Sunday, August 30, 2009

He's caught up with me!

I've been 35 for almost 6 months now.
This past Tuesday, Mark caught up (again)!

Here's how we celebrated:

(Imagine picture of breakfast in bed here)

Mark was greeted with a bowl of granola
and freshly-picked raspberries from the farm

While he worked that morning,
I got busy on one of my surprises for him--
I made, from scratch, a homemade
German Chocolate Cake.
It was, in a word, phenomenal.

Now, you should know . . .
I'm not much of a baker (I prefer cooking).
But I try.
And boy did I succeed on this.
That's right, unabashed, self-congratulatory praise.
I *am* proud!

I bought a sifter for this.
I used cake flour.
I visited the farm and got farm fresh eggs (the difference between farm eggs and store bought eggs is about a year's worth of nights and days, there is just no comparison--farm eggs make EVERYTHING better, whether baked in or eaten by themselves--they are truly the best eggs).

I bought a 3rd cake pan since this is the first-ever 3-layer cake we've ever made.
I should add, too, that we don't even like cake that much (except this one--Mark loves German Chocolate Cake). Anyone who knows us or reads our blog knows that we do creative birthday cakes for the kids' parties but in general our "cakes" are usually donuts or cookies or pie or a bowl of M&Ms or a blob of chocolate chip cookie dough.

Back to this glorious cake . . .
I toasted the coconut and pecans.
I simmered and stirred.
I sneaked around the night before, barring Mark from the kitchen
and making (and hiding) the frosting.

I buttered the three cake pans.
I floured them.
I melted several ounces of German Chocolate.
I used a lot of butter in this recipe.
And a lot of eggs.
You don't even want to know the fat grams involved.
But we're smart about it--one week later and we're still eating little bits at a time,
savoring every bite of this divine dessert.

Ahem, I was saying.
I baked 3 cake pans of cake.
I cooled them on cooling racks.
I even went up to the 3rd floor to a pile of stuff we thought we'd sell and I must admit that I was wrong when I thought we wouldn't use that Princess House cake dish.
We used it! I brought it down and washed it.
I placed each cake layer followed by the delicious frosting.

I know some might think, "Yeah, you made a cake. Just say that."
But oh no no no. I didn't just "make a cake."
I made a German Chocolate Cake.
From Scratch.

Big difference.

Here is the result:
German Chocolate Cake.
From Scratch.


We did other things to celebrate, too.
Like a lovely, light summer lunch outside on our patio:

Cucumber Sandwiches with Dill
Fruit Salsa with homemade Cinnamon Chips

Also delicious.

Then we went bowling:

Then back home to open presents:

Check out the toothless grins

The kids got him much-needed new T-shirts.
See, Mark works his tail end off around here
with both work and home/yard projects,
so his T-shirts have slowly gotten pretty much destroyed.

Now, he's got new ones.
But one of "his" T-shirts is really for me:

See, this comes from a Friends scene (of course)
which you can view here--go ahead, it's funny:

He also got some that fit him well--
"That's What She Said"
"Save Ferris"
"Shrute Farms Beets"
"They tell me I have ADD. They just don't underst . . . hey look, a chicken!"

And I got him a Wii Fit:

I'm hoping we get using both this and the wonderful gift that Mark got me for my birthday (a Zune). It's pathetic that I haven't used it yet--I'm so intimidated and overwhelmed by new technology. It's ridiculous.

Then we went out for Mexican Food.
And then we came back for DELICIOUS cake.

Yep, totally posted this just to show the cake again.
I'm egocentric that way.


Dr. Mark said...

You have every right to be egocentric--that was an AWESOME cake! Best I've ever had. The cake itself would have been gift enough for me. Thanks, as always, for a great birthday. I love you!

J Fo said...

You SHOULD brag about that cake. I'm totally drooling over it! Yum...I'm glad you got some great t-shirts (for him and you)!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Mark! I don't like cake either but that cake you made looks so delicious! Great job Stacy! I also have a "Frankie Says Relax" t-shirt.

the emily said...

Happy birthday Mark! Looks like a fun day for sure. VERY nice work on the cake dude. Very nice. I wish I liked German Chocolate Cake, 'cause that looks delish.

Lindsay said...

FUN!! That cake looks awesome! I don't think Scott would appreciate a home made funfetti cake! It has to be from the box!! :) Happy Belated birthday, Mark!

Dr. Mark said...

Even if you aren't a German chocolate cake fan, this one could turn you. It's a mixed blessing to have more in the refrigerator.

April (Thorup) Oaks said...

Happy Birthday Mark!!!

Stacy, I think we all want to try that cake now. Don't you just love when you are proud of what you accomplish? Yay.

Chelle said...

That cake looks fantastic. You should be proud of yourself on that one. When you try something, you go all out.

Happy Birthday Mark!

Lena said...

That looks so good!! Happy birthday Mark.

Jimmy said...

If Mark ever wears that shirt, I'd expect a youtube video of it.

Then you'd get comments!

Hope it was a great birthday.

bythelbs said...

I'm thoroughly impressed. Which is what you wanted, right? Well, I'm happy to oblige.

Glad you had such a great day together!

Mom said...

Your family has a knack for making birthdays special. And the CAKE! I love German chocolate cake. My scratch cakes don't come out too well. I once broke a glass cake platter because I picked it up on only one side and the cake was so heavy the platter broke. Now I stick to box mixes. But the store bought frosting is no comparison for the 'real deal.' A thing of beauty, your cake.

Boquinha said...

I'll tell you what. A woman back in MA made us a German chocolate cake for our wedding. I appreciate even more now what she did for us! I had no idea.

Tara said...

Your family knows how to celebrate. The cake really does look amazing. Great decision in taking a picture. If ever you have a baking flop, just pull out the picture of your lovely cake and remember.

Dr. Mark said...

Jimmy, I think most of the comments would be of the "why on earth did you post that--I just lost my lunch" variety. There would be comments, though.

Thanks everyone for more birthday greetings. The birthday just keeps on going . . .