Thursday, December 6, 2012

Let Me Eat Cake

So, as you know, yesterday was my birthday! It was awesome- super awesome, in fact! :) If you somehow missed my post yesterday about the awesome gift my awesome husband got me, check it out here.

One of the highlights of any celebration is obviously food, and in particular, dessert! This year, I decided I was going to make my own decadent chocolate cake... and it would somehow involve salted caramel (one of my obsessions!). So, I searched Pinterest for recipes and found this recipe for a Salted Caramel Ding Dong Cake over at Portuguese Girl Cooks. I didn't want the vanilla cream, so I just made the chocolate cake and the caramel ganache. I think I overcooked the cake because it was a little dry, but it's still very chocolatey... and very delicious! In place of the vanilla cream, I used that wonderful wonderful Philly Cheesecake Spread you can buy in a tub- oh my word! So good! I also wanted some caramel just by itself, so I used this recipe from Say Yes To Hoboken.

I did have some mishaps putting it together... the first batch of caramel from the Ding Dong cake recipe burned a little... and so did the second batch... grrrr! But, once I added it to the chocolate, you couldn't really tell. Also, I wanted to cool down and firm up the caramel sauce really quickly, so I popped it in the freezer for a few minutes. When I went to take it out, it was not as firm as I thought, and as I swung it towards me, I dumped half of the bowl all over myself... and the floor... and the wall... Our dog thought it must be HER birthday and tried to lick it all up before I could clean it up... oh brother!

I did finally get everything finished and the cake put together... and eaten! Well, just some of it, I'm not THAT much of a pig! ;) Anyway, here's how it turned out:

Not bad, not bad at all! I will admit, it does look a little bit like someone sat on it, but it's delicious!! ;)

P.S. I just had a piece right now for research purposes to see if it was still good today... it is! :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Happy Birthday to me! {Reading Kit Gift Idea}

Yay! It's my birthday today! Happy birthday to me!! ;) As I've gotten older, I've tried to become "more adult" about my birthday and not get excited, but I can't help it! And I don't really even mind that I'm getting older- it's not like I can prevent it, so I might as well celebrate it, right?

I wanted to share what Nathanael got me for my birthday- not only because I want to brag on him because he's so awesome (he is!), but also because it's a really, really great idea. Seriously, I thought maybe he had been peeking at my boards on Pinterest. But nope, he came up with this all by himself! And I love it!!

I love to read, and a few years ago Nathanael bought me a Kindle for Christmas. This year for my birthday, he put together a "reading kit" for me in three separate packages.

The first package said it was to make me more comfortable while I read:

The second one included things to snack on and drink while I'm reading:

And the third package had some items to grow my library:

I know that's not a great picture, but that's a gift card for Amazon to buy more books for my Kindle.

Here is my whole "reading kit" together:

I have to say, I'm very impressed! And a little jealous that I didn't think of this myself. This is seriously a great gift for people who like to read! I'm so blessed to have a husband who knows me so well and who is so thoughtful!

On a side note, I'm working on getting more posts ready to share some things that I've done and made for Christmas... we'll see if they'll actually get done or not... ;)

I hope everybody is having a great December so far- try not to stress out too much & be sure to take time to make memories!