This most definitely is the year of the cactus and I am loving every minute of it.
So naturally, when my bestie of 16 years has a birthday, the party will absolutely need to include cacti…more like, scream cacti. Was my mission accomplished?
Can I just say though, that as much as I love living in Toronto the shortage of foot long cacti is concerning. I had envisioned putting a large one at the back of the table to make a bold statement and to add some height to the table but let me tell you they were nowhere to be found. Y’all, the struggle was beyond real! I realize that I live pretty far from the desert and also that in hind sight there is legitimately zero space on this table for yet another cacti, BUT STILL. It’s upsetting, wouldn’t you agree?
So, I had to improvise. If I’m not going to get the plant itself, might as well have someone make it. And what better way to enjoy a cactus than to make it edible? The answer is no better way. Enter the Bake Shoppe’s immense creativity and delicious cakes. Gahhhh I could talk about these guys for days. For only $37.00 (yes, you heard correctly) they made this delectable beauty. Stacks of chocolate cake are sandwiched between layers of pistachio buttercream. This thing was so light, fluffy and really brought the presentation together.
For a bigger pop of green (and because one dessert will just never do), I added mini cactus and succulent cupcakes. The cuteness factor was threw the roof. Pineapple cupcakes with coconut frosting anyone? (Short & Sweet Bakeshop)
I’m so in love with the combination of peachy-millennial pink, mint and the signature cactus green and knew immediately I needed this blend of colors. Isn’t it just everything? I used my favorite peach linen tablecloth to create the base of color. To give the table a subtle Southwest feel, I haphazardly threw on some fun kitchen towels I have from Queen West Trading Co. (sold at Home Sense). What party is complete without streamers? To add more twinges of peach and mint with a party-feel I used these streamers from Indigo as a backdrop.
My girlfriend is a vegetarian so to ensure she could eat everything on the table, I made all vegetarian dishes and in keeping with the theme, all Southwest dishes. Then again, what party doesn’t have guac? If you are concerned about the extremely small portion on the table, not to worry, I had plenty more in the fridge. And heck-to-the-no, guac ain’t extra in this house. Just in case you weren’t sure…
Can we talk about this queso for a minute? Are you in to melted gueso fresca and Monterrey jack slowly simmered in mixed spices, tomatoes and peppers? If you aren’t, I would say check your vitals STAT because this dip right here is everything. And the queso on top of these sweet potato and blackbean quesadillas are out of this world. Tortilla crusted mozzarella sticks dipped in chipotle salsa isn’t half bad either. Mango salsa and traditional pico de gallo offer a sweeter, variety of flavors to mix and match. Can you tell I’m a dips girl?
Let’s get real though, the essence of any good party is having a pretty, fruity drink in your hand. These watermelon cucumber mojitos by The Girl on Bloor really hit the spot. Toss in a striped paper straw and it’s officially party time!
Scatter fresh cacti around to really top off the look.
Now grab a drink, grab a cupcake and get the party started!
A Cactus Party
- Sweet potato and black bean quesadillas
- Mango Salsa
- Tortilla crusted mozzarella sticks (President’s Choice)
- Queso dip
- Pico de gallo
- Watermelon and cucumber mojitos – The Girl on Bloor
- Cactus cake – Bakeshoppe
- Cactus & succulent cupcakes – Short & Sweet Bakeshop
- Mint and Pink Streamers – Indigo
- Wooden Board – Michael’s
- Cacti Plants – Sheridan Nurseries
- Pink Cocktail Glasses – Ikea
- Straws – Target
- Tablecloth (custom made) – Fabric Fabric