Thanks for all your comments yesterday for Hannah’s birthday!  We started out the day with fresh coffee and I got her chocolate chip muffins.  A couple weeks ago we were talking about what kind of birthday cake she wanted, and she wanted another mocha cake.  This is the cake I made her last year.

Since I was talking a half day yesterday, I knew I’d have time to make her cake before she got home from school.  As she finished her muffin she said “you don’t have to worry about a cake, this muffin was good enough!”  Yeah right – how can you have a birthday without a cake?!  I found this recipe at – thanks for a great recipe!  One of the reasons I was drawn to it is because you throw everything in the pool and just use a stand mixer – no separating wet ingredients and dry ingredients.

Mocha Cake with Mocha Frosting

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1 cup hot water
Mocha Frosting-
1 cup shortening
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons milk
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1 cup hot water

Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 (9 inch) round cake pans. In a large bowl add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, oil, eggs, buttermilk, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Dissolve instant coffee in hot water and add it to the mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes until smooth. The batter will be thin. Pour into prepared cake pans.

Step 2: Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the baking pans and finish cooling on wire racks.
Step 3: While the cake is cooling, to make mocha frosting- in a large bowl combine shortening and vanilla extract. Beat in half of the confectioners’ sugar. Blend in 2 tablespoons of milk. Repeat with the other half of the confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix in half of the cocoa powder. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of instant coffee into 1 cup of hot water. Pour 2 tablespoons of the coffee mixture into the frosting. Mix in the remaining cocoa powder. Add coffee mixture a tablespoon at a time until the frosting has achieved your desired consistency.
Step 4: Fill and frost the cake with mocha frosting.

I am not much of a baker, but this recipe was super easy to follow.   At first I was a tad worried that the batter was too thin, but it worked out great.  And the frosting was so light and airy (um, but not light in airy in calories – the frosting alone had 1 cup of shortening!)

It was delicious!  I ended up having a slice about half that size – definitely insulin worthy!

Knowing I was going out to dinner and having a small piece of cake later, I started out my day with another breakfast parfait – 6 WW points.

I had planned on making a quick stir fry for lunch since I was home, but Hannah’s class got let out early so we hit the ground running when she got home.  First stop – snacks at China House.  Here’s Hannah contemplating what its like not being a teenager anymore. 😀

We ended up getting a side order of fried rice (no onions – sorry Hannah, just couldn’t do it!) and some of the best steamed dumplings in a delicious soy ginger dipping sauce.  The rice is actually on a salad plate, not a dinner plate:

Then it was on to thrift stores!

We ended up going to four thrift stores – so fun!  I like to try on rediculously high heels, and Hannah is always on the search for the perfect purse.

I could barely walk down the aisle in these shoes!

But I did find a cute hat for $4.  You know when I feel like being klassy and not wearing a baseball cap to the grocery store.

And I found this that I really should have bought beause it describes My Bizzy Kitchen to a T!

We ended up switching restaurants when Hannah pointed out a restaurant that one of the Mom’s she babysits for recently went to and said was fantastic.

The lighting was so dim, but we got the fried tofu with a ginger dipping sauce, Hannah got chicken satay and a shrimp tempura roll.  I got an udon noodle soup with chicken, fake crab, tofu, beef with asparagus, red peppers, bean sprouts and an egg on top.  Couldn’t do the fried egg because the yolk was still runny – ew.  But Sophia I thought of you and would have gladly given it to you if you were with us!  The server also brought over some powdered chili to spice up the broth – which I did with not only that but about a teaspoon of sriracha.  Delicious – the picture sucks ass, but this was really good.

When we got home we had cake and watched American Idol – wow, there are a lot of great singers this season!  I think the tall 16 year old needs to go – she was definitely the worst.  My bet is on Jessica Sanchez. 😀

So it was a great day – I think Hannah had a great time.  She’s working double shifts this weekend since one of the managers is going to be gone on spring break, so it was nice to hang out with Hannah.

Alright, gotta get going – but can I just say it would be nice to have every Wednesday afternoon off?  Make it a great day!