Sunday, December 06, 2009

Was That The Weekend?

This weekend was an excellent mix of fun events I absolutely did not need to do and a few tasks that I positively had to complete. The two days contained the first unexpected snow fall of the season, a trip to Amish country, lots of family time, copious amounts of wine, entirely way too much food, a trip to see Santa, baking a sinfully delicious cake, surviving dinner with my grandmother, and finally relaxing. As per usual after a weekend my mind is scattered about here and there, so lets do a list shall we?

* My mom and stepdad have birthdays that fall one after another. To celebrate we decided to make the hour trek to Amish Country to dine at one of our favorite restaurants. If you've ever had Amish home cooking you completely understand the need to drive an hour for absolutely delicious food and out-of-this-world baked goods. If you've never had the opportunity to visit an Amish establishment, I feel sorry for you. You have no idea what you're missing. Food just tastes better in Amish Country.

* When we awoke Saturday morning, the roads and yards were blanketed with freshly fallen snow that the weather forecasters had assured us was going to stay to our South. In the spirit of adventure, we set out for Amish Country anyway. After passing two different cars who had slid off the road into the ditch we commented that people need to slow down when navigating unplowed roads. When we passed a jack-knifed tractor trailer we briefly considered turning around. The decision was made to keep going after witnessing a bad accident in the opposite direction involving a three or four car plow up with the realization if we turned around we would only get stuck in traffic. Thankfully the sun came out, the snow melted, and the rest of the trip was uneventful.

* After returning home from a day of shopping and eating, I baked (because you know the cookies, muffins, and pies we brought back from Amish Country weren't enough). My mom had requested a 7 Kinds of Chocolate Cake for her birthday. Can I just tell you that this cake is probably the most decadent, rich and easiest cake I have ever made. Eating a little sliver of it is more than enough to satisfy even the sweetest sweet tooth. Cutting it up and sending it home with various people was quite possibly the best decision of the weekend.

* I then spent the rest of the evening with close family friends, who I am incredibly thankful for. They are my mom's best friends who have been in my life since my early childhood. Together our families have seen one another through divorces, marriages, disappointments, celebrations, and life altering cancer diagnosis's. We spent a few hours just talking and laughing.

* I spent Sunday morning gathering supplies to create some theme baskets for a bridal shower my family is throwing for my cousin's fiance next weekend. The baskets will be given as prizes for games. I love shopping for things little things like that and have used the idea of a theme basket as presents for friends as well. I decided upon a cake "basket" (which is really a 9x13 pan) filled with a variety of cake mixes, canned frostings, and a dessert cookbook. The second basket is a coffee and tea one filled with a nice assortment of flavored teas and coffees, snowman mugs, and some holiday candy.

* A family dinner with my grandparents occurred in the late afternoon. I may or may not have escaped the time between dinner and dessert (you know, the one that would have been completely awkward where I would have been required to make painful small talk with my grandma) by taking my dog to get her picture taken with Santa at a local pet store. I am totally one of those people who treats my dog like a child, complete with obligatory pictures with seasonal holiday characters like Santa and the Easter Bunny.

So tell me, how was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?

Oh, and you wanted the recipe for the 7 Kinds of Chocolate Cake? Sure thing. Unfortunately I forgot to snap a picture of it before it was ravenously devoured, but trust me. Go. Bake. You can thank me later.

7 Kinds of Chocolate Cake
1 Package Betty Crocker Super Moist butter recipe Chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup Chocolate Milk
1 Package (4-serving size) chocolate instant pudding
1 Bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup butter melted
3 eggs
1 container (16 ounces) sour cream
Chocolate Frosting
Chocolate candy bar (for grating chocolate on top)
serve with Chocolate Ice Cream (I completely skipped this step because its incredibly too rich and decadent on its own)

1. Heat oven to 350, grease bundt cake pan with cooking spray
2. Mix cake mix, chocolate milk, butter, eggs, sour cream and pudding mix (dry) in large bowl with spoon until well blended (batter will be very thick). Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into pan.
3. Bake 55 minutes or until top springs back when toughed lightly in center. Cool in pan 15 min. Turn pan upside down onto cake plate. Cool completely, then apply frosting. I melt frosting in microwave, then drizzle over the cake. Then grate chocolate over the frosting.


Anonymous said...

lets see, grocery shopping, laundry, baked reeses cookies, cleaned the shower, put up the tree, went shoe shopping and had an egg nogg latte...and yes i am thanking you in advance for the sinful cake recipe!

Kyla Roma said...

Oh my goodness, I need more chocolate cake in my life, that looks amazing!!

Your weekend sounds busy and amazing, and your baskets sound so creative! Nicely done! Close friends, Amish food (I'm one of those who has never had that!), and big dinners sound like an amazing way to spend the weekend.

I love those busy times that still manage to be restful, I hope you had a perfect balance of the two.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great weekend! Mine was spent at holiday parties and Christmas markets and Sunday was a catch-up, clean-up, cook-for-the-rest-of-the-week kind of day.

Anonymous said...

Yes!! I was scrolling down thinking "please post the recipe!" and lo and behold there it was. Thank you!! Can't wait to try it!

Sounds like a wonderful weekend - and I will HAVE to try this Amish food you speak of :)

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

That chocolate cake sounds divine! Though, I think I hit my max with the two birthday cakes over the weekend! =)

And an Amish dinner sounds really lovely and intimate and a great way to celebrate with loved ones! Glad you were able to do so safely!

Anonymous said...

I need to try this Amish food you speak of!

And baking is perfectly acceptable even if you bring some food home, especially a chcoolate cake like that! Sounds delicious.

I LOVE doing theme baskets too. Yet another reason we are friends, I am sure...

Little Fish said...

I'm glad that you had such a great weekend. I totally agree about the food in the Amish country, especially the hot buttered noodles and shoofly pie. mmmm...

Pam said...

What a great weekend. I live so far away from my family. You are lucky you can spend so much quality time with yours.

The cake sounds so delicious - I wish I would have made this recipe with my daughter.

alexa @clevelandsaplum said...

hartville kitchen amish restaurant is my all time favorite!

ALL TIME! i wish i was eating their coconut cream pie right now

spiffykerms said...

Oh em gee. That cake recipe sounds amazing. I want to make it. lol

Auburn Kat said...

Gosh now I want some CAKE!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

My gosh - you fit alot in this weekend!! Sound fantastic. And delicious! That cake sounds like it is to die for!!

The gift basket ideas are great! I think it's so fun to plan showers & things like that!

Bayjb said...

Um that cake sounds amazing. I must make it and take pictures. It sounds heavenly. Glad you had a great weekend and the picture of your dog with santa is adorable!

Anonymous said...

Your weekend sounds like it was incredible! I had pretty mellow days on Friday and Saturday with movies and time with friends. Then on Sunday I went to a craft fair, got my hair cut (she did it wayyyy too short, may I add) and went to my company's crappy Christmas party. It wasn't all bad. Afterwards a friend and I decided to go to a better bar to have a few drinks by ourselves. lol.

Frank said...

I wish we had "amish country" around here. We have "downstate" but it's not the same, in that it's less quaint and more like a scene out of Deliverance.