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By Eden Hertzog

It’s official: I’m a mom. Now, this newsflash does not come after giving birth or enduring months of sleep deprivation or even after wearing the same thing for days and not washing my hair. Nope, I am now officially a bona fide mom because I made a birthday party for my two year-old happen.

You know how your mother told you that you wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate her until you had your own children? Well, I didn’t get it until the whole birthday party thing went down. How did my mom, a single mother with two kids and a full-time business, manage to pull off the most incredible birthday parties for us? Sheer magic. Thanks mom.

And now, I will share the wisdom I have gained since crossing the threshold.

If you’re anything like me, you probably always have big plans in mind. Maybe you scroll through Pinterest looking at all the imaginative things you can do at a party. Maybe you think it would be awesome to make a cake that looks like a construction site with yellow caution tape around it and a little toy bulldozer on it that is about to doze over a pile of “dirt” that is broken cookie crumbs. Maybe you think you could even wear a dress or something nice to this party you’ll host.

Well, think again. Learn the most important lesson in parenthood that is available to you: Keep it simple. What you need for a fantastic party is this: a great space, some decent food, the people you love, music, and a pack of dollar store balloons. Done.

I had the best, best time. I really did. But since this blog is supposed to be about food, I’ll tell you what I served and I won’t mention the fact that my cream cheese frosting was runny and messed up all my cake plans. Like, really messed them up.

A Great Birthday Party Spread

  • Homemade quiches made by your mother. Seriously, don’t make these yourself.
  • REAL Montreal bagels from Montreal. We were there for Thanksgiving and brought home three dozen for the freezer. This is also a reason to go to Montreal. You’re welcome.
  • Hummus and Cream Cheese. And sliced tomato and cucumber for the bagels
  • A platter of sliced fruit: pineapple, strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes.
  • Raw veggies for the kids: grape tomatoes + carrot and celery sticks.
  • Cubed cheese. I think Cedar single-handedly ate all the cheese.
  • Coffee for the adults and highly-diluted juice for the kids.
  • Cake! I made the New Moon Kitchen chocolate cake (naturally…) but then loaded it with runny cream cheese icing to counteract the healthiness. It turned out delicious. If you want to know why my frosting was runny, it’s because the cream cheese in the tub is softer than the blocks and I think I put an extra tub in as well. So don’t do that.

The recipe for the chocolate cake is basically this one:

What else can I tell you? Oh yeah, there’s this: no one will care if you pulled off a magical cake feat, or happened to batik dye napkins, or made a pirate ship out of recycled toilet rolls. Nope. Just try to relax and have fun. That kid of yours will only turn two once.

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