Jeff’s Birthday and Sinful Chocolate Cake

In celebration of one year closer to 30, we enjoyed Jeff's birthday with an infamous Germenis cookout. On the menu: beer-can chicken, smoked pork loin, jalapeño snackers, homemade mac-n-cheese, caesar salad and sinful chocolate cake.

Jeff handled the meat on our beloved longhorn smoker. He outdid himself on the chicken and presented the pork perfectly.

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A friend handled the jalapeño appetizer (wish I had the recipe), and I handled the rest. When dinner was ready we jimmy-rigged a faux 10-person table, decorated with a $1 table cloth, and served dinner with luxurious paper plates and napkins.

The caesar salad was A+ because I used my favorite caesar dressing, Brianna's.

And according to everyone else, the crockpot mac-n-cheese was A+++.

I beat myself up over it because the cheese curdled, story of my life, but oh well considering it was the highlight of the night. (More to come in my next PYRC post.)

The true feat for me was the homemade chocolate cake.

I'm not much of a baker, but when I do bake, it's go big or go home. I pulled out all kinds of kitchen gadgets that I have never used and Betty-Crockered away.

For this cake I used a Buttermilk Chocolate Cake recipe from PaperSeed. In addition to the described chocolate icing, I incorporated an accidental combo of a whipped cream cheese frosting recipe with a marshmallow puff cream cheese frosting recipe. The result tasted like my cream cheese fruit dip, but was delicious nonetheless.

I had envisioned a gorgeously decorated cake, decked with cake graffiti, sprinkle patterns and icing patterns, but instead I ended up with this.

Hahaha. Laughing is literally all I could do. I don't think pastry design is my calling, but at least it tasted amazingly hella good and even better the next day. I was very proud of this cake and the recipe, but would I really want to slave over it again? Eh, for a small party (the cake is massive), probably not, due to the time-value factor, but it was totally with the blood, sweat and tears at least once, and it was definitely worth the happy birthday in the end.

The last time I truly labored over a dessert recipe, pie, was for Jeff's 27th birthday. Since I’ve unknowingly started a new tradition, I’ll have to plan a dessert just as delicious for next year. The chocolate cake will definitely be tough to beat.

That's our all-day cookout in a wrap. Now I'm going to continue to deflate... or go to the gym :)

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