There was a little girl who turned ten in January. She was so looking forward to celebrating her birthday with her friends at The Gentle Barn. But sadly, she broke her leg…and her party had to be postponed. So she waited very patiently until her big day. She was upset that some of her best friends couldn’t come, but excited that many could. She was worried because she was still in a cast and it would be difficult to get around. She was worried that it would rain (her mom was too).
Her mom spent many hours (and many dollars) to create the perfect party setting. The tables were set, the lunch pails put out, and the little girl waited anxiously for all her friends to make the long drive over Vasquez Canyon to the barn. A few of them got lost (we won’t mention any names).
Finally, after all the kids had arrived, Michelle, a volunteer at the Gentle Barn, taught the kids how to feed the horses so the horses wouldn’t mistake their fingers for carrots.
And the little girl discovered that riding on her daddy’s back was a great way to get around the farm.
The kids got to met Buddha, a sweet “miniature” cow that is living out her years at the Gentle Barn after being rescued from slaughter. She loves children and especially loves their hugs. She’s old and arthritic, but gets around pretty well.
And much time was spent loving the goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, peacocks and resident emu up in the barn. Each one was rescued, but is living a happy and safe life today.
Afterwards, everyone gathered around a wishing well, to make a wish for the birthday girl. I wonder what the birthday girl wished for?
As dark clouds filled the sky, the children headed back to the picnic tables to enjoy their lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, and a tangerine…
while the adults sipped sangria, and snacked on salt and pepper potato chips and veggies with green goddess dip. The girl wanted a birthday cake–and one decorated with roses, no less. Since her mom is no cake decorator, she found an easy tutorial on Pinterest (a great place on the internet to
waste time learn new skills). It wasn’t perfect, but it turned out all right.
Her mom also made some cupcakes (recipe to follow) that were pretty scrumptious (there were a lot of mouths to feed).
After the little girl blew out her candles (and presumably made another wish), Magic the horse came out with his trainer to show everyone some of his tricks. Get it? Magic’s tricks?
The little girl got to feed him some carrots (but he what he really, really wanted was a bite of her birthday cake).
Luckily, the rain held off until the very end of the party. The little girl and some friends sought shelter under an umbrella while she opened presents. The girl and her family couldn’t have asked for a better day (or a nicer bunch of friends). Happy belated birthday, sweet Willa!
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup GF AP Flour (or regular AP flour)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 pound (3⅔ cups) confectioners' sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease well with GF cooking spray.
- Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- In a larger bowl, cream butter. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined. Add vanilla extract and mix well.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the sour cream. Beat just until the mixture is evenly moist.
- Fill each muffin cup about ¾ full (I use an ice cream scoop that holds ¼ cup so the batter is evenly distributed). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
- Beat butter until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in sugar, adding the milk if necessary to make it a spreadable consistency. Frost cupcakes as desired.