Children’s Birthdays- Dinner and Cake!

This post is to share some things we are doing for our (almost) 5 year old son this month. He wants me to make him a pepperoni pizza for his birthday. Lucky for me it is one of my favorite meals to make! I used to make pizza on a cookie sheet. It was fine. Later I upgraded to a round aluminum pizza pan. The kids liked the traditional shape. I continued to evolve and got a pizza stone for our oven. Now this thing did make a good pizza. I wasn’t a fan of running the oven at super high temps to heat the stone or the long wait required for it to cool so I could clean it. I also didn’t like storing it. So I kept looking for a good way to make pizza…and I found it!

STONEWARE! Now I know what you are thinking, “Stoneware has been around forever!”. Yes, it has but I never used it. Now I own the Pampered Chef pizza stone and I will never look for another way to cook pizza. We love this thing. You will too! You can get one here: GRAB YOUR OWN PIZZA STONE

Now that I found the perfect way to bake my pizza I searched for a good dough recipe. This is our favorite. Here it is: Mark Bittman’s Pizza Dough

This recipe makes two pies. I usually put the second dough in the refrigerator and use it for stromboli later in the week. Pay attention to the note in the recipe in Step 3 regarding using olive oil for aluminum baking or flour for stone. It makes a difference. And don’t leave out the rosemary even though it is optional. It makes the perfect fragrant dough!

This dough it great for red sauce, white pizza and even no sauce pizzas! It is a go to. Make sure you print it and save your copy.

Let’s talk EASY birthday cakes. I usually bake one cake and make a simple ice cream cake. Here are my favorite basic cake recipes.

Ina’s Chocolate cake

Vanilla Cake

I do not tweak either of these. I use each kids favorite flavor of icing, make different fillings and I use candy as decorations. My daughter loves pudding or cream fillings. To make a simple pudding filling choose a flavor of instant pudding mix (3.5 oz) and a pint of COLD whipping cream. Just whip the cream, slowly add the pudding mix and then beat until it just thick enough to hold up in the cake.  My son loves strawberry so I fold sliced strawberries into a vanilla pudding mixture for him. You can add bananas too!

Now for decorating. Sprinkles are a cakes best friend. So simple and festive.

Choose your favorite candies as toppings and decorations. No fancy icing skills required!

Ice cream cakes is even easier to make. Choose two flavors of ice cream that go well together- our favorites or Cookies-n-Cream and Vanilla, a container of Cool Whip and a package of sandwich cookies (such as Oreos) or candy like Butterfingers or peanut butter cups. Grind the cookies or candy in a food processor to a medium crumb or cut into small pieces with a knife. Allow the ice cream to soften a bit (not MELT). Next,  layer one flavor of ice cream in the bottom of a round cake pan. Top that layer with ground cookies or candy. Add the second flavor of ice cream evenly. Top with a thick layer of Cool Whip. Place the cake pan in the freezer for at least two hours. Allow to sit at room temp for a couple minutes before serving.

icecreamcake

That’s all! Birthdays are easy, no one gets stressed out, we don’t put ourselves into debt and we all enjoy they day celebrating. Happy (almost) 5th Birthday Michael! Mommy loves you, Batman!!!!!

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