Friday, July 29, 2016

Absolutely Fabulous Seven Layer Cake

Happy Friday! Although I woke up thinking it was Saturday. I also woke up not able to stand up completely straight thanks to my first TRX class yesterday morning. And I attempted to work our the soreness with a 6 a.m. barre class that seems to have left me even more sore. If that's possible! I predict lots of naps today for everyone!

We've had a really fun, and busy, week. It seems that the end of summer brings a rush of activity. On Monday night my friend Amanda and I left our little ones with their daddies (her baby Polk is two weeks younger than Duncan) and went to Ashville to see the Absolutely Fabulous movie. The independent movie theater there was showing it and we made plans before our boys were born to go!

Ryan and I started watching the Ab Fab TV show last summer on Hulu. It first came out in the early 90s and follows two highly dysfunctional best friends. They are in the PR fashion industry and just complete screw-ups. But lovable! Here's the trailer...

The theater had an "Ab Fab" special of champagne. Surprisingly, it pairs very well with popcorn!

After the movie we hit up Chickfila and pumped in the parking lot. Gotta love a wild night out!

Tuesday morning in the middle of breakfast the power suddenly went out. A huge tree randomly fell down the road and it was 3 p.m. before our electricity was back on. I had a 101 things on my to-do list but since they all required power it ended up being a very relaxing day. The house didn't get unbearable hot and I spent most of the day reading - when not changing diapers and feeding. We've moved Duncan into the nursery and nap times have been interesting. Although I think Caroline and Duncan are both getting the hang of falling asleep at the same time. 

We did escape to Whole Foods for lunch and to charge my phone. I'm fine without a television and air conditioning, but can't do without my phone!

I caption Duncan's thought bubble as "Jesus, take the wheel." Caroline had just been waving her wooden toy in his face and he was freaking out!

Ryan got off early enough for a quick game of tennis. Caroline is good to watch for about an hour before she's over it. We played one set and I WON 6 to 4. It's been over a year since I won a set against Ryan!

Giving mama a high five. 

And one afternoon Caroline painted a birthday card for Ryan. She looks a little like Van Gogh with this painter's mustache...

Ryan turned 32 on Thursday and we celebrated with Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the morning. Duncan wasn't sure about the candles!

And we celebrated that evening by grilling steaks with Julia and Eric. Ryan was embarrassed that I made him blow out candles, but it's not a birthday without candles! He'd requested his favorite Seven Layer Cake.  

Ryan's grandmother used to make him this cake and it's his all-time favorite. Her recipe was lost, but, after many years of practice, he says my recipe tastes the same as his childhood memories! I make a double recipe of the icing. Otherwise, the icing between the layers needs to be super thin and that stresses me out! Plus you can never err on too much chocolate, right?

For the cake batter:
1 package yellow cake mix
4 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup milk
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 about 1/2 cup batter in to round cake pans (do seven total). Bake for around 9 minutes until the edges start to pull away from the pan. I cook two pans at a time.

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

Sift cocoa powder and add confectioners' sugar, melted butter, vanilla, salt and milk in a bowl and stir until smooth. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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