Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Birthday recap, long weekend, and a recipe!

Thanks for all the sweet birthday wishes...I really had a wonderful day full of great food and my sweet family, as well as sweet birthday greetings from many family members and friends! Having my Dad with me the previous weekend was so so special. It really caught me by surprise! My Mom and Hadleigh made me scones and hot tea for breakfast...we ate a delicious lunch at a favorite restaurant in town (we both had the Harvest Chicken Salad--chicken, dried fruit, salad greens, walnuts, and the MOST delicious maple dressing ever.) We spent some time just talking (and working) in the kitchen together. Brent took me out to dinner (at the same restaurant...which was fun since I'd never been there for dinner before!) and we had a delicious meal--I had duck with two different autumn fruit sauce and a port wine fig reduction which was AMAZING!

After dinner, we returned to find Nathanael crying...he and Hadleigh had been carefully placing candles on the cake and in his attempt to hurry (since we were coming through the door), his hand slid along the edge of the cake, leaving a big spot of cake without frosting! Precious boy...he had been worried that he messed it up. He quickly said, "Mommy, it's your BIRTHDAY CAKE. With CANDLES." (Birthday cake and candles are the most important birthday items in his mind. It's all about those two things at his age!) The Red Velvet Cake was a labor of love (Mom made it with H & N) and so so delicious.

We managed to take that picture above...not exactly perfectly cooperative...but still a cute memory! The cake was delicious...followed by fun gifts (which were hidden), which my children led me to by playing the "Hot and Cold" game. Sometimes they would walk to where the gift was and say "I'm hot Mommy!" Too cute.

Red Velvet Cake is one of my very favorites. My Mom sometimes uses cream cheese frosting and sometimes uses fresh whipped cream. But this year she found the best recipe ever. It's from the website Joy of Baking (that link will take you to where she found the recipe.) It's the best of both frosting worlds...light and fluffy like the whipping cream but with the flavor of the cream cheese. It's perfectly delightful with Red Velvet, and I'm sure it would be great with many others!

I thought I'd share it with you's fabulous.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 - 8 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
1 - 8 ounce tub of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

1. With a hand mixer, process the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and sugar and process until smooth. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl.

2. Then, in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. With a large spatula, gently but quickly fold a little of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream, in two stages.

3. Cover and place the frosting in the refrigerator for an hour or two, or until it is firm enough to spread.

I hope you all had a great Labor Day Weekend. We sure did, though it was busy. We took my Mom to the airport Saturday morning (we miss you Mom!) and took advantage of the city of Wichita to go to the zoo, a golf store, a scrapbook store, McAllisters sweet tea, and Carrabbas for dinner. Can I just say that their Italian white sangria is my favorite? It was a wonderful day and the kids did great, despite the lack of a nap for either of our younger ones.

Monday we had a VERY full day...we played at the park...Madeleine went swinging for the first time and loved it! Then we went to the Splash Park, where the kids played in the water and we ran into some friends. Hadleigh and Brent played golf during naptime and then we went out for burritos for dinner, a quick stop at Hastings and Staples, and then onto the city park where they have a train and carousel that operate Memorial Day to Labor Day. We got to ride up front on the train which was fun...the kids LOVE that train!

I have a love/hate relationship with long weekends...usually when the day off is a Monday. I love the time together as a family and having Brent home...but Tuesday is a bit tough for me to get back. This week we have a lot going on, so it's feeling a little crazy. Crazy but good. :) I'll report more later! Have a great day!


Shawna said...

YUM! Your b-day meals and celebrations sound perfect. What a special time with family. Love you, friend!

Stephanie said...

happy belated birthday! i am so glad to hear you had a good day w/ lots of fun memories.

Joel, Dot and Judah said...

Yeah for a fun birthday and long weekend!

Marianne said...

Yea and YUM!!


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