Categories
Food

Reviving a 50’s era recipe: Grandma’s Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake

So, I’m going to do something a bit different.

I’m going to post the recipe here. Yup, right upfront. Without boring the people searching for a Texas Sheet Cake recipe about my stories and memories of this thing. It’s definitely been a hit at parties and potlucks that I’ve brought it to, so go ahead and give it a shot! Let me know what you think I could tweak or improve on this in the comments.

Texas-Sheet-Cake-Recipe-Hi-Res-Super-Compressed.png

And here’s the more legible version below. This thing looks like it’s been handed down a few generations.

texas-sheet-cake-grandmas-recipe

texas-sheet-cake-grandmas-recipe-old-school
With love and sprinkles, of course. And yes, that is the family cookbook behind it.

And that is the recipe, folks! If that was all you wanted, then you can stop reading here. But I guess there is not much more to tell, just that it was a favorite of mine while growing up. We ate this stuff at picnics, graduation parties, wherever there was a casual enough family gathering, basically. I fondly remember this dish as a nice summer dessert. I actually liked this cake cold, since it was either kept cold in a cooler or in the refrigerator before it was served.

One tip though: It is best to frost this thing while it is still warm. This seems to help the icing really get into the sheet cake and helps make it moist and sweet. I’m definitely not an expert baker by any means, but this was just my experience with it.

Happy baking! Let me know if you end up giving it a try sometime.

Categories
Children Parenting

Why I didn’t go all out on a first birthday party. (And still won’t on the second one!)

Since 2017, April 3rd will always be a very special day for the Cervi family.

It was on this day that our daughter entered this crazy world. She didn’t even have a name when she was born. She was “Baby Cervi, Girl” until I finally declared her official name right before we left the hospital a few days later.

I never planned on having a huge party for such a tiny human. It just wouldn’t have been our style. She didn’t even know what it meant to be celebrating a birthday in the first place, much less knew how to hold a fork in her hand. So until my kid knows what a birthday is, these sorts of gatherings are mostly for me and Dan. Hear me out on this one:

When it comes to birthday parties for kids this young, it really should have the vibe of a glorified playdate.

playdate_dads_first_birthday_party
I’m sure these guys were either getting bored at the party or maybe they were in an intense conversation about gaming. Possibly both.

My (almost) two-year-old daughter isn’t too hard to please – she likes shoes, books, shiny objects, and to run around without a care. If I tried to plan out birthday party activities at her age, she would most likely rebel and want to do her own thing. She’s more interested in being independent at this point, and certainly does not like being told what to do. Her favorite word lately? This word is no.

You see my point?

Just go onto Google real quick and search for something like “first birthday ideas” or something similar. It won’t be too long until you run into some pretty elaborate birthday party themes. These are pretty cool looking for those Instagram photo-op kind of pictures, but with so many little details and extras that go into that kind of thing, I’m sure it also involves an extra level of planning, stress, and definitely spending more time and money into things that a toddler would not appreciate nearly as much. Such as intricate “smash cakes” that look like miniature versions of cakes that could be found at weddings or gala events. They’re gorgeous, but definitely over the top for a baby.

cake_in_a_cup_toledo_ohio_birthday_smash_cake
These things are amazing.

What did we do, you ask? We just went to Cake in a Cup and bought one of their cupcake flavors of the week, and that was PJ’s cake. She absolutely loved it. No planning or mess on our end and she got to experience one of the best local cupcakes in the 419. Sure, we could have just made her a boxed cake, but Mom and Dad were also exhausted. We survived our first year of parenthood, so we thought we deserved something a little nice for ourselves, too!

Besides that, we just had some close friends and family over at our house for a couple of hours to hang out while they watched our daughter try to figure out how to open a couple of presents, and then proceed to play with the empty boxes of said presents more than the toys that were in them. That was it. We didn’t do party favors for the guests, we didn’t even send out invites – we just texted a few people to come over for a bit, and the rest was history.

So if you ever feel like an inferior parent because you didn’t get perfect pictures or things didn’t go the way as planned, fear not – your child will not care. And will not remember anything at all.

first_birthday_party_playing_with_friends
PJ playing with her friend, Karly.

Our daughter is still young enough to get away with simple and inexpensive affairs. We’ll probably do something similar for her second birthday coming up in a few months from now. Once she starts to develop expensive tastes (like her mother), then heaven help us.  We will all be screwed.

So until then, I will be keeping things short and sweet when it comes to birthday parties. As long as I get to spend the day with my daughter, that is more than enough for me.