My mom told me about a girl named Sally a while back. This girl had a blog called Sally’s Baking Addiction. My mom loves to bake, so naturally when she found this blog filled with delicious, sweet treat recipes, she was quite endeared to Sally. When my mom first discovered the blog, Sally was a regular gal who worked a regular job and happened to love to bake. Now, Sally’s blog has been discovered by a few more bakers and she no longer works a regular job, but instead has a cook book that has been published and solely blogs about her baking addiction. One could assume that she must be a pretty good baker… So I decided to test out one of her recipes for myself.
She’s pretty good. I needed a cake recipe for my sister-in-law’s birthday and I found this Raspberry Chocolate Chip Layer Cake recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction. It looked delicious – chocolate and fruit? The best of both worlds! It was really straight forward to make and Sally has photos on her blog of the recipe through the process, so I was able to double-check that everything was looking correct more-or-less while I baked. The hardest part for me was cutting the bottom layer’s top off to make it even. I’m convinced I have crooked eyes when it comes to doing things symmetrically! Other than that, it turned out beautifully (I think it did, at least!) and it satisfied my sweet taste buds perfectly. And the raspberries intermixed almost make you feel like you’re being somewhat healthy. 😉
You just need a side of dairy with this cake and you’ve got an awesome dessert! And by “side of dairy” I mean you either need a big, cold glass of milk or a bowl of ice cream!
The past two weeks we have been celebrating birthdays in my family! My birthday was May 12 and Phil’s was exactly one week later on the 19th. In my family, we celebrate “Birthday Week.” Growing up, we would open a couple of presents on our birthday day and then we would get to pick where/what we wanted to eat for our birthday dinner. Phil’s family celebrated similarly.
Recently, my mom began to slowly introduce us to the whole birthday-week world. I think it originated because my mom loves Starbucks and celebrating a birthday week was a good excuse to get Starbucks more than one day per week. I, too, love Starbucks so I was not opposed. This year, mother went above and beyond the call of birthday week duties and brought me little birthday “treats” to work almost everyday. Basically, it was a good birthday week.
And for my birthday, I got to go on a sushi date with Phil! So.stinking.good. Just a year ago, I didn’t like sushi. Somehow he got me hooked on it and now I’m slightly obsessed.
The following weekend was Phil’s birthday and we had some of his family come and visit the new ranch house that we live in. Then we had a combined birthday party (I called it the “Belko Birthday BBQ Bash” – I like alliteration.) with my family and his to celebrate both of our birthdays. It was so fun & we had a blast just getting to enjoy time with family. No better way to spend your birthday, right?!
Here’s me…being a birthday girl.
Tricia, my “foster” aunt, took this picture of my grandparents at brunch yesterday. I love it!
Many of you know that my Grandpa was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia 6 months ago. The diagnosis he received was not good at all, and he was receiving chemo treatments at Stanford from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving day until Christmas Eve. Once he came home, his hospice nurse didn’t think that he would live more than 2 months. Guess what…Grandpa’s still with us! Ever since Phil & I have gotten engaged (before we got engaged even!) we’ve been praying that Grandpa’s health continues to be stable until our wedding in August. I’m so thankful that Grandpa continues to look a little bit better every day, and although we never know what tomorrow will bring…whether Grandpa will be able to be with us at our wedding or not, my entire family is praising the Lord for the fact that we get to hang out with Gramps a bit longer on this earth!
With all of that background information said, it’s Grandpa’s birthday today! My family has been having a whole lot of fun celebrating Grandpa’s birthday the past few days. I mean, birthdays are fun, but this birthday is extra fun and requires extra celebration because just a couple of months ago, we never thought that we’d get to celebrate Grandpa’s 69th birthday with him! We had a birthday dinner celebration at Tahoe Joe’s on Friday night, we had brunch in the Sequoia’s next to some roarin’ rapids yesterday and today we had a birthday celebration at the office here at the calf ranch! All sorts of fun stuff 🙂
I’m blessed to have the family that I have, and we’re blessed to get to have Grandpa as our “Grandpa” and our “Dad.” 89 days until the wedding…we’re still praying hard that Grandpa can be present on that day! Love you, Grandpa!
My cousin, brother and aunt during Grandpa’s birthday brunch yesterday
Me & Phil…and my cousin…celebrating Grandpa’s birthday