Monday, May 24, 2010

My Babies

Alice began eating solids recently. I was a little hesitant because she is so young still but I told her doctor she was reaching for my food all the time and she never seemed satisfied after nursing so I was given the OK to start introducing foods. We started with baby cereal which made her gag repeatedly so I tasted it and agreed it was pretty nasty, we tried 3 times on 3 different days and she still hated it so we moved on to avocado which she liked better but still gagged sometimes. So I mixed in some banana and that was the magic trick. She has been eating the avocado/banana mixture for about a week and it's so funny because she loves it so much that she gets mad at us for not feeding her fast enough.

Here she is during on of her first feedings, she looks a little terrified:

It truly amazes me how much Alice looks up to her big sister. I honestly did not expect her to find Haley so cool for another 2-3 years but Alice just adores her. When Haley walks in the room Alice just smiles, she smiles so hard that she uses her entire little body to convey just how happy she is. And she won't take her eyes off of Haley most of the time. Haley also has the power to make her laugh on command. She'll say "gummi bears" and Alice will burst into laughter.

Monday, May 10, 2010

French Vanilla Strawberry Layer Cake

I'll go ahead and apologize in advance, the photography in this post is so hideous it makes the cake look bad, it detracts from it's deliciousness. But I assure you, and so will anyone who was fortunate enough to eat the cake, it was amazingly delicious and super moist.


1 pint of strawberries

Smuckers Low sugar strawberry jam

Duncan Hines French Vanilla Cake Mix

3 eggs

1/3 c veg. oil

1/4 heavy cream

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup of butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Go ahead and mix the cake mix according to the package directions, then throw in 1/4 cup strawberry jam.

The next part is up to you, you can do like I did and use a mixer to get the jam mixed into the batter or you could try to be artistic and just fold it into the batter. I just now thought of folding it in otherwise I would have tried this, but it may give a nice marbling effect.

Pour it into a greased 8 inch spring form pan and bake it for about 50-55 minutes at the temperature listed on the cake mix box.
Meanwhile, prepare the butter cream.
Beat the butter until it's light and airy, two minutes should be just fine.
Then, add your heavy cream and vanilla and beat those into the butter.
Add the sugar 2 cups at a time and beat on low.
Put the butter cream into the fridge until you're ready to frost the cake.
While the cake is cooling cut 6 or so strawberries in half, and then thinly slice the rest. I did not macerate my berries, I felt the cake was already sweet enough, but if you're a macerator then go ahead and macerate. Can you tell I like the word macerate?
OK, so once your cake is cool go ahead and cut it in half so you have two layers and set the top layer aside. Spread strawberry jam across the bottom layer, then spread about 1/2 cup of butter cream on top of that, then place some thinly sliced strawberries on top of that.
Put the top layer on top of the jam/butter cream/berries and then frost the entire cake. Stick some of the thinly sliced berries along the sides of the cake and then top the cake with the halved berries.