The birthday free-for-all was today, and all I can say is whew! Man am I exhausted. Playing hostess for close to thirty of our nearest and dearest is a tough job. My mother-in-law was kind enough to help with much of the cooking, but there was still plenty to do, from baking the gfcf cake and some other assorted goodies, to prepping the house, to schmoozing with our guests. I'm pooped! I haven't loaded the photos from the party onto my computer yet, therefore I will have to reserve the photos for tomorrow.
The cake I baked was delicious! For the sake of saving time, I bought a mix from Wild Oats; it was Pamela's Chocolate Cake. I added one extra egg to the mix, as the directions said it would make for a lighter cake. It definitely did! It was moist and flavorful, not too heavy either. I coupled it with a homemade frosting I made which I colored pink per my daughter's request. The frosting is pretty simple:
1/2 c shortening
1/2 cup cf margarine (or all shortening)
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbs. corn syrup
2 Tbs. soy milk
and one teeny tiny drop of food coloring
Oh, I forgot to mention that sometimes I will add just a tad of almond extract for a change in flavor. You could probably do the same with peppermint extract, though I've never tried it--my kids aren't too big on mint.
One other thing--my daughter got one gift that was a HUGE hit in this house. My husband is a musician (classical guitar) who started out like many other musicians--playing in a rock band that he started with friends (He still owns his electric guitar, and plays is for fun--and a few gigs--from time to time). My daughter is learning to play classical guitar as well. A friend gave my daughter an electric guitar for her birthday. And not just any guitar--it is a Fender Squire with Hello Kitty on it! Oh, and by the way, it is pink! My little girl says she is ready to rock out with her dad--and says she wants to start a band too. Hilarious, and so cute!