"Over the hill"

Today is Mike's 30th birthday.

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He is unamused.

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My birthday isn't until April, so for the next…*counts*…7 months, I get to relish the fact that he is in an entirely different age bracket than me. He is unamused by that, too.

However, being the doting and loving wife I am, I made his favorite cake today- pineapple upside down cake.

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(The counter isn't dirty, that's the wax paper I set underneath to catch the drips when I turned it out)

Now, when I make this (which is rare), if I have made caramels recently, I just use that instead of the topping recipe- they're quite similar. This time I used the topping.

Topping:

  • 1 cup of firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 can (20 oz) of pineapple slices and 1 jar of maraschino cherries.

Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 6 Tbsp cake flour
  • 6 Tbsp of almond meal
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

Instructions:

1. Start by making the caramel topping. Take brown
sugar and butter and combine and melt in a saucepan on medium heat until
sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbly, this should take several
minutes. (After sugar melts, don't stir.) Pour mixture into a bundt pan. Arrange pineapple
slices in a single layer on top of the caramel mixture. Place a cherry into the center of each pineapple slice.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Whisk the flours, almonds,
baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, use
an electric mixer to beat the sugar and butter together until light.
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the
vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream in 2
additions each, beating well after each addition. Pour cake batter over
caramel and pineapple in pan.

3. Bake cake until tester inserted into the center comes out
clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack
for 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto a platter. Serve warm or at room
temperature.

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Since Mike is working tonight, I doubled the recipe and made cupcake versions for him to take to the guys at work.

After that, I made beef stew.

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Now this is MAN Beef Stew. We're talking carrots, potatoes, onion, and lots and lots of ANGUS beef. You are more than welcome to 1/2 this recipe. I make a ton at once because (1) I own a pot big enough for it and (2) it's one of those dishes that gets better as it gets older.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs Angus stew meat (also works fine with the cheaper stuff, I just used the fancier stuff because it was on sale and it was Mike's birthday)
  • 2 lbs baby carrots
  • 4 lbs red potatoes, peeled (and if they're large, you may want to cut them in half or quarters)
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and the ends cut off
  • 1 jar of Grey Poupon (yes, the whole damn jar)- I like the course ground country style.

Instructions (PAY CLOSE ATTENTION- THIS IS INCREDIBLY COMPLICATED AND YOU WILL CRY IF YOU MESS UP):

  • Brown the meat, dump the rest of the stuff in the pot, cover with water, put a lid on it, turn it on low, go knit or watch TV or play Halo or something for 4 or 5 hours. Stir it once in a while (or not, it's not going to blow up if you don't). If you have a Crock Pot, it works fine, too. You're welcome.
  • And, just between you and me, I have just dumped everything in a pot before (no browning of the meat or anything), covered it with water, and let it do it's thing. It turned out fine.

And to go with it, I made Baybell cheese pocket rolls.

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Ingredients:

  • One bag (6) of mini Baybell cheese (I like the red ones, if you like the blue ones, more power to you), unwrapped and un-waxxed?
  • One roll of seamless crescent roll dough

Instructions:

  • Roll out the crescent roll dough
  • Place the Baybells evenly along the dough
  • Cut squares out around the Baybells
  • Fold the corners in towards the cheese and pinch seams shut, creating a square.
  • Bake at 375 for 12-14 minutes (if your oven cooks unevenly, turn them around halfway through)

Serve, impress people.

So, what did Mike get? A new Xbox 360, a bunch of games for it, some new fluffy towels (sounds dumb, but my man loves his fine linens- ask him about what sheets you should buy next time you see him), and a kilt from me.

Yes, a kilt.

And I think he looks dead sexy in it. 😀

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Happy birthday, hubtard. ❤ you.

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