Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas was here

It sure was.
And it passed much too quickly.

It brought with it a magical eve full of excitement and anticipation. 
Full of cooking and cooking and cooking. 
Eating a feast of roast beast, stuffing ourselves and unbuttoning of all-the-sudden-too-tight-pants.
A little nativity with a little Joseph and a little Mary, holding a baby Jesus, while scriptures were read.
Children in matching jammies (my children will still be receiving matching Christmas jammies when they are 50 years old), peeking out the window in hopes to spot a little red nose. 
Tucked into beds while sugar plums did their dances in sleepy little heads.
Parents-a-giggling as they stayed up much too late helping santa.

Christmas morning came, "did he come?"
He did. 
Cookies were gone, stockings were full.
Children were smitten.
"Angles We Have Heard on High" was belted by two Littles from a church pew in the back.
Movies. Snuggling. Naps. Too many sweets. 
And more naps. 
Papers, boxes, bows, scattered about. 
Legos, new paints, socks and undies (all new of course) in the mix.
Magic.
Everywhere. 
Wishes that the day would never end.
Memories made, and saved until next year, 
when we can do it all again. 

***
I didn't do a Christmas card this year 
(aahahah....I say that like I have done a Christmas card lately.....I think it's been 6 years). 
So here is my two minute blog version complete with awesome graphics....just for you.


after Christmas Eve festivities.
merrychristmas

***
and I am so so SO sorry to do this to you. 
If you are anything like me right now, the very thought of sugar makes you gag.
or is that just me? 
am I the only one who over over over ate?
BUT. 
If you need one more treat to round off your year, before you hit those New Years resolutions.....let me offer you this.
(and then I promise this blog is back to being good!)
chocolate orange layer cake copy
Chocolate and Orange Layer Cake
this is basically the same cake as I made here (even identical pictures!). 
I just swapped out the raspberries for orange. 

Chocolate Cake
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup boiling water
6 TBS butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line bottom of two 8" pans with a round of parchment paper. Butter paper, and sides of pan.
(I don't have 4 pans, so I did two 8" pans, twice for my four layers)

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with boiling water and cocoa powder. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

In a bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs (adding one at a time) until thickened slightly and light colored (about 3 minutes). Slowly add buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture, beating until combined well. Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.

Spoon batter into pans (batter will divide into about 1 1/4c for each of four pans), and bake two at a time until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 12-15 minutes.

Repeat with two more cakes.

Cool cakes completely before frosting.

Whipped Orange Cream
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp pure orange extract
zest of 1 orange
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Whip cream on high speed for a few minutes until soft peaks start to form. Add powder sugar, orange and vanilla extract, and whip a little bit longer until you have reached a light and fluffy, whip creamy consistency.
Fold in orange zest.

Chocolate Buttercream
8 TBS butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp pure orange extract
A few TBS milk

Beat butter, cocoa, and powdered sugar, and orange extract.  Add milk a little at a time until you reach a consistency you like.

Candied Orange Peel
from martha stewart
1 orange
1/2 cup sugar

Using a citrus zester or vegetable peeler, shred long strips of orange peel.
Place strips in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Drain; repeat two more times with fresh water. This will take the bitterness out of the peel.
Place sugar in a clean saucepan with 1 cup water; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add the citrus strips to the boiling syrup; reduce heat, and simmer until strips are translucent, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat; let strips cool in syrup, at least 1 hour. Remove from syrup when ready to use.

Spread first layer of cake with whipped cream. Place another cake layer on whipped cream, and repeat with remaining layers. Spread the chocolate buttercream on the top layer and top with candied orange peel.

Now, hurry and eat it before the new year hits and you have to be good again.

Happy New Year to you!

11 comments:

Nicole Franzen {La Buena Vida} said...

you guys are too cute, Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.

Kaitlyn Luce said...

Love those matching PJ's. Merry Christmas and happy new year!

Adam and Joanne said...

Beautiful photo!

The Webbs said...

Merry merry Christmas. Love that hymn, and loved hearing my little gal sing similar songs at church. What a great day to have Christmas. Hurray for new socks and undies :)

Honey said...

this looks really yummy, i love cakes made with buttermilk.

Darcee said...

Lots of Legos were had at my house as well. We now have built the following: a VW camp van, the White House, a full blown firehouse, a Jeep, an airplane, and are now in the middle of a police station. PLUS.....lots and lots and lots of odds and ends.

Such a cute picture, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

MyFudo™ said...

Your family picture is so beautiful! Love the kids in their red and green sets. This is a magnificent cake in all its layers. Love the combination! Hugs! Thanks for sharing...

a life without walls said...

Such a cute Christmas card pic! My mom used to always get me PJs too! I love your daughters hat and your hairdoo is really cool. Cake also looks amazing..I need to bring something to a NYE party tommorow - thanks for sharing all those recipes!!

my soul is the sky said...

girl i looove your blog so much. your photography inspires me and your long blonde curly tresses are so darn gorgeous, plus you have one of the cutest families in the world :)

shelbygail said...

Your blog is just soooo precious :) I love your writing 'voice' the content is timeless and so are the photography, recipes! Thank you!!

Krystina Olsen said...

Made this yesterday for my hubby's birthday! (He is obsessed with Chocolate+Orange.) It was divine!!! This was my first attempt at ever making a cake. Ever. And this beat any other cake I've ever had. I just slightly under baked the cake so it would retain a lot of its moisture (as it cools, it continues to cook a bit) and it was soooo good! fudgy, but light. My man couldn't stop eating the buttercream (and he is not a frosting guy.) The whip made it light enough to feel like you weren't eating a loaf of butter. Oh man. It was so yummy!!!

Thanks so much, Sheena!