Semi-homemade

There is a trend here. VERY busy. Little time for extras. Welcome to the rat race. It’s so frustrating not to have the time I need to do all that I have on my agenda. This week we planned a surprise party for a very, very special friend. Our friend has a had a really hard year and really deserves a special time and celebration in her honor. And in my book, nothing is more fun than a birthday celebration…no matter how many candles are on the cake.

When we began the planning, I had big plans to make a gourmet cake. I even purchased a birthday cake cook book. I had narrowed the recipes down to either a carrot cake or an elvis cake (chocolate and peanut butter). The only problem with my little plan was time. Let’s be real here- Putting in 10 hour days at the office, squeezing in a work out here and there and trying to make the final decisions on our construction project, has left me with very little time. I have learned a thing or two in my yoga practice…and number one is….taking care of number one…ME. I knew that baking a cake was out of the question.  Must keep my sanity in tact!

So I had to be creative. I needed something special. Not your average grocery store cake with happy birthday scribbled on the top. Unfortunately, my time only yielded a birthday store cake. So I stopped by and ordered a chocolate cake with a smooth white icing. Nothing else on it. No colored icing…no ugly icing flowers, no confetti, no scribbled writing. Just plain white. Then I purchased some BEAUTIFUL bright cheerful sunflowers that all but screamed Happy Birthday. I cut the sunflowers and put them carefully on the top to create a truly cheerful cake. Placed on a pedestal…the cake was marvelous!  No one could believe it was a grocery store cake. It looked like a gourmet treat from a fab bakery!

Sometimes, we just need to figure out how to maximize the hours and minutes we have rather than become discouraged by the lack of time to do all that we want to do.

Happy Birthday KT!

150 million hotdogs

According to a report on NBC, Americans consumed 150 million hotdogs to during the July 4th holiday. How did they come up with that number? Is it by hotdogs purchased? We did our part…eight for the H fam. Dogs for lunch…dogs for supper. YUMMY. Thank goodness we only eat them once a year.

I love July 4th. So many wonderful memories. As kids, we spent the 4th at the beach. We had to drive across the border to SC to purchase the fireworks…I loved roman candles and the little tanks that scooted when lit…oh and of course sparklers. We always had a little competition with our across the street neighbors. Really not sure how we decided who the winner was. Then there were many July 4ths spent at Camp Seafarer. Talk about amazing fireworks over the Neuse River. And I can’t forget, July 4th in DC. We only went down to the mall  once. It is mad crazy. People everywhere. Once is enough.

This year, in celebration of July fourth and the 150 million hotdogs which I am certain will greatly contribute to America’s obesity…I made a whole wheat chocolate blueberry cake with a fudge topping. Before you say gross…it was really quite tasty and had only 6 grams of fat per serving. The recipe called for dutch press chocolate…I chose the dark kind. I should have made the topping with dark chocolate rather than semi-sweet. Nonetheless, this festive little cake was almost as good as a fab fireworks display…we were in bed by nine. Happy Birthday America.