Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Birthday!

This past week I got to enjoy some family time with my two sisters and their kiddos.  It was a chaotic, wonderful time!  We got to do lots of fun things together, and even managed to fit in a birthday "party" for Nana and Papa!  Here's some photos of our week:

Rachel and Makenzie-15 months

Rachel and Colton (4 yrs)

Zoo day!

It is SO difficult to take a good picture of Rachel, not to mention 4 kids under 4.

Most of them turned out like this...

Or this...
This little monkey can climb up to the computer and click away with the mouse all by herself!

Happy Birthday Mom and Dad! (yes, I know the frosting appears to be leaning off the cake; the 2 1/2 hr drive didn't do it any favors)

My apologies to're gonna have to speak up bud so you can be in some more photos!!

Also, since I usually blog about food, I thought I would conclude with the chocolate cake recipe.  Cakes are actually one of the things I usually prefer to just get a box and whip it up.  Who doesn't love a good French Vanilla cake that can go from pantry shelf to cake plate in a mere 35 minutes?  That being said, I do not love chocolate cake mixes.  No matter what I do they tend to be dry.  My cousin Lydia bought me a Bake Sale cookbook a few years ago and it has a wonderful chocolate cake recipe.  Mom has actually requested this cake a couple of times; if you know my mother, you know that's quite a shout out for this little cake because Mom eats like a bird.  So if you're in the mood for a good chocolate cake, this one definitely fits the bill!

Triple Chocolate Cake:
3/4 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
2/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
3/4 c sour cream
Chocolate Ganache Filling
Easy Chocolate Frosting

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour two 9 in. round cake pans.  Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla until blended.  Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk and sour cream.  Beat well after each addition.  Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.

Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pans 10 minutes.  Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely.  Cut each cake layer in half horizontally. ***Note:  There is definitely more than way to split a cake in half, and there is definitely a best way-buy a wire cake leveler and save yourself some grief.**

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