Saturday, May 21, 2011

5th year of NON TRADITIONAL birthday cakes for Mr. Clarke!

Happy Birthday to my amazing husband, provider and love of my life, Graham!  He loves to refer to himself as my "boy toy", as I am older than him.  Until he hits 30, I have promised him, he can keep living in denial about actually being a boy or a man!

Every year since I have met Graham, we have spent his birthday together.  We call ourselves pretty lucky, as for 2 out of the 5 years we have been together, we had a long distance in Canada, him in the UK, both of us in the UK, but living 2 hours apart, then me back to Canada and him in the UK again.  How we've been lucky enough to spend every one of his birthdays together, is down to the fact that we have spent 3 of my birthdays apart.  It's too cold to do anything in March, so we usually missed out on celebrating my birthday together and opted for better weather for his.  I am so grateful for these times together!

This year, as it's been tradition for the last 2 years, we went camping for Graham's birthday!  What makes it even better, is that his birthday ALWAYS falls over the May "twofour" long weekend, so he not only gets to go camping, but gets an extra long birthday weekend as well!!!  I wish!

I have come up with some creative creations for Graham's birthday cake, as I am NOT a cake person (I love a good cupcake, but it has to be REALLY good!)  I think it had to be from all the icing I used to eat as a kid, when my amazing Mom of many trades was a cake decorator!  I have made him a fresh fruit pavlova (HUGE MERINGUE) for his first birthday with us as a couple, a dark chocolate raspberry flourless torte with raspberry ganache, which he ate in 2 days!!!, the same for his next birthday, as it was all he wished for, a GIANT custard filled doughnut last year (it was all I could find at the grocery store last year while camping), which he loved, and this year, it was the most GINORMOUS s'mores with the most decadent chocolate you could ever want in a s'more!  TIP: the best chocolate for s'mores is GREEN AND BLACK'S: Butterscotch- English milk chocolate, with little butterscotch bits, the perfect bit of crunch and the chocolate melts to perfection! 

I am so glad that one half of this relationship has no care in the world and if God blesses us with children one day, will fit right in with them!  Enjoy this next selection of photos, they are so true to Graham's personality and ability to have fun anywhere, and his "sometimes you need to have no care in the world" attitude, which I need more of in my life!

Seriously, can you see how HUGE these new marshmallows really are?!?!?!?!?

This face of Graham's says it all!!!!


This is where is starts getting VERY messy and VERY gooey!!!

This is by FAR one of my most favourite faces Graham made!

If you know Graham at all, this is his "What?" innocent and childlike when he is having fun!

"Is something on my face?"

I tend to HATE getting food on my face when I eat.  Graham is the complete opposite.  He likes to dive right in and deal with whatever is on his face after he has thoroughly enjoyed what's in front of him.  I HATE (I know it's a strong word, but I mean it!) getting dirty most times, unless for some reason it involves jumping in puddles, dealing with a child I am looking after's mess (it usually means we're all having fun, so why care about a mess?!), or when I am baking.  Cooking mess and eating mess on myself, I am just not a fan of, yet I do a lot of it. 

When it comes to marshmallows, you would think there is NO way to stay clean, or not get sticky, but I have perfected it!  I am going to brag, something I don't do often, that I am the BEST even marshmallow roaster!  I can even toast the top and bottom of the marshmallow after the sides are toasted, without the marshmallow falling off.  Something I am very proud of, and Graham laughs at, but secretly loves!  I thought that I met my match with these ginormous marshmallows, but I found a way to balance them in a way that I could get the middle completely melted- not easy, the most lightly brown "crust" ALL the way around- top and bottom included and prove they were done by the way they drooped on the roaster.

*YES, I am THAT serious about roating myself the PERFECT marshmallow as I usually only have 1 or 2*.

Feel free to come camping with us ANYTIME and I will roast you a marshmallow you will NEVER forget!  And you won't even need to touch that pack of wet wipes!  I'll even let you in on my little secret of how to stay clean and still enjoy EVERY SECOND!

Going in for the first bite!  Break the "crust" and have the perfect first bite!

Suck out the middle part of the marshmallow, where it gets the most GOOEY. (oh dear, this is sounding a bit non-PG :)

Take another tester bite to see if there's too much goo still...

If you can bite down and get chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker, you're good to go!

Or maybe, as Graham says, "You're mouth is HUGE, no wonder you stay clean and I don't, I never had a chance".  In my defense, my mouth was really little before braces, but I now have enough room in my mouth to fit in 17 green grapes (yes, last time we were camping, Graham made me try, AND I COULD STILL CHEW THEM AND EAT THEM WITHOUT SPITTING THEM OUT!), and Graham's mouth is TINY!

READY TO COME CAMPING WITH US YET???  There's more to come!  One thing we make sure we do, NEVER compromise your meals just because you're camping.  We have steak, potatoes, cooked breakfast, pizza, pie iron cheesecake, chili and anything else in between!


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