Cobi’s birthday is always fun for me because it’s the one time a year he will eat something that I bake. It’s not that he doesn’t like sweets, he loves sweets. But apparently I’m what he calls an ‘enabler’ and he had to limit his intake of sugar when we started dating, because apparently I supply a lot of it. No idea what he’s talking about. So obviously I had to do something extra special that would blow his socks off.
His favourite cake has always been store-bought white cake with 6 inches of white icing. Gross. I’m not doing that.
Last year I did my own twist on white cake and white icing, making a pound cake ‘Grilled Cheese Sandwich’ stuffed with dyed-orange vanilla frosting. It was pretty awesome.
This year I decided to ditch white cake altogether and try something new.
Oh yes. A cake inspired by these delicious treats? Perfect.
Cobi’s favourite flavours seem to be mint chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, and white cake. I can’t imagine those flavours would work well together, so I ran with Peanut Butter.
I decided a Chocolate Cake jam packed with Reese’s would be pretty awesome.
I unwrapped one bag of Mini Reese’s Cups, chopped them up and added the pieces to my favourite chocolate batter.
I tossed the pans into the oven and started working on the frosting.
I haven’t perfected a Vanilla Frosting up to Cobi’s standards just yet. His favourite is still Betty Crocker frosting in a can.
Have you read the ingredients on the back of those cans?? It’s impossible to recreate!
So I started with my favourite vanilla frosting, added some extra sugar and finished it off with some Peanut Butter.
I was really happy with how the frosting turned out! Not too Peanut Buttery, but just enough to be completely delicious.
I still had two bags of Mini Reese Cups left, and the cake looked awfully plain…
I unwrapped the rest of the Reese Cups and chopped them up into small pieces to sprinkle over the icing.
Now THAT’S a cake!!
Just a few Reese’s Cups…
I’m not even a Peanut Butter fan but this cake looked so appetizing, and smelled even better.
I definitely could have used a 4th bag of Mini Reese’s to completely cover the sides of the cake, that would have been awesome.
Cobi seemed pretty happy with the final product! He wasn’t around when I was baking so the cake was a surprise, but the smell was so strong and delicious that he knew there was Peanut Butter in there somewhere (he just didn’t know how much)!
He seemed pretty happy with it. He even liked the icing!
And he considered having a second piece later on (WHAT!) so you know it was good!
Happy Birthday Cobs, you’re the peanut butter to my chocolate.
As I’m sure you are all well aware, the Leafs are in the Playoffs.
Yes, some would say that their first game was a bit of an embarrassment, but they still have lots of time to turn it around.
And they will. Or else…
A group of us got together to watch their first game on Wednesday and I needed to make some delicious treats.
I had a busy week so my easy go-to treat is Rice Krispie Squares.
I was going to make them with chocolate bars again because they are SO good, but I wanted to make them Leafs-themed if I could.
So I used food colouring to dye the marshmallows blue!
Go Leafs Go.
Then I took some white chocolate disks and spread them over the squares, and put them under the broiler for a few seconds.
Once the chocolate had melted I spread it evenly over the squares. I wanted to top the white chocolate with some blue sprinkles, but I was all out. Oh well.
While the Leafs didn’t do their very best, we still enjoyed some cold beverages, pizza and delicious treats.
You’ll get ‘em next time, boys!
The last week has been a really good one!
My brother Pate and his girlfriend Emma flew in from Canmore two Friday’s ago and stayed for 10 days, flying home today.
It was fun having them home for so long, usually it’s just a couple of days and they’re so busy you hardly see them! This time they were able to come stay with Cobi and me in the city for a day and do touristy Toronto things. They drove in Wednesday afternoon and we had dinner at Tabülè, a really good Middle Eastern restaurant on Yonge south of Eglinton.
The next day I suggested they take the subway down to the waterfront and walk along the docks, then up through Kensington with a stop at Sanagan’s Meat Locker for lunch, finishing off in Yorkville for Ice Cream. While they were enjoying Toronto Pot Hole at Summer’s Homemade Ice Cream I was grabbing our little brother Sam and bringing him back to the apartment to get ready for a party we had Thursday night.
My mom’s husband Murray is retiring, tomorrow being his last day at the office. His company was so sad to see his go so they planned a huge surprise party at the Royal York on Thursday night. Emma, Pate, Sam and I all met up back at the apartment to get ready. Thank goodness Cobi was heading to the party straight from school, there was no room in our tiny shoebox apartment for a 5th person!
Once we were fancified we made our way to the hotel. We were in the Imperial Suite which was lit with purple and pink lights… Totally Murray’s style! We were all told to arrive at 7:00pm as Murray was expecting to go to a political event at 7:30pm, and if you know anything about “Hurry Murray” you know he is always early! So as expected, he and my Mom entered the party promptly at 7:10pm!
He was definitely surprised, he had no idea there was a retirement party planned! There were hilarious speeches, delicious appetizers, a poutine station, a pizza station, a beef wellington station – everything you need for a successful soirée!
But of course, the best part was the cake.
As you know I’m not a fan of fondant, but man does it make good looking cakes!!
That was just the start of a cake-filled weekend.
Emma’s birthday was Friday the 26th, so Friday evening we had a birthday party at Mom’s place.
A 21st Birthday needs an extra special cake!
Apparently Emma mentioned earlier in the week that she liked Banana Bread and Chocolate, so my Mom had a Banana Bread Cake with Chocolate Frosting made.
Look how excited she is!
My Grandfather, on the other hand, doesn’t look as impressed.
The cake was delicious. Less like a loaf of Banana Bread and more like regular cake.
The next day I had a few errands to run and it was such a beautiful sunny Saturday so I decided to walk everywhere.
First stop was Bulk Barn to pick up the necessary ingredients for Emma’s 2nd birthday cake, the one we’d be enjoying the next day at my Dad’s. She requested a Chocolate Cake filled with Smarties, so I bought a generous amount because my plan was to do more than just fill the cake with Smarties…
On my walk back to the apartment I decided to stop at Summer’s for some of my own Toronto Pot Hole Ice Cream! It was the perfect way to finish off a date with my city.
The next day I slept in a bit then hopped in the car to head to my Dad’s. We went for a walk with Liz (the yellow pup with muddy brown legs) and she had some fun swimming!
After our walk it was time to get down to baking.
First I whipped up some Chocolate Batter and added in a ton of Smarties.
I put the batter into two different sized cake pans (because we didn’t have two of the same size) but thought it would be fun to stack the smaller one on top of the bigger one and do a ring of Smarties on the ledge!
I made up some extra-chocolatey frosting and started icing the cakes. I put SO much frosting on the cakes that there was hardly a ledge left to line with smarties!
With the frosting you can barely tell the cakes are two different sizes! Once the cake was fully frosted I covered the top of the cake in even more Smarties.
It still wasn’t enough Chocolate (it never is) so I added a lovely little Smartie border. I could have covered the entire thing with Smarties but everyone kept picking them off the top and eating them so I put the rest of the Smarties in a bowl to keep people away from the cake!
From above you can’t even see the cake under all the Smarties… Perfect!
After a delicious dinner of homemade burgers it was time to dive into the Smartie Cake!
Isn’t she lovely?
It was a tough cake to cut because the Smarties went everywhere, but she did an excellent job. Opa looks pleased with her cutting prowess.
Happy Birthday Ms Emma!
Now Pate and Emma are gone, but hopefully they’ll be back to visit soon. Or perhaps a road trip out West is in order, to visit them and Cobi’s brother Jesse and his fiancé Andy! After our California road trip I’m definitely up for another, so long as it’s just as delicious!
But for now it’s time to look forward to Wednesday. If you do not know the significance of Wednesday night you’d better do some research because I need suggestions for themed treats to celebrate the Leaf’s return to the playoffs!!
The last few weeks have been crazy busy. Looking at my iCalendar for April there are event dots everywhere!
It all started the first weekend in April.
Anyone ever played Trampoline Dodgeball before?
I suggest you go out right now and play.
We went to SkyZone in Toronto for a friends birthday and it was fantastic!
We only had an hour on the tramp and we all thought that was such a short time, but after and hour of dodging, ducking, dipping, diving and dodging – and not to mention bouncing – we were ready for a break!
Excellent call, Jenna Beaton. Excellent call.
The next day I was off to Kitchener for a baby shower. I found this card while in New York and it was too funny not to get.
I also found this at FAO Schwarz in NY! A baby Hamburger toy with a teething ring on one end, a rattle in the top bun, and crunchy middles. Amazing.
The next weekend was my little brother’s birthday where I made the Chocolate Lasagne, but I’ve already written about that.
That Sunday I was at a Bridal Shower for my friend Lauren (the sister of the Trampoline Birthday Girl). Her new umbrella was topped with all the bows and ribbons from gifts.
The best part of the umbrella was the inside!
The cake was also a highlight of the event. While fondant is not my favourite to eat, it sure makes a cake look pretty!
Though to be honest this fondant wasn’t too bad at all. And it’s not like fondant has ever stopped me from eating cake, let’s be real here.
The absolute best part of the shower was learning that this Cupcake Ferris Wheel exists.
Sam Barr, the only reason I didn’t beat you up and steal this from you is because A) you have a cute dog and B) I managed to find it online and C) I guess I like you a little. Now I just need to convince Cobi that we have space for it in the apartment… Hmmm.
The next week I got sick (must have been tired or something) and to make up for missing a day and a half of work I brought in treats. Not that I really need an excuse to bring in treats.
Last summer Andy, Cobi’s brother’s fiancé, taught me how to make Rice Krispie squares with a twist – instead of Marshmallows you use melted Candy Bars!
In the summer we used a mix of Mars Bars and Snickers Bars, but this time I stuck to just Mars Bars.
After I melted down the Chocolate Bars and Butter I added the Rice Krispies.
I pressed the mixture into a pan, then sprinkled the top with Chocolate Chips.
I put the pan under the broiler for a few seconds until the Chocolate Chips melted, and then I spread the chocolate evenly over top of the Rice Krispies.
Andy and Tully, thank you for introducing me to this dangerous treat.
They are far too delicious and far too easy to make.
Luckily that weekend we had a big hike planned!
Let me set the stage.
From Left to Right is Aaron, myself, Jaime and Lauren. Cobi is the one taking the photo.
Aaron is Lauren’s fiancé, he and Cobi went to high school and University together and are now business partners. Aaron did his MBA at Rotman with Jaime.
This August Jaime is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in support of Canadian Blood Services. As part of his training, every Sunday he does a long hike with anyone who wishes to join him. Months ago Aaron suggested we sign up for a weekend to hike, and that weekend had finally arrived! It was a beautiful sunny day and Jaime was a bit sick of the city so we suggested a hike around Caledon Ski Club.
It was the perfect day for a hike. Not to cold and not too hot. The hills still had snow, but all the snowshoe trails through the forest were dry and were perfect for hiking.
We hiked for a little more than 3 hours, covering over 10km of trails. It was fun but it was tiring! Caledon hills seem small when you’re skiing down them, but are ginormous when you’re hiking up them!
Jaime has around 100 days until his climb. 100 days to keep training and keep fundraising.
You can read Jaime’s blog post about our hike here.
I’m hoping we can schedule another hike with Jaime before he departs, not only because he has incredible Social Media experience and I liked picking his brain, but also because I have a feeling this Spring is going to include even more treats than it already has, and any excuse to get active works for me!