4th of July Photo Journal – Dive Club

I saw a meme on Facebook the other day saying something to the effect, 4th of July is over, it’s now time to get your Halloween costumes, your Thanksgiving menu, Christmas Presents, and we’re basically at the New Year, Happy 2020. Truthfully I might have giggled a little too much because… the way this year has been flying by, that almost seems real! Here we are 5 days past the 4th of July. Hello, July 9. We’re quickly approaching the dawg days of summer. It is finally getting hot and humid in Missouri. Yes, we have humidity. Yes, it’s horrible. You walk out of your house and feel like you’ve just walked out of the shower. It’s nuts.

Spring has been crazy around here. Tornadoes on top of tornadoes. Rain and flooding. Cooler temperatures… you name it, we’ve probably seen it. Except for a Hurricane. If we see a hurricane in Missouri, we have real problems. Did you know I’m only just a few hours away from the dead middle point of the U.S.? It’s up on the Kansas border near Nebraska. I’ve never been there although that’s on my list of things to do someday. Why not… 

I actually live in a part of Missouri where within 30 minutes you can be further into Missouri, into Oklahoma or Kansas or Arkansas. And there is a point over near here where you can be standing on the border of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. 3 states in one swoop. Honestly, I’ve never been there either although I’ve always been within a mile or so of it. Why I never stop I have no idea.

This year because the 4th of July fell when it did, we got to celebrate twice. Once with our diver friends and again with my husband’s extended family. I overheard that some people think the 4th of July is only about bbq’s, fireworks, and spending time with family. That’s totally inaccurate. It’s about the birthday of our country. On July 4th, 1776 our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence freeing us from British control. It was only after a horrific battle called the Revolutionary War was fought and won. Just thought I’d throw that very broad, basic explanation out there for anyone who might be confused. Do they not teach that in schools anymore? Although the person who made the previous claim is closer to my age than not. I’m really confused.

4th of July

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Triple Chocolate Cake

We’ve been working on our house, it feels like non-stop. Some days walking in there is so… almost depressing, but some days it feels like nothing is happening. It is… but it’s happening up in the attic where you just don’t see results other than more lights are popping up as well as electrical plugins. Oh… and an HVAC system. Heat… let there be heat!!

And I swear, our friends are the absolute BEST. We’ve had so much help from our dear, darling, beloved friends. There truly are NO WORDS to describe them! So, when I found out Shelby’s 21st birthday was yesterday, I knew I had to make her a cake!! (She’s newer to this bunch, this is why it was a new find of her birthday!)

Triple Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Homemade Strawberry Jam, and Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Chocolate Ganache

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Oreo Cheesecake Cake

Another birthday cake! Yey, I love birthday’s!! Although… the story about this cake…

  1. The person who I made this cake for apparently doesn’t celebrate birthdays anymore…
  2. I didn’t get to try any.
  3. I was told it was yummy.
  4. Life took over and I was afraid I wouldn’t get it to them on their birthday

I’ve been so consumed by the house remodel, I swear, that I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to deliver Dan’s birthday on time. I told him this the day before. That way he knew it was coming and I didn’t forget.

In the end, I got it there on Betty White’s 97th Birthday, aka Dan’s birthday. I did tell him it was a birthday cake to celebrate Betty White’s birthday since he apparently doesn’t celebrate birthday’s anymore….

Betty White’s 97th Birthday Cake (aka Dan’s Birthday cake)

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Chocolate Birthday Cake

What is the deal with everyone wanting Chocolate Birthday Cake? Seriously… haha. Okay, let’s back up and I’ll explain. Tbug’s birthday is the 2nd of January. Then my father-in-law’s birthday is the 9th of January. Bam, 2 in a row.

When I asked her what she wanted, it was a yellow cake with chocolate icing. Very plain and simple. Sometimes though, those are the best. Then I asked my father-in-law what he wanted. He said, oh, I guess chocolate maybe.

Chocolate, okay, we could go many different ways with that, right? But… then he mentioned, not German Chocolate or was it not Devil’s food chocolate. Gosh, I can’t even remember now. Either way… that did help narrow it down a little.

I had run across The Stay at Home Chef‘s The Most Amazing Chocolate Cake. I’ve made the cake before, which ended in me almost having a meltdown and crying. Ugh! But I’ve learned quite a few tricks since then… So… I decided to make it word for word recipe-wise.

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Black Forest Birthday Cake

New Year’s Eve tends to be a night where everyone is ringing in the New Year. And don’t worry, we brought in the new year. In fact, I brought in the new year baking a cake… but not this one. I made this one the day before…

Our friend Doug has a birthday on New Year’s Eve. Yup, his momma got to ring in the new year in the hospital, but it wasn’t a bad accident. Nope, it brought my friend Doug into the world… 50 years ago in fact. And I have to admit, I met him in 2013 and didn’t realize he was in his 40’s at the time.

Wow, I’ve known him 5 years… CRAZY. I just thought about that. Just a thought… but back to the cake.

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She’s 16… Holy Cow

I’m not sure when or how this happened, but she decided to turn 16 on me. WHAT?!?! I feel old, trust me! She was 6 when she came into my life. I was 19 when she was born. She’s 16 now. HOLY CRAP! Yes, I just said that.

Last month I asked her what kind of cake she wanted. She said yellow cake with chocolate icing is her favorite. So… yellow cake with chocolate icing it is… But I had to add sprinkles. It would have been boring without the sprinkles.

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3-Layer Microwave Cake (Happy Birthday Momma!)

Yes, you read this correctly! This 3-layer cake was made in the microwave. Mind blown! haha.

So a blog I like to follow called Bigger Bolder Baking (mentioned a time or two) said you could make a 3-layer cake in the microwave. Now if you know anything about me… of course I’m going to have to try that out.

Once upon a time for Christmas, my mom bought me a silicon baking set… but at the time I didn’t really care for it and never figured I’d use it ever again, so of course I got rid of it eventually. To me, it was just taking up space in the cabinet. And this time frame was like when I was still in high school or just first into college. Like a long time ago. By the way, I think I’m hanging out with my 15-year-old too much… like has been said like way too many like times. haha! Yes, sometimes we count how many times she uses that word in a sentence. 1 sentence. I think the record was 6 so far. One. Sentence. Let that sink in a minute.

Anyway… I had to go online and get new silicon baking pans because obviously metal ones and a microwave aren’t friends. Also, just for future reference… a metal bread tie and a microwave aren’t friends either.

3-Layer Microwave Cake

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Tiramisu Birthday Cake with Chocolate Tiramisu Truffles

When my husband and I started dating, he was living in Kentucky or was it Tennessee? It was right on the border and he called it Tuckasee. Technically he lived in Clarksville, Kentucky. He was working at the army base Ft. Campbell.

Not long after we started dating, just a couple months, he decided to move home. If you’ve been around these parts you’ll know we went to high school together. I actually fall in that 18% of people who marry someone from their graduating class. So here we were, he moved home in October. My mom and I found tickets to see Dracula at the Ballet and we bought them. Turns out, we bought them for November 1st that year. Does anyone know what November 1st is? It’s my husband’s birthday. Yup, I missed my husband’s first birthday together.

Hey, he wasn’t here for mine… haha. Mine was in the middle of the week and he was back in Kentucky. My mom offered him her ticket but he refused. And now he hasn’t let me live down missing that birthday since. But this year he was traveling for work on his birthday. I’m here to tell you though… I didn’t forget his birthday. I made him a Tiramisu Birthday Cake with Homemade Tiramisu Truffles. THEN, I took it to dive club meeting and we all ate it and celebrated without him. I wasn’t going to get accused of forgetting his birthday, again.

 Tiramisu Cake with Homemade Chocolate Tiramisu Truffles

Chocolate Tiramisu Truffles

Here while back, we bought my little helper a hammer of her own. She has rules that it has to stay in mommy’s tool bag until she is told she can pull it out. Unfortunately, we got her the hammer and she hasn’t had a chance to use it… Bummer! It’s almost like giving a kid candy and saying don’t eat it. (more…)

Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake

That cake up there is a Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake with a Mascarpone Whipped Cream icing, cinnamon caramel glaze, and homemade chocolate truffles. Wow, that’s a mouth full!

One of my mom’s co-workers turned 30 this year. Ah, to turn 30 again. ha! A lot has happened since I turned 30… A LOT! I sold a house, had a snake in my car, had a kid, graduated from grad school, 2 trips to Cozumel Mexico, and soooo much more that might not always be sooooooo good. Oy! Ah, to be 30 again. Truthfully, I’m not sure I’d be willing to do it again. A lot of good happened but a lot of not so good happened. I think I’ll just keep plugging away and see what is just around the corner.

But this isn’t about me, this is about a cake. So… Johanna turned 30 this year. Mom hit me up and asked if I’d be willing to do a birthday cake for her. I guess that Johanna likes people to make a fuss about her birthday and being as though this was a big one, she wanted a big hoopla. haha. I don’t know, I don’t know her :). But mom wanted a big, fancy cake. Mom asked in September. That meant that I had plenty of time to start thinking about what I wanted to do exactly.

So many choices, so many options, all I knew was that she liked Pumpkin. Okay, that was at least a start.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream Icing, Cinnamon Caramel Glaze, and Homemade Chocolate Truffles

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Wonder Woman Cupcake Cake

I didn’t leave you hanging! I told you yesterday with the Wonder Woman Cookies that I had a Wonder Woman Cupcake Cake post coming up and here it is! Yey, go me, go me, it’s my birthday, we’re going to party like it’s my birthday.

Please tell me you kind of know the song I was just referencing. I mean I totally botched it up and all but please tell me I’m not THAT old. I was singing that around a kid here recently. By kid, she’s an early teen. I think maybe 8th or 9th grade this year. She looked at me straight-faced and said, it’s not my birthday. Yes, yes I know… it’s a song. Sigh. I tried then to explain the song and yeah, it was lost on deaf ears I think. Sad day! I’m the “old” person in the room. In my life, I usually am the youngest of the group of people I run around with. I’m kind of used to it…

But… let’s not focus on that… let’s focus on the fact that I made a Wonder Woman Birthday Cupcake Cake for my friend Jody’s daughter. Oh who by the way, Jody is younger than me. WHAT? Yup, I show my age there too, but I’m only a couple years older… I think ;). Shhhhh, don’t tell, please! (more…)