Esther 4:14b

"...and who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this."

Friday, May 30, 2008

Birthday Cakes

I caught so caught up with getting ready to go away to Vancouver that I never posted the recipe for the cake I made for my father-in-law's birthday the day before we left. We enjoyed every last bite of it because hubby and I knew it'd be the last cake we'd get to have for 90 days (that means we'll be celebrating hubby's birthday 2 days late when we get off our exercise regime).

For dinner I made sweet and sour chicken and served it over brown rice and had roasted asparagus on the side. It tasted a lot better than it looks in the picture. I basically sauteed some onion and bell peppers, added in some pineapple chunks, cooked chicken tenders and used a store bought sweet and sour marinade. My favorite way to eat asparagus is when it is oven roasted. I turn the oven to 400 to 450 degrees and spread the asparagus spears on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with a little olive oil and some fresh rosemary, salt and pepper. Turn with your hands to coat. Roast in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the asparagus have shrunk to about half their size.

For dessert, I made a chocolate cake out of the cookbook my mom gave my sister and I for Christmas two years ago. She compiled all the favorite recipes she uses from when we were growing up plus some new ones she found and gave them to us in printed and disc format. It is one of the best gifts I've ever gotten! Normally I make it with the frosting listed, but this time I used the peanut butter frosting recipe from my mom's book instead and it was delicious. Unfortunately, I ran out of flour so I didn't have enough to flour the pans so that the cake would be released, so it wasn't the prettiest cake I've ever made, but boy was it moist!!! Oh yeah, they ate some of it before I got home so I wasn't able to get the best picture of it either.

Serves 12

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
¾ c. unsweetened cocoa
2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
1 c. hot coffee
1 c. milk
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 c. milk
5 T. all-purpose flour
½ c. butter, softened
½ c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla

Sift together dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add oil, coffee and milk; mix at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; beat 2 more minutes (batter will be thin). Pour into two greased and floured 9” round cake pans. Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes. Cool cakes 15 minutes before removing from pan. Meanwhile, for icing combine the milk and flour in a saucepan; cook until thick. Cover and refrigerate. In a mixing bowl beat butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add chilled milk/flour mix and beat for 10 minutes. Frost cooled cake. Note: The frosting is very rich so I always put jam or some other filling in center of cake.

4 T. unsalted butter, softened
½ c. creamy peanut butter
1 c. powder sugar, sifted
1 T. milk

In medium bowl, with mixer on medium, beat butter and peanut butter until well blended. Add sugar and beat until combined. Add milk and bat until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

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