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Home Depot Kids Workshop

I came to know very recently that the Home Depot does workshops for kids and it is completely FREE. It was so much fun to take Arya today and he had a blast. This workshop will happen first saturday of every month in the morning from 9:00 AM to 12:00PM. The staff is friendly and very helping. Kids are allowed to take their project to home and also they get a CERTIFICATE of ACHIEVEMENT of the project with their names and also a commemorative pin with a picture of the project to put on their apron they are given. Today we couldn’t get any aprons since they are running out of stock. Overall it’s a great achievment for the kids and a great experience to the family. I took very few pictures through my iphone6 at Home Depot in Jersey City, NJ.

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With Love,
♥Prashanthi♥

Yay! Arya’s Birthday.

Arya turned 4 this February 4th 2015. One day when I told him, his birthday is coming, he said, “Hoorayy! Arya’s birthday” and when I asked him what he wants on his birthday, he, without any pause, wants a car cake and a pizza. Then I told him, we had already cut the car cake for your 3rd birthday and ask for other cake. He, after thinking and thinking, said, “Zoo Animals Cake”. I said, Okay and he was all excited for his Birthday. I was keep telling him all about his coming soon birthday almost everyday and I also tricked him sometimes into drink milk or eat his food or cleaning his toys. 🙂

I started planning for the cake and did google search for an idea and inspiration. Most of the search results were cakes decorated with fondant. I never liked the fondant and I see most of the people don’t like it. It is a sweet layer to cover the cake for neat, sculpting kind of look to the cakes. I don’t say it is not necessary but I mostly try not using it in my cakes. Going through few more blogs, I found few ideas then adding up those to my ideas, I have designed my idea of cake. I purchased the ingredients and few things that needed and was ready the day before his birthday to bake and decorate.

Two days before his birthday, I have decided to prepare the goody bags for kids. So I asked Arya to help me to put the goodies in the bag and I did the rest of the work like wrapping. Since it is a Zoo animals theme, I rather not went much in buying fancy goody bags, but tried to get the look and synch in with the theme. I used already bought Brown Lunch bags(40 bags for $1) and I thought to stick Animal tags to the bag. So I bought the Animals printable templates from Etsy store for 99 cents and printed them on card stock and then cut into the shapes. I also bought the animal print washi tape from amazon for $4. The idea is perfect to me and this is what I can able to present and they are so lovely.

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So that’s my idea and I could able to do it with my little man’s help. He also made a bag for himself. I think that’s how kids are 🙂

later the next day in the evening, after school, while playing with Arya and then doing home work and then giving him food, I baked Banana Chocolate Cake of 9×13 inches sheet cake in two batches. By night 9:00, my two cakes are ready. I filled in between the cakes with Chocolate Gan ache. (I will post another one with this cake and ganache recipe that I adapted from www.joyofbaking.com ) It is a super moist and flavorful cake ever. After I make him sleep, I started doing my frosting’s. I made cream cheese and butter frosting. Before going into details, here is the picture of the cake.

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1. Animals and Trees are plastic that I bought from the dollar store. (As I said earlier, i dont like to use fondant and using these is time saving, trust me!) My idea is to get the look of the Zoo and the animals in it to view. So this is much easier way to decorate. 🙂

2. The Black dirt look alike is the crumbs of Oreo Cookies. These days Arya loves oreo cookies and I have these handy at home. Take 2-3 cookies, remove the cream and then put them in a ziploc bag, crush the cookies with hand or use pestle and crush little hard to make it ground powder. Then just sprinkle.

3. The brown dirt look alike is the crumbs of the regular cookies also I have these handy and followed to the same process to make it fine powder.

4. The Bamboo sticks like poles around the Zoo or the animals is the Pirouline Wafers that I bought it from the Walmart. I break down one big wafer and arranged all in different sizes around the cake.

5. The water effect is from the Blue icing gel that I bought it from Michaels store.

FotorCreatedI always like the mini card stock or fabric birthday banners on the cakes. I just adore them. They are some thing unique representation than writing on the cake. So i handmade those banners, “Arya’s Zoo” and “Happy Birthday” with Green card stock, cut into mini triangles and a rectangle and glued to the twine. The poles are the paper straws and you see in the picture how I tied he twine to the poles and inserted into the cake and the wafers. Just to show off more. 🙂 FotorCreated2This is all my surprise to our 4 year old in the morning and I’m glad he loved it. His beautiful smile says everything. Later that weekend we had a small gathering with our family and he asked me to make a Thomas cake. I have tried a cupcake cake and make his one of the Thomas trains stand on the cupcakes track 😉 .You can see my latest Instagram picture.

The whole week was super duper busy and exhausted to me but to our surprise, Me and Chaitanya were amazed by our little ones gesture that weekday night when everything is done and all three are relaxing. He, with all the shy and twinkle in his eyes and with that beautiful smile, said,” Thank you so much Amma, Daddy!” I had fun. I love the cake, cupcakes. Thank You So much Amma, Daddy! I love you Amma Daddy!” (He is still trying to frame the sentences and repeating the same thing 🙂 ) This means a lot to me. Really, a lot to me. After our big hugs and kisses, I fell asleep tucking him in bed and thinking about his cute feelings and expressions. Sighhhhh!

If anyone reading this, Thank You So much! Have a great Day! See ya in the next post.

With Love,
♥Prashanthi♥

Happy Birthday, Chaitanya!

May 29th 2014.

This day happen to be day of surprises which it started with the cake cutting, a surprise cake from my kitchen 🙂 The AM planning was pretty quick, in hurry (to make sure everything is done before he comes from the shower) and fun and cute 🙂  In just 15 minutes, i arranged the cake table, woke up Arya (in this hurry I forgot to wear his pants, he was in his underpants the whole part), me getting ready in his favorite dress and waiting for him at the door with “Happy Birthday Song” on iPhone (Just for chorus, you see). He felt very happy (of course after all these effort who will not be 😉 We wish you a very happy birthday dear #hubbydaddy.

Okay now, this post is about my cake and how it turned out to be the best in my list. I baked it when Chaitanya was not at home and done everything and then secretly hide it in my conventional before he reached home. This is an Egg-less yellow cake with tofutti cream-cheese frosting and with a non edible flowers and feather centerpiece on the top.

Egg-less yellow cake Recipe

Ingredients: (Yields two  8″ cakes)

2 1/4 cups All purpose Flour
1 cup milk at room temperature
2 3/4 cups Buttermilk (I used greek yogurt and made buttermilk. For who wanted eggs use 6 large egg whites at room temperature)
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

Preparation:

In the bowl of the Kitchen Aid mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar until light a fluffy, approximately 5 minutes on high speed.
In a medium bowl combine the buttermilk, milk and vanilla and almond extract together and keep aside.
Meanwhile in another bowl, sift together the Baking Powder, Salt with the All Purpose Flour.
Once the butter and sugar has been creamed sufficiently, you will add the flour mixture in few parts and on medium speed mix all ingredients then add the butter milk mixture and on low speed mix well until everything is incorporated well. Share the batter in two pans equally and set the oven to preheat at 350F then bake the two pans for about 25-30 minutes.
Cool the cakes and wrap them in the plastic wrap and keep it in fridge before you do frosting.

Tofutti Cream-cheese Frosting recipe

is here
http://www.theprashanthiravinutalablog.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/vegan-tofu-with-cream-cheese-frosting/_mg_0973_new

DIY Centerpiece:

I made a simple cake decoration just with spatula and a cute centerpiece to add more details to the cake. It is a very simple DIY and all you need is a small foam, parchment paper,floral stem wire, artificial or natural flowers and a peacock feather as you see it here. Just cut the parchment paper in a circle and place it in center of the cake. Also cut the foam in a circular shape. Then take the wire stem and cut into pieces that need for the flowers to hook to it and after you are ready with the flowers you need and the peacock feather (for my cake I used here) just pinch into the foam like the arrangement you desired for and place that beautiful foam centerpiece on that parchment paper that we already kept on the cake. That is it. You can amaze your loved ones with this simple arrangement if you have no time to do the decoration with tips or cant do them as you like, just go for this. But please these are non-edible. just for the beauty and the look of the cake. 🙂

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I hope you liked this way of decoration and get set go and get inspired. 🙂

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With Love,
♥Prashanthi♥

Crazy Hat Day!

This is for my three year old when they had Crazyhat Day where everyone should wear a crazy hat the whole time in the preschool. It sounds to me new and ofcourse crazy. I didnt pay much attention to this then when his teacher hand over to me that week’s activity sheet. I was under an impression he can wear any hat. The day before in the night I wanted to just check in google about this and then i decided i should do something crazy for him to wear. Arya is not at all an accessory-friendly-kid. But then I still tried and in my whole thought process I came up with an idea – farm animals on his hat. I’m sometimes innovative and also I want to show educational in my creativity (:-p).

Well, i got an idea but implementing this in just one night – I have no idea, how? After a lengthy scan in his play area while he was sleeping, my eyes were on the Melissa and Doug wooden Farm animals puzzle. It got flashed that I should use those wooden small animals to glue it on his hat and then without any delay I glued them and still it looks not so  crazy for me. Then I took a print of barn picture in color and glued on the backside of the hat and to add little more details I wanted to name the whole thing which is going to be on his head as “Arya’s Farm Friends” and so I did as a banner supported by two mini wood sticks I bought it long time back from Michaels. By the way I forgot to mention that the hat I used was his own from the last year spring.

Take a look at my finished product. I was very proud that I used all the things that I need found around the house. It was sorta silly that I created something silly :-p

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To my surprise, some of his friends at school came to me and told me that they liked Arya’s hat so much. (Ha…ha…haaa).

With Love,
♥Prashanthi♥