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Trucking It!!

A memorable party celebrates a first birthday and a boy’s passion: trucks 

For my 1-year old, Luc Rosen, happiness comes in a bath bobbing with rubber ducks or on an adventure with a pail and shovel after a rainy day. An icon in Luc’s life is not a rock or movie star but the driver of the recycling truck. Each week when Luc sees the big blue truck, he tugs my blanket so he can watch the action from my arms. It’s no surprise that we selected trucks to take center stage at his first birthday party. His peers, too, go wild over trucks, so it was sure to be a well-received theme.


Once we established the theme, we sourced great party finds at party supply stores, and for an authentic flair, balanced those with items found on Etsy (etsy.com).


We sliced and served foot-long subs on brown paper bags for the hungry parents, kids and teenage siblings and offered fruit, chips, Cheerios and baby food packs for the fussier eaters. Lemonade in cute bottles and colorful straws sparkled in the sunlight.


Luc’s first bite of a birthday cake was, naturally, from a truck-themed confection. The truck motif continued via plastic construction hats, banners, cupcake toppers and a toy dump truck with brownies in the hatch. Since the party was held at a park, it made the gathering easier to manage. There were a lot of play options for kiddies with short attention spans,and clean up was a snap.


Trucks and tykes are a winning combination.


Buttercream Icing


Recipe courtesy of Wilton Enterprises, Wilton.com


Buttercream icing is perfect for spreading or decorating.


Makes: approx. 3 cups of icing


½ cup solid vegetable shortening


½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened


1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract, such as Easy-Add clear vanilla extract


4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approx. 1 lb.)


2 Tablespoons milk


1. In a large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla.


2. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all the sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.


3. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.


4. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored for two weeks. Rewhip before using.


5. For making thin-consistency icing, for ease of spreading, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.


6. For pure-white icing (stiff consistency), omit butter. Substitute an additional ½ cup shortening for butter and add ½ teaspoon No- Color Butter Flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes.


7. Color icing as desired, using a separate bowl for each color.


8. Embellish with clean toy trucks, road signs, etc. Use a #2 round tip for writing birthday wishes.


Golden Yellow Cake

Recipe courtesy of Wilton Enterprises, Wilton.com


Makes approx. 7 cups of batter for cake or cupcakes


Nonstick vegetable spray


3 cups cake flour, sifted


2 ½ teaspoons baking powder


½ teaspoon salt


2/3 cup butter or margarine


1 ¾ cups sugar


2 eggs


1 ½ teaspoons vanilla


1 ¼ cups milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.


2. Spray the bottom of a baking pan with vegetable spray.


3. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.


4. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light.


5. Add eggs and vanilla to creamed mixture and beat until thoroughly mixed.


6. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Continue beating for one minute.


7. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes (20-25 minutes for cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


8. Cool on grid cooling rack for 10 minutes. Gently run a thin spatula around the edge of cake in the pan and then turn cake out onto cooling grids. Cool completely before icing with Buttercream Icing.



Serves 6


Prep time: 10 minutes


1 cup sugar (reduce to ¾ cup, if desired)


1 cup water (to make the simple syrup)


1 cup lemon juice (4-6 lemons)


3-4 cups cold water (to dilute)




Lemon slices for garnish (optional)


1. Make simple syrup: Heat the sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.


2. Use a juicer or reamer to extract 1 cup of lemon juice from the fresh lemons.


3. Add the juice and the simple syrup to a pitcher. Add 3-4 cups cold water, depending on desired strength. Adjust sugar and lemon juice to taste.


4. Refrigerate 30-40 minutes.


5. Serve with ice and sliced lemons in glasses or decant into single-serve bottles and top with colorful straws.


This is in the current issue of Yum Food & Fun For Kids, which is on sale now.


Written and photographed by Jacqueline deMontravel



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