Tuesday, May 11, 2010

So Long BYU...

Our memorable time here in freezing lovely Provo, Ut is drawing to a close. We've LOVED it here. Beautiful mountains and snowy slopes. Overabundance of young newlyweds. Weekend extended family get-togethers with activities.
Aaron graduated from BYU with his Bachelors in Exercise Science. He really enjoyed his last semester, he even pulled a 4.0 : ) Lately, Aaron has been really anxious as he finishes up his final essays and his 10 billion-hour-long dental school application. He’s applying to the only three Texas schools…San Antonio being number one in our hopeful hearts.
 I love LOVE love how academics come with ease for Aaron. He got an A in Nutrition..I got an A-. He got an A in Human Anatomy…I got an A-. He got and A in Physiology…I got a B+. Ect. Ect. Ect. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally okay with this since his A’s will be his ticket into grad school and eventually buying a home, car, food, and super cute high heel shoes. 
Aaron was able to graduate with his older brother Keith! He received his Bachelors in Advertising. We were sad to find out their individual departments' graduations were at the SAME TIME in different locations across Provo. Funny, huh? Mama K. and Pops flew up to see their boys walk. I can imagine how accomplished and proud they must have felt watching their two sons graduate.
It was precious for Stephanie and I to watch our husbands graduate together in the same department.
When I heard the announcer call Aaron Michael Crossley to receive his diploma,  I lost it. I was just flooded with emotions of this his BYU experience and finally realized WOW, we're moving on. This chapter has closed and grad school is up next. Kids. Buying our first home. Non-made up callings (BYU joke..) We will have been married for two years this coming August and I smile at the progress we have made as a couple. Individually. FINALLY understanding how to resolve this and that. Learning how to apologize and love one another in the way the other can really feel it. Seeing time after time that the Lord blesses us with love enough to love. This life has been good to us.

Glancing back?
-Aaron managing to avoid ANY studying after 4pm or ANY time I was home. 
-Using our BYU ID's and "Starving Student cards" any chance we had to get discounts : )
-Long walk on campus. Sigh..
-Getting phone calls throughout each week from Aaron who needed my praise for his rockin' test score.
-Skipping our own classes to sneak into each other's classes just to hang out and hold hands.
-Sneaking into BYU stadium to explode a 2L soda bottle and hide from alarmed security and lay on the field to talk.
-Mac and Cheese cups for lunch EVERY day!
-Refueling by meeting up and making out between each class.
-Venting about my super liberal..athiest..pycho..manipulative socioloy teacher.
-Swapping religion class thoughts/notes/ideas
-Sometimes writing more texts to each other then notes in class.
-Aaron REGULARLY rolling over in the morning and saying he didn't have to go to class to sleep longer or spend the morning with me.
-Hi, my name is Janene and I'm a recipe junkie. 
-Failing my statistics class due to my obsession with food blogs and cookbooks.
So long BYU...            
Yours truly, Me

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chocolate Reese's Mousse Cake

I know ya'll will hate me for this, but this decadent cake is worth EVERY calorie!!
Peanut butter and chocolate is our favorite dessert combination. Aaron only has 2 birthday wishes each year and one of them is a gourmet dessert. Last year for his 23rd birthday I made him a GIANT Peanut Butter Cup that was heavenly!
I'm thinking Reese's will be a long-standing tradition for his birthday cake(which happens to fall on the week after my birthday, Reese's coincidentally being my favorite candy EVER!) So what better excuse to make a cake as gorgeous as the chocolate mousse with bits of toffee cake from Our Best Bites? Thank goodness, I couldn't think of one either.
I've also been dying to try the grooms cake I had our Aunt Mitzi make for our wedding. She's a baker--a fabulous one I might add-- not a decorator! My wedding cake was a 5-tiered beauty. Until it sunk in and toppled over itself a few minutes before the reception. It was THAT heavy and rich : ) Ask anyone there, it was the best cake they had ever tasted! We took home a bunch of leftover the grooms chocolate cake with a divine cream cheese peanut butter filling. This little heaven on earth became our midnight snack for the first few months of our newlywed life. Jealous? You should be. As long as you're not a chocolate hater you'll love this knock-out cake!
Chocolate Reese's Mousse Cake
1 package Devils Food cake mix
1 large pkg miniture Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

1/2 pkg cream cheese (4 oz. No fat free substitutions here!)
1 C. smooth peanut butter
2 C. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 T. milk

1 1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C. heavy cream
3 T. peanut butter
1 t. vanilla
1/3 C. light karo syrup

Let's bake!
Start off with pouring the cake batter in 2 8" or 9" round cake pans. Bake and then cool to room temperature.

While the cake's are cooling you can begin working on this easy mousse. Well, it's not really a mousse. This is a heavier filling. It compliments the moist and light cake very nicely. Next time I give this a go or the next good excuse I can reason up to I plan on using William's Sonoma's Classic Chocolate Cake recipe. It is a bit more time-consuming to make, but it is guaranteed to be a pleaser. I'll let you know how it compares.

Cream together the softened cream cheese and peanut butter. Stir in the vanilla and milk. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar until smooth. You can double the recipe if you want to make a 4 layered torte instead of a 2 layered cake. Slice the each cake once horizontally with a cake leveler or serrated knife and this will use more filling a ganache. It may be too thick and fall over but you may be more adventurous then I am and give it a try.

Heat heavy cream just until boiling. Remove from heat. Add semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter and allow to sit for a couple minutes. Stir until chocolate chips are completely melted. Add karo syrup and vanilla. It will thicken as it cools. I cooled my ganache for about an hour before pouring it on top of the cake.

You're ready to assemble your cake!
Carefully slice the dome-iest part of each cake layer off so the layers are level. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread the entire peanut butter mousse on top of the layer. Sprinkle with chopped Reese's. Place the second cake layer on top of the Reese's chunks. Spoon ganache over the top layer, allowing it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle with additional Reese's chunks and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Happy baking y'all!
Sincerely, Little Bakin' Blonde