Monday, July 28, 2014

Happy Birthday Week

Today is Ryan's big 3-0 birthday and we've been celebrating all weekend. I must brag on him a minute on how well he is handling residency and all the crazy schedules and lack of sleep and stress. It's intense! But he functions so well on lack of sleep.

Saturday afternoon we played a round of put-put at our neighborhood park. He won, of course! I did get a hole-in-one on the last hole. It was lots of fun and I expect we'll be going back again soon. He headed into work after this for the night-shift. 

Sunday morning I made Ryan his birthday cake. I'd made a Seven Layer Cake for graduation, but it was practically gone before he got a piece so he's excited to have this one all to himself. After I got back from church and he got up from a nap, he couldn't resist and we had a piece or two! The recipe is below. Later on we headed downtown. Our first stop was to see the ducks at Falls Park - Ryan's favorite thing about Greenville.

Then we celebrated a night early at Wild Wing Cafe downtown. Ryan loves wings and I have grown to like them. These were actually really good and very meaty. Afterwards it was home for a sliver more cake. 

Seven Layer Cake 
Ryan's grandmother used to make him a Seven Layer Cake all the time. It's his all-time favorite cake. This isn't her recipe but Ryan says it tastes the same as he remembers!  

For the cake:
1 package yellow cake mix
4 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup milk (whole milk works best)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour cake pans. Mix together cake mix, eggs, vanilla, milk, baking powder, and butter and beat with electric mixer for two minutes. Pour 1/2 cup batter in to round cake pans (do seven total). Bake for 12 minutes (or until the edges start pulling away from the sides). *It's important not to "sample" the batter - you need every drop of it to get seven layers!

Let cool in pan and then on wire rack. Once it is completely cool, apply icing between each layer and then around the outside.

For the chocolate icing:
1 pound confectioners' sugar
3/4 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons milk  

In a double boiler, mix the butter, cocoa powder, butter, vanilla, salt. Gradually add in the confectioners' sugar and milk and stir until smooth. Be as stingy as possible with the icing between the layers - you want to make sure you have enough left for the top and sides. 

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