Friday, June 7, 2013

Birthday Cakes, Breakfast bento and pasta, oh my! - First Week of June

Why yes, I am a Whovian!

This week has been a whirlwind to say the very least! My oldest son turned five on Saturday. Now, normally I'd be on top of things, but, I went to the doctor last week and was put on bed rest due to a sinus infection and upper respiratory infection.  So, I planned, but getting things implemented was another story.
Refurbished tins from canned food, inspired by this pin
My son expressed that he wished to have a Disney "Cars"-related birthday. So I went hunting up logos I could print and then tape to some tins I was saving from canned goods.  I made up some gift bags for us to be able to pack away some of the doughnuts and a slice of cake for all the children; and I'd purchased and wrapped a coloring book each for all of the children who were present and had put their names down on them.

Handmade Stoplight Goody Bags

I'd run around and found my doughnut recipe, and got those made up. (Husband failed to get a photo of this, they were delicious nonetheless!) We made organic fruit salad (we'd printed a logo that said "Organic Fuel" that we found here), which was gone by the time the party was over. Wow!

Traffic signs that we incorporated into our decorations
The day rolled on by, and none of the baking except for the doughnuts had been done. The doughnuts were slightly burnt, but I knew we could save them if we could get some chocolate glaze going. I've been keeping packets of chocolate glaze laid by for such an occasion since I do not like chocolate glaze on the boxed cupcakes.

Traffic Cones we used for the party

We had put the youngest to bed so he could nap, and the eldest was running from room to room and kept asking when our guests would arrive.  I realized the doughnuts weren't done and I was starting to freak out, while my husband just puttered around the house looking busy.

We had just enough glaze to ice half of the doughnuts, which meant that I had to make a clear glaze. I thought we had powdered sugar upstairs. I thought wrong! Nope, in the basement and our guests had arrived.

One of our younger guests is allergic to many foods, and I was very concerned about him being able to have something other than the fruit salad at the birthday party; so we decided to make the birthday cake as allergen free as possible.

We'd gotten the party banner up, we'd set out the plates, cups, silver and were just finishing up the cake. The doughnuts were nearing completion and I had a panic attack about the fruit salad after my in laws had arrived and my next set of guests came in the door.

Thank G-d, we got it all done. I apologize for the quality of this photo, as my husband took it rather quickly while children were begging to eat and my oldest really wanted to blow his candles out.

This cake recipe is gluten, egg, dairy, soy and nut free.

The recipe for this cake is originally in German. Below is the translation and the changes I made to it.

Schnelle Schokomuffins ohne Milch und ohne Ei
Author: wuschel-

125g Flour*
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4th teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon guar gum**
65g Sugar
1 packet of Vanillezucker (you can substitute for 1 teaspoon Vanilla)
3 tablespoons of Cocoa***
50ml Oil
100ml Water
1 tablespoon Vinegar

Mix all dry ingredients and then slowly add the wet ingredients while mixing, just until it comes together. Fill in muffin forms and  bake at 180°C for around 20 minutes.
*Use Gluten Free Flour of your choice, this could work with almond flour.
**Guar Gum is my addition.
***If you do not wish the cake to be chocolate, do not add cocoa. Simply add flour in the same amount.
Since we were making this for a sheet cake, we had decided to place baking paper on two cookie sheets and just be really careful about pouring and setting it in the oven. We cooled these on a couple cookie racks and it was ready to go rather quickly.

The icing on the cake is based on Wilton's Buttercream icing, but since I didn't have a lot of time, I modified the recipe slightly and used more rice milk so that it would spread thinner as it had to cover two very thin 9"x13" layers. At this point, I've made Buttercream so much that I don't even use the recipe any longer. We substituted the German Alsan Bio non-dairy butter (Similar to "Earth Balance" in the USA) and I thinned the icing by tripling the milk amount with rice milk.

By Monday, I was STILL beat from Saturday. I overslept, so the children and I stayed home.
Tuesday, I was able to pack bento for the children's breakfast and also for their lunch. I used Tchibo's new lovely snack towers for the children's breakfast.

Roses made with Roast Turkey and Boiled Eggs, a Banana, and Grapes

Rice, Steamed Carrots and Turkey Breast
 The children's lunch was turkey breast (not breaded), steamed carrots, rice and yogurt. I know, not imaginative, and not GAPS-y. I can't change that as our options are limited with the kindergarten. Amazingly though, the children ate 80% of what is in this glass clip box! I'm impressed.

Father in law's birthday card and presents

In addition to kindergarten, Tuesday was my father in law's birthday. So, I was in a bit of a rush to finish his present, which included a handmade card and apple cobbler.  I was in such a rush to complete everything and make it on time to our dinner reservation (as well as sneaking the cobbler into their apartment) that I completely missed getting a photo of it! Noo!!

I figure it will even out in the end considering I plan on making one for us later in the month. ;)

Wednesday, I was able to get out Maultaschen and some snacks for the kids to eat for breakfast.

Maultaschen, made with Trudel Marquardt's Recipe
Below is the translated recipe for Trudel's Maultaschen. Note that this is also neither PALEO or GAPS.
Maultaschen by Trudel Marquardt

Noodle Dough:
300g gluten free flour (My husband uses Schär as recommended by Trudel)
3 Eggs                                                                  
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Psyllium Husk
3-4 Tablespoons Water (depending on the size of the eggs)
1 Tablespoons of Sunflower oil

Mix all ingredients until they make a strong dough (do not overmix!) and roll it together and place into plastic wrap in your fridge for around 30 minutes.

After your dough has sat in the fridge for a while, you will want to roll it out on a well floured surface. Cut out your Maultaschen and add about 1TBS-2TBS of the filling of your choice in the middle while carefully pinching together all sides.

You really can fill this with anything that you want to, this time we chose to put in some ground beef with a little herbs. Her recipe gives more instruction on that.

Once your Maultaschen have been filled, you will cook these in salt water for around eight minutes.

We filled ours with hamburger meat and some seasonings, and used a vegetable broth for the soup. You really can use any soup, so have fun playing with this recipe!

Thursday however, we are celebrating my son's birthday at kindergarten, which necessitated chocolate cake and icing.

Gluten Free Chocolate Birthday Cake
Normally, I would use this Annalise Roberts' White Cake recipe from the cookbook "Gluten-Free Baking Classics" for birthday cake and modify as I need to.

However, I was very pressed for time, so I used the new "Frei Von" brand of Chocolate Muffins from REWE. I usually modify their box mix with a couple tablespoons of molasses and walnuts, but I decided the nuts were just too much for the kindergarten party.  I buttered (with Alsan-Bio) two 9" round cake tins and floured them with cocoa. 25 minutes in the oven and both layers were done.  A few hours and some Buttercream later, Birthday cake!

If you make the Annalise Roberts recipe, to make it into chocolate, remove about 3/4 the flour and replace with cocoa. Add in 2TBS of molasses and you have got yourself a chocolate cake to die for.

 Here's how the table looked at Kindergarten with the Lightning McQueen birthday Candle:

JD's birthday, 2013
Since TB has pink eye, he wasn't able to be at the birthday party, and received a slice of cake to enjoy at home:

Birthday Cake

I'm terribly sorry at the lateness of this post, but I figure you are probably wondering what is going on in our kitchen these days.

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