Zoe’s 6th birthday

My niece Zoe turned 6 recently. This year, we celebrated with a birthday afternoon tea. The party menu consisted of items all specially requested by Zoe:

Could Mah-Mah please make rice porridge with meatballs, Aunty Con and Uncle Mike baked Camembert, Aunty Cyn and Aunty Jac little sausages, Aunty Juj and Uncle Jay maple cinnamon scrolls, and Nanna apricot balls…

Zoe's birthday cardsSome of Zoe’s birthday cards

The kids made the flower arrangement for the table. The ‘little sausages’ Jac and I brought were beef and pork chipolatas, which we served with smokey barbecue sauce and Angela’s homemade tomato sauce.


Aunty Con and Uncle Mike were both sick and couldn’t come to afternoon tea, so Ruby, Mah-Mah and Aunty Juji prepared the Camembert for the oven.

Ruby helps Mah-Mah and Auntie Juji prepare the Camembert for baking

Our baked Camembert is based on Jamie Oliver’s ‘Beautiful Baked Camembert’ recipe, but we leave out the nutty cranberry crumbles and double the garlic.

Nanna's apricot balls Nanna’s extremely moreish apricot balls

Juji's cinnamon maple scrolls Juji’s pull-apart cinnamon maple scrolls

Big bun bite Big bun bite

Caleb is in love...with his cinnamon bun Caleb is in love…with his cinnamon bun

Choc chips for the babycino Choc chips for the babycino


Camembert with rosemary, garlic and olive oil, ready for dipping. Hot camembert with rosemary, garlic and olive oil, fresh out of the oven!

Secret mischievous whispering with Uncle Jay Secret mischievous whispering with Uncle Jay

A retaining wall of crackersUncle Jay and Auntie Juji helped build a retaining wall of crackers.

Zoe had first go at the hot cheese and crackers, then we carefully passed it around the table.

Happiness is... Happiness is… being the birthday girl with a birthday baked Camembert!

Uncle Jay helps out

A Camembert cheese cracker sandwich! Zoe explains to me how to make a Camembert cheese cracker sandwich.

When the cheese was all but destroyed, we took a break so Zoe could open her birthday presents (with help from Ruby and Caleb, of course). This year, Jac and I got Zoe LEGO. She’s really into the City Police sets, so we got her the High Speed Police Chase, with a policeman and patrol car, and two crims (one male, one female) on trail bikes.

Opening birthday presents.

Zoe’s birthday cake was a pineapple upside-down cake. One of my favourites, lucky for me!

Pineapple upside down cake

We all sang happy birthday. Ruby pointed out that by lighting the number 6 candle, there were actually 7 candles on the cake. Zoe didn’t mind. Less counting, more singing!

Singing happy birthday



Caleb could hardly bear waiting to get his piece of cake. Oh, the agony!

Slicing up the cake

Happy 6th birthday, Zoe!

zoe-6I made a birthday tribute for Zoe with a photo from each of her previous birthday parties… she’s so grown up now compared to that very first birthday party. It’s the same for Ruby and Caleb too. I’m glad I can capture some of that.

PS. In case you noticed one menu item was missing from the photos – the kids ate Mah-Mah’s rice porridge (congee) with pork meatballs for dinner and had the leftovers for breakfast the next day.

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  • axosmook

    Happy Birthday to Zoe! I also have a niece named Zoe(y). In the United States we usually have an extra candle on the cake (to grow on)! Does the fresh rosemary soften up after baking? I almost never cook with it because I hate removing it from the stems and chopping it up.

    • I like the idea of an extra candle to grow on. Sorry about the lateness of my reply to your comment! No, the rosemary doesn’t soften up that much. I’m not a fan of chewing on ‘hard’ herbs but the flavour and fragrance they impart on the cheese is amazing.

  • I love your family celebration photos! Happy birthday to Zoe ~ she looks so grown up. And her food choices are so grown up with that baked Camerbert! (Which, incidentally, may be making an appearance at my own house, it looks so delicious.)

    • Cheers, Michelle. She’s always had ‘grown-up’ tastes in food, I think because we (her family) have given her opportunity to taste all sorts of foods from a young age. I remember how enthusiastically she devoured smoked salmon at the age of two, for example!

  • Krissy

    I love the photos of her over the years! What a wonderful present! I want baked Camembert now *drools on keyboard*

    • Yes, unfortunately, looking at pictures of baked Camembert conjures up the worst cravings. I get them every time I look at the pictures.

  • Cindy M

    Happy birthday, Zoe! :-) Can’t believe she’s six already. :-) What excellent taste in food; and no wonder! Doubt I could have picked out such a delicious menu at that age. ;-) Those apricot balls…wow. And the cinnamon-maple scrolls – especially with sausage on the side! Everything, like usual, looks fabulous. Love the homemade cards! Glitter…what fun glitter is, in childhood. ;-) Last but not least…pineapple upside-down cake, yay! Always a treat, and an unmatched scent when taken from the oven. I always serve it with freshly whipped cream.

    • The kids have been exposed to all sorts of interesting foods from a young age, which I think is great. The apricot balls are easy to just keep eating – they’re perfectly sized for that!

      • Cindy M

        Yes, it’s wonderful, the “food intelligence” Ruby, Zoe, and Caleb have been given. Back home for us, it was “meat and potatoes.” Authentic Italian-style spaghetti was “ooooooo.” ;-p And didn’t have my first taco until age 11?