Friday, April 13, 2012

Love and Birthdays: #67 and #68

Meet my fiance.

He's the most wonderful person I have ever met, and I don't think I tell him that often enough.

His birthday falls during my spring break, and I always try to devote a good weekend or so to trying to make him feel as loved as he always makes me feel. I kind of hate feeling like I'll never be able to "repay" him for how much he has changed my life for the good, but I can certainly try... with pastry. That's what I do, right?

... I actually feel kind of tacky seguing this particular blog entry into a recipe list. I feel like I should instead just try to put into words my feelings for this man. How I can't wait to spend Christmas mornings with him and our little family, make Sunday breakfasts and read the paper, go to bed at 9 and be that 'old, married couple' we get teased for being, raise children with, and grow old and gray with. How he can change my day with just a phone call (or sometimes, with a hug). How he still is as exciting to me as a "high school crush" after nearly two years of dating. How everyone always has such wonderful things to say about him (yeeeeeeah, he's mine).

There is no one I would rather drive down the highway screaming Katy Perry with. Eat "experimental" sushi with. Cry with. Laugh with. People watch with. Awkwardly slow dance in a living room with. Cook with. Smile stupidly with while he plays his guitar (love guitar players).

There is no one more patient. How many times have you held me while I've cried, listened while I've complained, and feigned interest with while I've tried to explain which of Nicki Minaj's alter-egos is singing during a particular song?

There is no one more loving. Caring. Giving.

I love ya, Stephen. And I always will.

And now I have to share your recipes I made for you, okay? <3

#67: Lemon Raspberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (AKA Stephen's 25th birthday cake. Best served following dinner with friends at P.F. Chang's, and finished with a spoon and a frown following my departure back to Washington)

As found on


Cake Bar Ingredients
1 lemon cake mix
1/4 c. oil
1 egg
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1/3 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c. frozen raspberries or fresh raspberries
Frosting Ingredients
2 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream (whipped)
1/2 tsp lemon extract or fresh lemon juice (optional)

1) Mix together cake mix, milk, whipping cream, vanilla and egg.
2) Fold in raspberries until just combined.
     -Like this:

3) Bake in 8x8 greased.baking pan for 25-30 minutes minutes at 350ยบ.
   Yeah, that easy. So good though. Seriously, it took everything in me not to just eat the batter prior to baking... but I suppose I am always pretty guilty of that. One thing to note, I had to keep my cake in the oven for 45 minutes, because the center wasn't rising the way it should have. It still never did, but I had to take it out after 45 because the top was browning too much. And then of course, the middle sunk after I took it out of the oven. I just spread the frosting evenly over the cake, so it wasn't AS noticeable. 
Frosting Instructions:

1) In a small bowl whip heavy whipping cream with an electric mixer for a couple minutes until it thickens.
2) In a separate bowl mix together cream cheese and powdered sugar.
3) Add heavy whipping cream to cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth and thick. Place in refrigerator until bars cool completely.
     -Notice she also forgot to mention the lemon juice? I didn't add it either. The cake itself is pretty lemony, so I didn't feel like it needed it.
4) Frost bars and serve (or refrigerate until serving).

I also woke up early on Friday and popped this in the oven for breakfast. 
#68: Overnight Blueberry French Toast (as found on
Following the success of my first overnight french toast casserole, and per Stephen's request, I made this bad boy. I wasn't as impressed with it as I was with the delicious, cinnamony one I made a week earlier for his family, but he really enjoyed this.
French Toast: 
12 slices bread, cut into cubes (french or Texas toast work well)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut in cubes
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
12 large eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 cups milk (I use 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream)

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 Tablespoon butter 

1. Arrange 1/2 of the bread cubes in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle cream cheese cubes and blueberries evenly over the bread cubes.Top with remaining bread cubes.
2. Mix together eggs, milk, and syrup. Pour over bread cubes and cover pan with foil. Let chill in refrigerator overnight.
     - This, ladies and gentlemen, is what 12 eggs looks like. Cracked. And it all went in this recipe. Bleck.

3. Bake covered with foil at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes or until fluffy and golden. Top with sauce. Serves 8. 
     - Yeah, we didn't have any foil, so I opted without it. I wish I wouldn't have. Since the top browned pretty quickly, I had to take the pan out of the oven so the bread wouldn't burn, but the bottom was still pretty eggy. Definitely could've been prevented if I had followed the recipe. I think I was only able to keep it in for about 40 minutes uncovered. Lesson learned.

4. Syrup: Cook water, sugar, and cornstarch until thickened. Stir in blueberries and simmer for 10 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Serve over the french toast.
There you go. Make this for someone you love. From us, to you.

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