German Chocolate Cake

Happy happy birthday Nathan.

Begrudgingly I agreed to make the german chocolate cake he requested. For some reason I thought it would be complicated. Somewhere in my brain I thought I didn’t like german chocolate cake.

I think what I didn’t like was an overly sweet coconut layer. Or maybe somehow I thought german chocolate cake was something else. Who knows. I’m an odd duck sometimes.

German chocolate cake!

But you know what I do like? (warning this is going to get sappy) My husband.

We have been together for over 10 years and married for 8 of those. It has been tough. It has been really hard at times. There have been days I would have put him on the street for free. But I am so incredibly thankful for him.

German chocolate cake!

So here are 31 things I love about him (he turned 31 by the way):

1. His smile

2. I really like his smile when he is looking at me

3. He has this awesome ability to just swoop in a do the dishes. Unrequested.

4. When he comes home with beer in hand. Particularly when it is from Oakshire and has a koozie

5. When Little wakes up at night he handles it 95% of the time

6. Mad wok cooking abilities

7. The way my head fits on his shoulder when he hugs me

8. He’s a rockstar dad

9. I know he does things just because it makes me happy (vacuuming of late)

10. His sweet texts mid day

11. So supportive of my adventures and undertakings

12. Never complains about what’s for dinner

13. Appreciates all that I do for him and tells me as often as he remembers

14. Yard work.

15. Adores our kitties

16. Isn’t afraid to admit when he is wrong (most days)

17. He truly enjoys hanging out with Little

18. The man has a complete and utter lack of fear of failure.

19. He designed this gorgeous website

20. And maintains it for me

21. He will happily go out of his way to do things for his friends

22. It doesn’t bother him that I am a Duck football nut. He is right there with me.

23. Challah bread. He rocks it.

24. He will happily read to Little (swoon)

25. Genuinely wants to see me be happy and successful

26. He’s so darn flexible (unlike me)

27. Forever learning. If he isn’t learning he gets restless.

28. Total nerd. Shamelessly so.

29. Can put down cake or donuts or really anything sweet like it is going out of style

30. Juicing. He has introduced me to the wonderful world of juicing.

31. He loves me. Incredibly much.

German chocolate cake!

One year ago today: Chili Relleno Casserole

German Chocolate Cake (easily serves 12-16)
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

3 round chocolate cakes (I used this recipe bake for 30-40 min for 9 in round cakes)

For the Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted

For the Rum Syrup:
2/3 cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons dark rum

For the Chocolate Icing:
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream

Make the Filling: Stir together the heavy cream, sugar and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the butter, salt, pecans and coconut in a large bowl and set aside. Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir) until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon (an instant-read thermometer will read 170 degrees F.). Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature.

Make the Rum Syrup: In a small saucepan, heat the water and sugar, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the dark rum. Set aside until ready to use.

Make the Chocolate Icing: Place the chopped chocolate, corn syrup and butter in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand one minute, then stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

Once the filling and icing are both cooled to room temperature, refrigerate for 1 hour.

Assemble the Cake: Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Brush the top of the cake layer with the rum syrup. Spread 3/4 cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer, making sure to reach to the edges. Set another cake layer on top. Repeat, brushing the top of each cake layer with the rum syrup, then spreading 3/4 cup of the coconut filling over each layer, including the top. Ice the sides with the chocolate icing, then pipe a decorative border of chocolate icing around the top, encircling the coconut topping.

German chocolate cake!

Happy Birthday 2.0

Can I just say 1 to 2 was WAY more fun than newborn to 1.

1 to 2 brought us a baby that finally started sleeping through the night (at 22 months). He has learned oh so many words. Do you know he doesn’t say yes? He says mmm hmmm. It is precious. He is the pickiest eater ever and it is moment by moment. He loves trains (hence the birthday party theme) or really any large moving vehicle.

Happy birthday my not so little

He can sometimes be reasoned with and sometimes he melts into a screaming puddle of toddler. Which was what happened when I showed him his cake before the party. Nathan had to take him out of the house because he didn’t understand why he couldn’t have his happy birthday cake NOW. He may or may not have finally been appeased with a cake pop from Starbucks. I don’t know. I wasn’t there.

It was a lovely party. It is amazing how much he has grown this past year. It is amazing how much WE have grown this past year. His first birthday was filled with family and friends we knew before Little was born. We were so blessed. This year his birthday was full of toddlers and friends I have been blessed with since he was born. I was in tears thinking about my lovely mama tribe and feeling so terribly loved.

Happy birthday my not so little

I couldn’t be happier.

It was a lovely party. Served pork verde tacos (pork shoulder, green salsa, oven at 300 for 3 hrs), homemade refried beans, spanish rice (made by my mom), all the taco fixings, and of course birthday cake.

Happy birthday my not so little

There was a ridiculous cardboard train too.

Happy birthday my not so little

And puddle splashing. We were supposed to be outside but it poured. God bless Oregon the sun did make an appearance and well… when you are nearly two you can splash in puddle barefoot.

Little didn’t pass out till nearly 9 (usual bedtime is 7). Too much excitement and cake.

Now if only 2 to 3 can be half as wonderful as 1 to 2 we will be more blessed than we can ever imagine.

Happy birthday my not so little

One year ago today:  A collection of party recipes and a very happy birthday



One Year Anniversary Party

I meant to post on Friday but see there was this party and I was kinda busy…

Then I meant to post something Saturday morning but was terribly busy….

So I am sorry. But not really. Because it was totally worth it to miss getting a post up.

Thank you all so very very much who came. Thank you for the lovely kind words from those of you who didn’t make it. What a fun fun day.

The party went off without a hitch. There were hardly any leftovers and yet I think everyone got to try everything they wanted. I could not have been more perfect.

So here are a collection of pictures from right before everyone showed up. I intended to take pictures during but set my camera down as the first guest appeared and didn’t pick it back up.


One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

Those beautiful cards with the names of the dishes? Yeah I am not that crafty. I was blessed to have the talented Jayma Malme visit me and so generously make them. She is amazing. Go check out her blog. I am in awe.

Let’s do this again next year!

Ps. Want the recipes? Here is the cookbook! Enjoy!