Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rather than posting about last night's leftovers, I'll continue the birthday theme and mention what we had Tuesday night, which was Ian's actual birthday and hence the night he picked his own birthday menu.  He wanted French onion soup, amazingly enough!  So I whipped up a batch of baguettes (they happened to turn out exceptionally well this time, too) and some beef stock, and we did that thang.  It was also his band concert night as well as the elementary school art show, so we were a little rushed, but I managed to get it done early so we could mostly enjoy it.

For his cake, he wanted yellow with chocolate frosting, but I've been hankering to try my hand at ganache and mousse since that candy-making class a couple months ago, so I filled it with mousse, topped it with ganache, and decorated it with piped whipped cream.  My friend Melissa, who is a chocolate fiend, once served me a cake with ganache, and it's been a delicious, mysterious memory ever since; how on earth is it that I haven't known about this?  It's shockingly simple to make, I'm sure all of you have been in on the secret for years.  It takes a little bag of (high-quality) chocolate chips, a pint of cream, and 5 or 10 minutes.    I can't believe that's all there is to it.  I may have found my new weakness...I'm not really an ice cream girl, but I definitely am a mousse girl!

As for frugality, I'll mention that I saved money on the party by nearly buying a (tiny) Platform 9 3/4 poster for way too much, but deciding to have the birthday boy produce his own on butcher paper.  Much cheaper, and more satisfying.  I also downloaded a cool font (that actually took forever, I had some big computer compatibility issues) and he made giant signs for the rest of the party that way as well.

Yesterday, my money-saving probably mostly amounted to scouring our local nature society's summer listings for free activities to put on our calendar.  I hadn't realized there were so many, we're going to have some real fun.

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