11 January 2007

i might be crazy

I decided to have a birthday party for James. He's five years old, he's been to enough birthday parties to know what he's been missing before now, and gosh darn it, I do like to make the kid happy.

But. I forgot that Greg was going to be out of town for a few days this week (yesterday morning through tomorrow night), so the job of cleaning the house and getting it ready for a party falls squarely on my shoulders, on top of single momming. If you have any idea of what kind of effort I put into housekeeping on a daily basis (i.e., virtually none), you will understand what a challenge it is going to be for me to make the house presentable.

I started last night, but for some reason I began my cleaning efforts with the toys. Actually, I know the reason: I can't vacuum the living room until the millions of cars and action figures and Go Fish cards and random Mr Potatohead parts and teeny-tiny Lego pieces are picked up. The smartest thing would have been to vacuum immediately after picking up, but by then it was midnight and I figured I'd tackle it in the morning. Of course, my efforts were immediately reversed this morning, since the first thing Evan does when confronted with the wide-open space of a living room floor is to dump toys all over it.

In addition to the cleaning, I decided to make a vegan cake so that one of the party guests won't be left out. This will require finding a suitable recipe and shopping for ingredients (neither of which I've done yet) as well as actually baking and decorating the thing. James still hasn't told me what he wants his cake to look like, either.

And on top of the cleaning and the cake, I have yet to figure out what I'm going to do with four 4-6-year-olds for two hours. I know, it's only 4 boys, and it's only 2 hours, but seriously, two of those boys are the most high-energy kids I've ever met, as well as being a little aggressive. And James is the type of kid who just feeds off of the energy of other children and tends to get a little out of control in social situations. And I'm going to be giving these kids sugar?!

I'm kind of wishing I had not let James talk me into this. I really should learn not to take advice from five-year-olds.


karen said...

Hi Heidi! =0)

Don't know if you're still looking for a recipe for vegan cake, but here is (1) for vanilla and (2) for chocolate (or I even have one for marbled), followed by a frosting recipe...
Hope you and your 3 boys are doing well - I miss you guys!


(1) Vanilla cake
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 cups Soy Yogurt or Sour Soy
1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla (not teaspoons)
2-3/4 cups whole wheat flour or unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Begin by measuring the shortening. Use a 1/2-cup measure and pack it all the way full of shortening. Make sure there are no air pockets in the bottom of the cup. Level off the top with a knife or your finger. Scrape the shortening out of the measuring cup into a big bowl. Add the sugar. Use electric beaters to cream the shortening and sugar together until they are fluffy. Add the soy yogurt or sour soy and vanilla. Beat well. Finally add the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat with the electric beaters for a full minute. The batter should be light and fluffy and thick. There are several options for baking this cake. It can go into two 9-inch round cake pans for a layer cake. Or turn the batter into a well oiled 9 by 13" baking pan for a sheet cake. Either way, bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes. Keep an eye on it and check it after 30 minutes. If it still seems a little under-done, then continue cooking for about 10 minutes more. Frost if desired and serve. Makes between 16 & 24 pieces.


1 1/3 cups unbleached cane sugar
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
3 cups unbleached flour
1 T. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
2 cups soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1 T. vanilla
1 t. almond extract

Lightly oil a 9x13-inch pan and set aside. Using an electric mixer or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, place the sugar and Spectrum Spread, and cream together until light and fluffy. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, alternating with the soy milk, and continuing to beat the mixture well between each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extract and beat the mixture an additional 2 minutes at medium speed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

(2) Chocolate Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9x5 inch loaf pan.
Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the oil, vanilla, vinegar and water. Mix together until smooth.
Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

(3) Frosting
1/2 C non-hydrogenated shortening
1/2 C non-hydrogenated margarine (like Earth Balance)
3 1/2 C powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C plain soymilk or soy creamer

Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and soymilk, beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.

and rudeness said...

Not only did Karen post that recipe for you... YOU ROCK KAREN... did you notice it was at 3am?!!

**bows down**

Now THAT'S the gal to know!

Good Luck with the party!! And when I say good luck, what I mean is... thank GOD its not me. :)


I know, I'll get it eventually...

Anonymous said...

hope the party went well. you are a trooper!