Sunday, October 27, 2013

evie's 9th birthday

Evie is a huge fan of cooking shows.  Well, pretty much everything Food Network related.  Her favorites are The Pioneer Woman and Barefoot Contessa.  Though the latter shocked her last week when she said she didn't like cilantro.  I distinctly remember hearing E mutter under her breath, "Well!  The Pioneer Woman doesn't think it tastes like a weed."  Even though the Contessa has an aversion to cilantro, it's her cake and icing recipe Evie wanted to try out for her birthday this year.  In honor of all things cooking I told Evie I would do a "food" post and take pictures of all my ingredients, etc. a la Pioneer Woman.  (Though don't expect a post of her caliber.)  I learned one big thing about taking pictures as I cook.  It takes FOREVER.  I could have knocked this recipe out in about an hour total: mixing, baking, icing, done.  Instead it took me like 4 hours.  So don't expect things like this very often.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing

For the cake~

Cream together,
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
3 c. sugar
Add the zest of 1 lemon
And beat in 6 eggs, 1 at a time
Add 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1 c. sour cream

Sift together,
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. corn starch
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until combined.

This recipe will make enough batter for a half-sheet pan (approx. 12x18", 1 1/4" deep) but Evie wanted cupcakes.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes and be prepared if you make cupcakes, to have a lot!  
(And don't over bake your first batch like I did.)

Cool and ice.

For the icing~

Melt, 24 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips & 1 1/2 c. heavy cream over a double boiler.
Stir until melted and shiny.
Off the heat add, 2 T. corn syrup & 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Let the chocolate mix cool (so take it off the double boiler and set it on the counter) and then beat in 1/2 stick butter till fluffy.  There is no picture of this step as I let my chocolate mix cool, but when I added the butter it just stayed loose like ganache.  Not sure what happened, but I noticed the extra icing I stored in the fridge thickened up nicely.  So you could make this ahead and let it thicken in the fridge if it doesn't do that right away for you.

Since my icing was so liquidly I used the "dip and swirl" method to ice the cupcakes.  They turned out alright, with this cute little curl on the top.

I found this cute set of cupcake liners and princess cutouts in the sale bin at Sur la Tab, so that's how we decorated the cupcakes.

Evie asked for ribs, mashed potatoes, biscuits and green beans for dinner.  The kid has never liked "kid" food - hotdogs and mac & cheese were never her "thing" but butter, sour cream and anything with fat, she's been a fan of.  It's a good thing she's naturally skinny.

We gave Evie the gift of pierced ears for her birthday and she got jammies for her American Girl doll from the Grandparents Mackensen and some cash to go shoppin' from the Grandparents Earley!  
She's a happy, happy girl!

liam's 6th birthday

With Katie's birthday in August, Liam and I in September and Evie's in October- there are a lot of birthdays right in a row over here.  I do like to blog about each and everyone of them, as some day I plan on printing my blog by year and having them as memory books.  (I tried making scrap books and was very successful... for the first 5 years of Katie's life...)  So better late than never, right?  Here is a post about Liam's 6th Birthday!

We had a little pool party for Liam, with just a few friends and their families attending.  It was so low key, we had a cake and a pool and that was that.  Fabulous!  Here are some shots from the day.

Our fabulous neighborhood slide!

1, 2, 3 JUMP!

Take #2

Cake & Presents
(Liam has some wonderful buds who blessed him with some great presents!)