Thursday, October 30, 2014

GirlyGirl Turns 8!

What?!?  How can she be 8 already?  These kids just keep growing up.  And there's nothing I can do to stop it!

For each birthday, we usually end up having three parties.  One with family, one with friends, and one with our immediate family on their actual birthday.  That's a lot of food and cake to prepare.

For our family gathering, we grilled burgers, had pasta salad, fries (including Ian's Alphatots), and strawberries.  We ended the meal with Namaste brownies made with egg replacer to keep them Top 8 Free and So Delicious ice cream.  As many of you know, my nephew and niece also have food allergies, and my sister-in-law avoids gluten, so we make sure there is food that is safe for everyone when we get together.
Food safe for all at our family gathering

Top 8 Free brownies and ice cream for our family celebration

Each year on the kids' actual birthday, the birthday child gets to choose what is served for dinner.  GirlyGirl had decided weeks in advance that we would have Taco Casserole, corn on the cob, and watermelon.  Easy enough!  She also told me that she didn't want just cupcakes for her birthday but an awesome cake.  I fear that I may have set the bar too high as the past two years have been a Barbie cake and a castle cake.  I did a little searching for inspiration on the Wilton website and decided to make a double layer round cake with cupcakes on top.  Of course, this was free of peanuts, dairy, and artificial colors.  (I find it difficult to make fun cakes/sweets without using artificial colors, but really the only thing affected is the appearance.  It still tastes amazing.)

Free of peanuts, dairy, and artificial colors

This year GirlyGirl decided to have a slumber party to celebrate her birthday with her friends.  This sounded good to me.  I always like having parties in the controlled food environment of my home.  She had 5 friends come over after school on a Friday evening, eat dinner, play, sing, and dance, and of course, eat cake.

For her party, I thought pizza would be an easy way to go, and I figured all the kids would enjoy it.  I heated up a Daiya frozen pizza for Bubs and GirlyGirl, and the rest of the crew just had Totinos frozen pizzas.  We explained to the girls the importance of why we wash hands after eating anything, and they all complied without complaint.  Along with the pizza we served green peppers and fruit ropes.  I also had strawberry and lemon infused water for them to drink.  It was quite yummy.

Ready to party!

Out of the 6 girls at the party (including GirlyGirl), three of them have a peanut allergy.  That's 50% of the party-goers!  The other 2 girls didn't have EpiPens, and one of the moms casually mentioned that she has a nut allergy when she dropped her off.  Luckily, I am well-versed in nut allergies.  (I am surprised at the lax approach of these other families dealing with food allergies, but everyone handles it differently.)  One of the girls said she didn't know any other kids at school who were allergic to peanuts, and we talked about how nice it is to know you are not alone.  She was grateful to know that there are others who deal with food allergies like she does.

For GirlyGirl's party cake, I intended to make it look like wrapped gifts.  It's not quite the vision I started with, but it turned out cute nonetheless.

Free of peanuts, dairy, and artificial colors

Make a wish!

She had a great evening with good friends.  They stayed up too late and were too loud, but that's what it's all about!  Good food, good friends, and good memories!

Me and my favorite 8 year old!

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