SO… WHAT HAPPENED TO SEPTEMBER
Oh, September…. it is my birthday month so of course I love it. It is also the start of the school year and the kiddos go back to having a routine which I personally can’t wait for. We have pumpkin lattes and mochas and pumpkin or apple everything popping up before our eyes. The weather gets cooler and the leaves start to change. It really is a very lovely month.
But let’s face it. That month also can really kick you down and keep beating on you until you just scream “UNCLE”. We had a wedding, fall baseball, my birthday, school starting, school meetings, cheer practice increased to two times a week, and living water (confirmation) & Sunday school started up.
Then there is the paper work and back to school mayhem (homework and bug projects). We had tons of forms to be filled out because somehow the schools have forgotten who our children are over the summer and of course school pictures. Money was flowing out of this household like nobody’s business.
Work was also super crazy this month not to mention all of the natural disasters with all the hurricanes and earth quakes. I was just really thrown for a loop. So much so that I didn’t even get to make my own birthday cake. September’s post was going to be all about that cake. Didn’t happen. Sorry self.
I will make it up to you. I promise…..
WHAT’S UP FOR OCTOBER
So my lovely daughter’s birthday is right away at the beginning of October – this year not surprisingly – I totally forgot that fact within the September chaos. That resulted in me ordering all of her party stuff late and getting invitations out only one week before the party. *GASP* – that is so unlike me. I was mortified.
This year, she was turning thirteen. Yep. She was becoming a teenager. She had planned the theme of her birthday party weeks before, maybe even months for all I know. She wanted a Hawaiian luau to celebrate this rite of passage…. Interesting….
Well, it isn’t exactly the season for a “luau” but I did find some leftover stuff at party city that would fit the bill for invites and decorations.
Next up was to figure out the menu. She knew that she wanted meatballs, cheesy potatoes, and bacon wrapped pineapple.
Our Luau menu contained some things I think you’d find at a Luau but mostly it was stuff that my daughter loves and wanted to have.
Gluten Free Meatballs in chili/grape sauce
Pulled Pork with BBQ and Sweet Mustard Sauce (From Sweet Baby Rays which is always gluten free!!)
Au Gratin Potatoes (recipe from the Pioneer Woman)
Bacon wrapped pineapple
Chips (for those who did not want the potatoes. I cannot relate to those people.)
Deviled eggs (family favorite!)
Candied Fruit Kebobs
Cake & ice cream
It was a delicious meal and was pretty easy to pull together. I also found this cute chalkboard during graduation season at Target this year. I thought it made a pretty awesome menu board…. maybe my next project should be a fancy writing course??
WHAT ABOUT THE CAKE!
This particular kid doesn’t have a preference for ‘flavor’ of cake but when I asked her what she wanted, she kept saying, “pineapple”.
Was that pineapple flavored or pineapple shape? She said both. Well, alrighty then.
I tried to make a pineapple upside down bundt cake loosely based on a chocolate chocolate chip bundt cake I make but it did not work out. It was way too sweet – even though it looked great! I was going to use that for my September post – but didn’t get any pictures of it before we tore into it at our September girl scout meeting.
Then I turned to a pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting that I saw on Pinterest but she wouldn’t agree to it unless she got to taste it first. I have raised culinary snobs I tell you.
Since we didn’t have time to try that cake out before the party I decided to go with the good ‘ol yellow cake recipe in the first gluten free on a shoestring cookbook (which by the way, has been completely redone and is on pre-order right now!!!) . I made three 9″ rounds. Thankfully the recipe makes exactly one 9″ round, so I just made the recipe three times instead of tripling it and trying to divide it out. I made three because I wanted the height for the look of a pineapple.
For the filling I made good old chocolate buttercream from the recipe on the Lauren’s Latest blog. It is so easy to make and it truly is delicious.
When the cakes were completely cooled, I stacked and layered them with the chocolate buttercream. I made one and a half batches of the gold buttercream. I will warn you this was barely enough and there was a spot on the cake (in the back of course) that was a little on the iffy side because I sort of had to fudge with the decoration. In the end it worked out but if you want to be ultra safe, I’d make two full batches of buttercream and dye it all at once. I was afraid to make anymore for my cake because I wasn’t sure if I could match the exact color.
Before I started frosting the outside, I had to make the pineapple topper. I cut a pineapple in pretty big chunks off the side. Even though I would use this pineapple for the bacon wrapped pineapple for the party, what I was really after here was the core and the top. I just kept whittling the pineapple down until I had a thin but sturdy core that was still attached to the pineapple.
I then carved a hole in the middle of the top layer, through the three layers of cake big enough so the core of the pineapple would fit in, so the top would sit right on top of the cake.
Once the hole is complete you can frost the outside. Since this was a BIG cake and I was going to use a large star tip, I did a crumb coat layer with the gold frosting. It took a bit more than I was anticipating in order to smooth everything out. This is where I would recommend making a two full batches of buttercream and coloring it all together so you’ll be safe and have enough. I know I said it earlier – but trust me here – it’s important!
Then I pretty much just started piping the stars all over the cake. I was very careful around the edge of the cake at the top to cover all of the cake underneath and at the bottom I did an extra big star around the border. Other than that – it’s a star free for all so have some fun with it!
Everything turned out really well and we had a great time. In fact, we “partied like pineapples”!!!!