alton... I just never admit it! :D

Amer21 said...

The cakes look great!! Sounds like they were a lot of work though. Not sure I could've done it myself. Bakery cakes are the way to go when things get too difficult!! Less hassle.

Deep in the Heart said...

I with you on the boxed cake mix. My mom's friend that made the most amazing cakes, swore by Betty Crocker - she added a little bit extra baking powder, though. I've made homemade and they're dry and blah. Also can't beat boxed brownie mix either. Ghiradelli...mmm.

But they looked amazing!!! I know your boys were so proud of you.

The Mrs. said...

The cake looks amazing! I am so glad it all went well!

Shannon said...

I think you should still hold out for your homemade cake and maybe add pudding like I mentioned at the party. It makes the box cakes even more moist so I am sure it would help with your cake (even though I thought they were great).

Thanks for the great party the kids had a blast.

rookie cookie said...

Tsk tsk tsk. What's next? Kraft Macaroni and Cheese prevents childhood obesity?

Isn't it a bummer that we have to compete with Betty and Duncan? I still will not fold. I will persevere!

Your cakes look awesome! My son would pass out if I made him a cake like that.

My crazy crazy life said...

Boxed brownies are the BEST!!!!