Children thrive on a schedule. Some thrive more than others but they still do well knowing what to expect and when. I don’t enjoy scheduling things and over scheduling things (at least what seems like over scheduling to me). Although I am not spontaneous I am still opposed to having to be somewhere definitely at a certain time every weekend for the summer for example. We aren’t going to be doing something or going somewhere every weekend at all it just starts to seem like that after you keep writing things on your calendar. I believe in 2007 I made this resolution to have more fun and be more fun. Well that didn’t really happen and so I have carried it over to this year. I am not forcing myself to have fun but if there’s an opportunity for a good time or to have a better attitude and make some a celebration then I try to take it.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but I did this year in a way. I told Melody we will go to the park twice this summer. We may go three or four times who knows! The coast is always 10 to 20 degrees cooler than it is here so we have to plan sort of accordingly especially if we stay the night. Melody brought up the fact that Willow hasn’t been to the beach before. She hasn’t! I am looking forward to it as much as they are. I love the sand and the ocean and how much fun there is to be had just sitting at the shoreline for the day and playing in nature.
We are also going to festivals galore and having two out of state sets of visitors this summer. I count September as still being summer (sort of). There are fruits and vegetables to be harvested, cheese to be made from our goat visits and then bike riding, picnics, park trips and art fun outside. My mood is so altered by the state of the weather and I realize if it weren’t cloudy and in the high 50s today I would be sitting outside in the sunshine drinking lemonade and weeding the garden or watching the girls play. I am instead indoors making samosas, chocolate cake and drinking tea and water.
I think you might want the cake recipe too so here it is.
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Makes one 8-inch round layer cake
* 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pans
* 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pans
* 1/2 cup boiling water
* 2 1/4 cups sugar
* 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
* 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 3 cups sifted cake flour, not self-rising
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup milk or ½ cup yogurt or sour cream and ½ milk or water
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and arrange two racks in center of oven. Butter three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment. Dust bottoms and sides of pans with cocoa powder; tap out any excess. Sift cocoa into a medium bowl, and whisk in 1/2 cup boiling water. Set aside to cool.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on low speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides twice. Beat in vanilla. Drizzle in eggs, a little at a time, beating between each addition until the batter is no longer slick, scraping down the sides twice.
3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk milk into reserved cocoa mixture. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour and cocoa mixtures to the batter, a little of each at a time, starting and ending with flour mixture.
4. Divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center of each layer comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pans for even baking. Transfer layers to wire racks; let cool, 15 minutes. Turn out cakes, and return to racks, tops up, until completely cool.
5. Remove parchment from bottoms of cakes. Reserve the prettiest layer for the top. Place one cake layer on a serving platter; spread 1 1/2 cups chocolate frosting over the top. Add the second cake layer, and spread with another 1 1/2 cups frosting. Top with third cake layer. Cover outside of cake with the remaining 3 cups frosting. Serve.