Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Homemade Chocolate Mayo Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (& Camping theme)






My sweet boy Aaron recently turned 19. And he has been a lover of all things camping in the past several years. So, first of all, I had asked him what kind of cake he wanted. He said he wanted homemade chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I remembered that my Mom used to make a super moist chocolate cake when I was a kiddo and I asked her about it. She didn't have the recipe but she said she knew the secret ingredient in it was mayonnaise. So I went on a mission and found a chocolate mayo cake recipe. I then decided to surprise him with camping theme and found these adorable decorations in a set on amazon. Just look up camping cake toppers.  

I found the cake recipe on foodnetwork.com but I didn't use the buttercream recipe it had. I used a different frosting recipe. I found it on sallysbakingaddiction.com Here is the chocolate buttercream frosting I made:

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup (45g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream or milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoonpure vanilla extract
  1. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 1 full minute. Add 1/4 cup more confectioners’ sugar or cocoa powder if frosting is too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick.
  2. Cover tightly and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator then beat the frosting for a few seconds so it’s creamy again.










I love that the cake topper set I found even had a tent that you could light up with the silhouette of a camper inside. I also ordered a set of cake topper plastic forest trees. And then I used sprinkles and colored sugar to add water and green grass. It was so fun to do! And the cake turned out moist, delicious and rich. So yummy! πŸ˜‹

Aaron loved it and especially the camping surprise. ⛺️ 🌲 






And finally here is the recipe I used for his cake:

Cake:
Unsalted butter, for buttering the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
2/3 unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder 
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottom of each with parchment. 
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder in a medium bowl. Dissolve the instant espresso powder in 1 1/3 cups warm water.
  3. Beat together the sugar, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the mayonnaise and the melted chocolate until just combined.
  4. Alternate beating the flour mixture and the espresso mixture on medium-high speed into the chocolate-egg mixture until just combined; work in 4 batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Take care not to over mix. 
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans and bake until the cakes are set and the tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans set on a rack for 20 minute. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the parchment paper and cool completely.
  6. Frost the cake: Put 1 cake round on a cake stand or large serving plate and evenly spread 3/4 cup frosting over it. Top with the other cake round. Frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting. The cake can be frosted up to a day in advance. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.






Monday, August 26, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday



Hello and Happy Monday Friends!

How was your weekend? It was a pretty quiet and mellow one here. Some housework stuff. Did some things with my Mom. Had brunch with my Brother and SIL yesterday. Getting things together for Annie to start school this week. She has her back to school night tonight. As per most teenagers, she doesn't want summer to end. But she is looking forward to the social times with her friends of course. πŸ˜‰ 

Adam helped get Aaron and his jeep down there and settled and he got back this weekend and had dinner over here and shared about Aaron's new place. And I had great chat with my Aaron yesterday. His girlfriend was there visiting him in FL before she leaves to CO for school. He was all settled in his apartment and he has some orientation things happening today at his university. I miss him already, but I'm also so excited to hear about his new adventures! He gave me a facetime tour of his place the other day. Gotta love technology today. ❤️ 















THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS:















































ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE THIS MORNING


1/2 of a bagel, coconut yogurt and vanilla iced coffee




















RIGHT NOW I AM:

Listening to Ed Sheeran station and working on my planner for the week. Chatting with my Annie about chores to accomplish today and about getting things together for school



















AS I LOOK OUTSIDE MY WINDOW

Rainy and gray day. Sleepy day. It's been nice having cooler temps though and helps with back to school. I can definitely feel the Fall in the air. Over the weekend I made ham & scallop potatoes, garden green beans, corn bread and pie. I'm ready for back to some comfort food πŸ˜‹ And I just saw some geese fly over. They do their practice runs over our bay a ton this time of year




















AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE

I have some laundry to do, a few dishes but overall tidy. I have a few Fall touches I've started to put out, but haven't gone full fledged Autumn decor yet 🍁 



















ON THIS WEEK'S TO DO LIST:

Annie's volleyball practices, back to school night, errands, groceries later in the week for a family reunion happening over Labor Day weekend, hospice volunteering, help my mom with her laundry and other things, projects here, treat the pool for the week  and some maintenance there as not taking it down just yet. I'm sure we'll have a few hot days the start of the school year when Annie will want to come home and take a swim. Hope to get a few more pontoon rides in before we need to store that too.



 
















CURRENTLY READING

 I started reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 

















ON THE TV TODAY:

America's Got Talent,  Big Brother, Flip or Flop, HGTV shows, Kids Baking Championship, some movies taped right now, cooking shows taped





 













ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:

MONDAY: probably easy night as Annie has vball and back to school night (maybe Subway?)


TUESDAY: penne pasta with marinara, garlic bread, garden green beans


WEDNESDAY: sweet pepper & fig grilled cheese with a butter lettuce and peach salad (BA meal)


THURSDAY: jalapeno & goat cheese beyond burger (plant based) with corn on the cob (BA meal)


FRIDAY: garlic bread mini pizzas, garden salad

















WHAT I AM CREATING AT THE MOMENT

something I will share soon! πŸ˜‰  Also working on finishing my Grandpa's WWII heritage scrapbook and my Mom's family heritage scrapbook


















NEW RECIPE I WANT TO TRY THIS WEEK:

I'm so sorry I've been awful getting extra posts up. I have several recipes to share! I will post one today of the birthday cake I made for Aaron. And I'll plan to share the sour cream banana bread recipe tomorrow!















TIP OF THE WEEK:


I truly believe starting your day with some spiritual devotional or meditative time of some kind can make a complete difference on your state of mind and how you begin your day. Another practice I try to do regularly is either journal it - or at least take a few minutes to reflect before bed - is to think of 3 things you are grateful for. Whether about your day that day, or in your life in general. Great for mental and emotional health πŸ™ 
















FROM THE CAMERA




Those that follow me on instagram saw that I was visited by a bobcat this past week. It wasn't very big - about Ruby's size (25-30 lbs). It was beautiful and I only spotted it twice and haven't seen it since. I reported to DNR in our area and got more info about it. Nothing to be concerned of for Ruby - probably just popped in to hunt the bunnies back here and moved on. Kind of rare to ever get a glimpse of one. We've had a bunny explosion this summer. Lol I love my backyard so much! It's like my own wildlife preserve 





I've been having as much fun with Annie's birds as she has. Max was even sitting in the spongebob pineapple Annie put in there. I'd never seen them use it but I've now seen Max in it a few times. Each morning I go in and talk to them and sing to them and they make their squeaks and whistle sounds and sometimes sing back. The green one is Ollie. Sometimes I take them out and let them hop around on Annie's bay window and they like looking at the things outside and will sing away. They're so cute! 





the ham & scallop potatoes, green beans and honey butter brushed corn bread muffins from the weekend. I make the ham & potatoes in the slow cooker and if you look under my recipe tab and scroll all the way down I think it was one of my first recipes posted. It is SO good! 



And I made a juneberry or saskatoon berry pie. They look like blueberries but are more in the apple family and have kind of almond & pear taste. SO good! My friend Jason (we still kind of talk and hang out sometimes) loves them. He grew up on them as he lived close  to the Canadian border in north dakota) I was intrigued and found some frozen ones to try and the pie was amazing! And more trivia - they have twice the antioxidants of blueberries







Yep, also been diving into Fall magazines and foods πŸ˜‰ 



Love when Annie plays with my hair. She always wants to take a pic cuz she likes how my braid looks with my very blond hair but I have my dark hair still underneath 




PRAYER, INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE OR DEVOTIONAL:
Image result for spiritual inspirational quotes

I'm linking with Sandra of Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday



 Happy Monday Friends!

I hope you're having a wonderful Monday so far! And that you had a great weekend. I've been keeping extra busy today because I had such an emotional day yesterday. It was my boy Aaron's 19th birthday, but he also left for his new journey, and college, in Florida. I'm so excited for him - but as a parent it's always hard letting them go to spread their wings. I know God has great plans for him and I focus on that. 

Now to get through this first week ahead Lol ...















THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS:














































ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE THIS MORNING


piece of banana bread, coffee with natural salted caramel creamer




















RIGHT NOW I AM:

listening to Christian music and I can hear Annie's birds singing in her bedroom. Working on my planner. Thinking about my boy and how it still doesn't seem real he's on his way to a new life. I'm sure it will hit me fully in a week or 2 when he still isn't driving up the driveway and coming in the door 😒 



















AS I LOOK OUTSIDE MY WINDOW

Gorgeous day. Sunny and big white clouds in a blue sky. It's warm but it's windy and there are lots of ripples on the bay. Annie's big narwhal floatie keeps getting blown by the wind in the pool, so it looks like it's swimming around by itself. Lol



















AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE

Tidy and clean overall. Sun streaming through the windows. I went in Aaron's room this morning just to look at it all clean and emptied out again. I know I'm a mess. I promise I'm doing better than I sound! 😊 


















ON THIS WEEK'S TO DO LIST:

All the usuals and getting ready for Annie to start school next week. Errands, groceries, helping my Mom with her laundry etc. Going out to dinner with a friend this week. Her daughter will be leaving for college too so we're going to commiserate in some margaritas. Lol! Hospice volunteering. Some more house organizing.

 
















CURRENTLY READING

I started a little bit of the book Ask Again, but stopped and hadn't really gotten into it. I started reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society instead. So going to read that one first

















ON THE TV TODAY:

America's Got Talent,  Big Brother, Flip or Flop, HGTV shows, Kids Baking Championship, some movies taped right now, cooking shows taped





 













ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:

MONDAY:  Thai chicken lettuce cups with rice and marinated snap peas I hadn't made yet (BA meal)


TUESDAY: cheesy chili lime quesadillas, veggies & dip


WEDNESDAY: out with a friend


THURSDAY: cranberry pecan chicken salad wrap sandwiches, sweet potato fries, garden salad


FRIDAY: use leftover chicken for chickie chip hot dish on toast, fruit salad

















WHAT I AM CREATING AT THE MOMENT

I finished Aaron's little book and gave it to him for his bday yesterday. I took a couple photos (see below). Working on some last pages for my Grandpa's scrapbook I've been redoing and back to working on a heritage scrapbook of my Mom's family
















NEW RECIPE I WANT TO TRY THIS WEEK:

I will plan to post this week the chocolate mayo birthday cake I had made for Aaron and also a new sour cream banana bread recipe that was really good!














TIP OF THE WEEK:



I'm thinking about brushing up on my French. Annie and I plan to go on a trip there with her French class in the years ahead













FROM THE CAMERA





The book I made Aaron had recipes he requested, how to do an easy list for the grocery store, laundry and dishes reminders, tips, and loving advice. ❤️ 



His beautiful girlfriend is going to Colorado. She came over yesterday AM and brought him his favorite breakfast and some goodies. She also had made this blanket for him so he could have hugs from her whenever he needed by just wrapping it around him (her name is Helaina but he calls her Laina) πŸ’• 






Packing up and saying goodbye 😭 






clinging to last bits of summer





Decided to end summer with a big bang of blonde. 
πŸ˜‰ They have more fun, right?  




this sour cream banana bread was sooo good


PRAYER, INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE OR DEVOTIONAL:
Image result for college inspirational quotes

I'm linking with Sandra of Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.