Sunday, October 12, 2008

I love a good party: Happy bouncy ball birthday, buddy!

I do love a good party, and I especially love a good kids' party. Kids really party hearty. And Petey's second birthday party did not disappoint--it was raging! In all the parties I've given over the years, Pete's second birthday party goes down in the books as my favorite. " What? A room full of toddlers is a good time?" you ask? When it's a certain special toddler and his very special friends, I can't think of one place I would rather be. Especially when you have a room full of bouncy balls.

I'm usually not one for high-maintenance invitations (evite) but I saw this idea here and thought it was something I'd like to get in the mail.

I used these balloon lanterns for our decorations. I might just keep them there for a while.

As a last-minute, right before bed thought, I did this little flag streamer. I ironed the fabric on some interfacing and glued the flags on. It was cute, and maybe next year I'll give myself more time to make a great big one. It's a nice way to use up some fabric scraps.

I had some high cake anxiety, but, as usual, the cake was fine and the frosting was a nightmare. That blasted finicky, so demanding, and then, after my great display of love and concern, it self-distructed on me. I should have suspected this frosting recipe was not normal after putting 8 sticks of butter in the kitchenaid, one little cube at a time. That frosting was always up to no good...

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. I do try to keep things homemade, but Pilsbury Creamy Supreme was a much better option this time. Frosting! You dominated me!

The little colorful blobs are supposed to be bouncy balls. I'll never be a cake decorator, but Pete's excitement level was at a 10+ when I brought this out with two sweet candles on top.

For food, I had to go with Pete's faves:

a gargantuan bowl of assorted crackers. (for the adults, we had a more civilized spread of crackers with brie, apples, and pears)

and quesadillas.

I cooked a bunch of cheese ones for the kiddos, and made some suped-up quesadillas for the grown-ups. I couldn't help myself.

Here's my Saturday Night Quesadillas
(Saturday night, because come Saturday, this is as creative as our dinner gets. And it's a good fridge-cleaner dinner.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
olives (the kind that you put on your fingers for thanksgiving), chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
coarse salt and pepper
canned green chilis
[any other random veggie that might taste good--for example, diced sweet potatoes, squash, mushrooms]
cilantro chicken sausage, diced
3/4 cup white cheddar cheese
1 can of refried black beans 
12 tortillas
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
Cilantro, optional
Salsa Verde

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat.  Saute onion and peppers until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add chili powder, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and stir to coat.  Add olives, chilies, and sausage, and continue to saute until heated through.  
  2. Put mixture in a bowl and let it cool slightly.  Meanwhile, wipe out saute pan, and heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add cheese to mixture and stir to combine.  Spread refried beans over one tortilla, top beans with 1/3 cup of mixture and another tortilla.  Gently press top tortilla to bind it all together.
  3. Place the quesadilla in the pan and brown each side, approximately 2 minutes per side.  Keep a close eye on it--it can progress quickly!  Let cool a bit and use a pizza cutter to slice into wedges.  Top with chopped cilantro, and serve with salsa.

And here's what my bedroom looks like after throwing all of Pete's furniture in there right before the party. It was totally worth it.


katherine said...

can you even believe we have 2 year olds? i love this fun ball party idea, you go Bec!

dakotapearl said...

I did a similar party for Little S when she turned 1 - similar invitations but we changed the theme to "polka dots". It was hit. Am currently in the trenches of planning the 3 yr old party for her in Nov...I love all the good you've found- especially that post on the Chinese grandparents! Thanks for the good thoughts.

Kristy said...

Yeah! I'm so glad you got to throw the bouncy ball party for Petey. That's been a long time coming and you really outdid yourself with all the details.

Sorry about the frosting. Ughh. That's SO MUCH BUTTER! I always get so mad when things don't work out that I've used butter in because that stuff isn't cheap. Oh well...the cake looked awesome, anyway. Way to save it!

Holly said...

Cute party! The invitations are darling, the ball room is brilliant, and I want a Saturday Night Quesadilla right now.