Ruby’s 5th birthday party

Two cheeky monkeys named Ruby and Zoe, dressed in pink, purple and blue. “Happy birthday, Ruby!” I said. “Ooo oo oh!” said the two monkeys.

Two cheeky monkeys

Two cheeky monkeys, my nieces Ruby and Zoe.

Party gazebo

Hmm… Do you think there might be a party somewhere nearby?

We were celebrating my niece Ruby’s 5th birthday and as usual, friends and family all brought a dish to share. The bite-sized fruit platter, served with tooth picks, proved very popular. Certain party goers insisted on using a new toothpick for each piece of fruit. This required swift and firm Mum interventions.

Zoe grazing at the fruit platter

Zoe grazing at the fruit platter, painstakingly spearing Craisins (dried cranberries) one by one. Ruby’s standing next to her, proudly wearing an “I am 5” badge, holding onto her soft toy cat Bob.

Mini sausage rolls

Mini sausage rolls – dangerously and oh so perfectly mini!

Asian-style pork meatballs

Jac made two different batches of meatballs. First, Asian-style pork meatballs. Adapted from this recipe.

Turkey meatballs

Also, turkey meatballs (no specific recipe). Pretty good, but I liked the pork meatballs better – they had a magic ingredient I can’t get enough of – crunchy water chestnuts.

Mini goat cheese tartlets

Mini goat cheese tartlets. The kids loved these as much as the adults.

By popular demand, mum cooked her hokkien noodles with pork, prawns and cabbage. I’ve posted the recipe before: Mum’s hokkien mee recipe.

Mum's hokkien noodles

Mum’s hokkien noodles with a container of cut fresh chilli (of course!).

Eating noodles

Zoe demonstrates how to eat hokkien mee – enthusiastically and without a hint of self-consciousness!


Time for lollies!

My eldest sister CW brought cheeses, crackers, crusty bread and dried fruit. She poked fresh rosemary and garlic into one of the soft cheeses, drizzled it with a touch of olive oil, then baked it in the oven until hot, gooey and utterly irresistible. I’ve never seen people move so fast to dip crackers! Cheese – it’s a great motivator.

Oven baked cheese

The crowd-pleasing and rapidly diminishing oven baked cheese.

The first cheese was demolished very quickly, and Juji helped get the second soft cheese prepped for the oven. Shortly after this event, Juji and Jay went to Las Vegas and got married. I wrote about their pre-wedding brunch held at their home. Juji’s published her first post about their big trip – see it at her blog Juji Chews.

Preparing the cheese for baking

Preparing another cheese for baking as the vultures (including me) circle.

The second cheese was a pasteurised one and was not as soft and oozy as the first cheese, which was unpasteurised. We all thought this was very interesting indeed – and devoured the second cheese as quickly as we did the first.

Second baked cheese, served with crusty bread

Second baked cheese, served with crusty bread

Every time Zoe blew on her party blower, Caleb would screw up his eyes

Every time Zoe blew on her party blower, Caleb would screw up his eyes. But he really wanted to sit next to her!

My brother (Ruby, Zoe and Caleb’s dad) entertained and delighted the kids with balloon animals and flowers. Ruby got a special flower. Zoe got the first balloon dog of the afternoon and ran over to the other kids, waving it excitedly and saying: “GO SEE MY DADDY!”

Fun with balloons!

The savoury dishes cleared away, out came the sweets!

Lemon meringue pie

Lemon meringue pie.

Caramel slice

Caramel slice.





Caleb was very keen to try a cupcake

Caleb was very keen to try a cupcake.

Ruby’s birthday ‘cake’ was actually ‘cakes’ this year – babushka doll cakes baked by Nanna, with Ruby and Zoe’s help. The girls told me they were vanilla and lemon flavoured cakes.

Birthday babushkas

Birthday babushkas.

Now Caleb’s seen something he wants even more than one of those mini rose-topped cupcakes – a babushka doll cake!

Blowing out the candles

Blowing out the candles. Happy young Mr Grabby in the background, squirming in my mum’s arms.

The birthday girl’s a year older and much wiser, but she still eats cake the same way she always has – picking all the icing off, bit by bit.

Birthday girl

Birthday girl.

I’m off travelling again, this time to Dubai, thanks to Emirates and Dubai Tourism. I’m leaving on 26 October and back in Perth 2 November. Right now I’m working on posts that I plan to schedule to publish while I’m away. For updates and photos from Dubai, follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook. Write-ups of my Dubai travel adventures will follow when I’m back home again.

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