Friday we had Ella's Birthday Party! She turned 9 in June but a crazy summer made a slumber party for 9 girls a little difficult so the festivities were delayed until now. I found the invitations on the clearance rack at Hobby Lobby. The envelopes were polka dotted manilla envelope "style". Super cute. She filled them out herself and hand delivered them to friends.
The girls arrived to pretty table set for dinner. A dear friend crafted napkins for each placesetting that were taken home to be packed into future garbage-free lunches. Yaaayy! Vintage linen cloth, cake stands and milk glass surrounded the cupcake centerpiece.
I didn't want to serve pizza again, homemade or not, but did want to serve something the girls would like. Ella and I decided upon homemade macaroni and cheese, garlic bread and Izze sodas. All amongst Ella's favorites that the average 4th grader will eat. Typically, kids love or hate my homemade, whole food. I am happy to say the majority of the crowd loved the mac and cheese - even though it didn't come from a box. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the raspberry coffeecake I made for breakfast. Beggars can't be choosers, right?
Vanilla cupcakes with rich chocolate frosting. Love the big candy dot sprinkles and pink, green and white sparkle sugar. Thank you Wilton!
The fastest way to a 4th grader's list of "cool moms"? - individual cartons of ice crem. Who knew it was so easy? They were a surprise offered from a basket lined with more of Carol's cool napkins. See the cute cupcake pattern? (damn, I wish I could sew)
I wish I had gotten better pictures and that all of the girls were able to spend the night. In the end though, the girls had a great time, the boys survived Hannah Montana reverberating through the house and I got to plan another birthday party for my Ella. She loved it, which means a lot - especially from a 4th grade girl.
The Best Macaroni and Cheese
adapted from Cooks Illustrated February 1997
2 large eggs
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1/4 t. red hot pepper sauce
2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1 t. dry mustard, dissolved in 1 t. water
1/2# elbow macaroni
4 T. unsalted butter
12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Mix eggs, 1 cup of the evaporated milk, pepper sauce, 1/2 t. salt, pepper and mustard mixture in a small bowl; set aside.
Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a 2 qt. saucepan or similiar. Add 1 1/2 t. salt and macaroni, cooking until almost tender,about 7 minutes. Drain and return to pan over low heat. Add butter and toss to melt.
Pour egg mixture over buttered noodles along with 3/4 of the cheese; stir until combined and cheese starts to melt. Gradually add remaining milk and cheese, stirring constantly until creamy. It will appear as though the remaining cheese will never be incorporated but be patient, it will take about 5 minutes.
Serve topped with buttered bread crumbs or stir in pieces of baked ham.
Serves 4 as a main dish or 6/8 as a side
2 years ago