this year's festivities were very, very low key. not a bad thing, actually - fit right in with the still-ongoing operation downsize we've got going on over here. and it was nice to have the day off, paid! awesome. the hub was home for the day too, the best present this year being time spent together.
it started off with a sweet card from him, some snuggle time with the bean, and then a fun breakfast with MIL at one of my favorite local joints, flappy jack's. since calories don't count on your birthday, i went big and had the cheese blintzes AND bacon and eggs.
all that snuggling, plus a good filling breakfast and a ride in the car wore the bean out. she fell asleep while we ran a quick errand, and after the hub got her settled in her bed, he shooed me out of the house to go and get some pampering at the nail salon. yay!
i decided to stop at starbucks to collect my free birthday drink. i was a little annoyed when the dude who took my order knew nothing about any such perk, but he redeemed himself when i pulled up to the window. he handed me my caramel macchiato, wished me a happy birthday, and waved off my offer to pay. yay #2!
back at home, as i admired my pretty toes, the hub snuck in a little work via his cell phone and laptop. so i decided to make myself a birthday cake, using a recipe i'd had bookmarked for ages and recently reviewed by my friend ssinca for caramel cake, from one of our favorite food blogs.
i lined my pan with parchment paper and then buttered it, per the instructions. remember, the calories didn't count.
dry ingredients, all measured together:
perfectly softened butter.
remember that fun care package from my buddy ThatGirl? i finally got to use one of the items she'd sent me for this recipe.
the recipe said that the batter would look like it was curdled, and sure enough:
ew, kinda gross. but as soon as i mixed the dry ingredients in, it looked just fine. thank goodness.
i poured the batter into my prepared pan:
and 35ish minutes later, it was all pretty and golden and smelled lovely.
as we waited for it to cool, the bean decided to try out her sister's headphones with the long-forgotten iPod touch, onto which we'd uploaded her beloved blue's clues.
we ended up having some issues to deal with that afternoon and evening, which led us to a much simpler dinner with both girls than we'd planned - at chipotle. haha! it was super tasty, though, and since there wasn't a single movie i was interested in seeing at the local theater, we headed over to the grandparents' after we ate. there, i was serenaded over a yummy homemade chocolate cake and some fun birthday cards.
i ended up waiting till the next day to make the caramel topping for my cake, which was okay since birthday princess month still has a few days left in it anyway. heh.
i quickly realized that my pan was far too big for the glaze, when i clipped the thermometer to the side and the ingredients didn't quite reach the bulb. damn.
i got a little concerned when the mixture started looking like that failed bacon toffee from a few weeks ago.
i turned the heat off, stirred it vigorously, and it started to look better, although it had this super weird liquidy runoff.
hmmm. i poured it from the pan, gave the glaze another stir, and let 'er rip onto the top of my cake.
i knew i'd left the cake in the oven just a few minutes too long, as i took a bite and found that it was ever-so-slightly on the dry side. poo. but the flavor was quite good, as was that caramel topping. it was chewy and buttery (weird, since there isn't any in it) and sweet, and even the hub broke from his strict no-carbs diet to have a couple of bites.
and now i turn my attention to the bean's birthday bash, less than a week away. i have lots to do, although most of it has to wait till the day before. and this is a much less elaborate shindig, so it'll be a lot easier to pull together.
oh! my birthday present from the bean? two glorious nights in a row of uninterrupted sleep (and counting). cross your fingers that it continues. yay #3!