Birthday Cakes!

We've had a fun family week of vacation!
We'll have a fun St. Patrick's Day treat idea up in the next couple days.
Here are a few of the recent Birthday Cakes for Foster Kids we've done. I've had lots of emails from you asking how you could get involved in your own communities, that's wonderful! I'll put the information at the end of this post for those of you who are interested.

A chocolate, flower, and ice skating-loving girl gets a chocolate decadence cake (made with Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge mix and this recipe) and all the decorations are made out of....what else...CHOCOLATE!:)

A Kentucky Derby Horseshoe cake for a horse loving girls whose favorite color is blue...

Little H LOVED putting the horses on the cake!
When I asked Little C what she thought of the cake, she looked at it for a long time then said slowly and diplomatically, "I really really like it buuuuut......um, why did you make it shaped like a potty seat??". I realized that she didn't know what a horseshoe was. lol!
My friend Shalece made this one--A "Strawbery and Steel" birthday cheesecake for a skateboard and cheesecake lovin' teen.
So, here's the rundown on our birthday cakes for foster kids experience and the system we've found that works...sorry, this is a lot of information, but I thought I'd share the things I've learned for those of you interested.
Making cakes for foster kids was new territory for us AND the foster care center, so we’ve been learning as we’ve gone along.
If you're interested, try the Yellow Pages to look for foster care agencies in your area. I’d suggest calling them, telling them that you know of someone who has been doing this project and see if it’s something they are interested in. Obviously you can’t make cakes for all the kids, but let them know how many you can do (maybe it’s only 1 per month) and have them pick the kids most in need.

Originally, Olive Crest got together and chose 3 children per month to get cakes (that’s how many I said I could do). They would give me the foster parent’s contact information and have me call and coordinate it. That did NOT work well for me. It was hard to communicate with them, arrange cake drop-off, etc—it was taking me longer to do that than to make the cake and was really frustrating.

At the beginning of 2010, we started this new system and it’s been working GREAT. The foster center emails the parents about 6 weeks ahead of time with the questionnaire below. If the family wants the cake, they have to return it at least 2 weeks in advance. I drop off the cake at the Foster Center at the specified date (by noon) and the foster family picks is up. It’s been great—I don’t actually have any contact with the foster families and it seems to go easier that way. Also, I have the freedom to create whatever cake we want from their responses. It’s more fun for us that way to have it be a surprise. Here’s a sample email below:

Hi ________,
You have probably heard that we have a volunteer who wishes to make birthday cakes for our foster kids. You can see examples at www.gourmetmomonthego.com. Your children have March birthdays coming up!!!
If you’d like to have a cake made for your foster child, please complete the following questions and return it to me ASAP. She likes to have this 1 month before the birthday.
If you do not wish to participate, just let me know.

1) child’s name:
2) birthdate:
3) date you would like to pick up the cake at Olive Crest in Bellevue (we will have it there by noon):
4) child’s favorite colors:
5) child’s favorite flavors:
6) any flavors they don’t like or allergies in the family?:
7) Child’s favorite hobbies:
8) Anything your child is passionate about?:
9) Other suggestions:

Holiday Playlist

My grandmother hasn't been doing well...to cheer her up, I rounded up a few of my musical friends and made an album of Holiday songs fo...