Anniversary Celebration

Yesterday was Bob and mine’s 3 and a half year anniversary. We really like to celebrate and the fun began on Saturday. We went to Target to do some stocking up since my employee discount has an expiration date – this is my last week there before I start my new big girl job! We got the things on our list – dog food, toothpaste, etc. but then a new Nikon D5100 made it into our cart. I’ve always wanted a DSLR camera and this one was on sale for $749.00 (compared to $849.00)! On top of the $100 sale price, my discount got us another $98ish off. We split the price and called it our anniversary present to ourselves. We had fun the whole weekend taking pictures of Brooklyn and of course our anniversary dinner and dessert!

For our dinner we had pasta with a tomato-artichoke sauce and a peanut butter fudge cake for dessert (the cake that was supposed to be Valentine’s Day baking part 2). The sauce was homemade and delicious with a little kick. Bob and I are big pasta eaters, so this sauce was a nice change from everyday tomato or alfredo sauce. Besides the full flavor from the garlic, cayenne pepper, basil and oregano, it also had texture with the chunks of tomato and artichoke.

Tomato Artichoke Sauce (Recipe originally from Ultimate Daniel Fast)

Ingredients:
1 TB extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (14-oz) can artichoke hearts, 1/4 cup juice reserved
1/2 TB dried basil
1/2 TB dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Directions:
Put artichokes in a food processor, and pulse just long enough to break into smaller pieces. Set aside. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or stockpot, and cook onion until translucent. Add garlic, and cook one minute, stirring frequently so garlic doesn’t burn. Add tomatoes, artichokes, artichoke juice, basil, parsley, oregano, salt, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, and then lower heat. Simmer 30 minutes. Makes 6 cups.

Sauce with elbow noodles

The piece de resistance was dessert! Originally intended as Bob’s birthday cake, because he loves peanut butter cups, this cake literally tastes like a Reese’s. It involves two peanut butter cakes filled with a cream cheese-peanut butter filling and topped with a chocolate fudge frosting, peanuts and chopped up Reese’s peanut butter cups. Basically heaven! What was perfect about this cake was although it was very rich, it was not super sweet. (Bob can’t stand uber-sugary tasting frosting).
The process was a little involved – making the cakes, the filling and the frosting and then putting it all together – but it wasn’t difficult. I can not wait until I have my own Kitchenaid mixer though! It would have made the process a little easier. I did use these handy cake pans that my grandma got me for Christmas. They have this little contraption on the bottom that spins around to loose the cake bottom from the pan… it worked wonders.

Fancy Cake Pan

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (Recipe originally from My Recipes)
Ingredients:
Cake:
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • About 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup milk
Peanut Butter filling
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk

Fudge Frosting

  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • About 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons milk

Directions:

Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and peanut butter until creamy. Crack eggs into a small dish (do not beat) and add vanilla. Add eggs to the butter mixture 1 at a time, scraping down the inside of the bowl as needed. Beat in flour mixture and milk in alternating batches, starting and ending with the flour and making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next.

2. Butter and flour 2 round 9-in. cake pans. Divide batter evenly between pans.

3. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

4. Cool cakes 5 minutes. Invert onto a rack, remove pans, and let cool to room temperature, at least 40 minutes.

5. Make filling: In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat together peanut butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and milk until smooth and fluffy.

6. Assemble cake: Dollop 1 tbsp. peanut butter filling onto a cake stand (to hold cake in place). Place 1 cake layer on stand. Spread with remaining peanut butter filling. Top with second layer. Starting with the top, then working down the sides, frost cake with fudge frosting. Decorate the top edge with candy pieces and peanuts.

Cake with filling

Fudge Frosting

Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Add butter and beat on high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 3 cups powdered sugar and the milk; beat until smooth. Add more powdered sugar if frosting seems too thin.

All assembled

mmmm...

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About Nicole Hangartner

A college grad navigating the real world while trying to remain fashionable and well fed. View all posts by Nicole Hangartner

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