Valentine’s Day and a Birthday

Yesterday, we did Home Economics. 2 cakes were made.  First, as a group, we mixed up a double batch of Gluten-free sour cream chocolate cake batter.  The girls cut out waxed paper to fit into the bottom of the pans and then sprayed them with non-stick spray.  The cake layers were baked.  They came out of the pans easily with the waxed paper liner.

After they were cooled, they frosted them with chocolate buttercream frosting and decorated them however they wanted with the supplies they could find in the garage.  They did great!

Ja’Ana’s cake was for her dad, for Valentine’s Day.

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Alissa’s cake was for her mom (the G is for Gail) for her birthday, which is the day after Valentine’s Day.

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I was amazed at how nice they looked!  Of course, we are all helping Rob eat his, and it tastes great!  We even got about 6 or 8 cupcakes as well from the leftover batter.  It made a lot.

We went down to the farm store and bought some flowers and some potting soil.  We used a pot I had, and the girls planted flowers in it as a birthday gift from all of us.  They chose the colors carefully and it turned out great.  They also got a flower for my aunt (their great aunt), and some chocolates for Grandma.  Last evening, Alissa babysat her siblings so her parents could go out for dinner for Valentine’s and got up super early to give her mom breakfast in bed for her birthday.

It was a gorgeous day, and I love how we spent it.

How I Get a Layer Cake Out of the Pan

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The only time I make layer cakes is for birthdays, and that is only when the birthday person wants cake.  I may make other desserts, if wanted.  When I do make cake, I want it to come out of the pan easily. I’ve had a lot of trouble with that in the past. Here’s how I do it now.

First, I trace around the pan, using waxed paper and a pencil.  I cut out the circles I traced.

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I spray the pans with Pam spray, and stick down the waxed paper circles, and then spray the pans again, over the waxed paper, and along the sides.

The recipe I made this time was a chocolate cake recipe from a cookbook Lovana has, named “A Passion for Baking” and I just substituted an equal amount of Bob’s Red Mill One-to-One flour for the all-purpose.  This recipe has sour cream in it, and seems to stay moist, but does not goo up or fall apart. Every recipe does not translate into gluten-free as nicely as this one.

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After cooling for a few minutes, it is very easy to invert the pans onto a wire rack and the cake falls out easily.  If needed, I run a knife around the edges to loosen them, but the waxed paper keeps the bottom from sticking.  Then, the paper is peeled off and the cake is flipped right side up on another cooling rack.

These 2 layers were frozen as soon as we realized that the planned birthday dinner for my sister had been cancelled due to an ill child.  No use spreading that love around.  We will do it next Sunday.  I was very thankful I had not frosted them yet, they will keep better unfrosted. When I do frost it, I will make a cocoa powder, powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and milk frosting.  I’m already looking forward to next Sunday.  Yum!

A Simple Birthday Party

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We had such a fun birthday party Sunday!  Alissa, Jake, and Rob always have a party together.  He and Alissa have celebrated together for the last 15 years.  They have had parties at homes, in Seaside, Oregon, and at pizza parlors and arcades. This year, my sister offered to host the party at her house.   This simple paper plate sign was a product of Alissa, I believe.  My brother-in-law set the tables with paper plates with a bowl on top and silverware over brightly colored tablecloths.  Rob and I got to her house an hour before she did on Sunday after church and helped organize the parts and pieces and set everything out.  Other family members joined us as soon as they could get there from their churches.

Everyone brought food.  Potato soup, turkey rice soup, French Dip Au Jus, Make-your-own sub sandwiches and French Dips, fruit, veggies, and a cake from Safeway.

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Alissa picked out a cake that little brother would love, and he did!  She and Uncle Rob got to share it.  He couldn’t wait for the little car that was on top.

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After the candles were blown out, the birthday boys and girl got some presents.  It was a simple, but extremely fun afternoon.  We can’t believe Alissa is 15 now, and Jake is 8.  Rob–well, we can’t believe that either, but I’ll leave the details sketchy on that score.  We are so thankful for these precious children that we have been privileged to have in our lives.   I have 2 sisters.  Between the 3 of us, we have 14 children.  11 are adopted.   So, you could safely say we have chosen to have a lot of birthday parties.  We do not take children for granted.   They have all brought immense blessings to us, each in their own way.  We were delighted that our son who has Asperger’s Syndrome agreed to come to this party.  He is sometimes so much in his own world that he prefers not to attend gatherings.  We enjoyed his company on Sunday.  He had a good time, but was ready for Rob to take him home by mid-afternoon.