Hubbys Birthday Surprise Cake!

I am so tremendously proud of myself. Actually it is too early to say that, but I am. I baked a red velvet cake from scratch for my husband for his birthday! Since his birthday isn’t for another 10 minutes and he is still at work and has no clue about the cake, I can’t really say I am proud. Hopefully it turned out tasting ok and I will be able to say it! I haven’t baked a cake from scratch since I was in Jr High in home ec class. I still haven’t totally figured out my oven so the edges may be a tad over done. It turned out looking ok though. I used a recipe I found on the Internet. I googled red velvet cake recipes and it came from a site that came up called southerncooking or something like that. I will try and find it again and link it later.
There was one thing that I really didn’t like about this recipe. It said mix all the dry ingredients together, no problem there, but then mix the eggs and oil into the dry mix and after that mix the rest of the wet ingredients. So I was mixing them into a glorified paste. It reminded me of white gravy (only different colored) and was really hard to get it all to mix. I am not sure if there was a reason for this but if I use the recipe again I am mixing all the wet ingredients at the same time. I also don’t have a decent mixing bowl, which is no fault of the recipe, and ended up with my hands red. Like I said, my oven and I don’t always see eye to eye so I am hoping that it is ok. I also might have added too much sugar. Thinking back, I can’t remember how much I put in there. It may have been the right amount, I just don’t know. The batter tasted awesome! So did the cream cheese frosting (from the same recipe), although in the future I will add the nuts after the cake is frosted. It is really hard to frost with chunks in it.
Thanks to my best friend Jessica’s mom, I now know that the best way to frost a cake is to freeze it a bit first. It was so very helpful. This is the first time I have baked a cake since learning this and I will never go back to my old ways again.
Baking a cake from scratch was truly exciting. I have been on a cooking spree lately. Ok, I haven’t really been cooking so much as I have been facinated by people who do. I really would like to decorate cakes. I also would like to be able to make a big meal for guests that is really impressive. I know that may sound odd, but I want to. I don’t even know anyone here who would appreciate it, unless it was fried chicken. I want to grill veggies, make casseroles, big fancy ethnic meals, and general good meals. I have done pretty well about making meals from nothing since we have had nothing to make anything from. I don’t eat meat, but I want to make pretty cooked meat. My husband has no complaints about that since he is a carnivore! Mostly I want to make meat free meals that would make even meat eaters forget that there’s no meat in the meal.
I guess I should make a little list of recipes I have tried and recipes that I want to try. Why? Because I love lists. Do I need a better reason?

Foods that I have recently tried to cook:
Fried rice- apparently I cook this well despite the fact that I don’t like fried rice.
Cheesy broccoli rice- this was good but I think it could have used more cheese. Using a different kind of rice may have resolved this issue though.
Red velvet cake- up in the air until morning.
Fried jalepeños- amazing. Love love love.
Peanut butter cookies- super quick and easy

There are many other things that I have learned to make throughout the years: vegetarian chili, 4 cheese lasagna, and enchilladas to name a few.

Foods I want to try:
Vegetable lo-mein
Poptarts
Grilled things. What can I say I have never grilled.
Pretty cakes.
Homemade noodles like mom makes
Homemade ravioli
Fancy fondue- who doesn’t like playing with food!
Eggplant parmesan

Again this list could probably go on for miles and miles, but these are some things I want to try sooner rather than later. Suggestions and/or recipes are welcome! I am planning on starting a recipe box soon of my favorite recipes. The more the merrier!

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