Sunday, April 29, 2012


Prepare yourselves for a crapload of pictures. 

I’m officially partied out. It was worth it though! I know she’ll look back and say, “I remember when my mom threw me that really cool Hawaiian party!”

Since I’ve said about a thousand times that I’m not crafty, I bought all the decorations and made my sister figure out what to do with them.  She did great.  It was the only reason I invited her. 

I doubt very many Hawaiians usually have a slip n slide but hey, it was hot and we lack a pool.  It was a hit.

Some of Diva’s cute friends.

Some of the delish food, most of that fruit was from the farmer’s market.  And Teryaki chicken skewers (minus the bacon of course) a la ourbestbites.

My bro, puttin’ out the vibe.  And uh hey Ace, you’ve got something on your face there.

G-man wasn’t all that impressed.

Three of my most favorite people!

My other bro and my mom having a hula contest. 

Diva and her grandmas.  I love being surrounded by family.  We are spoiled, no doubt.

And then we limbo’d.

What Hawaiian themed party isn’t complete without a PiƱata?


And presents and cake of course!

Coconut Cream cake made by my wonderful mother! Sooooo good.

How cute is this book?  Doesn’t that little girl look JUST like Diva?  Nee Nee gave it to her. Such an adorable book. 

All in all, it was a fun day.  I’m glad it’s over.  My mental capacities can only handle so much organized creativity.

Coconut Cream Cake by Ina Garten


  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
For the frosting:
  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, then line them parchment paper. Grease them again and dust lightly with flour.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. The mixture might look curdled; don't be concerned.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.

For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until just smooth (don't whip!).

To assemble, place 1 layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Number Six

What else can I say about this Diva, that I haven’t already? 

My little girl.  So deeply sensitive, so smart and sweet and a touch high maintenance.  She’s the girl who climbed the high rope in gymnastics last week and the girl who asked for an iPad for her birthday (not happening.)

Love her.  Happy Birthday DEEEEEVA.

The cake?  Thanks Hayley.

Chocolate Cake with Coconut Milk

from the Little Red House


2 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup boiling water
6 TBS butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line bottom of pan with round of parchment paper, butter paper, and sides of pan.
Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot water and cocoa powder. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Into a large bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs (adding one at a time) until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes). Slowly add coconut milk, and melted chocolate mixture, beating until combined well. Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
Pour batter into pan, and bake in middle of oven until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.

Cool cake completely before frosting.

Chocolate Coconut Buttercream
6 TBS butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3-6 TBS coconut milk,
1/2 tsp - 1tsp pure coconut extract, depending on how coconut-y you want it.
(be sure to get pure coconut extract, and not imitation, or your cake will taste like sun-tan oil.)
Beat butter, cocoa, powdered sugar, and coconut extract, and add coconut milk a little at a time until you reach a consistency you like.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wish me luck…

We did it.  We built a garden.  We have such wonderful space in our backyard, I thought…why not?  Nevermind that I’m infamous for killing plants.  Gulp.

I can’t take credit for those blossoms.  They were there when we transplanted.  Please don’t die.  Please don’t die.

Can you tell m husband loves bell peppers?  Let’s hope we get at least one out of those babies.

not pictured: cilantro and parsley.

Any tips on keeping these kids alive? Especially those tomatoes, I’ve heard they’re fickle.

But I do know how to grow some cute babies…

Thursday, April 19, 2012

hard life

today was a nice day.

i got to swing in the hammock with my dad.

it was so relaxing…

I passed out.

my life is really hard.


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