What a fabulous birthday! You see, my Tickle doesn't really talk yet. Please don't worry, we take her to see a wonderful pediatrician and she is not neglected. She will speak, but for now, she can't really tell us what she wants for her birthday meal and cake.
We spent weeks coming up with ideas and seeing what her reaction would be. She is quite communicative, even if she doesn't use words. Nothing really struck her fancy UNTIL we mentioned the Very Hungry Caterpillar. It happens to be one of her very favorite books, and we all love to read it to her.
So, after she excitedly signed caterpillar, letting out various squeals and chirps, we KNEW that she would be pleased with this cake:
Okay, so the face is kind of droopy. And I had to take the picture fast. The icing was getting too warm by the time I put on the eyes so they are not quite even. But Tickle didn't care. She was thrilled.
The cake itself is a Honey Vanilla Pound Cake baked in a bundt pan. It turned out very tasty even though I tweaked the recipe (of course!). The eyes and mouth are chocolate chips and the antennae and feet are cut from an all-fruit leather (Stretch Island Fruit Company). However, the icing is not made from wholesome ingredients. And, as you can see, it contains food coloring, which is something we stay away from for the most part. But, in all my brain-racking, I think this was Tickle's first food coloring. And, if we go another two years before she has it again, I think we'll be okay.
For her meal, I tried to stick with the Caterpillar theme. I made these cucumber boats to look like caterpillars:
They are filled with a chopped salad made of tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, parsley and feta cheese. I should have used smaller olives for the eyes, but I didn't think ahead on that one. And the antennae are carrot matchsticks. Yes, my kids love this kind of food.
Then, I wanted to make something for the caterpillars to eat, so I made these lettuce wraps. They are just a green lettuce leaf with brown mustard, thinly sliced white cheddar cheese, and preservative-free turkey wrapped up.
I had to have something to fill up my guests, so I made this cold tortellini salad:
We all ate clementines too -- just because they are Tickle's favorite, but the hungry caterpillar ate fruit too.