Friday, July 22, 2011

Not Like Grandma's

We "celebrated" Rob's birthday on Tuesday of this week.  However, circumstances made it one of the worst days of the year for all of us, so in an attempt to "save" his birthday I decided I would make his favorite cake....German Chocolate Cake, just like Grandma used to do. 

When baking or cooking for Rob, Grandma Thompson is my biggest "competition".  Since we've been married Rob always compares the "goodness" of my dishes, salads, pies, cookies, etc.. to Grandma's, which I think is completely NOT FAIR since she is AMAZING in the kitchen.  She is a could I ever compare to that???!!! But today, I was bound and determined to make "an out of this world German Chocolate Cake" for my husband!!

When I search for recipes, I always keep my eyes open for German Chocolate Cake recipes, since that is Rob's favorite cake.  A few weeks ago I thought I found the perfect one...a layered cake from scratch, the topping ingredients included pecans (a favorite of Rob's), and chocolate drizzle.  Sounds perfect, huh? 

Well, it proved to be a very time and ingredient intensive recipe.  And when I presented the cake to Rob, he said, "It's not like Grandma's..."  My feelings weren't hurt at all instead Josiah, Rob and I have spent the night giggling about my failed attempt to compete against Grandma.  The pictures that follow will explain my "failure" and Rob's comment. 

All in all, I think I've learned my lesson....Grandma will always be a better cook and baker than me (in Rob's eyes) and I am willing to accept it. 

I love you Grandma Thompson!  I am so blessed to be able to call you Grandma! 

Can you see the buttery icing dripping on the table? Plus, my icing/frosting didn't cover up the layers.  I don't think I allowed the sauce to cook and cool to a thick enough consistency. 

As I was drizzling, the chocolate became clumpy so I tried to make it "frosting" and thus the clumps.  This definitely doesn't look like a cake a seasoned baker would make! 

Finally, I "cut" a piece of cake for Rob to present to him as Josiah and I sang him Happy Birthday.  Yep, that's what his piece of birthday cake looked like!! ha ha :)  No wonder he said, "It's not like Grandma's..."  The cake was very crumbly...maybe  it would be better if I bought a box mix next time! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Taking A Deep Breath

I'm sorry for the long, unplanned break from blogging.  Our summer became more hectic than I expected.  I just keep going from one project or place to another and haven't slowed down enough to blog about our happenings.  So, this entry will catch you up on what I've been doing, thinking, crafting, cooking and planning....

I'm thankful for....God's mercy and air conditioning!  Wow, it has been blistering hot...on Tuesday it was even too hot for me to swim and that's HOT because I love the SUN!

I'm still missing...Cooper, our family pet.  I never expected to feel quite so empty without his presence. 

I have been inspired Pinterest!  I love it!! It is a website in which you can catalog the things you want to make, do, read, like, buy, etc... Whenever you find something on the Internet you want to "save," rather than copying and pasting it in a word document and saving it to your computer you just click "pin" and save it to your "boards."  I have my boards separated into these categories (and will soon be adding more):  craft ideas, party ideas, recipes, quotes, books worth reading, for the home, my style pinboard, printables, etc... The other cool thing is you can follow other people's boards to see what they are "pinning."  If you want to join Pinterest, then you have to request an invitation.  It took me 10-14 days to gain access but it was sure worth the wait and is making surfing and organizing my ideas so much easier. 

We have celebrated....the 4th of July (at my parents' home), Rob's birthday, and "cousinhood".  Last week we had the privilege of hosting my niece's three children while she and her husband were in Kauai, Hawaii and I dubbed the week "Camp Cousin Week", in which I planned a whole slew of activities to do as cousins.  I will be posting all of my ideas and menu plan at a later date. 

I have been workout more and pray more intently for Josiah.  My sister recruited me to run a 5K race in September and I reluctantly agreed to the now I really gotta start running instead of just talking about it...ha ha :)  Lately as a mother, I have been ridden with "guilt" about parenting Josiah and during my quiet time one day, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I simply need to start praying more for Josiah vs. reading more self-help books on how to raise him and/or become a better parent. 

I have been amazed by....the continued unconditional support of our family and friends.  God has blessed us by surrounding us with so many encouraging people!

I have been reading.... to Josiah Judy Moody, which we have both gotten a kick out of :)  For inspirational reading...I have been reading Warrior Prayers by Brooke L. McGlothlin, a book that is specifically written to help mothers pray for their boy(s).  It is an e-book that costs $4.99 and I definitely recommend it.  For "fun" reading...I have recently finished Pray For Silence (a mystery that involves an Amish family) and today started Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult. 

We've been listening to.... Adventures in Odyssey (radio broadcasts developed by Focus On The Family Productions for kids),  Peter Furler's new CD titled On Fire and Laura Story's album Blessings

I regret....that I haven't read more books this summer.  Having Josiah home and with me all summer, has sure put a hamper on book time, but of course it's an easy sacrifice to make. 

I have been wanting....a new dress and I'm really pining for this V-cut maxi dress

I'm looking forward to..."The Smurfs" and "Sarah's Key" movie releases!  If you haven't read Sarah's Key's a wonderful story!

Some new recipes I've tried...Easy Ravioli and Cheese Bake, this wonderful Pizza Sauce, and Cream Cheese Pound Cake.  I guarantee you'll love them and won't be disappointed!!  I made some adaptations to the ravioli dish by using frozen tortellini and adding more cheese and spaghetti sauce.  It's a perfect recipe to throw together and in the oven after a day of swimming.  And the pizza sauce is AWESOME!  The recipe makes enough for one medium pizza, but I quadrupled it and saved the leftover sauce in a jar in the fridge for other casseroles, bread sticks, etc... When I was at Mom and Dad's, I was craving strawberry shortcake so whipped up pound cake to create my own strawberry shortcake from scratch to enjoy on the 4th of July.  So rich and so wonderful!!!

I've been working on....Korissa's (my best friend from college) birthday gift.  I am making her chicken wire picture frames that are so cute and versatile.  I promise to reveal how-to make your own once I give them to her!  The next project(s) I will be working on is creating Camp Cousin memory books.  After that I will be working on formatting my cookbook (pictures and recipes) so I can get it ready for printing.  I still don't have a definite timeline on when it will be ready for distribution, but I'm hoping to give you an opportunity to have an ELECTRONIC "sneak peek!"  (again, more details to follow). 

I have been worrying about....Josiah's ear.  Around Father's Day he burst his left ear drum and it has been slow in healing and preventing us from our favorite summer activity...SWIMMING!  I'm worried about the long term affects. 

I am surprised....summer will be unofficially over in less than 1 month when Josiah will go back to school!