Olivia’s Birthday Party!

Olivia eating her cupcake ice cream cone

Olivia eating her cupcake ice cream cone

My little stinker turns two today, and I can hardly believe two years have gone by since she tore me a new one. I’ll never forget it: my doctor elbow deep in my uterus because I was halfway through labor and my water still hadn’t broke, my husband demanding to have opening night football on the tv (it was a Thursday) and my Phillippino nurse telling me it was too late for drugs, “you go drug free now!” she smiled. The funny part is, I don’t even remember the pain from the baby because my hip hurt so bad from my ankles being behind my ears. Ah, but my hip trouble is a story for another day.

We had her party this past Saturday and here is a sampling of some of the food that I made for my guests. The only vegan fare was some tortilla chips with homemade bean dip, a couple big bowls of fruit, and veggie dogs. I have yet to cook vegan for a large group people so I’m still kind of iffy on what I should make. I asked my husband’s grandma to make macaroni and cheese and my own mother to make deviled eggs, so at least I knew nothing was killed for that, right? Ho hum, I hate being a hypocrite but I’m trying to do the best I can here without breaking the bank.

yo gabba gabba cupcakes

yo gabba gabba cupcakes

On a lighter note, I am signing up for school again! I started about 11 years ago and went on and off, here and there, but accomplished nothing because as soon as I started getting to the point where I would have to take a math course, I would stop going. I’m pretty bad at math, and really that’s an understatement. I’m going to finish getting what I need to get at my local junior college, Adam Corrolla be damned! Then I will probably transfer to Northern Illinois University, even though it’s an hour away in Dekalb. I can cram all my classes into one or two days or something. It will all work out. It has to.

A few things have happened recently that made me rethink my entire existence. For one, my husband’s company is closing and they are moving out of state. The good new is that won’t be happening for about two years. They have extended open arms to all their employees that would like to move with them, and have even offered moving money for each family. The bad new is, we won’t find out

delicious fruit with an optional cream cheese/fluff dip

delicious fruit with an optional cream cheese/fluff dip

until the end of October where the company will be moving to. We have been told three possibilities: Nashville, somewhere in Kentucky, or Ohio. Only Nashville appeals to me because I have built in friends and family there. Oh, and Ben Folds lives there and I’m a huge fan. Those other places can suck my balls. Kentucky? Eww…

Then there was my daughter turning two. So now I have to really think: Do I want to be a waitress somewhere else? And do I really want to do it for the rest of my life?  Do I want my lil stinker to tell everyone about her mommy the waitress at “Insert crappy chain restaurant or Greek-owned place here” or mommy the writer? (Or “My mommy helps get people off drugs.” Addiction counseling was my alternate choice.) Ugh. It seemed like my life was in upheaval. What could I possibly do to make it all better? I thought endlessly about going back to school. And now, it’s on like Donkey Kong, people.

jumbo pineapple upside down cupcakes

jumbo pineapple upside down cupcakes

I feel a sense of relaxation now because I know my life will have more meaning to it than poopy diapers and taxi-ing my teenagers back and forth to their friends houses. Don’t misunderstand- I love being mommy but I definitely feel that I was put on this earth to other things. Not to sound like a giant cornball, but I want to help people, I want to help animals, and I want to help our planet, if that’s even possible.

So, back to the food a little bit. The pineapple cakes were the best thing ever, I was told. I got the recipe out of a Taste of Home magazine that my friend had brought to work some months back when I worked at a particular Italian restaurant that will remain nameless. They would be super easy to veganize since they are made with oil anyway, but I forgot to buy vegan sour cream so I just used my Trader Joe’s stuff that said “owned by dairy farmer’s” on the side of it. I sure hope that’s true. Factories are for steel mills, not animals. The cupcake ice cream cones looked amazing but as foretold by numerous web-postings of other bakers, the cones were somewhat soggy by the day’s end. The Yo Gabba Gabba cupcakes were actually just a plain white

cupcake ice cream cones

cupcake ice cream cones

cupcake with white frosting and fondant cutouts made by yours truly. I was also supposed to make some Blue and Magenta fondant faces and the characters from Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! but these alone took over an hour so I said to hell with it. I also made some German chocolate cupcakes with caramel pecan coconut frosting. It was my first time with the cupcakes and the frosting but I think I did a pretty good job. Also, the dip for the fruit was simply one jar of fluff, one package of cream cheese, and one teaspoon of vanilla, all beat together until smooth.

One of my favorite things to bring to parties used to be this dip that you can serve with graham crackers sticks. Here, I’ve veganized it for you. I’m sure you can figure out how to make it with all the animal ingredients if you really have to. Enjoy!

1 8 oz container of vegan cream cheese, softened

1 stick vegan margarine, softened

2 Tbsp brown sugar

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3/4-1 cup vegan mini chocolate chips

cream cheese dip with graham cracker 'bees'

cream cheese dip with graham cracker

Mix the first 5 ingredients until well blended. Add in those chips. Let it sit in the fridge and get firm for about an hour. Take it out, firm it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap then put it back in the fridge until your party. Take out, unwrap, place in center of serving platter with your favorite vegan graham cracker sticks, or vegan vanilla wafers, or just eat with a spoon like my fat ass does. Voila!

So until next time, I will leave you with this quote, courtesy of my friend Dr. Jenn’s Myspace blog. It’s an interview with my soon-to-be third husband, Klint Kanopka. I’ve never heard of him before today but that doesn’t really matter now, does it? This was truly inspiring for me…

How important is vegetarianism to you? How important do you think it should be to the hardcore community?

I’m vegan, so vegetarianism is hugely important to me. I’m not a particularly political person, but it’s one of the causes I do feel passionate about. Everyone has heard the statistics and all the information on the subject is easily accessible. Therefore, there is no reason to still consume animals.

Anyone who considers themselves even remotely progressive should not eat meat. There is no justification for it. Society has progressed to a point where animal based food is no longer required for survival. It’s a simple choice and an easy transition to make, so any excuse you come can come up with just boils down to a blend of selfishness, ignorance, and lack of control over your own life.

I honestly find it difficult to respect the opinions of anyone who still eats meat in 2008. Especially in a community full of supposedly socially aware and intellectually proactive people, not expending the absurdly low amount of effort it requires to be vegetarian is an act of stupefying hubris.  ~~Klint Kanopka

Visit Klint’s blog if you like… http://www.dearklint.blogspot.com/ 

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Olivia’s Birthday Party!

  1. Those pineapple upside down cupcakes sound yummy! Can I get the receipe? Oh…if you do have to relocate to KY, I can be of assistance if need be. Happy Birthday, Olivia!

  2. Thanks! I will keep you in mind for sure! And sorry about the ‘ew’ comment on your state. I feel even less happy about Ohio, if it makes you feel any better.

  3. Is it ok to love you if we’ve never actually met? Cause I do. I’m having the same school/life/two-year-old crisis right now. I’m guessing that if I copy you and make Yo Gabba Gabba cupcakes and get my ass to school I will feel better.

  4. School isn’t for most people, myself included. I hate it. I also hate that half the world relies on my having that piece of paper before it will take me seriously. Screw you, world! I’ll be damned if I’m going to be a forty-year-old bartender, though. Wish me luck!

  5. jenn voorhees

    klint is pretty awesome, isn’t he?!

  6. I heart him in a huge way. And is it me or are the pictures not of what they are supposed to be of?

  7. klint

    i am pretty great. any babes reading this: get at me.

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