Category Archives: Cakes

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Haskap Buttercream

Standard

So.  Again.  It’s been much too long.  I feel like that’s the song I always sing.  But, life gets ahead of you.  Plans change.  Seasons change.  And before you know it, almost a year has gone by since you’ve done a single, solitary blog post!

How can this be?!

DSC_7414

I’ve been doing some thinking in my brain (it’s really hard to make sense of what goes on there sometimes).  I’m thinking about evolving the blog a bit, which is why it has gone untouched for awhile.

Also, my dinosaur of a laptop died.  😦  Wahhhhh.  A new one will hopefully be on the list of purchases for the next few months.

DSC_7411

Let’s get down to business.

There is good reason for this post today.  The cake – immaculate.  It looks soooo good.  It tastes even better!

I couldn’t let another recipe go by, unposted.  Especially this one.  Cake is kind of pound-cakey.  With a hint of lemon and lots of little poppy seeds, making for wonderful crunch.  The frosting!  It is smooth and sweet (like super sweet), with a haskap berry tang.

DSC_7419

I guess I should touch on haskap berries!  They’re high in anthocyanins, vitamin C, phenolic compounds and other antioxidants.  To me, it sounds like blueberries on steroids.  They’re a bit more sour than blueberries, and but are slightly more mellow.  Not sure if that makes sense…  My hubby says that they taste like a mix of blueberries and kiwi.  (But he’s weird, so who knows what they taste like to normal people!)

There’s a company in our area called Haskapa.  I used the jam that they sell in the buttercream.  🙂

There’s your lesson pour la jour.

DSC_7416

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

This recipe has been adapted from a recipe by Oh Honey Bakes .

  • 1 cup, plus 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1½ c buttermilk, or 1 1/4 cup milk with 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

Beat the butter and sugar together until they’re nice and fluffy (and yummy).  Add the eggs, two at a time, and beat well.  Add vanilla and lemon juice.

Mix together dry ingredients.  Alternate buttermilk and flour mixture, and mix until batter is light and soft-looking.

It’s really as easy as that!

Bake for 20 minutes, and then check every 3 minutes for up to 12.

Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Haskap Buttercream Icing

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2-3 heaping tbsp haskap jam (depending on preference – I used 3)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups icing sugar

Beat butter until creamy.  Add in jam and vanilla.  (You can always add more jam in later, if you want more yummmmmy taste.)

Alternate icing sugar and milk, until you have a nice, rich buttercream.  If it seems to runny, add more icing sugar. If it’s too thick, add some more milk.  Again.  Super easy.

Frost cake as you wish!  (With ALL the icing!)  Or leave some in the bowl to eat as a snack.  You will need a glass of milk.

Enjoy!

 

To the kids!  I couldn’t post after almost a year and not include some kids pictures, so here they be!

DSC_0008

Jude – The Easter Egg Fiend

 

DSC_7395

Cael – enjoying a nice sunny day. (Which are few and far between.)

DSC_7263

Briar. Growing up so much!

Advertisements

[Another] Wedding Cake, a Gorgeous Bride, and Some Cute Boys.

Standard

So.  As I can’t seem to post regularly, let’s just get to the point and say…  I cannot post regularly.  It seems an impossibility.  And that’s alright.  I was thinking today, one of the main reasons I started this blog, was to feel like I still had something to do and say other than babies.  It was right after Cael was born, I had just finished university, and my life had made a drastic change from university and work… to everything baby.  This blog kept me sane.  And while I still love it, and it might become a sanity-thing for me again in the future, right now it’s just a thing I do when I feel like it.  No pressure.  Anyhow.  That was my HUGE realization of the day, after feeling bad (once again), for not posting.  Ever.

Lemon curd

But here’s how I make it up to you.  With wedding cakes, wedding pictures, and the cutest boys ever!

Oh.  And some wonderful news!

Baby numero three will be joining us early November!  That was worth waiting for, eh?

Wedding cake

On to the cake.  This was for one of my best friends ever.  And she had free-reign over what kind of cake she could have.  Obviously.  She was the bride.  But this was epic.  For me anyway.  Three-tiered goodness.  Chocolate cake sandwiched with peanut butter cream cheese frosting.  Followed by white cake with a lemon curd filling.  And topped with white on white.  All completely covered in white and daisies.  Super cute, super yummy.  What more could you want?  Really.

Wedding cake

Another cool this about this wedding was that I got to travel to a warmer place.  All the way to North Carolina.  Which was pretty cool.  Actually, it was wonderfully warm.  Especially since it hasn’t gone over 10C here in weeks (except for that one random day).

Sarah and Drew

Sarah was a beautiful bride in her lovely lace dress.  So gorgeous.  Got to meet up with another best friend that I hadn’t seen in quite awhile (you’ll remember her from this wedding cake).  Which was super great.  Super duper great.

Since then, we’ve had my birthday, a trip to the zoo, and rain.

Cael

Cael found the 3D glasses from a movie. Bug eyes.

Jude

Jude eating breakfast like a champion.

And that’s that!  Maybe next time I’ll have some belly pictures and a recipe for ya!  That’d be nice, eh?  Maybe.  Here’s to hoping.

Update. And a Birthday (or Two).

Standard

Alors.  It has been much too long since I last posted.  Which really seems to be a theme for me.  And may very well continue to be a theme.  But such is my life.  Full of procrastination and lovely things.  I believe that it was early December the last time I posted, and while I will try not to bore you with too many details, and update on life is needed!

Image

*Warning:  You may be bombarded with pictures in this post…*

December went by in a flash, as it is wont to do.  So much food, and great company, so many lights, presents, and giggles.  Jude loved his first Christmas, and Cael really appreciated it this year for the first time.  Christmas morning was exciting for all of us.  Not to mention how cute they were in their pajamas opening their stockings.

(Side story:  I had sewn stockings for the three of us, and had material for one for Jude.  However, the closer it got to Christmas, the more determined those stockings were to not be discovered.  So.  No handmade stockings being filled this year.  About 2 days after Christmas, guess what I found?  You guessed it.  Right [not] on time….  Story of my life.  But it’s okay.  They’re actually somewhere that I WILL find them next year.  I will.)

January brought in much more snow and Jude’s first birthday!  This little dude decided he would learn to walk that week, and he hasn’t looked back.  Watch out world.  Jude is here.  And he is 100% mobile.  We had cake and friends over to celebrate.  You’d have thought it was Cael’s birthday though, when you walked in, because he was loving the party for all he was worth.

Image

{Homemade Ice Cream Cake for birthday numero uno}

Image

Image

February.  (How in the world is it February?!) It is flying by like every other month seems to.  My mother turned the big 5-0.  And we partied!  Surprise party, actually.  Much of that week was planning, booking a surprise flight for one of my brothers, cooking, and trying to conceal it all.  Turns out, she had no sweet clue.  We [somehow] sat 35 people in my parent’s living room for a meal, plus probably 15 kids and other adults roaming the house.  Much fun, but I was zonked when it was over.  Lots of help from my brothers and friends, which was amazing.

Image

{Mom’s 50th – an inferno}

The week following, was Hubby’s birthday.  A cake was baked.  And this will be the foodness I’ll be sharing.  Because I’ve made it many times before, and it’s a hit every time.  First though.  I’m super thankful for my hubby.  He is great.  The best friend ever.  Best everything ever.  And I really don’t know what I’d do without him.  Happy birthday to him!

Image

Now, on to the cake.  It’s a chocolate cake, coffee infused.  Sour cream frosting, also with chocolate and coffee.  It makes for a moist, deep chocolate, coffee-laden cake.  And it’s good.  The boys like it, hubby likes it, I like it.  We are all happy.

Image

Mocha Cake

So, the cake is actually the same as this chocolate cake, with one exception.  Instead  of the hot water, you use strong, hot coffee.

On to the frosting.  Sour cream makes for a great tang and texture.  It’s actually lovely.  And I probably ate some of it by the spoon. No, maybe not ‘probably’, more like ‘most definitely’.

Mocha Sour Cream Frosting

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 tbsp hot coffee

1/3 cup sour cream

2 cups icing sugar

Melt butter and chocolate chips on stovetop or in the microwave.  Stir in coffee and sour cream until smooth.  Add icing sugar.  This will probably be runny…  Throw it in the fridge for a bit.  Until it comes to spreading consistency.  Eat it with a spoon, or frost your cake!

Then I actually took the time to photograph it.  Which really hasn’t been happening much at all lately.

Image

Shout out to the doily you see:  I have a post about it here.  I just have it folded over a bit to fit the table.  Love it though.  I’m definitely going to make another.  Supplies are had, time is needed.   (Which should be my new mantra…)

Image

Thanks for reading!  It really feels good to be back.  And thanks to the lady who asked me recently if I’ve been writing… it inspired me.

Dark Chocolate Buche de Noel

Standard

This post is thanks to leftovers (because technically, I should be making supper right now, but HALLELUJAH – I HAVE LEFTOVERS!  And good ones at that!), and someone who told me today she’d been reading my blog.  That does wonders for my motivation.  So does chocolate.  Dark Chocolate Christmas Logs.  In the summer.  It is only 6 months till Christmas, by the way.  You can hit me now.  I’ve been singing Christmas carols since May.  Man.  I think something may be wrong with me.  Help!

Dark Chocolate Buche de Noel

{The final product.  So good.  Seriously.}

So, I made this one ages ago, and it was sooo good.  But I have this lazy gene, and it prohibited me to take the time to write out the whole recipe…  But I’ve decided to fight that nasty gene and just do it.  It’s totally worth it.  And before you say, “Hey Kayleigh, this looks like a lot of work… I don’t have time!”, let me just tell you that yes, you DO indeed have time for this particular recipe.  Even if you don’t, you’ll find time, make time even.  Add an extra hour to your already full 24-hr day.  Do it.  Who needs sleep?  (That’s what always gets put on the back burner for me.)  This log of chocolate goodness is just yelling to be made, and more importantly, eaten.  I think I made it for Thanksgiving last year (told you it was ages ago!  Wow!), and it was enjoyed by all who ate it.  Like, more than enjoyed.  There were lots of sighs and grunts of pleasureful eating.  I might even be making up words here.  How about, plenjoyfeating (pleasure-enjoy-ful-eating)?  I think that about describes it.  Of course, if you don’t like chocolate, you may not like this (and I might not like YOU!).  Really though, I’d still like you.  I’d just wonder what part of your brain wasn’t working quite right, and if that affected any other likings to awesome food-things.

There are a lot of different steps to this recipe.  Don’t let that scare you away.  Just don’t.

Roll her up!

{Make the jelly roll cake, roll it up in a dish towel so it doesn’t crack after you fill it!}

Okay, now I’ll type out that recipe.  Please make this.  If you don’t, please call me.  I’ll make it.  You’ll come over.  We’ll plenjoyfeat it together.  Pretty please with a dark chocolate covered strawberry on top.  (I’ll take any excuse to make a dessert, really.)

Chocolate crackle.  YUM!

{Melt chocolate.  Cool it.  Crackle it!  Soooo much chocolate!}

Dark Chocolate Buche de Noel

Slightly adapted from Canadian Living Holiday Favourites 2011

Cake:

1/4 cup milk

2 Tbsp butter

3/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

5 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 Tbsp icing sugar

Place milk and butter in a bowl, and microwave until butter is melted.  Stir, keep warm.  In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.  Separate 3 eggs, dropping yolks and white into separate bowls.  Beat egg whites until foamy; beat in 1/4 cup sugar, about 1 Tbsp at a time, until soft peaks form.  Beat together egg yolks and remaining eggs and sugar until pale and thick enough that batter leaves ribbons on surface when beaters are lifted, about 5 minutes.  Fold in egg whites.  Add flour, fold until combined.  Pour in milk mixture, fold in until blended.  Spread in 15×10-inch parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheet.  Bake in 350F oven until golden and cake springs back when lightly touched, about 12 minutes.  Loosen edges with knife, and flip onto a flour-covered dish towel.  Carefully peel off paper, and roll cake, starting from the short side.  Let cool on rack.

Frosting coated!

{Make chocolate frosting and coat the cake.  So much goodness.  Don’t be perfect.  Nobody will notice that you put most of the frosting on the end that you’re going to eat…}

Icing:

1 cup margarine, softened

1/3 cup whipping cream

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups icing sugar

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate, melted, and cooled

In a bowl, beat butter, slowly adding whipping cream, and vanilla.  Beat in icing sugar, 1 cup at a time.  Beat in chocolate until fluffy.

Roll it up!

{Roll it up!  It should be super easy if you rolled it up in a dishtowel earlier}

Chocolate Bark Crackle:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate

Melt chocolate in a double-boiler, or in the microwave, stirring occasionally.  Pour into 15×10-inch parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes.  Break or tear chocolate into pieces.  Arrange on a tray, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm.

Add some more CHOCOLATE

{Add some more chocolate.  Why not?  You need something to stick that crackle to anyhow…}

Unroll the cake, spread with 1 1/2 cups icing.  Re-roll without towel, and place (seam down) on a serving dish.  Cover with remaining icing.  Stick chocolate crackle to the icing.  Sprinkle with icing sugar.  Refrigerate until cold.  Voila!  C’est ca!

Who else is enjoying this Maritime summer weather?  A week of gorgeous sunny, warm weather, followed by a week of dreary, cold, gray days.  Oh well.  At least it’s not all dreary.  Last week, me and my sidekick had breakfast, coffee and bubbles on the doorstep, while Daddy and Jude slept in.

Coffee and nectarines on the doorstep

I hope these days never end.  Spending time like that with my kids is amazing.  I’m super thankful that I can take the time to do that.  God pours his blessings down in so many different ways.  Amazing.  And time just goes by so fast, it’s insane.  Thanks for those long summer days.

Mommy and super boy!

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Standard

Yummo!  (That’s what Sid the Sloth from Ice Age would say.  How do I know this?  Well, we’ve probably watched Continental Drift 100 times in the last few months, that’s how.  Cael has favourite-movie-streaks.)

Rhubarb is in season, so the time to use it is now!  And it’s sooo good.  Sweet, but with a balancing, tart bite to it.  Put it in a cake with some sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and you have [as close as you can get to] perfection!  Now, I hear that some people don’t even know what rhubarb is.  To those, I have GOT to say, GO find some and try it!  Baked goods with rhubarb are awweesssoommmmeee *sing-song-y voice*!

Rhubarb is chopped!

I’ve made this cake twice so far, and it was a hit both times with both groups.  Can I just say that it is super yummy?  Because it is.  Cael loved it too!  He helped me make the first one.  I absolutely love working with him in the kitchen.  It’s super fun.  We made muffins the other day (recipe to come, perhaps?), and he was stirring and licking spatulas while doing a crazy dance number to Michael Buble’s new CD.  How much fun can you have?  How lucky am I?  Two sweet little guys, helping Mommy bake.  (And they are the cutest.  Ever.)  {Making muffins with Mommy below!}

Helping Mommy with muffins

Back to the cake.  So I made this in a tube pan.  The recipe called for a bundt, but I’m really glad I used a tube, because I think it would have been hard to get out of a bundt.  Your choice, of course.

Add that rhubarb!

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Adapted slighty from Hodge Podge: A Collection from the St. John’s Anglican Church

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup margarine, softened

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

2 cups well-floured, chopped rhubarb

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch salt

Dash nutmeg

For this cake, you can totally go old-school and use a wooden spoon.  Do it.  Feel old school.  Mix sugar and margarine (with your wooden spoon) together well.  Add eggs, salt, and vanilla.  Mix in flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and milk.  Add rhubarb.  Sprinkle with ample brown sugar and cinnamon.  Bake in a well-greased tube or bundt pan for 50 minutes at 350.  (Or until the middle is set.  Stupid finicky ovens!)

Ready to bake.

As I’m copying this recipe down, I’m looking at the cookbook from whence it came.  And it was submitted by my grandmother!  Who knew?  I could have just gotten the recipe from her.  I thought it seemed a bit familiar!  Oh my…

As always, I’ve got to share some baby smiles.

Daddy and the boys

{Daddy playing with the two boys on his lap.  They have so much fun together already!  Best daddy ever.}

Enjoy the rest of your week!  Make this cake.  Eat it for breakfast.  It will make your day better, I promise.  (If you enjoy it with a hot cup of coffee, or tea [or HOT CHOCOLATE], you might possibly have a very awesome day.

Finito!

Finito!

Wedding

Sorry this is such a smorgasbord of things today, but I really wanted to say Happy 3rd Anniversary to my hubs.  I cannot believe how fast those 3 years have gone!  He’s the best, most handsome hubby around.  Not to mention amazing friend and daddy.  I love you babe.

Fondant and a Wedding Cake

Standard

Spring is here (for today anyway)!  It’s sunny and a high of 12C.  Not warm to some of you, but it feels pretty great to me!

Wedding Cake

So this has been a long time coming.  I’ve been meaning to post it since early December, but of course, haven’t.  A friend of ours got married, just a small, very quaint wedding, and she asked me to make the cake.  Numero dos on the wedding cakes for me.  First one was for a friend in August, but that one was with buttercream.  This was my first attempt at fondant [EVER], and I made the fondant myself from scratch.  Which was pretty sweet, slightly nerve-wracking, and yummy!  I liked the taste quite a bit more than pre-made, bought fondant.

I used a pound cake recipe for the cake, and made 4 layers (2 bigger, 2 smaller).

Bottom layers

Then I made a peanut butter cream filling for in between layers.  Coated it with buttercream, and then layered the fondant on top.

Fondant, second layer

Then decorated with blue coloured buttercream.  It was quite the process, even for a small cake.

Wedding cake

Marshmallow Fondant Recipe

You can find one very similar to the one I used at HowDoesShe.  Check it.

Hats!

{Daddy and baby strutting their hats.}

Wedding baking

Standard

I just thought I’d do a little post on the baking I did for my friend, Ivy’s, wedding.  It was in August, so this post is a tad late in coming.  But better late than never!  …Right?

Warning – there are going to be many photos in this post!  🙂  Enjoy!

She asked me to make her cake (I was honoured… and VERY nervous), and to make & decorate 50 cupcakes.  So I said sure!

It was a slightly crazy week.  We had decided to start ripping apart our bathroom, so all that was (… and still is) functional in our bathroom, was our toilet.  Bathtub gone, sink gone.  New drywall in, and floors and walls getting ripped up.  Window (which makes me cry to think about) ripped out (it was the only way to fit a shower in…).  And the groom stayed with us for the week before the wedding.  And then one of the groomsmen for a few nights.  On couches/the floor.  Poor guys.

Plus, of course, there were wedding preparations, rehearsals, spending time with the bride (as I hadn’t seen her for months!), and all the other routine things that happen everyday in my life.  Like, work, baby, family, cleaning, cooking, being preggo, etc, etc, etc.  It was actually a really great week.  I was exhausted by the end of the wedding, but it was definitely worth it.

So, here are a few pictures of the cake – it was based off of a cake we found on Pinterest (of course).  Ivy’s wedding colours were a mustardy-brown, seafoam green, and cream/white.  They turned out beautifully together, and the cake followed the theme.

It was a three-layered cake.  Two chocolate layers, sandwiching a vanilla layer.  With a mocha custard in between the bottom layers, and a deep, dark chocolate buttercream between the top two layers.

 

Then.

Buttercream frosting.  Seafoam, of course.  I got the perfect colour…  somehow.

Here is the imperfect crumb coat.  Good colour though, eh?

And now onto the details.  Also imperfect, but I wasn’t aiming on perfection.  So we’re all good.

Keep in mind – I was doing this the night before the wedding…. late.  And tired.  So.  I think it went fairly well considering.  I was almost expecting a breakdown and a spoon or two being launched across the kitchen, tears, screaming….  but I got it done.  First try.  And pretty happy with it too.

Just one more shot of the cake, I promise.  Then we’ll move onto cupcakes!

So, for cupcakes, we went with chocolate and white.  Simple.  50 of ’em.

 

Frosted with chocolate, seafoam, and coral buttercream.  Except in this buttercream, I used half shortening, half margarine.

I didn’t get any awesome pictures of the decorated cupcakes.  This will just have to do.

 

Here’s a picture of the lovely bride and her new beau, with her family, on the wedding day!

 

And some pictures of my little family (the lighting wasn’t great in the church at the reception, but they turned out pretty great anyhow).

 

Did I mention that I was a bridesmaid?  Great dress huh?  Cute little boy and handsome hubby too.

And at last – a photo of my baby bump.  This was at about 20 weeks.  I’m 26 weeks along now.  And bigger.

The dress did a great job of covering it.  Nobody would have even known I was pregnant unless I pulled it in tight below my stomach.

And last, but not least:

Baby and Mommy.

Thanks guys – hope you enjoyed!  Later days.

 

 

 

 

PanCAKE

Standard

So the past weekend was slightly insane (which seems to be the norm around here…).  It seemed like go, go, go.  But I think it was mostly my emotions being taken on a hormonal rollercoaster ride.   (ie.- I found out for sure that I’m having another baby!)  So now you know!  🙂

But truly, it was a busy weekend.  My poor mother fed me and mine 3 times in the run of the weekend, and we had 2 BBQs, so I didn’t do a whole lot of cooking.  I was in charge of dessert for both BBQs, and somehow managed to ruin both of them.  I saved them, but man…  It wasn’t a weekend for baking for me (apparently!).  Other than the meals, we went for a date on Friday, then we made a small [1 hour both ways] road trip to Costco on Sunday.  Yesterday was fairly calm.  We took Cael to the duck pond, which was fun (and sunny, which was wonderful).  And I decided to paint out a closet in our house to convert it to a bookcase.

And then there was this week…  It was just a right off.  Between being tired and nauseous (thanks to pregnancy…) and just getting the regular day-to-day stuff accomplished, let’s just say I didn’t feel overly motivated.  Anyhow!  My motivation has returned (at least for the moment) so here goes!

Found this one on Pinterest.  Loved it.  Who wouldn’t love chocolate pancakes piled on top of each other with whipped cream in between?  It’s a MUST love.  And the chocolate pancakes are great by themselves too…  (I may have possibly messed up the first few and eaten them… may have…)

Chocolate Pancake Cake

Recipe found on ZoomYummy.com  (it has been VERY slightly modified by me)

1 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

4 heaping Tbsp cocoa

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 tsp salt

4 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup whipping cream

4 Tbsp icing sugar

Chocolate sauce

Sliced orange for garnish (optional)

Combine vegetable oil, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla.  Mix until combined.

Add cocoa, and stir.

Stir in flour and baking powder.  Stir until smooth.

Spray a pan with oil, (or if you don’t use spray oil, just put some oil in…).  Heat it up, and add about 1/2 cup of the batter to the pan.  I found that if you put any less than that, it was a real battle to flip the pancake without a disaster occurring.

Cook until bubbles start to form, then flip.  Once it is done (both sides should be dry, and not look batter-y), continue the same with the rest of the batter.

Let your pancakes cool, completely.

While you’re waiting, beat together whipping cream and icing sugar.  Beat until firm peaks form.

To put the cake together, simply layer pancakes and whipped cream.  If you aren’t serving it right away, keep it in the fridge.  I would wait until right before you serve the cake to drizzle the chocolate syrup and add the garnish.  (That way it looks more fresh, less mess.)

Thanks ZoomYummy for the great recipe!

I would highly advise you make this – it is super yummy.  And not too heavy either.  You could even have it for breakfast!  (Pancakes!!)

Hope you enjoy.  Have a great rest-o-the-weekend!

What’s your favourite thing to do when the weather starts to warm up?

Happy Birthday Daddyo!

Standard

I had a great weekend.  I know this post is late in coming, but I have been feeling slightly exhausted…  So that’s my excuse.  There you have it folks, Kayleigh is exhausted.  But getting better.  🙂

Back to my weekend.  My parents went away for the night on Friday, so I was going to keep my youngest brother for the night.  I had the [brilliant!] idea of inviting his best friend over, and her little sister ended up joining us too.  So I actually had some female company for once, and we weren’t outnumbered, which was really weird, but great.

This is our story.  Friday night, we had s’mores on my new fire pit thing (that my wonderful parents-in-law bought me for my birthday) – the kids loved it.  And I LOVED watching them have fun.  They snuggled up on the driveway with blankets and roasted marshmallows and stuffed their faces.

Then we came inside and they snuggled in to watch ‘The Quest for Camelot’ (my most favourite movie ever).

Then came bedtime (midnight).  (One of my other brothers decided to crash here that night too (he was in for it… keep reading, haha)).  One slept on a couch, two on the floor, and my brother took the other couch.  I didn’t hear them at all until 7 the next morning (I got to sleep in!!).  However, my brother wasn’t quite so lucky.  Apparently, they had been awake since 5:30.

Anyhow, I got them settled into another movie (Robin Hood) and they enjoyed some ‘baby tea’** while I started cleaning up and getting ready for breakfast.   After the movie, breakfast still wasn’t ready, so they took some chalk to the driveway and coloured it up.

**Baby tea is really milked down, sugared up tea.  About 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 cup tea and fill to the top with milk.  Kids love it, and get to feel ‘grown up’ too.

Breakfast menu – Homemade waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, smoothies and perked coffee (for those old enough to have it).  Breakfast went great.

The youngest girl told me that ‘You make the best waffles ever!’  Then she thought about it for another minute, and decided she’d better not say that, so she changed to, ‘You make the second best waffles ever (after Mommy)’.

I thought it was pretty cute.  After breakfast, we went for a walk, and then made cards for my Dad for his birthday.  Then their mom came and picked them up, and I had to get started on my dad’s birthday supper and cake!  Whew.  What a day.

So – my father had a birthday and I want to share his cake with you!

He requested a Hershey recipe that he loves to make (and eat too, apparently!).

The link to the recipe is here.  I’ll type it out for you too though.  I did make a few changes to the buttercream icing, so I’ll give you my version of that.  🙂  Hope you enjoy!  The icing is amazing – just to warn you.

Oh oh oh!  And I used my Kitchen Aid Mixer for the first time ever!  It was really awesome.  I can’t wait to use it again.  I know, I know, you’re probably asking yourselves why I haven’t used it before.  Well, I am slightly old school, and a tad lazy.  Old school:  I tend to use a wooden spoon or a hand mixer for a lot of things (but I just couldn’t for cake, it needed a REAL tool).  And lazy:  I just didn’t want to drag the mixer over to my counter (it won’t reach the plug in my under-sized kitchen) and then have to clean all the parts…  *sigh.  But it was totally worth it.

Hershey’s Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup boiling water

I’ll give you my directions, as I make things differently than most recipes tell you to…  I just can’t follow directions!

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cream together sugar and vegetable oil.  Add eggs, vanilla, and salt, and beat well.  Add cocoa and boiling water.  Mix until combined.  Mix in milk.  Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and stir until smooth.

Pour into two 9×9 cake pans that have been greased and floured.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let them cool for about 10 minutes, and then take them out of the pans and cool them on wire racks.  Frost with One Bowl Chocolate Buttercream Icing.

One Bowl Chocolate Buttercream Icing

1/2 cup margarine, softened

2 2/3 cups icing sugar

3/4 cup cocoa
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
Beat butter until smooth.  Add the rest of the ingredients, and beat until smooth.  If it’s too runny, add more icing sugar, and if it’s too thick, add some more milk!  Easy as that.  Now frost that cake.
It’s sooo good.  I hope you really like it.  And I’d use the icing on just about any recipe that you need chocolate icing for – it’s super good.
Happy birthday Daddyo!
What kind of cake is your absolute fave?

Happy Birthday To MEEE!

Standard

So, it was my birthday yesterday, and I had a request for a birthday post.  I do realize that it’s not my birthday today, so technically, this is the day-after-my-birthday post.  But I warned her that I would probably be late in doing this…  I enjoyed every second of my birthday doing other things.  🙂

{I think Cael had a good day too.}

I’m getting on in my journey towards 30, which is pretty crazy.  I had decided a long time ago, that I really wanted to reach 20, but after that, I would just stay 20 forever.  So let’s just say I’m 20.  And I’ll say that forever.  Sounds pretty good to me.  What do you think?  Will it work?  Will it have staying power?

Aging is not actually something that bothers me.  I love getting older.  And I think I always will.  It means that I’ve made it through another year.  And this past year was pretty exciting.  I had my first baby [EVER!], and we bought our first house.  I’d say that’s a fairly productive year (if you were going to ask me what I thought…).

So to my birthday!  It was awesome!  I always feel let-down by birthday (well, not always, but sometimes).  Because you wait for them all year, and then they’re not entirely awesome, and then it’s a day gone and you have to wait 365 more days until the next one.  But yesterday when I woke up, I decided that I was going to make it a good day.  It’s all about how you think, and how your heart is.  Wake up with a prayer and sunshine outside your window, and I’d say it’s going to be a pretty good day.  I got an awesome hug from my hubby first thing, and then went to my mother’s house for a shower!  For those who don’t know, we don’t have a shower at our new house, so this was a really great thing.

Then, I made the frosting and filling for my birthday cake!  Mom had already made the chocolate cake.  I made myself a hot chocolate, and helped myself to lots of the chocolate cream cheese frosting.  Then I had my dad’s amazing chili for lunch, and Cael, Mom, and I walked back to my house, stopping to visit my grandparents along the way.

Keep reading, the awesome continues.

{Don’t you love the scarf?!  It was a gift from an amazing family.}

After I put Cael down for a nap, I was going to go outside to clean up a garbage mess that some rambunctious raccoons had made through the night.  BUT, on my way down the driveway, an amazing family came barreling up in their minivan. With tidings of the best coffee ever, homemade birthday cards and origami, a present AND cookies.  Like, the best day ever, right?

Over coffee and cookies, we hung out and talked for quite awhile.  Eventually, I lost track of a few of the boys in the family, and they came in my door bearing a bag with all of the garbage!  They picked it up for me!  Yay!  So happy at this point.

Soon came suppertime at my parent’s house, with all my family, and a friend.  Do you know what the best dinner ever is (in my books)?  It consists of BBQ chicken, BBQ potato slices, vegetables, Greek salad, corn bread, and butternut squash.

{Dad makes these – my Grampie’s recipe.  Don’t they look awesome?  And my crazy little bro… haha}

Followed by my favourite cake EVER.  Let me describe this cake to you.  This chocolate cake recipe, made into three layers.  The layers are filled with whipped cream, and then the whole cake is iced with chocolate cream cheese icing.  Pretty close to perfect.  Mind you, the cake never stands up quite straight, but that does nothing to how wonderful it tastes.

Then, there were presents.  Enough said.

Around 9 o’clock, I convinced my hubby to watch a chick flick with me.  Flicked through Netflix, and chose Vanity Fair.  I must say, it was pretty good.  He was bored, but oh well.  My birthday, right?  😉  (Thanks babe for watching it with me.)

So there you have it.  That is most of my birthday summed up in, well…  I guess it wasn’t really summed up.  Quite detailed actually.  Oh well.

Here’s the recipe for the cake!

Cream Cheese Trifle Cake

One chocolate cake, made into three layers

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows)

Whipped Cream Filling (recipe follows)

Place first cake layer on a plate, top with whipped cream.  Repeat for next layer.  After you’ve placed your third layer on, coat the entire cake with the chocolate cream cheese icing.  The more you can slap on, the better.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

1 pkg cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup margarine, softened

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 heaping Tbsp cocoa

3 cups icing sugar

Cream the cream cheese, margarine, and vanilla together.  Add cocoa and sugar, and beat until smooth.  Frost that cake!

Whipped Cream Filling

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1/2 cup icing sugar

Whip together until firm peaks appear.  Fill that cake!  Do it.

Enjoy.  It’s really the best thing since sliced toast bread.  (That actually went through my brain, I had to write it.  Toast is completely different from bread, right?)

30 Day Challenge

Day 4 – Your views on religion

Religion, as such, is not something I believe in.  Religion is performing acts to achieve a purpose, normally eternal peace, life, etc.  Works does not get you these things.  Obedience does not get you these things.  The sole way to salvation is through Christ Jesus; believing in Him, that He died for you, that you’re a sinner and he can reconcile that.

“I am the way the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me”  John 14:6

He is the only way.  You can never work your way into heaven.  There is no possible way we can be good enough on our own.  Only through Christ’s death and His covering of our sins, can we come to God.