Somebody has to teach me how to pipe better, that's for sure.
It always strikes me as somewhat cruel to send kids back to school in September in San Diego (or, in Anna's case, August - it just ain't right). The beach is freezing well through June most years and even sometimes right through July, and just when it starts to warm up in August, bam. Put on your fall clothes, kids, it's time to swelter through algebra again.
Notice Jen restraining Jane from blowing our candles out!
A plus, however, is that I get to have my birthday dinner on the beach. If you're a regular reader, you know I share my birthday with a lot of family, and I also have a bunch of Virgo friends - scary, isn't it? I truly don't know how I'd feel about having a birthday all to myself because I've never experienced it. I think I like sharing.
Mary's motto: Life is short. Eat the frosting first.
This year my sisters organized dinner on the beach, including grilled pizzas and salad and the kids boogieboarded and swam and played while the grownups kibbitzed over the pizza dough. I was in charge of the birthday cake, and while that may seem like an injustice given that it was my own birthday, it beat the alternative: a Costco birthday cake, which I'm convinced would give us all cancer or at the very least a crisco-frosting-and/or-unnamed-food-additives-induced headache. Plus you know I don't mind baking.
That's right, we ate 33 cupcakes that night. Wanna make something of it?
One of my early birthday presents was the book Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes. I let Mary choose the kind of cake we'd have and she chose vanilla bean with white chocolate buttercream (which was simply incredible, in case regular old buttercream wasn't going to do it for you). Because it's hard to deal with tall layers and sun and sand, though, we made cupcakes. The recipe made 40 cupcakes and we frosted half of them with just the buttercream and filled the rest with a little Valrhona chocolate frosting and topped those with the buttercream as well, because I often feel the need for excess. They were knockout.