Sunday, September 23, 2012

and then she was 60.

My mom, that is.

I don't think the lady had a party thrown for her since her wedding reception.

She deserved it. She has worked hard for many, many years. My mom is seriously the nicest person on the planet. If you think I am nice or thoughtful, it is because I learned from her example. My mom was not only celebrating her 60th birthday, but five years cancer-free! She should be celebrated. So my brothers and I set out to do so. She wanted a picnic and we tried to give her the best one we could. That pin she is wearing on sweater? A nurse pinned to that to her tiny clothing after birth as she was a preemie and they feared she wouldn't make it through her first night of life. My mom has been kicking butt since day 1.

It couldn't have been more perfect. Except for her friends that showed up too early or the one that showed up four days late!

 No birthday is complete these days in this family without this cake. Henry sported chocolate cake face for much of the evening.  I've linked this recipe before, but I'll do it again because it always get rave reviews. If you think you are a slave to boxed cake mix and canned icing, this will totally change your mind.

Hershey's Perfect Chocolate Cake

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. 

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water--your batter will be very thin. Pour batter into  prepared pans. 

ONE PAN 9X13: Bake 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

CUPCAKES: Fill 2/3 full. Bake 22-25 minutes (Makes 30)

Chocolate Frosting

1 stick butter
2/3 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount of additional milk if needed. Stir in vanilla. 

For a two layer cake, I typically double the frosting so that I have generous amounts for the cake. I live with frosting people, what can I say? 

Oh and the band? The Armadillos. They were kind of fantastic and added so much to the party. They are good friends of my brother and happen to be my mom's neighbors. Their performance was their present to her.

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