Ice Cream Cake

My sister gave me the idea for this recipe when my kids were much younger. I liked it because it was a project I could give my kids to do all on their own, when they were still pretty small.

Bundt cake pan
1 store-bought angel food cake, torn into 1-2” pieces
3-4 small containers of your favorite ice cream (my son’s favorite flavors are Chocolate Chip Mint, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Cookies n’ Cream; I always add some Strawberry for color)

Scatter some angel food cake pieces in the bottom of the cake pan, then spoon a few scoops of each ice cream flavor over the angel food cake. Repeat this process until the Bundt cake pan is filled with angel food cake pieces and ice cream. Cover the pan with foil and freeze for 4-6 hours or overnight. Before serving, remove cake from freezer and slide a knife around the sides of the cake. Dampen a small towel with hot water and wring towel almost dry. Invert cake pan onto serving platter, and wrap hot towel around base of pan to unmold. Return cake to freezer until ready to serve.

Birthday dessertsIf decorating the cake for a Knight party, break a chocolate Hershey bar into rectangles and insert chocolate pieces into cake so that they look like battlements. Make pennants by gluing a piece of wired ribbon to the end of a bamboo skewer and insert skewers into cake also. Remember to add candles!

Knight invitation

As usual, I was late getting my party inspiration juices stirred up for my son’s Medieval Times birthday invitation, so I ended up at the computer one very late night, googling “royal proclamations.”  I lucked out: the first entry I found (from 1723) was almost perfectly worded for my purpose.  A few modifications, and this is what I wrote:

Lawrence George 1, by the grace of God,Inside Knight invitation Knight of Castle (1234) Sanditon, and its backyard Commonwealth, defender of the faith and of our Church in earth the supreme head, to all our most loving and faithful friends and family, and also our mostly obedient pets, and to every of them, greeting:

Where it will please Almighty God, on Saturday next, the 18th November, to call together the afore-mentioned parties to join in the revelry, celebrations, and goings-on that attend the twelfth birthday dinner feast of the same Lawrence George 1, hereafter known as Sir Lance, at Castle Medieval Times of Buena Park, to witness in all the full glory, regalia, magnificence, etc. the tournament of jousting, swordplay, and horseplay that ensues. Carriage departs from Castle Sanditon at half after four o’clock in the afternoon of the same day. Return will be by same later in the evening.

The favor of a telephonic reply by 12th November is requested at 123-456-7890.

Crossed letter-openersI printed the text in a plummy-red color (using Word 2013 Blackadder font) on vellum, that I trimmed down to 7 1/2″ x 10″.  The next day, I got my son to sign all the vellum sheets and I added a wax seal of his initial to match the ink color.  Then I glue-pasted the printed vellum to a gold Venetian-marbled sheet, measuring 8 1/2″ x 11″.  (I had pre-printed the marbled paper with the crossed images of two letter openers that I borrowed from my son; I simply scanned one letter opener, then rotated a copy of the image on top of it.)

Then I folded the proclamation in thirds and wrapped it with a “ribbon” of plum-red velour paper trimmed to 3/8″ x 9 1/2″.  I glued a “jewel” to the end of the ribbon and affixed the tab with a glue dot (so it would be re-sealable).Invitation outside

The folded proclamation fit inside a business-sized, buff-colored envelope – and off it went!

Medieval Times/Knight party for a 12-year-old boy

As my kids got older, the backyard lost its appeal and birthday parties were more appealing if “we could go somewhere.”  So, when my son turned 12, he got the idea to go to Medieval Times with some off his friends.Medieval Times guest knightsAlso, our house was under construction at the time, so throwing a birthday party away from home was almost a necessity.  This was a real departure for me – a dedicated DIYer, but I was wisely able to relinquish total control with grace and dignity.

I also came up with a cute and really easy invitation:Invitation outside

Fortunately for us, Medieval Times is practically in our backyard, so renting a van to transport all those boys (with my husband as chauffeur/bus driver) was a no-brainer.  (I drove the girl-car for his sister and her little friend.)Damsels in no distressPre-dinner entertainment was graciously provided by Medieval Times in the manner of group photo ops, sword-making demonstrations, sword displays, heraldry displays, and the purchase and use of the ubiquitous foam sword for each of our visiting knights (and ladies).Sword photo

The use-your-hands dinner and jousting tournament was enjoyed by everyone.  Frankly (and snootily), I had assumed that watching this pretend production would be cheesy and silly, but I was happily surprised.  The equestrian display alone was impressive; the Medieval Times performers are remarkably good stunt men (and women) – and I would be happy to see them again.  And the food was tasty enough – considering that I didn’t have to lift a finger (except to eat), it was delicious.  After the show was over, we brought all the party guests back to our house for the birthday boy’s favorite (and easy) ice cream cake (decorated with Hershey’s chocolate battlements and ribbon pennants) and snickerdoodles.Birthday desserts

In the immortal (and probably inaccurate) words of Shrek’s friend, Donkey, “My little baby’s all grown up and off slaying dragons!”  Fun times at Medieval Times…