Peter Pan Party Wrap Up (Or Here’s Everything in One Place)

OK, this is it. The final Peter Pan Party post. The everything-in-one-place post. The you-never-have-to-hear-about-it-again post.

These Peter Pan Partygoers are eager to wrap this ish up.

See, I’m saving you from digging around my blog to piece together a Peter Pan Party the way I used to rummage through piles of black capris and halter tops on my floor in college just to find two matching Steve Madden platforms. (Note: I do NOT wear Maddens anymore. This is because I no longer think it’s acceptable to be hobbled by cheap footwear.)

Invitations
I used Paperless Post because I’m into saving the planet by saving some trees. And also because their designs are like the perfect storm of affordable and attractive.

Photo Courtesy of Paperless Post.

If you’re not into this design, here are a few more pirate-y options.

By the way, PP now offers a charity stamp option. They donate $0.05 to Amensty International, Red, or the ASPCA if you choose the charity stamp instead of the default option. Naturally, I went with the ASPCA puppy stamp. Since we had 142 people on our guest list, we bought a little bit of kibble for homeless pets just by inviting people to drink with us at our party.

Flowers
Here’s the work in progress post, complete with ordering info on the vases and sprinkles.
And this is the reveal.

Neverland Map
I explain how to age paper for a treasure map or Neverland map here.

Other Assorted Decorations
This is the decoration wrap up, complete with product ordering information.

Appetizers
Spicy Eggplant Dip
Truffle Popcorn

Taco Bar Main Course
Cola Carnitas
Slow Cooker Chicken (Note: I didn’t handle this part of the party, but if I had, I probably would have tried this recipe.)
Salsa
Salsa Verde

Dessert Bar
Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting
Banana Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting
Glazed Lime Cake
Chocolate Stout Cake
Skull and Crossbones Sugar Cookies

And now… bacon wrapped meatloaf, because everything is better when it’s wrapped in bacon. Truth.

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?

Operation: Party Planning Has Commenced! (Or How to Make Watermelon Pirate Ships)

Photographic evidence that there was, in fact, a sippy cup at my party. Note: it was NOT filled with vodka. We are old.

“When did we go from shot luges to sippy cups at my birthday party?!?” I asked, a bit aghast. It was August 2011, and I was beginning to realize things had really changed over the years.

It has now been nearly nine years since the birthday party that will go down in infamy. Let’s just say there was a lot of Lil’ Jon blasting and a girl no one knew was eating spinach dip out of the bowl with her hands. (When people who are going on nine hours of partying refer to you simply as, “Drunk Girl,” you know you’re a mess.) One of us spotted her on Beauty and the Geek years later, and a flurry of texts went out among the crew along the lines of, “Drunk Girl is on the WB!”

These days the only party-goers eating dip with their hands are toddlers. Things change, and that’s OK.

So, anyway, it’s almost time for my next party and I’m already excited.

Tonight, I’m hosting a party planning dinner for one of my best friends with whom I share a birthday. (She happens to save people’s lives for a living so there are now a lot more doctors at my parties than aspiring reality stars.) For the last four low-key years we’ve held a joint birthday party with fabulous food and an ever-increasing number of small children. What we lack in chaos and debauchery, we now make up for in elaborate entrees and aesthetics….

I desperately want to throw a pirate party, and this evening I’m hoping to convince my friend that we need a dessert table, complete with treasure maps, pearls, and a papier mache kraken centerpiece.

I decide to make watermelon boat centerpieces for a little pirate party inspiration….

Feeling nostalgic for my wilder days, I crank up Hank Williams, Jr.’s All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down) and set about fruit carving.

Trader Joe’s only had odd, circular watermelons, so my ships are going to be more skiff-like, but I’ll get over it. This is just a rough draft anyway.

I cut the watermelon lengthwise, and prepare to hollow out the ships. I realize I don’t own a melon baller, and I’m struck with a feeling of intense shame. (I must add this to my birthday list along with the First Aid Flask I desperately want.)

I use an ice cream scoop to hollow out the boats because it’s the best I can do for now. I then place the melon balls back into the boat in case my friend wants to eat the centerpieces.

I cut paper sails and pierce them with wooden skewers. I then insert the skewer sails into the boats. I cut toothpicks and use them to anchor Kermit and Yoda’s feet to their pirate skiffs.

I finish the display by surrounding the boats with a cadre of plastic sharks… just because.

My ships aren’t awesome, but they’ll serve as decent visual aids. Plus they were fun to make.

Here’s hoping the pirate theme passes….

Captain Kermit and his Jedi companion steer their watermelon skiffs through treacherous shark-infested waters.