To complete the celebration of Jay's birthday, we went to dinner at Lon's at the Hermosa Inn. Both our meals were delicious. I had the most wonderful salmon with a blackberry glaze, and Jay had a beef tenderloin that absolutely melted in your mouth (seriously, almost no chewing required) and the most incredible macaroni and cheese, of all things, with white truffle oil! It was amazing!
And yes, we went to Last Chance afterward. Jay usually has good luck and comes out of there with some great finds. This time he only got socks.... but they were $10 socks, brand new in the package for 75 cents, so... not bad. Me? I bought 3 pairs of shoes. Well, they were 35% off! When you are talking about 35% off $18 shoes that would have sold originally for about $100 each, can you blame me? (And I used the Nordstrom gift card my mom gave me for my birthday, with some leftover!) Besides, new shoes always make you feel good even when you feel fat and clothes don't fit.
And of course I made Jay's favorite cake. This is the ONLY cake he ever wants. One year, early in our marriage, I made the mistake of making him a chocolate cake instead. He didn't say anything, but I could tell he was disappointed. I've always made this one ever since. It is really good. This is what his mom always made for him I guess.
Here is my version of her recipe:
HULA HULA DREAM CAKE
1 yellow cake mix
1 small pkg. instant vanilla pudding
3/4 c. water
3/4 c. canola oil
Disregard the instructions on the cake box. Combine ingredients; pour into 2 round cake pans (8 or 9") coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven; let cool 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack and cool completely.
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 c. cold milk
1 large pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1 large can crushed pineapple, well-drained
12 oz. Cool Whip*
Beat cream cheese with electric mixer for about 30 seconds. Add milk and pudding mix; beat a couple of minutes, until smooth and thick. Assemble cake by topping first layer with half of the pudding mixture, then topping that with half of the pineapple. Repeat with second layer** and remaining pudding and pineapple. Frost entire cake with Cool Whip. Chill at least 30 minutes. Keep refrigerated.
* I made the mistake once (long ago) of trying to substitute real whipped cream, but it was a disaster. If you can make stabilized whipped cream that should work, but I have never tried it.
** At times I have made 4 layers by slicing the 2 layers in half, and then dividing the fillings into 4, but that was too much work. If you are feeling ambitious, go for it!