Happy Easter! And Happy Birthday to my dad! 😀
Yesterday was a pretty day in Chicago. My mom and I went to an 8am step class and it felt SO good. Since moving to Ohio, I no longer have a gym membership — there’s no (decent) gym close by. That will all change with a brand new YMCA opening 2 miles from our house this summer, but it is an understatement to say that I have missed group fitness classes. My calves are barkin’ today! Love it! Though, I’m sure that is, at least in part, thanks to the 30 minutes I spent on the stairmaster on Friday. 😉
After our workout, the whole family went to my childhood church to help set-up for Easter brunch. We ran around there for an hour or so and then headed out for brunch ourselves. We went to our long-time family favorite hole-in-the-wall breakfast place. While it was delicious and plentiful, we didn’t get hungry the rest of the day. We had planned to go to the restaurant where my brother works last night, but come 8pm none of us had worked up an appetite yet. Rain check!
After brunch, we headed out to see my Grannie. She has recently been hospitalized and she’s having some struggles ambulating. It was wonderful to see her. 🙂 In celebration of my dad’s birthday, my mom and I made a German Chocolate Cake (his favorite) and took it out to Grannie’s to celebrate with her. If there’s one thing Grannie LOVES, it’s all things sweet. She kept repeating, “This cake is so good!”…”This is the best cake I’ve ever had!” While I imagine she was a bit overzealous about my cake, it was pretty good…especially that rich, coconut frosting!
German Chocolate Cake from About.com
4 ounces Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate, melted and cooled
2 1/3 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, divided
1 tsp vanilla
Coconut pecan frosting and filling, below
Grease two 9-inch layer cake pans and line bottoms with waxed paper. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cream butter; add flour mixture, 3/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened; beat at medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes, scraping bowl from time to time. Add melted chocolate, eggs, and remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk. Beat 1 minute longer. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 35 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on rack for 15 minutes. Remove and cool completely on racks. Frost with coconut pecan frosting, below.
Coconut Pecan Frosting and Filling
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 1/3 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup pecans, chopped
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, sugars, butter, and vanilla. Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat (mixture might appear a bit curdled). Quickly stir a small amount of the hot liquid into the beaten egg yolks; return egg yolk mixture to the hot mixture in saucepan and blend well. Return to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in coconut and pecans. Cool to spreading consistency, beating occasionally.
Frost the top of the bottom layer of the cake, and stack on the second layer of cake. Frost the top of the second layer. Yield: 12 slices.
After visiting Grannie, we went shopping. For his birthday, I got my dad a new pair of dress shoes, which he is sporting in his Easter best today 😉 I landed a great deal on a pair of Steve Madden flats for work — normally $70, I scored for $22. Yay for 70% off sale racks!
But that wasn’t all. My dad INSISTED on stopping by the new dollar store (::eye roll::), so I ran into the shoe store next door. Besides, I usually score my Asics at this store because they carry D width (read: FAT FEET). Alas, they still had the pair I wanted in stock…and on sale! Normally $65, they were on sale for $49 and seeing as it was buy 1, get 1 half off, that is what I did. Two pairs for $83 vs. the $130+ tax they would normally be 😀 Woot! I don’t buy the BEST shoes ever because I replace them about every 90 days. My feet are very attune to worn down shoes so there’s no need to track miles, days, etc…they let me know when they’ve had enough!
Last night, I caught up with one of my best friends and his fiance. I am in their upcoming wedding and it’s fun to stay up to date with the planning process. I also got my bridesmaid dress last night 😀 It’s so cute! And I like I told the bride, I honestly think I’ll wear it again…and I’m not just saying that! It has POCKETS! 😀
Well I’d better bring this to a close. We are heading to church for brunch and service and I will be heading back east shortly thereafter. I sent Mr. Prevention my grocery list (he stayed in OH)…we’ll see if he grants my request 😉 If not, I have my menu plan and list of grocery items ready to go! He’s traveling for work this week, so I opted for a vegetarian meal plan!
Weekly Menu: April 24th-28th
- Sunday: on the road – probably Subway
- Monday: Balsamic Strawberry & Chickpea Salad
- Tuesday: Lentil Bolognese
- Wednesday: leftovers
- Thursday: Tofu with Asian Cilantro Sauce and brown rice
Question: What’s a meal you love but your significant other/roommate/family doesn’t like?