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Mar 132008

Well, today is my birthday and while I wasn’t planning on celebrating the numbers of them any more I do like to spend time with my family and friends on my b-day. Usually my family will gather for a birthday dinner and it is just great to be able to spend time with them. This year, however, is not so good. This month in general just isn’t a good month to be related to me in any form.

My mom is seriously ill and has been hospitalized. I am a HUGE mommy’s baby and I am taking this pretty hard. My mom has been through so much with her health and she has had a good life, but I am not ready to see her go. Last week when she was admitted she was very near death’s door. In fact her blood pressure was only 40 over 20 when she went into the emergency room.

For the past month or two my niece has been in and out of the emergency rooms with severe migraines. The hospitals really cannot do anything for her. They give her morphine or some other narcotic and then the rebound headaches are three times as bad as the original ones. These are not just regular headaches mind you. Along with all the pain she loses her sight, throws up and gets hives form head to toe. She will be spending most of last week and this week at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia to see what can be done for her.

Two days ago my Mom’s oldest sister had a stroke and is in the hospital too. She is doing okay, but a stroke in any shape or form is scary.

I also just found out my one uncle has a very advanced prostate cancer although we do not know the full extent of his illness it does not appear very hopeful. My mother-in-law’s son just had surgery this past month for prostate cancer and they feel they were able to get it all during the surgery. His prognosis is good, unlike my uncle’s. I know you guys don’t like to think about this, but don’t leave your health to chance go get regular check ups.

So what did I do for my birthday? It started out with a dentist appointment [this was already planned so I cannot blame it for my so-so b-day]. From there I went from hospital to hospital visiting all the people I love who are sick. Not the most festive way to spend the day, but I was glad to see that everyone was feeling a bit better and things were looking up for them. I’ll have another birthday next year and while I act like a little kid must of the time I am an adult and can handle it when a birthday just pushed aside. Family does come first you know. I was just glad I had the day off so I could go visiting.

But aren’t you glad not to be related to me right about now?

Nov 142007

I love good homemade food but I rarely cook and almost never bake. So last year when my family was putting together family cookbook / scrapbook I was having a really bad time coming up with a recipe to put on my page. We were each to create a page with our favorite recipe, photo and memories. Memories I have plenty of, photos a few and recipes next to none. Now, a year later, I think I have found that new family recipe to hand down. The only time I bake is when we make holiday cookies.

I made a Tres Leches or three milk cake for a party my niece was having and it was a hit. So I made one for my sister’s birthday the next week and both my nieces requested one for their birthdays too. Only one more to go on the request list at this point.

You might ask how did I come by a Mexican Cake recipe when I don’t bake nor am I Mexican. A girl I work with brought a piece in for me to try and I loved it. Normally, I am not a fan of cakes. When I do eat cake I soak it in milk before eating it so this sounded really good to me and it was.

It is very easy to make and you can find about 20 variations on the recipe by searching the web.

1 Box Moist Yellow Cake Mix [add an extra egg to the instructions]
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Can Evaporated Milk
1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
½ tsp Vanilla

Follow the cake mix instructions but add an extra egg to the mix. [If you have a stand alone mixer like the [amazon_link id=”B000AQK0HM” target=”_blank” ]Hamilton Beach® Eclectrics® All-Metal Stand Mixer[/amazon_link] mixing the cake is a snap, especially if you choose a scratch recipe]. Once you bake the cake allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes. Then in a bowl mix the three milks and the vanilla. You want to poke holes with a fork throughout the cake about ¼ inch apart. Then pour the milk mixture over the cake. Cover. Allow to soak in refrigerator overnight. The next day ice the cake with whipped topping or a light icing, nothing too sweet. Decorate with fresh fruit, my choice is raspberries.

Now this has me thinking of those holiday cookies and how much I hate using our old mixer. I always make a mess with it. Making the Tres Leches was no exception to that rule either. Oh, how I wish Santa could drop by early with a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer so we could mix up all those cookies with ease.

Heck, if I had a good Hamilton Beach® Mixer I might actually bake more often with everything it can do.  So, Santa see what you can do about bringing me an Eclectrics Mixer this year.