Baseball Birthday

comments: 49


Thank you for all your sweet birthday wishes for Andy yesterday. I know he really appreciated all of those kind words — thank you. It was such a nice day. We worked in the yard a bit, cutting back this rose (the Climbing Eden I mentioned last week), putting in the herbs, grilling brats, baking a cake, enjoying the perfect weather.


This cake was very similar to the little stacks of hearts and clouds I made for Valentine's Day. I used this recipe for Hershey's Deep Dark Chocolate Cake, spread the bottom layer with raspberry jam, topped it with Cloudburst Frosting instead of pastry cream, then added the top and another layer of frosting. This chocolate cake is better than the Dutch chocolate cake I used last time; I'd kinda thought the Dutch chocolate recipe was this one, but it wasn't. I was remembering this cake from years ago as the one my roommate used to make for her boyfriend — I called it the "boiling water" cake, and indeed it does have boiling water in it. It is incredibly moist and a little difficult to get out of its pans, but if you can manage it, it's the best.


Our dishwasher finally bit the dust over the weekend and the new one's on order, so it was hand-washing for everything. I can honestly say I don't think I was appreciating my dishwasher enough. I should've been sending her thank-you notes every day, really.


In the evening, baseball, our loyalties sorely tested. I couldn't help rooting for the Cubs (the farm team for the Chicago Cubs). Andy, the only one of our party who'd actually lived in Iowa (as he kept reminding us) was staunchly in support of the Beavs.


It was his birthday so we let it go. . . .

Great weekend. Super good.


What a fun birthday to have!

What amazing photos. I have a friend who is so in love with her dishwasher that she says she sometimes wants to get inside it and be washed with warm water. But I think it's just so she can escape her three children.

i think i see you. it's like, where's alicia? can you find alicia in the picture. that is you in the measuring cups and spoons, no? :)
i just polished off a cupcake and a strawberry. the cupcake was yellow cake with chocolate frosting made by my mama who loves to bake
have a good day

I also love the "tiny Alicias" in the measuring cups ;)

It sounds like you're doing a good job so far of having a full-of-fun-things-and-activities summer!


What could be more summery? roses, strawberries, and baseball! Wonderful photos.

happy birthday andy! cheers ... cindy + scott

You make life so lovely!

Your photos are always so stunning and that cake looks delish. Thanks for sharing

Your cake looks scrumptious!


mmmmmm, that cake sounds soooo yummy!

Ohhh...those roses are gorgeous! What a wonderful birthday. If I had a summer birthday that would be a perfect day for me, only I would be watching the Giants.

I can smell those beautiful roses through the internet...really.

Chris Howard says: May 30, 2007 at 11:36 AM

I am deeply in love with my dishwasher. Until very recently, I had only crappy apartment dishwashers that blew crap up into my glassware and never fully washed anything. A good dishwasher is a beautiful thing.

About that enormous and frustrating task we were discussing earlier, keep plugging away at it. It's not pretentious, you are a very popular girl and you need to keep the wolves at bay. Let me know if there is ANYTYHING I can do to help.

And to brighten your day a bit- hubby and I have been dutifully toting your bookbags around our house doing our "crochet homework" from Crazy Daisy. I let Les pick the one with the blue flowers. It's going slow for me, but I think I FINALLY get it!

I know that Hershey boiling-water cake of old. It is so much yummier than the far-more-complicated separated-egg-whites cakes from the Joy of Cooking (sorry, Joy, I love you, truly I do, but your chocolate cakes are just not as good).

oh, I do sympathize with the loss of those valuable appliances! I only just replaced the blender since it met its match with a chocolate babka in December. We've been whipping cream (and I've been baking bread) by hand ever since.

Ooh! I forgot to post this forever ago, but better late than never, right? M'kay. So the whole cake thing..I was inspired by your last post regarding cake, and I made my own. Well, me & Ms. Crocker that is. I have these great 10 inch rounds that are extra deep, so I made up one Betty Crocker Devil's Food cake mix and one Betty C. strawberry cake mix and put all of each into each pan. I am not explaining this well. In the end, I had one enormous layer of devil's food and one equally as large layer of strawberry cake.

THEN...I just happened to find some Harry & David strawberry jam at Marshall's (of all places) and may I just say, if you have never had H & D's jam, you ain't had jam. It's REALLY good. So. I leveled off the top of the devil's food cake, spread the jam over it, then whipped up some standard buttercream frosting & threw that around it as well. I tossed the strawberry layer on top and frosted the whole thing w/ buttercream. It was awesome, it really was. And oooh - the platter I put it on was fab, too. Also purchased from Marshall's for like, $6. Wish I had a pic!!!

I miss cake.

I love to see how you and your husband enjoy life!

violets says: May 30, 2007 at 01:12 PM

What is the Cloudburst Frosting?

We use a boiling water recipe for our chocolate birthday cake, too, but it's a different one.....

Having tried various things to facilitate getting the cake out of the pans, we are pretty sure now that the main factor is that the cake be quite cool. That's not what our directions call for, but......

It makes a difference how long you bake it, too. Baked longer = comes out easier, but also means it will be drier.

Presently we are taking it out as soon as a finger doesn't leave a depression, and then leaving it in the pans until quite cool before attempting to remove.

Lovely moist cake, with whole layers.....

Maybe that will work for your cake, too.

Wow, can I come celebrate my next birthday with you? What a great day.

Hah! I just saw the Portland Beavers playing the Las Vegas 51's in Las Vegas. It was a good game, but the 51's lost again, as they have the last few times we've seen them... Minor league games are so much more fun and relaxing than the majors!

Hey, I'll stick up for Andy, having gotten my fair share of eye rolls from non-Iowans about Iowa topics. -- And a, "How close are you to Cincinnati?"
Sweet cake, sweet birthday, go Cubs!

Dude, yay Iowa! I got the most vicious sunburn ever at a Quad City Swing game. And also obviously yay for cake and roses, but that's a given.

I second the request for the Cloudburst frosting. I love frosting and that one looks yummy! Thanks.

ha! just had a new dishwasher put in and I feel like I was given the best gift in the world.

we had been without for 2 months and now I am as happy as can be!

goodbye dishsoap hands! Funny how the first few nights of hand washing was nostalgic, but then just an annoying task.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at