Cocoa veggie chilli and the truth about birthday cake

This past week has been quite hectic. I had to re-question myself as a mother and wife and Eric and I decided that we needed to stop trying to be perfect and just be ourselves...listen to our gut feeling instead of what internet or friends might say... No question that friends give opinions when we ask about what worked for them, but the issue is that all children are different. What works for one does not necessarily work for another. The issue started when Arielle's sleeping routine went out of whack over a couple of days. I thought she may have been waking up during the night because she was sleeping around supper time, which in turn made her go to bed late. I thought it be better for everyone if she slept during the day, so when she fell asleep in my arms at lunch time, I put her in her crib. As per usual she woke up upon contact with the matress and looked up at me rubbing her eyes. We decided we would let her cry it out - for the first time - so we kept each other company as our hearts were wrenched with our baby's cries. After 5 mins or so, Eric went to comfort her a bit, and then after 10mins and so on. However, when the 15mins were up, Eric yelled at me to come help - Arielle had vomitted all over herself. The poor darling was so upset she had emptied the contents of her stomach. I never felt so guilty in my life. NEVER AGAIN. If she doesn't want to sleep during the day, then so be it, and they will just have to deal when she goes to daycare! I felt better after taking the decision to let my gut decide how to raise my child and a whole bunch of stress lifted off my shoulders. Call it coincidence, or a higher power, the rest of my day (mother's day at that!) went really well - Starbucks frappucino half price in a new mocha coconut flavor, great supper with my family and Arielle slept early and through the night. She has been sleeping soundly again ever since and even napped for a full 1.5 hours this lunchtime! Things are settling back down...

CHILLI! I wanted something vegetarian and easy for when my parents were coming to visit, so I thought I would make this awesome recipe once again. It was a hit last time and after a meat-filled week-end, it is just what the doctor ordered! It is a recipe from a crockpot recipe book I have: squash, corn, peppers, tomatoes...COCOA and BALSAMIC !!! Sounds weird, but those last two ingredients are what makes the chilli so rich and fantastic. Topped with sour cream and some cheese, enjoyed with whole wheat pita... YUM!

And now for the truth about cake... To put it simply - the cake is NOT a lie! HA!

For those of you who just don't get it - this cake is a representation of the cake in a video game my husband plays: Portal. It was his birthday on may 9th and I made him this cake from scratch as a special gift. I used the recipes for both the chocolate cake and chocolate frosting from the cook book that came with my kitchenaid mixer and i topped it with chocolate rolls, whipped cream and cherries. He was really happy and it was SUPER GOOD... Not so healthy though! The cake required melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder and the chocolate hardened upon contact with the cold eggs in the batter. Fortunately, I passed it off as a "chocolate chip" cake and everybody loved it!

Last saturday we had a get together for all the family members with a birthday in May. I made this amazing cake for a second time: a chocolate ganache covered orange cake! Everybody loved it...not too sweet, orangey enough yet chocolatey all at the same time. Unfortunately, I realized I hadn't taken a photo when the cake was mostly eaten! NOM NOM... I really need to figure out how to eat more healthy things to balance out all that cake!

But you just keep on trying 'till you run out of cake...lalala...


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