Eat Cake and Celebrate – Recipe: Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake Cake

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As a family, we celebrate.  We celebrate big, and we celebrate small.

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Yesterday’s birthday celebration was small, but it created big memories.

Memories of my littles so excited to give me the birthday card that they had handmade just for me.  It was filled with the sweetest words. Words that captured my heart.  Words that told me how well they know me and that, each and every day, they are my world.  They are one of the reasons why celebrating birthdays is fun.  It means that I have had another year as their mom.  Another year to celebrate our life as a family.

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Memories of opening presents that they had excitedly gone to the store with Papa to pick out.  And, then returned with cute little smiles, because they had secrets.  Big secrets to them.  Secrets that have proven just how much they have grown…because they kept the secrets for two whole days without telling me what they had bought for me.

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Memories of my amazing chef of a husband patiently cooking dinner, while simultaneously explaining everything that he was doing to the littles and then letting them help with the small things.  It was a lesson for this 39 year old momma, as well.  Slow down.  Enjoy the moment. Do not always be so rushed to get dinner on the table. Or, maybe just let Sean cook more of the meals…

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Memories of a special birthday cake that I made myself.  My family was a bit concerned that I wanted to spend part of my birthday day baking myself a cake.  I knew what I was doing, though, because I knew exactly what I wanted.  The best memory of all came when Gabriel took a bite.  When I asked him if I made the right decision by making it myself, his smile was priceless as he said, “Yes!”

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To say that they day was perfect seems so cliche.  But, it was.  It was perfectly as I had imagined it would be.  The pace was slow and relaxed.  The mood was celebratory and festive.  The day that I was born, my last birthday in my thirties, was exactly as it should be. Family.  Food.  Fun.

I found this cake at Recipe Girl.  I used the exact recipe for the cheesecake and frosting, and then, instead of the red velvet cake part, I used my chocolate cake recipe.

 

Weekend Things – Recipe: Chocolate Sheet Cake

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We had a fantastic weekend.

1.  We went swimming on Friday, which was great fun for all.

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2.  I walked in on this moment between Ethan and Summer.  Even though she can be quite bossy to him, they love each other dearly.

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3.  We received more rain.  After our drought last year, all of this rain has been a huge blessing.

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4.  We celebrated a special man’s birthday.  While he does not like to make a big deal of his birthday, I do. And, this year, it was perfect.  His parents came in for lunch, and my family came in/over to have dinner with us.  Sean smiled the whole day, happily enjoying all of the company.

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5.  Even though I think that it is crazy that the school supplies are already out, we started some back to school shopping yesterday.  Let me explain exactly why.  I stay in denial about the fact that the littles have to go back to school right up until the moment that it happens. I deal with that denial by slowly starting the back to school shopping process early so that I am not rushing to do it the last two weeks of the summer break. Those are weeks that I cherish just having my littles at home with me.

6.  Sweet Gabriel developed an ear infection which landed us at urgent care yesterday afternoon.  While obviously that was not a good part of the weekend, we made the most of it by enjoying our one-on-one time and buying some fun treats at Target while we waited for his THREE prescriptions.  Bless his poor baby heart.

7.  Thankfully, this cake was waiting for me when I got home.  Sean’s favorite dessert is brownies and ice cream.  He said that he either wanted chocolate cake or brownies for his birthday.  I reminded him of the sheet cake that I made once, and he said that I could make that one.  I made it right after I discovered The Pioneer Woman, and I went through a stage where I tried almost everything in her recipe index.  Okay, well, maybe not everything, but I made so many recipes that the typical response was, “This is so good, is it Pioneer Woman again?”  She claims that her sheet cake is the best ever, and I would have to totally agree with her.  It is that good.  Try it for yourself.  For the recipe, click here.

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Have a super week!

 

 

Easter, Birthdays, and Crafting Oh-My – Recipe: Angel Food Cake

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As I am sitting here typing, my mind is churning with all of the things that I need to do today.  My table is covered with crafting supplies for Summer’s birthday.  The closet is stuffed with Easter things.  And, Pinterest is open so that I can menu plan.

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We have a fun Easter weekend followed by a fun special 5-year old girl birthday weekend.  So, even though my mind is churning, my heart is full…and happy…and peaceful.

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I am deciding on desserts for Easter weekend, as well as Summer’s princess tea party. But, the one that I cannot get out of my head is Kristen’s Mom’s Angel Food Cake.  It is truly, truly amazing.   I made it on Sunday, and it was gone by Tuesday.  Gone.  Every single crumb.  Yes, it is that good.

Angel Food Cake

Angel Food Cake

Ingredients

1 cup cake flour

12 egg whites

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1-1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven at 375°
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine cake flour and 3/4 cup sugar plus 2 Tablespoons sugar. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixer (I used my Kitchenaid Mixer) beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until foamy.
  4. Add 3/4 cup sugar (this amount is separate from the amount in the flour mixture), 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high speed until meringue holds stiff peaks. I had to mix mine on high for about 10 minutes before the stiff peaks formed. Remove mixer bowl.
  5. Pour vanilla in mixing bowl, and gently fold into the meringue.
  6. Sprinkle flour/sugar mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, over meringue, folding in gently until flour mixture disappears.
  7. Pour batter into ungreased tube pan.
  8. Gently pound the bottom of the pan on the counter top to remove air pockets.
  9. Bake 30-35 minutes until top is browned and springs back when touched with finger.
  10. Invert pan over funnel (I use the top of a soy sauce bottle) until completely cool.
  11. To serve, slice or cube angel food cake, and add strawberries (or other favorite berries) and whipped cream.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/04/04/easter-birthdays-and-crafting-oh-my-recipe-angel-food-cake/

Enjoy!

I have linked up at the following:

Mrs. Fox’s Sweets for Mrs. Fox’s Sweet Party

Lil’ Luna for Lil’ Luna’s Link Party

Lady Behind the Curtain for Cast Party Wednesday

Polkadots on Parade for Wow Me Wednesday

Sugar and Dots for What I Whipped Up Wednesday

Crazy for Crust for Crazy Sweet Tuesday