Peter Pan Party Aftermath Post 9 (Or Here’s the Peter Pan Party Decoration Download)

It’s probably time to talk about the rest of the decorations at my party. Then I really will wrap this up. I promise.

I’m ready to move on from the boy who refused to grow up to Jaws anyway.

Tonight Discovery Channel’s Shark Week is airing a special called, “How Jaws Changed the World” and OBVIOUSLY I set my DVR for that. Plus I have the champagne to pop ready because I looooove Jaws.

And sharks.

They’re sort of my thing.

On Thursday I promise to write a post entitled, “How Jaws 3 in 3-D Changed My Life” complete with a shark cupcake tutorial, but until then…

Peter Pan and the decorations.

This is my quick watermelon carving of Hook’s Jolly Roger, complete with the menacing croc. I wish the windows were level, but alas… I was rushing.

I did a freehand sketch for the sign, and it’s a quote from J.M. Barrie’s novel. I wanted to include it just in case people didn’t understand why there was this weird crocodile lurking around Hook’s ship.

If you want to get yourself a cool croc, I found that guy on Amazon here. It’s not the cheapest croc online, but it’s the best looking, and let’s be honest: that matters. A lot.

This is my (bad) attempt at a papier mache version of Hangman’s Tree. Hangman’s Tree is a departure from J.M. Barrie’s original story (there were multiple entrances into the Lost Boys’ home under the ground).

It was easier to do one tree and explain it on my Neverland map than to get into the whole passage about how Peter fits boys for their own trees, so that’s why I went this route.

Here we have lipstick on the proverbial pig with pearls hanging from Hangman’s Tree.

The entire skeleton of the tree was made with painters’ tape and twisted newspaper. If I had it to do all over again, I’d probably use a few real twigs and maybe even a little chicken wire. For the final layer of the papier mache, I used paper towels. I found posts online saying that makes it easier to cover the piece with paint.

I was in a hurry so I turned on the oven to dry out the tree. It’s probably a fire hazard or whatever but I kept an eye on it and didn’t let the dogs investigate it with their faces.

In retrospect, I think white tissue paper would have been better because I could have achieved a look more like this:

Photo Courtesy of Ultimate Paper Mache

And what would be a Peter Pan party without a little Tink?

I hate Tinkerbell, but you can’t really leave her out of your Peter Pan Party.

She is a scheming bitch, but she’s essential to the story.

The lantern is this little ditty from Ikea. I made Tink out of pins and tissue paper from Target.

At one point I considered hanging the lantern from a ribbon in the yard and surrounding it with green and white suckers, but I decided to reign myself in a bit.

My menu was another freehand sketch, but you could easily trace the silhouette and keep it simple. (Simple is something I SO need to learn.)

Here’s the Peter Pan Party menu situation.

I promise I’ll write my full wrap up post, so we can really fly away from Neverland. Forever.

Not that I’m going to grow up or anything….

Peter Pan Party Aftermath Post 8 (Or the Best Chocolate Cake Ever)

So now that I’ve complained ceaselessly about my glazed lime cake mess, it’s time to change gears and talk about the chocolate stout cake I baked for my birthday.

Because this cake?

Makes me happy. (Also, this cake is pretty hard to screw up.)

It’s made with beer and sour cream which might sound disgusting, but TRUST ME when I say it’s just moist and amazing even though I don’t really care all that much about chocolate in the first place.

The cake didn’t come out as pretty this time as it has in the past for me but I was in a major hurry – and a very bad mood from the lime cake mess.

This cake is a little ugly, but it is goooood. (I needed to saw a little off of one side with a serrated knife to make it level. I thought the frosting would fix it. It didn’t.)

And just so you  know I’m not lying about being able to bake a prettier version, here’s actual photographic evidence.

See? This is cuter. Note: the little nonpareil man is doing yoga. (Oh, and, ignore my crazy eyes; I was trying not to blink.)

If I had it to do all over again, I would actually make the cake a day or two ahead of time because it stays incredibly moist (and tasty) for a few days. This is something to consider if you’re planning a party and don’t have a lot of time for baking on the actual day of the party.

To get the skull and crossbones on the top, I put cream cheese frosting in a pastry bag and squeezed it into the cookie cutter. (I then leveled the frosting design with a butter knife.) I refrigerated the cake for a bit and then removed the cookie cutter prior to serving the cake.

I dusted the cake with a bit of powdered sugar and it looked soooo cute, but then the powdered sugar got all sucked into the frosting and just made it look like the cake was sweating. (This might have had something to do with the fact that it was like 110 in the valley and even though we had A/C in my friend’s guest house, it was still sorta hot in thurrr. Or because chocolate eats sugar — kinda like paper covers rock. I don’t know.)

Here’s the recipe. I HIGHLY recommend making this big stouty, chocolatey beast.

And if you want to decorate it, keep in mind that the chocolate frosting will bleed like mad and discolor the decorations. I had to add a second layer of nonpareils to the yoga man cake right before serving because many of them had discolored. (That’s part of the reason I used a ton of cream cheese frosting to make the skull and crossbones on top of the birthday cake.)

Ooo, and if you want to make skull and crossbones cookies (or replicate the design on the top of this cake), the cookie cutter is $1 at Sur la Table.

$1.

At Sur la Table.

I mean what’s actually $1 at Sur la Table other than the sales tax on a pastry brush?