Mabel turned 2 all the way back in January, but I never got around to posting about it.
We had a party at our house with friends and family, peanut butter and jelly cake, and macaroni and cheese- all some of Mabel’s favorite things.
The friends and family, I can’t help you with. However, the recipes I used for the other things, I can!
The Peanut Butter and Jelly cake came out nicely- the peanut butter chips I used to ‘decorate’ the sides, hid a multitude of mistakes- and it was easy to make (hello- the filling was just grape jelly!). I used this recipe. It was a little bit dry- being so much peanut butter and all. I think I should have put more milk in the icing- especially since I iced it the day before the party.
The macaroni and cheese I made was Vadouvan Mac n’ Cheese. Vadouvan is actually a blend of spices- including a mild curry. It really added a lot to the mac n’ cheese. The recipe I used was this one. I had to buy the Vadouvan from Amazon.com because none of my local stores carried it (even the Whole Foods-ish market near my house). It was expensive as spices go, but you don’t use that much to make it outrageous. I got a lot of compliments on the recipe- the spice added a twist people weren’t expecting, but which also wasn’t rejected by all the little kids.
I made all the food- except for a cold cut platter we ordered from the grocery store along with some rolls and bagels. It was a brunch menu: quiche, mac n’ cheese, cold cuts, bagels, along with all the fixins (butter, cream cheese, etc). I also put out nuts, chips and dip (good old fashioned onion dip, which was a big hit), and such. Drinks were just water, seltzer, apple, orange, and cranberry juice. It was simple, everyone ate their fill, and it wasn’t very much work.
We took it easy on the decorations- and actually recycled them all from Mabel’s birthday last year. The only new decorations we got were latex helium balloons for the kids to take home after the party as a kind of party favor.
We didn’t play any games or have any organized activities. The kids all ran around like maniacs enjoying the company, and the parents visited and relaxed. It was a lovely afternoon. The easy menu and the lack or organized activities also meant that I was able to visit with everyone.
At the end of the day, Mac and I asked Mabel what her favorite part of the day was. Even though she had just finished opening all her presents (she was having too much fun with her friends and cousins for us to interrupt them for gift opening during the party), she said, “Goin’ to a party!” The company was definitely her favorite part of the day.