As I mentioned in this post, my daughter Cheyenne turned 16 a couple weeks ago. We had both sets of grandparents over for presents and cake and ice cream. Since she is now allowed to date, her dad and I gave her a "promise" ring - a promise to us ring, to remember who she is, make wise decisions and to stay pure and clean. I think she liked it. However, I don't think that was her favorite present. Bill's brother, Uncle Thomas, loves to tease Cheyenne. He loves to give her presents like a John Deer tractor poster or calendar, or a TinkerBell calendar, usually wrapped up with Hannah Montana wrapping paper or Jonas Brothers cards. This year was no exception, and topped everything he'd ever given her before. He gave her a tote box and inside this box was all the ingredients (and I mean everything!) to make HIS favorite cookies with instructions that she had until the expiration date on the milk to make them for him. Little does he know that when he returns from his honeymoon (he just got married this past weekend, yeah!) he'll have a plate of beautiful cookies waiting for him - with a little pepper or some other special ingredient in them. Oh, and Cheyenne's wedding present to him, a beautiful, bright green John Deer tractor poster for their new house. :)
I'm not a big party person, I'm too cheap. :) My parties here and here are fairly low-key and pretty simple and easy. Now these two fabulous parties here and here are my sister, Leslie's, awesome creations. See, she loves to plan a party, me, not so much. So back to Cheyenne, 16 is one of those big years and we told her she could have a party. She wasn't sure she wanted to, which friends should she invite, it costs too much, it's too much work for you, mom, and on and on. I told her 16 is a time to celebrate so quit your whining we're having a party! ;) Let me tell you though, a 16 year old party is so much easier to plan than a 6 year old party. I decorated our bonus room a little, bought a bunch of pizza, and left them to have fun watching movies, playing xbox, ping-pong and pool. They all had a great time, I think, and there was only one small casualty of a broken pool cue (thank goodness it was just the little one.)
Now if you've stayed with me this long, I'll share my favorite cake recipe. I made this once for the family party and then again as cupcakes for her friend party. I'm not a beautiful cake maker. It takes me too long and I don't have enough patience for it. I've adopted the motto that it's not what's on the outside, but what's on the inside that matters. So true in life, and even more so for cake! :) See above for my fancy decorating, well, actually Natalie did the writing (that's how Cheyenne used to sing "Happy Birthday"), I only frosted. I'm as busy as the next mom, and sometimes a box cake is just faster. However, my husband is somewhat of a food snob and can always tell a box cake from a "real" cake, and then complains. So when my friend, Hilary, shared her "doctored cake mix" recipe, I was all over it. This is so good and very moist, unless my husband sees the box (which I usually quickly bury in the garbage) he can't tell it's a box mix.
Basic "doctored mix" Recipe
Prepare cake mix as per package directions. In addition to this add:
1 c. flour
250 ml (or 8oz.) sour cream or yogurt
1 c. white sugar
1/3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla or other suited flavoring
Use any flavor cake mix, yogurt, or flavoring.
Bake according to box directions. If baking a 9x13" pan, it will be more full, so it will take a little extra time. Or, you can make a 9x13" pan (normal fullness) and 6 cupcakes. I saved the 6 extra cupcakes in the freezer for later.
Use your imagination when it comes to flavor combos. I've done white cake and chocolate cake with strawberry yogurt, both good. I wonder what white cake with key lime yogurt or boston creme pie would taste like? Maybe chocolate with butter flavoring? Chocolate with orange yogurt and orange flavoring? The possibilities are endless and now I'm getting hungry. :) What else could I try? What are your favorite flavor combinations?
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