10 Nov 2016

A Basketball **3rd Birthday Party**

Yes - he has turned 3. Man, where has the time gone that my baby boy is now a big 3 year old. For his party we decided against a big party in a hall or soft play - instead a "gathering" of friends and family at home. This also give me the excuse to get in the kitchen, and whip up some goodies for the guests. As much as I stress I really enjoy sharing our home with our friends, sharing a glass or wine and well eating cake.

My little man is currently obsessed with basketball - hes been watching high school musical and space jam on a loop for weeks. Getting basketball themed party supplies in the UK is a little tricky but seeing his birthday falls at Halloween we were not in short supply of orange party bits. Teaming these with a basketball themed cake, cookie and cupcakes it gave the Basketball theme effect.

Instead of a basketball shaped cake I opted for (an easier to manage) basketball jersey cake. This was baked in rectangle tin and I trimmed the cake at the top. I used the cake recipe in the Great British Bake Off Children Party book  - which is fantastic for basic cake recipes and tons of ideas for turning those into great kids birthday cakes (and ones for adults too) The reciepe was a really soft sponge and baked evenly. It was filled with a soft vanilla butter cream and strawberry jam. Instead of baking two cake I baked one large cake and cut it in the middle  - using dental floss. It really did work. 
Look at the great texture in the middle. I have a few more cakes on the horizon and think I will use this recipe. It used a little bit of cornflour in the recipe which I have not done before but pleased with the effect. The cake held up well to have the icing laid on, and didn't dry out too quickly either.

For the main cake I used a layer of buttercream before the red icing over the top.I cut a semi-circle in the top but added white and blue accents to make the jersey style. Adding a little orange sash across the corner with a Happy Birthday piped in royal icing.
From the same book I used the shortbread recipe. These are my go to biscuits to add to any season - a good biscuit which cuts well, keeps its shape and can be iced in all manor of pretty ways. My number cutters have gone missing!! Instead we had stars and circles (which were piped in a basketball pattern).  I'm glad that a basketball is pretty simple to pip - my maths skills wouldn't stretch to a football i'm sure. 

The table was complete - some cakes, biscuits, dips and chips and the cake the table was good to go. A little bit for everyone offering all manor of various opportunities for all kinds of diets. For hot food I did chicken nuggets and chips and homemade mini pizza ( I used this recipe from Holly Bell Mummy - her recipes for a busy mum cookbook which is another fantastic one to add to the collection) We had tomato based and cheese based pizzas on offer which I carried on topping up throughout the afternoon (pre chopped all the toppings in mini bags before hand)

We had carved pumpkins (being a Halloween baby how could I not carve a number pumpkin!!) along with various serving platters. I don't have many and try and keep an eye out in charity shops and on sale. I like simple pieces that allow the food to shine. This chips and dips tray I picked up form at Sainsburys in the summer (was £2 in their summer sale) The orange and black start table cloth fitted the brief and was showing in the Halloween decorations in Sainsburys also - win win.
All in all I think my little dude had an awesome fun time. He had food (his favourite thing) he got to have cuddles and play with his cousins. What more would a 3 year old want?

Happy birthday darling boy. You are so very loved.

You can check out his birthday haul of gifts (which includes toys, clothes and various other bits) over on my YouTube. My vlogging skills need work!! But for the time being it will do. (excuse the dodgy faces in the screen shots!! The vlogging curse!)

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