My Sister- The Future Con Artist

While celebrating my mom’s birthday at the Cheesecake Factory (which was, as always, sinfully delicious), she shared a story which left us both proud and a little bit scared.


My sister is a 6 year old first grader.  Yesterday she got caught standing on the sinks in the school bathroom and jumping off.  She had recruited two of her friends to join her. She’s no follower, that kid, she’s the ringleader.  After a 1st grader and kindergartener told on her, she was sent to the principal’s office, where she proceeded to deny the entire thing until the witnesses were brought into the room. She then came clean and was given a referral slip, which she was to give to mom or dad to sign.


Fast forward to 8pm last night – Mom is listening to the messages on her cell phone, something she rarely does.  She has a voicemail from the principal.  She turns to my dad to ask him if he knew about this and had signed the referral.  He knew nothing even though he’d gone through her school folder that day.  They enter the kitchen…and find the referral in the recycling bin. Looking at her planner (which mom and dad are supposed to initial every day), they found that she had forged their initials – supposedly in the hopes that they wouldn’t see the page with “referral” written on it.  Mom was livid. It was on.


Mom called sis upstairs and gave her a long talking to, while Dad sympathetically watched (this was his little baby, after all). It ended with her writing an apology to the principal and being grounded for a week.


While we are strangely proud of her ingenuity, it’s a scary premonition of things to come.  Mom said the kid didn’t know the referral had to be signed, but if she had there was no doubt she would have forged that too.  If mom hadn’t listened to her voicemail (a completely out of character move), no one would have ever known. And, according to mom, sis didn’t even really understand what she’d done, this was all just instinct.  Kid’s got some intelligence.  Scary intelligence….. Can’t wait until she’s a teenager and her plots are deliberate 😉



Life is a little bittersweet right now, though luckily with more emphasis on the “sweet” than the “bitter.”


1. HOCKEY IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LET’S GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr need to go away.  Forever.

2. Thanks to the holidays and birthdays, I’ve been spending more time than ever with the family.

3.  I’m already looking forward 18 months to my trip with my brother to Italy and Germany in June 2014 (I changed my half of the trip to Rome and Venice :)).  I’ve made peace with not going to London and Paris this year, because I really do want to take my brother to Europe instead.  London and Paris will still be there the year after.


1. I’m still working at AAA.  And thanks to the stupid increase in social security tax and health insurance, I now net $40 less a pay period than I did last year.  I made $4 a pay period more when I first started, before my raise, then I do now.

2.  There’s nothing to do in STL, especially in the winter.  At least when the weather is nice I can walk through Forest Park and imagine myself in Central Park. Even the movies I’ve watched lately (Les Mis and Anna Karenina) failed to impress. I’m. So. Bored.

3.  I miss Tokyo 😦


If I can change my bitter point #1, I’m hoping that’ll help with #2.  The only thing to help with #3 is another trip…If only money grew on trees… I know everything’ll work out, but the sooner things change, the better.  Yes, yes, I know the grass is not always greener on the other side, but I’m finished with where I’m at.

German Chocolate Cake

Dad’s birthday is on Tuesday, but we’re having family dinner night tonight since it’s just easier for everyone.  Dad requested German Chocolate Cake and since my mom dislikes baking while I love it, I volunteered.  Now, I could have gone the easy route and spent $5 on Betty Crocker cake mix and frosting, but that would have been wayyyyy too easy.  Besides, I think from scratch beats from the box every time .  And since it’s for dad, I even included all of the butter and 75% of the sugar 🙂



1 pkg (4oz) Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate

1/2 cup water

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

2 cups sugar (I used 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar)

4 eggs, separated

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup buttermilk



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover bottoms of 3 8″ or 9″ round cake pans with parchment paper (or just butter and flour the pans). Microwave chocolate and water in large microwavable bowl on high until almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.


  • 2.
  • Mix flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in melted chocolate and the vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition.


  • 3.
  • Beat egg whites in a small bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir into batter. Pour evenly into prepared pans.


  • 4.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Immediately run small metal spatula around cake layers. Cool in pans 15 minutes, remove layers from the pans to wire racks. Discard parchment paper, Cool cake layers completely. Spread coconut-pecan frosting between cake layers and onto top of cake

Coconut-Pecan Frosting

4 egg yolks

12 oz evaporated milk

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter

7 oz coconut

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

1.  Beat egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan with a wire whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter and cook on medium heat until thickened and golden brown. Remove from heat (this step took about 15-20 minutes)

2. Add coconut and nuts and mix well. Cool to desired consistency.