Te Amo means 'I Love You'. So, this weeks Tasty Tuesday translates into “Happy Birthday, I Love You”. I don't believe I've ever talked to you about Te Amo before on the blog. I actually do call her Te Amo. No lie. If you hear someone call out Te Amo in the middle of a crowded mall as a name, it is probably me.
Sometimes, I'll even say Te Amo Tita. Like the Rosetta Stones commercials. I would love to say I remember why I started calling her that, but I don't remember. It just happened organically. Rosencrantz is the only other person on this blog I actually call by their code name in real life.
Today is actually Te Amo's birthday, except it isn't. Her birthday is the 22nd of January if I remember correctly and today's what the 27th? However, this is probably pretty close to when I did her surprise birthday party last year.
Birthday's are time sensitive and that can't be helped, but the weekend I chose was the one I was doing my interview for college. It was this full ride scholarship, and I was like yes. I didn't get it. I failed miserably at the interview. It was rough. I had to get up at seven and I was there until about four in the afternoon on Saturday.
I was doing her birthday on Sunday, but I also had to go to this dinner with my neighbors that night. I was really over reaching. You go big or you go home. I had my layer cake recipe planned out. The numerous dips. You've got to blow up the balloons, and I suck it at. Not in the good way. I can't get the balloons up. That is my problem. I suck at sucking. Something my crush can never know.
There were a few dips I wanted to make. Banners had to be strung. I still had to wrap my birthday present to her (Britney Spear's Circus). I even made punch. Nonalcoholic of course. This was Te Amo's 18th birthday not her 21st.
I have this thing for punch. I will use any excuse to bring down that crystal punch bowl and fill it up. I really like punch. People laugh at me for making it, but whatever. I enjoy it.
The guest list turned out really well. Basically everyone I told to come, came. I was insistent, I was like you need to be here. This is for Te Amo. People just love her. I wish I could be adored like Te Amo, but I am not willing to give up being a bitch so the masses like me. I could not pretend to like everyone and go about my business. It would not work for me.
She's a doll. I hope she had a great birthday. I didn't see her this year, because she's away at college. Passing, while I sit here struggling through the tears.
As I said I think Te Amo was surprised, but she wouldn't tell me if she wasn't. So, I will just imagine her surprise party went off without a hitch. It was a great gathering of people. There was conversation. People were talking. Everyone participated in a very violent game of Pictionary. It was great. The atmosphere was good. The music was good too. I have no idea what I put on, but I know Gaga came on at least once. Because, me and this one girl started singing “Sexxx Dreams” incredibly obnoxiously together.
Happy belated Birthday Te Amo. Being better then me in 2015.
Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 cup of diced Onions
8 ounces of Sour Cream
8 ounces of Cream Cheese
14 ounces of chopped marinated Artichoke Hearts
15 ounces of chopped frozen Spinach
¼ cup of Butter
1 cup of grated Monterey Jack Cheese
1 cup of grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Saute the onions in the butter until they are softened. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, and Monterey Jack cheese and stirring until cheese has melted.
Add the artichoke hearts and spinach, mixing well. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and top with additional cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned.
1 quart of Grape Juice
1/3 cup of Lemon Juice
1 pint of Orange Juice
½ cup of Sugar
48 ounces of Ginger Ale
Combine the grape juice, lemon juice, orange juice, and sugar, mixing well.
Before serving, add the ginger ale, stirring well. Pour in ice
NOTE: If you would like to garnish the punch (I never do) you can use mint leaves, orange slices, and lemon slices.
1 cup of Milk
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon of Almond Extract
2 ¼ cups of Flour
1 ¾ cups of Sugar
4 teaspoons of Baking Powder
1 teaspoon of Salt
12 tablespoons of Butter
Lemon Curd Filling
1 cup of Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon of Unflavored Gelatin
1 ½ cups of Sugar
1/8 teaspoon of Salt
6 Egg Yolks
8 tablespoons of Butter
2 Egg Whites
1 cup of Sugar
¼ cup of Water
1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon of Corn Syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 to 9 inch pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper.
Whisk the milk, egg whites, and both extracts together in a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Beat the butter into the flour mixture, one piece at a time, about 30 seconds. Continue to beat until it resembles moist crumbles. About 1-3 minutes.
Beat in all but ½ cup of the milk mixture, then increase the mixer speed until smooth, light, and fluffy, 1-3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly beat in the remaining ½ cup of milk mixture until batter looks slightly curdled. About 15 seconds.
Make sure it is thoroughly combined and pour into prepared pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the cakes and then flip them onto the wire rack. Peel off the parchment paper.
It will take 2 hours for the cakes to completely cool, so they can be frosted.
Lemon Curd Filling
Measure 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over top. Cook the remaining lemon juice, sugar, and salt together in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot, about 1 minute. Do not boil.
In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks and eggs together until combined, then slowly whisk in the hot lemon mixture to temper. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, until the mixture is thickened and a spatula scraped along the bottom leaves a trail. This should take 4-6 minutes and on an instant read thermometer it should say about 170 degrees.
Off the heat stir in the gelatin mixture until dissolved. Stir in the frozen butter until melted and incorporated. Strain the curd into a bowl and press plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate the curd for at least 4 hours.
Placing one cake on the cake plate spread the filling over the top. Place the remaining cake layer on top and press lightly to adhere.
NOTE: You can split both cakes in half. And, incorporate more layers. I find it to be difficult to do it this way, but I am also not skilled as a cook or a baker or anything kitchen related. So, live your life.
In a large bowl whisk all the ingredients together until combined. Set bowl over a large saucepan until combined. Set the bowl over a large saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the mixture, whisking constantly until it reads 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer. About 5-10 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the heat and whip the mixture for 5-7 minutes until stiff peaks form. Increase mixer speed and beat for another 5-7 minutes. Frost the cake with the icing.
The way I did was to pipe the icing into an even-ish formation on the cake. Then, I used a spoon to give it this wavy pattern. I'm not sure if that make sense, but it was very pretty. And, compared to most parts of this cake, it wasn't that hard to do.