Tips from Tulsa Party Pros
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Janette Stenstrom, owner of All things Cake in Tulsa explains the do’s and don’ts of cakes. Her suggestions include:
Cakes should be kept refrigerated until one hour before serving, while cupcakes should always be stored at room temperature.
Buttercream frosting/cream cheese frosting will melt if left out for too long, so make sure the cake stays inside. If you’re looking for homemade icing, Janette provided this easy recipe:
- 1 cup real, salted butter, softened
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 pounds of confectioners sugar
- 1/2 Tablespoon clear vanilla extract
- 1/2 Tablespoon of butter or almond flavoring
- 3-4 Tablespoons of milk or water
Cream butter, shortening, flavorings and water together. Add confectioners sugar one cup at a time. Mix well. Add food coloring, if desired.
So many of the basic cake and icing ingredients are manufactured in facilities that can come into contact with allergens. There are several nut-free, dairy-free and even egg-free cake recipes available online. Just be sure that you read labels to make sure that the ingredients are packaged in an allergen-free facility.
Charlie Darrow, owner of Learning Express Toys streamlines the process of buying presents. She says:
Pay attention to ages of children and developmental guidelines on the toys, or ask the store staff to help you. Learning Express Toys has a Recommended Gift Guide for various ages (also on TulsaKids.com). Good toys should challenge and engage children. Here are some examples:
- Babies: Chewbeads; WubbaNub
- 12-18 Months: Y-Bike Walking Buddy and Ride-On; Fun Time Tractor
- 18 Months – 2 Years: Dress Me Emily; Kidoozie Little Doctor Kit
- 3 – 4 Years: Royal Princess/Pirate Den Playhouse; Calico Critters
- 5 – 7 Years: Magformers; Laser Pegs
- 7 – 10 Years: Lego; Bubble Gum or Ice Cream Science Kits
- Family: Smak A Ball; Tiki Toss
Using a Gift Registry can be extremely helpful. It cuts down on duplicates and can ease the stress of buying gifts. It works like any gift registry. Just come in 2-4 weeks before the party and have your child pick out some gifts. (that you approve of course!) Then the staff will put those gifts immediately into a box for your guests to choose from.
When shopping for gifts for other parties, always keep the age of the child in mind because some gifts just won’t work.