Laura’s post about her son’s first birthday reminded me that I have not shared with you what I learned from my oldest daughter’s third birthday in early April.
Cake Cut Ups
In 3 Ideas for a Low-Cost Kid’s Birthday Party I talked about my love for cake cut ups. I ran into a problem this year because there aren’t enough patterns online to satisfy me. Victoria, the birthday girl, requested a dog cake. Simple enough, I thought. I easily found one pattern and every way I searched brought up links to that same dog cake cut cup and I didn’t like it. I am not geometrically inclined enough to make a pattern myself from scratch, then I had an idea.
I switched my internet searching from “cake cut cups” to “tangrams” and “origami” and their derivations. There are TONS of examples of how you can use simple geometric shapes, that can easily be cut out of a cake, to make everything from ducks to dogs to horses and everything in between.
I found this image of a dog and was inspired.
From the folding instructions I was able to make a pattern that I could use to cut up a 13” x 9” cake into this dog cake.
Victoria and her cousin posing by her cake.
Birthday Party Food
As we have talked before on Pocket Your Dollars, there are lots of ways to feed a crowd on a budget, but they generally require homemade food. I love to cook, but this year I lacked the time to prepare a homemade menu for the party. Simek’s graciously offered me an array of their products to serve at the party and for my family to enjoy otherwise.
We served both meat and vegetarian lasagnas and meatballs with sauce (for some guests with food sensitivities) and bread. I must say that I really enjoyed the convenience of simply having to pop the food in the oven and serve. It freed me up to finish cleaning my house before everyone arrived.
The vegetarian lasagna was my favorite, but all the food was a hit. Simek’s told me that they have recently lowered the prices on their lasagna at local stores and they hope to continue expanding their presence beyond the Midwest into stores nationwide.
Simek’s provided my family with some other foods that we ate on a few busy nights recently including Chicken Kiev, Chicken Cordon Bleu, burgers and more lasagna. For a family that almost never eats cook-and-serve or heat-and-serve foods (except things I have made ahead and frozen or a once-in-a-blue-moon frozen pizza) having these foods on hand kept us from eating out a couple times. Albeit, my homemade food is healthier, but Simek’s products plus the fresh veggies as a side dish and fruit for dessert is still a better overall meal than dinner out.
Your turn: What do you do to give your kids a memorable birthday cake?
***Disclosure: Simek’s provided me with a variety of food products to try. All opinions in this post are mine.