Birthday Cake!

The one thing that I did manage to do despite all that's been going on was to bake a cake for Scott's 3rd birthday party. A while ago he told us he wanted a green Jeep, so I decided to make him a Jeep cake. It turned out to be a bit of an undertaking, and I lost faith that it would turn out well at all in the beginning, but when it was all said and done I think it turned out pretty well! It could've been better, and I know a few things to do differently if I ever do it again, but for a 3 year old I'd say it was pretty perfect. Scott was sure excited about it, and it tasted pretty good too. It had a LOT of icing on it, but what toddler doesn't need a little sugar in their day? :)

I baked 2 sheet cakes and then shaved the tops of them a bit to make them level. One was placed on top of an upside-down 13x9 pan as the base of the body. The other sheet cake I cut in half and stacked on top of the first cake. I then covered it all with white icing so that the crumbs would stick to it and not show through on the final product. I also shaped it some with icing. Jeeps are pretty square, but they do have some shape to them. I then dyed more icing and piped the detailing on top of the base colors. It's insanely difficult to dye white icing to a good "Jeep green", so I just settled for the green I had after a while. It's also impossible to get a good black, so the top ended up being more dark blue than black, but oh well. The tires are chocolate covered donuts (to look like mud), and the stuff around the cake is what I shaved off of the tops of them crumbled up to look like dirt. Scott helped me spread the crumbs out.... it was about all I'd let him help with for fear he'd mess up my hard work. :)
I'm still recovering from skipping my nap for 2 days to work on the cake, but it was worth it. Scott was really excited about it, and I'd do anything to see that little shy grin on his face. :)
Here's the finished product:

It's been a long time....

Well, I'm pleased to annouce that Rebecca is no longer in the oven! That's the reason for my hiatus from posting/cooking. I'm too busy trying to pay attention to Scott and Joe in between feedings, and since the feedings are still about 2 hours apart around the clock, there's just no energy or time for real cooking. I have cooked some though, so I'll briefly post the few things that I remember having made since I had Rebecca.

The first is what I call Salsa Chicken. I think it's actually a recipe from the label of the salsa jar, but I don't exactly follow a recipe anymore. I just toss some chicken in the crock pot, add about a cup of salsa, a few squirts of mustard, and a couple tablespoons of brown sugar. Cook it on low for 8 hours or so and serve it with rice.

The second is Meat Loaf Muffins. I originally got this from Cooking Light, but like the Salsa Chicken I no longer really follow the recipe. I just kind of dump stuff in and mix it up. Take a pound or so of ground beef, add in some cooked diced onions (I was too lazy for this step last night, but it still tastes fine without it), 1/4 to 1/2 cup or ketchup, a couple tablespoons or so of Worchestershire sauce, some Oregano and Basil, salt and pepper, and minced garlic. Mix it all up and put it into a muffin tin. Top each "muffin" with some ketchup, then bake at 350 until they're 160 degrees inside- about 20 minutes. You can substitute BBQ sauce for the ketchup, which Joe prefers, but I'm partial to the plain ol' ketchup version.

Last night's edition of this was special because in addition to the ground beef, I also made some with ground venison. I was nervous about it since I've never had venison before, but it was REALLY good! Our neighbors gave us the meat, and since we're moving very soon we're in "use up all our food by the time we leave" mode, I figured I'd give it a shot. If you can ever get your hands on some I highly recommend it. I really was very surprised at how good it tasted and at how much I liked it.

Since I'm mostly too lazy and drained to cook, I definitely didn't remember to take any pictures of the food, sorry. Maybe once we get settled after we move I'll get back in the swing of things. I certainly plan to, it just may take a bit. :)