Posts Tagged ‘Birthdays’

Baking, Lately

March 29, 2014

If you know me at all you probably have an idea about how much I love to bake, if you don’t know me then this post should make it obvious, ha! Here’s a look at some things I’ve baked and managed to document over the past few months.

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I’m quickly gaining a reputation for these sugar cookies and to be honest they really are the most delicious sugar cookies you’ll ever gobble down. The secret is in the recipe (found here), it uses powdered sugar instead of regular granulated sugar which gives the dough a soft, pillow-y texture and helps the cookie to hold its shape during baking.

I boxed up some of these Christmas cookies to send to our grandparents up in Massachusetts. Naturally, I made a couple lobster cookies to top off their care packages. Aren’t they cute?!

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Cupcakes for our Superbowl watching party…I clearly just have way too much fun with this, it’s an addiction that I don’t care to break :)

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A recipe for a delicious, moist, rich, full-flavored chocolate cake is something that I’ve always searched for and I finally found it. This is literally THE. BEST. CHOCOLATE. CAKE. EVER. The recipe came from Smitten Kitchen and when paired with some homemade raspberry filling, it’s just divine.baking04

When I make this cake I always have a little leftover batter because the recipe is for two 9″ pans and I use 8″ pans. No big deal, I use the extra to make half a dozen little cupcakes. I made this cake for our New Years Even party and it was a huge hit.baking05

These earth sugar cookies were for a “welcome to the world” themed baby shower for a friend. It’s fun to experiment with new decorating techniques, I think this was the first time I tried lining and flooding.

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And here are some more baby shower cookies from last weekend. I loved making the little onsies and the smiling sunshines.

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They just look so happy!

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I’ve also dabbled in some bread making lately. Even though we don’t eat bread much, I love to make it from scratch; there’s just something about working a ball of bread dough in your hands that’s therapeutic. This is a honey wheat loaf that was super simple to make, recipe is from Life In Grace.

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I love to volunteer to bake a cake when someone’s birthday falls on or near a small group event and last week we had our first outdoor cookout of the season so this hamburger cake seemed appropriate. Nobody believed me when I told them but this was seriously the easiest cake I’ve ever made. Instead of delicately icing the entire outside of the cake layers all I had to do was squirt some on with a couple piping bags. White for mayo, green for lettuce, yellow for mustard and red for ketchup…throw a few sesame seeds on top and voila it’s a burger!

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Nothing brings me more joy than seeing something I’ve made bring happiness to someone else; cookies and cakes are pretty good at doing that ;)

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A Wonderful Birthday

October 28, 2010

This past Tuesday was my 24th birthday, I guess I’m officially in my mid-twenties now. It’s so strange, I don’t feel old at all, yet when I was in my teens I viewed twenty-somethings as being so old {yet still cool}. I guess it was because I didn’t personally know anyone who was that age that I could relate to. Nevertheless, I now believe that my twenties are my favorite decade of life; there’s so much that happens within these short ten years and I’m overly happy to have more than half of them left ahead of me.

I took the day off from work with little planned and no agenda and that’s exactly what I wanted, nothing to do and all day to do it. Sleeping in until 8am started the day off right, followed by some catching up on blogging and experimenting with the new CS5 Photoshop and Illustrator that we just installed on our new Macbook Pro. Then I drove downtown and met Mandy for lunch at the South Congress Cafe; I can’t wait to go back, I would definitely recommend eating there. After having a yummy {and free!} dessert I ran by Whole Foods to pick out a pumpkin for us to carve later this week. I spent the rest of the afternoon window shopping and scoping out picture frames at Salvation Army and Goodwill. I snagged a few good ones and I’ll be sharing here soon what I plan on doing with them.

The day ended with some quality time spent with my favorite man and, though I’d like to say we’re more interesting than this, we crashed and went to bed early. I’m not hard to please, I just like to relax and enjoy the moment…what a great day.

Happy 25th, Hubby!

August 31, 2010

This past weekend we celebrated Mark’s 25th birthday in Houston with his family. His dad was in town from London so it was a great opportunity to see everyone all at once. At first, I thought this little road trip would cause me to break my tradition of baking Mark a birthday cake; but in the end I decided to make it at home and bring it along.

After seeing this rainbow-colored cake on Swiss Miss, I knew I had to try it myself. But first I needed a good yellow cake recipe. Sure, I had a few in the ol’ recipe box but I never remembered any of them being amazing, so to the internet I go. Any time I’m looking for a specific recipe I always search for it on Smitten Kitchen first and if she has it, I try it. Luckily, she’s dedicated an entire post to the “best birthday cake” and I decided to give it a go. Let me say this: that recipe produced the most moist, fluffy and delicious yellow cake I have ever made, period; I will never use another from this day on!

To make the batter more colorful, I divided it evenly into six bowls {for the six different colors}. At first, I added 6 drops of dye into each bowl thinking that should be enough; I was way off…it ended up taking a total of around 20 drops each to get the color dark enough to where it didn’t look like Easter pastels. I have to admit, the purple didn’t turn out as I had hoped; you would think equal parts red and blue would equal purple but apparently not.

Then I simply poured half of each color into two 9″ round cake pans, starting with red and ending with purple, and gave it a little swirl with a spoon.

After the layers were cooled overnight in the fridge, I cut out the shape of the Apple logo with a stencil that I had made on the computer. Icing it was definitely the hardest part. I think it would have been easier if I had made the icing from scratch because the store-bought stuff is so darn thick that it tends to pull crumbs off of the cake more.

Transporting it in the car for 3 hours took its toll on the icing; the leaf started to lean quite a bit and the icing between the layers bulged out at the sides a little. But we got it to Houston in one piece and the husband definitely enjoyed it!

Look at all those candles! Someone’s finally old enough to rent a car, haha!

The best part was cutting that first piece out and seeing all the colors pop against the white icing. I was going for a play on the new & old Apple logos. :)

The other event of the weekend was the black light party that was thrown for Mark and Daniel’s birthdays {his was only a few days before}. Daniel and his roommate spent a pretty penny to replace nearly all the light bulbs in their house with black lights and it…was…awesome.

Mandy and I went out and found some neon-colored clothing and some cheap sunglasses that we popped the lenses out of and painted with fluorescent paint. Once we got to the party we painted ourselves with black light paint and drew on each other with highlighter {did you know that highlighter glows in black light? I sure didn’t}.

They even made punch that glowed by adding vitamin B12 to the mix {thank you Google for that little tidbit of knowledge}. It was a pretty fun time and it made for some great pictures.

Overall a wonderful, long weekend spent celebrating the life of my favorite person in the world!

One More Year

October 27, 2009

Well, today I turned one year older…it was kind of a strange feeling, I think I’m reaching that point in my life where birthdays are just a reminder of how fast life is flying by. For example, over the past few months when I’ve been asked how old I am I seriously had to stop and think about it, as opposed to during high school when I could immediately reply with whatever teen number it happened to be. It’s just a weird feeling, this getting older…I don’t quite know what to think about it.

My birthday weekend began with my parents, Mark and I taking a trip to see the Baeckers of San Antonio. My cousin Chris and his wife Jenny have four of the most adorable and well behaved little girls ever, the youngest of which just recently made her grand entrance into the world. We wanted to come see & hold new baby Sloane and also celebrate Reese’s birthday which was last Wednesday. It was such a great visit, we shared wedding photos, watched football and went on a walk with the girls.

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Sunday, Mark and I drove down to Pedernales Falls State Park to enjoy the beautiful, cool weather hiking around the rocky falls. Our family had been camping here a couple of times when I was growing up and I always remember it being one of my favorite parks.

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We had such a great time hiking around on all the huge rocks, the surroundings were so serene and the sky was filled with big, puffy clouds. Driving down that winding park road and seeing the falls again brought back a lot of great memories of camping with family and friends. Hopefully Mark and I will continue the camping tradition so that someday we can share those fun experiences with our kids.

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It was a perfect outing with my wonderful husband and I can’t wait to make more memories like this together.

Mark’s Birthday Cake

August 29, 2009

Yesterday was Mark’s birthday and I’ve made a tradition of baking him a cake every year since we first started dating…his favorite is yellow cake with chocolate icing. At first I was having a hard time thinking of something creative to do with decorating on top of chocolate icing but then Mark gave me a great idea when he jokingly said that he expects nothing less than three layers.

So…as a little joke back…I made mini, three-layered cakes.

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Plus I got to use my new cake decorating set that I got as a wedding gift!

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