She doesn't like chocolate cake (how she can be my offspring, I have no idea), so both cakes were yellow, and I filled and frosted them with buttercream frosting before covering them with fondant. I use Satin Ice fondant, because it doesn't taste horrible and it's easier to work with than Wilton. What's amazing to me is the Satin Ice, which tastes like marshmallow, only costs a few dollars more than the awful Wilton fondant, which tastes like rancid oil. My guess is people who make cakes for fun and shop for their supplies in the cake aisle at their local craft store, buy the Wilton because that is what the store has. It's how I started. Then I was asked to make a wedding cake for a friend's brother and they wanted fondant. I knew there had to be something better than Wilton fondant, and after some digging, I found the Satin Ice at a store called Gygi's in Salt Lake City.
For a foodie, Gygi's is a wonderland. They sell every food/kitchen thing you can think of: baking supplies, cake supplies, restaurant supplies, dishes, accessories, giant popcorn makers, even giant grills you could fit my 6 year-old in. It's always a good day when I get out to Gygi's :)
I loved hand-painting the zebra stripes and leopard spots (though looking back I'd do the spots differently--darnit). I used full-strength paste food coloring and was a little worried we'd all end up with black teeth, but it wasn't too bad ;) I made the letter "A" out of dark chocolate I melted and then piped onto waxed paper that was over a pattern. Some black ribbon and we were in business, though it took some time figuring out the bow for the top (looks so innocent, doesn't it?).
We had dinner at an Italian restaurant called Mark Anthony's. Alex loves their seafood ravioli and she's been deprived of it since I started Weight Watchers and my husband had to start watching his blood sugar a couple years ago. Dinner was as scrumptious (naughty) as I remembered. Alex had her seafood ravioli and I had a dish called Hazelnut Chicken; garlic, shallots, mushrooms, and chicken in a sweet hazelnut cream sauce, all served over fettuccine. Gracious, it was divine...I'm thrilled to have leftovers waiting for me in the fridge.
The best part of dinner (besides the bread-on-a-stick that enticed my 2 year-old to sit in her chair for 5 minutes) was when our table of 13 started singing Happy Birthday, and the table of 10 or so next to us, and our server, joined in. It sounded like the whole restaurant was singing. Of course, she was the color of Crayola Red, enormously embarrassed, and loving every minute. Happy birthday, my sweet girl!