Sunday, July 31, 2011
On Sunday we all went to church and then lunch with friends. It was a great birthday weekend. Stay tuned because next weekend we'll have ANOTHER birthday weekend. This one will be my big 3-0!!!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
These two love each other...And a couple of pictures with Momma...
First, I'll let you know that I spared no expense on the fat content of this cake. Normally I would use 1% milk and light sour cream, but NOT this time! I used whole milk and regular sour cream. And wait until you see the rest of the ingredients. This dessert is rich! One thing I really liked about this recipe is that the actual "cake" part of the dessert is a cake mix. I did not want to have to make a cake from scratch. And with all the other richness of the dessert, you seriously cannot tell that the cake is not made from scratch. Trust me. Or just come by and taste a piece of Frank's birthday cake.
There are three parts to the cake.
Step one: First part is the yellow cake. Use 1 box of yellow cake mix and prepare according to the directions on the box for a round cake. FYI: You only need one layer, so you can either make something else with the rest or throw it away. The only change I made to the box directions is that I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil in my batter. When your cake is done baking, cool completely.
Step two: The chocolate ganache topping. This is good to make as soon as you put your cake in the oven because after you make the chocolate topping, you have to put it in the fridge to cool.
Use a double boiler and melt the chocolate and the cream together. I do not own a double boiler, but you can see in the picture that you can easily make one yourself by putting a glass mixing bowl in a saucepan. Be sure to stir regularly so as not to burn the chocolate.
Once the mixture is smooth whisk in the sugar and keep whisking until it is smooth.
Put the ganache in the fridge and let it cool until it is a spreadable consistency or about 30 minutes.
Step 3: The filling
1 small box of instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup sour cream
Once your cake is cooled, you are ready to assemble. Cut the cake in half. The best way to do this evenly is to first make a 2 inch cut around the outer edge of the cake. Then you can cut all the way through. I used a fish filet knife because of how long and sharp it was, and it worked perfectly! Slide the top layer onto another plate so you can put the filling on the bottom layer. Then, slide the top layer back on. By this time, your ganache should be ready to spread over the top.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
1. Spray your skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat to medium/high.
2. Lay tortilla on skillet and then put cheese on half. I used the shredded four-cheese Mexican mix. Put a couple of spoonfuls of black beans on top of the cheese and then sprinkle some taco seasoning on top of that. Lastly, add more cheese.3. Fold over the unused half. By this time, the bottom should be starting to brown. When browned to your liking, flip over for a few more seconds to brown the other side.4. Cut into triangles using spatula, and serve with salsa and sour cream. Enjoy!
Monday, July 25, 2011
At former family reunions, when we took a picture of the "kids" it was all of us, including me and my cousins. Now when we take a picture of the "kids", it's a picture of the kids' kids, meaning our parents' grandkids. My how things have changed in just a few years. Here is a picture of the "kids" in attendance at this reunion, which is about half of the total kids in the family. It was fun watching all of them interact, especially for those of us with the newest additions.
I wish I'd gotten a picture of everybody, but here are a few pics of some of my cousins. Have I mentioned that I have the best cousins in the world?
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Lauren, Allie and Baby #2 (who I found out today Allie named Bubba...sex of baby is unknown at this point but apparently Bubba works either way)
Me and Little (Yes, that's right, I finally made it into a picture. You know how it goes for the person who is always taking the pictures...never in them.)
Lindsey and Copeland
Lindsey is one of my very best friends. We went to high school together, were in youth group together and were in each other's weddings. She just moved to North AL, and I'm SO excited!
Saturday, July 16, 2011
We got our vacation started on Sunday. We decided to stop halfway to let Little walk around and stretch her legs. As we were getting close to Montgomery, I called my best friend Jessica from high school to see what she and her family were up to. Luckily, they were eating lunch at East Chase (it's kind of like Bridge Street) and were going to wait for us to get there. I had not seen her in years, but as soon as we saw each other it was like no time had passed. We lost track of time and ended up staying with them for over an hour and a half. Good thing we were on vacation with no plans. I have never been so close to anyone (other than my husband, of course) as I was to this girl. I love her and share a bond with her that is indescribable. What a perfect way to start our vacation! So then we headed on to the beach. On Monday morning, as soon as we woke up we headed out to introduce Little to the sand and ocean. She was a little unsure at first, but Frank was very patient and just sat with her. Eventually, she was sitting in the water and letting him bury her legs in the sand. Here's a pic of the first time she touched the sand. Our condo was conveniently located on the ground floor on the corner of the building, so we had a huge porch and grassy area that Little really enjoyed walking around and picking up leaves and sticks. We could just sit on the porch and let her go. And right outside our back door was this great little Splash Pad. There were toddlers at the Splash Pad at all times, so we spent a lot of time out there. We were definitely spoiled by having it right outside our door. The pool was right next to it also, so we were close enough to where we could put Little down for a nap and go out to the pool with the baby monitor while she slept. My parents came to the beach on Monday to spend vacation with us, and Little was so glad to see them. We spent almost every minute of each day outside and then went out to eat a few times as well. Here is a shot of my parents at Lulu's. Lulu's is such a fun place to eat, not to mention the fried green tomatoes and cheeseburgers are excellent. We ate lunch on the water there and then we were able to go out to the play area where they had all kinds of things to do. There was a huge sandy area with beach toys for kids to play with. There were lots of kids everywhere, and Little enjoyed making new friends. We also ate at Calypso Joe's. Here we were able to walk down to the docks and watch the people clean the fish they caught that day.
We had lots of good food, great weather, and just an all around wonderful time. I would definitely call our first family vacation a success. To see more pictures from our trip, check out my Facebook page.