September 23, 2011

Best Birthday Tips & Challenge Round-Up {Naptime Simple Tips}

Birthday Cake

Don’t forget BIRTHDAY WEEK on The Naptime Chef! This is my final birthday week post; see below for Birthday Favorite Things Giveaway details!

I thought I would finish off the week with some fabulous birthday tips and recipes from some of the best food bloggers in the biz! I swear by every single one of these ideas and want to make all of their recipes straight away. I think you will feel the same way. Please chime in with your own tips below for your last chance to enter our awesome Birthday Week Favorite Things Giveaway!:

Thanks to Spabettie for officially blogging about the giveaway as an official sponsor – her Gluten-Free Vegan Raw Apple Cobbler looks amazing for a fall birthday!

Phoebe & Cara of Big Girls, Small Kitchen advise: “Think long and hard about the birthday boy or girl’s tastes. A birthday cake is kind of a gift itself, and as with any gift, you want it to be a perfectly matched with its recipient. Our Rich Chocolate Celebration Cake is so classic, yet customizable– you can leave it plain, decorate with m&m’s, or slip a layer of strawberries in with the icing for fruit lovers. For the full story behind how this cake worked its way into our birthday traditions, see the “Baking From Heart” chapter in our book, In the Small Kitchen.

Chocolate Cake

Big Girls, Small Kitchen's Amazing Cake!

Stacie of One Hungry Mama has two go to recipes: This amazing chocolate birthday cake that practically makes me want lick the computer screen! She also loves this great method for making cake pops for both kids and adults. They are so playful and fun I have to agree!

Julie of The Little Kitchen‘s awesome birthday baking tips are: “Make your icing up to two weeks before the party and store in the refrigerator. Make your cupcakes the night before and cover them with a thin towels and leave on the counter. If you don’t cover them, they will dry out. If you cover them in a plastic container, where I live, the humidity affects the liners and causes cupcake liners to peel away from the cupcakes. First thing you do the morning of the party, place your icing on the counter for 30-60 minutes and decorate your cupcakes when you have a chance. If you’re transporting the cupcakes, now’s the time to add them to your cupcake carrier or box.”

Her go-to birthday recipe is: Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes, like the candy bar only a million times better!

Angie of Eclectic Recipes says: “I always include wine and beer for the adults, even at kid’s parties. If alcohol’s not your thing, offer an assortment of calming teas.”

Angie’s go-to birthday recipes are this amazing German Chocolate Cake or Coconut Cake with 7-Minute Icing. Honestly, I would take, either!

Dara of Cookin’ Canuck’s birthday tips for kids is: “After planning many birthday parties for my kids, my best tip is to keep it simple with a few games, a simple art project and some playtime.  All the kids really want to do is spend time together.  You could stick them in an open field with a couple of balls and they’d be happy, as long as they could play with each other.”

Dara’s go-to birthday recipe are these Carrot Ginger Cupcakes which are an ideal change from vanilla or chocolate!

Sommer of A Spicy Perspective advises: ” 1.Order decorations online instead of running around looking for them–it saves time and you usually get a better deal. 2. Instead of doing goodie bags with all the junk toys and candy, set up a cookie pop decorating station. Let the kids decorate a cookie pop at the end of the party then put them in cellophane bags so they can take them home. 3. Have your BFF be in charge of the party games. It takes something off your plate and the friend usually comes up with something WAY more creative than you (I) would.”

Sommer’s go-to birthday recipes are these gorgeous Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes for a fruit fan or the Quintessential Chocolate Cake for a classic affair.

Aggie of Aggie’s Kitchen offer this tip: “Set a theme! This past year I decided I wanted to be in Mexico for my birthday. It was January, it was cold and I was craving warm sun and fresh food. I couldn’t run away to Mexico unfortunately so we brought Mexico to me by inviting friends over, cooking up a Mexican feast with lots of fresh salsa and margaritas! Themes make celebrations a little extra fun in my opinion!”

Aggie’s go-to fiesta recipes are Real Margaritas and Skillet-Grilled Burritos for a fun festive atmosphere!

For more great birthday cake recipes be sure to check out some of these fabulous blogs:

Chocolate Pumpkin Cornbread Layer Cake from Marla of Family Fresh Cooking

Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting for a sweet cupcake treat from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks

The Biggest Birthday Cake Yet from Deb of Smitten Kitchen

Pink Ruffle Tower Cake from Martha Stewart

Double Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova from Katie of What Katie ate

Yellow Cake with Strawberry Filling and Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting on Real Simple

Gorgeous Orange Layer Cake on Fine Cooking

Funfetti Cake from Scratch on The Kitchn

White Birthday Cake with Italian Meringue Icing on Cooking Light

Fudgy Chocolate Birthday Cake on Bon Appetit

Rules for Birthday Week Favorite Things Giveaway (including: Favorite Cookbook, Tea, Cookies, Tote Bag (above), Mixing Bowls (above) and Cookie Spatula):

1. Leave a comment sharing your FAVORITE birthday party throwing tip!

2. Subscribe to The Naptime Chef newsletter (upper right hand corner) – I’ll check!

3. Become a fan of The Naptime Chef on Facebook

4. Extra Entry: Share the link to this post with your friends on Facebook and link to @TheNaptimeChef Facebook fanpage

5. Extra Entry: Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter and link to hashtag @TheNaptimeChef

6. Extra Entry: Follow me on Stumbleupon and stumble this entry by clicking the green thumbs up

7. 6 Extra Entries: Write a blog post between now and Thursday September 22nd about how you celebrate birthdays in your family and include a recipe for a favorite birthday cake or birthday dish and tell your readers about this post with a link back to it. You will be listed in the post next Friday September 23rd as an official sponsor.

8. Contest will run from September 15th at 7:00am through Saturday, September 24th at 7:00am. Winner will be announced on Sunday September 25th at 7:00am. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours a new winner will be drawn. Winner be selected by random.org.

9. Giveaway items can only be mailed within the continental US.

*Giveaway items generously donated by Andrews McMeel, OXO Good Grips and JMcLaughlin.