Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lemonade Cake with Blueberry Filling

One night while I couldn't sleep, I was lying there dreaming up something to make for my Aunt's 50th Birthday celebration.

Do you do this when you can't sleep?? 

Sometimes I forget what my feeble mind came up with, 
thank goodness I didn't forget this one!

Lemonade Cake with Blueberry filling and Lemonade Buttercream

My Mom grew up with three sisters.  She is a twin, and her twin, Janette,  lives here in Omaha.
She has an older sister, Ellen that lives in Washington D.C., and a younger sister, Edie, that lives in Henderson, Nevada.

My Mom's Mom, my grandmother, was such a super lady.  She is missed so much still, even though she hasn't been with us since 1994.

June has always been a busy birthday month for us.

My Mom and her twin were born on June 7th, my birthday is the 9th, my Aunt Edie's birthday is the 19th, my cousin, Heather, (my Aunt Janette's daughter) has a birthday on the 20th, and my grandma's birthday was on the 21st.  

(still with me??)

My Aunt Ellen, is the only one that didn't have a June birthday out of all of us girls!!
She made up for it though and got married on my grandma's birthday on June 21st!

Ironically, June 21st of this year, was her 25th wedding anniversary!
Thank you to her husband, Rick, for sharing her with us!!

My Mom and I always celebrate our birthday on the 8th, right in between our birthdays, and then we try to celebrate with Aunt Janette and Heather for ALL of our birthdays on the 21st to toast my grandma.

This year, my Mom had a great idea, and that was to see if we could get her other sisters here to celebrate with us!!

visiting my grandparents grave

My Aunts, Ellen, Edie, My Mom, Jane and and my Aunt Janette

Later that night we went to the Bone Fish Grille and ate dinner together, 
then back to my Mom's to have cake!

yummy, yummy, buttercream!

the perfect summer cake!

here is a peek at the filling inside

yes, please

Lemonade Cake with Blueberry Filling and 
Lemonade Buttercream

I made the filling the day before, so it would thicken and spread easier.

Combine in a saucepan:
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup water
1 T lemon juice
1T lemon zest
Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Desolve 1 T corn starch in 1 T water, add to blueberries and stir until thick, about 5 minutes.
Place in refrigerator for 24 hours.

1  box of white cake mix
3/4 cup frozen concentrate lemonade
1/2 cup water
4 egg whites
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir ingredients together with mixer on low then increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scraping bowl.

Grease and flour baking pans.
Divide batter evenly between pans, bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pans, then on cooling rack until completely cool.

6  cups of powdered sugar
2 sticks of unsalted butter
3 T lemonade concentrate
pinch of salt yellow food coloring

Beat ingredients until thick.

Add blueberries to bottom layer of cake, some will drip down side, I cleaned it up with a paper towel.
Do a "crumb layer" of frosting on entire cake, place cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes, frost with remaining frosting.  I piped an edge around the bottom and made a decorative "ring" of piped frosting in the center, where I added fresh blueberries to the top.
Place fresh blueberries around the bottom of the cake.

Happy 50th Birthday, Edie!!

Here is a picture, albeit not a very good one, but the only one that I had of us girls on our celebration night!

My Mom, Jane, me, Edie, Ellen, Janette and her daughter, Heather

Friday, June 15, 2012

Depression Cake

Depression Cake?

Yep, that's what I said.

Most of us, myself included, would have thought the name for this cake came from the fact that it is a rich, moist chocolate cake.

What's better for depression than chocolate?

Well, maybe wine... but that's a debate for another time.

Actually, this is called "depression cake" because the recipe is from the time of the Great Depression, when eggs were scarce.

chocolate depression cake

My friend, Julie, made this cake for my husband and I many years ago when she had us over to dinner at her house.


"Before Children"

chocolately cake and whipped cream

She got the recipe from her Grandmother, and told me it was her favorite.

It quickly became one of mine, too.

And everyone else's I have shared it with!

Depression Cake

So, without further adieu, here is the recipe for you!

Depression Cake

2 c sugar
3 c flour
5 Tablespoons of cocoa (not level)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
2 c cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine ingredients and pour into an UNGREASED 9x13 pan.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Top with fresh whipped cream.

Monday, June 11, 2012

where I have been the last two months....

Hi, everyone!!  

I have been missing for a couple months, and I thought I would let you know in a nutshell what 
I have been up to!!

I think my last post was Easter!! 
That was a while ago....

I love working in the yard in the spring, planting flowers and watching everything start 
peeking out of the ground.  
This year, we needed to have some concrete replaced on our existing patio, and decided to do an addition, adding some more room, a fire pit and a seat wall.

our new sitting area

we added larger wrap around steps to the back of the house

got a great gas heater so we can use our new space longer...

LOVE my porch swing.  
That was made by my husband in shop class in high school.
A couple of years ago for Mother's Day, he had it refurbished and a frame built for it.
(is he great or what?!?)

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I love going to concerts!!

Hadn't been to one in quite a while, then all of the sudden I had three in three weeks!!

my girls and I before the Miranda Lambert concert

my dear friend, Gigi, and I before the Daughtry concert

You have heard me mention my best friend, (my sister!!) Teresa,  in previous blogs.  
Her husband, Kris is the guitar tech for Ryan Peake of Nickelback.

Whenever they come to Omaha, Teresa flies in from California to see her Mom and I (and her hubby!!)

Kris gave us total rockstar VIP treatment this year at the show!

Kris and Teresa, my husband, Brian, and I behind stage (well under it!) at the Nickelback show

my two oldest kids with Uncle Kris and Aunt T

Got their "heavy metal horns" up!! 

I have always been a rocker, friends, and this made me SMILE!!

Spencer and Kenzie meeting Ryan Peake after the show

love my SISTAH!! muah!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Our God-Daughter, Leah and her fiance, Austin, graduated from college the first weekend in May.  
We are SO PROUD of them both!!

the happy graduates

* * * * * * * * * * * * 

I had a beautiful Mother's Day!  My kids pampered me all day!
That afternoon we had my husband's whole family over and they guys grilled chicken and fed us well!!

me and my kiddos, on Mother's Day

Brian and his Dad manning the grill

ooooooo..... I love me some grilled chicky!!

The twins made me this BIG version of me!!
We refer to it as "BIG MAMA!!"

don't 'cha LOVE her high heels??

* * * * * * * * * 

The next weekend, we hosted an Engagement Party/Couple's shower for Austin and Leah.
It was a summer beachy theme, and it was a "Stock Their Bar" party!!

They all had fun.... and I learned that I am no longer a 20-something! ;)

congrats, Austin and Leah

before they opened their gifts

their gift from us

Brian and I with Leah by the bonfire

* * * * * * * * *

Last, but certainly not least, I would like to share with you a journey I begun exactly 8 weeks ago today.

Now you know I love to cook... but I apparently had no self-control when it came to EATING all of the yumminess I have been sharing with you over the last year.

Slowly but surely, all of my pants got tighter and tighter.

I kept saying that I would do something about it "next week."

Well, next week came and went and I baked more and more.

Finally I decided it was past time for me to be doing SOMETHING!!

So, I talked with my niece, Leah and my sister in law, Sue, and said, if we are going to start losing this weight for Leah's wedding, we have about 5 months to do it!!

(Chop chop, ladies!!)

So, I decided that I would attend a meeting at a local place called
"Family's Achieving Success Together"

I have known two people that have had major success, one lost 90 pounds
 the other is half way to her goal of 50.

When we went to our first meeting 8 weeks ago, Brian's cousin Amy was there, too.  
So we have a little TEAM going!! 
So far, our team together has roughly lost 85 pounds!!

What appealed to me was that I can eat anything that I want, I just have to keep track of it all.

Well, once we started, I stopped blogging. 
Not because I didn't miss the heck out of you guys, but I was in the learning process of something I really want to succeed at.

I always envied you bloggers that were disciplined and exercised.
I am happy to report that I have just completed my 56th consecutive day of exercise.

Would you believe I have put 221.83 miles on these tennis shoes of mine?!?!?
Thank goodness the hubster got me some "new kicks" for my birthday!
The others were denigrating!!

I, myself, have lost 27.4 pounds and am half way to my goal.

I feel like I have gotten a handle on my life and my eating, even though I have a ways to go.

So, I plan on blogging again, and sharing more yummy things with you!!

I would like to give you my sincere thanks for sticking with me through my journey!!

* * * * * * * 

Lastly, I celebrated my birthday this past weekend, and enjoyed every minute of it!!

lunch with my Mom for our birthdays, hers is the 7th and mine is the 9th of June

my birthday-eve, I did a wine tasting with my two dear friends, Lori and Toni

my two-dozen GORGEOUS red roses from my sweet hubby the morning of my birthday

After that he did a 4.5 mile walk with me!!

me with my kiddos and my furry kiddos

strawberry shortcake, yum!!

Brian and I before our dinner date

Stay tuned, please, I have two parties and like 5 recipe blogs coming SOON!!

Hugs and Good Health to ALL of YOU!!