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Today is Ryan’s birthday!!! (I won’t reveal his age because, since we are only 5 months apart, then it’d reveal mine)

We kicked off his birthday week on Saturday with a fajita cookout and birthday cake with our awesome friends! I use the Pioneer Woman’s steak fajita marinade and it is so good! Seriously, it’s not just for steak, it’s yummy on chicken and shrimp too.

Fajitas are an easy meal to throw together for a group. The fixings aren’t expensive and the prep work is minimum. To calculate how much meat you’ll need, expect each person to eat about 1/4-1/3 of a pound (I overestimate to ensure leftovers for the week).

Besides fajitas (and velveeta+rotel queso), I also made Ryan a birthday cake. His mom used to make him homemade birthday cakes in his favorite flavors and I’ve tried to continue the tradition. Last year’s cake was red velvet, one of his go-to favorites. This year, I went outside of the box and went with his favorite ice cream flavor, chocolate chip cookie dough.

I found this recipe for a chocolate chocolate chip cookie dough cake and thought it was something I could tackle. I had to make some adjustments to the recipe, I didn’t have (forgot to buy) pudding mix or mini chocolate chips (used 2 bags of the full size) so I just made the cake using the directions on the box. I did add a little vanilla extract and the chips to the batter.

I also don’t know how to pipe icing and felt the equipment necessary was too pricey for my lack of experience. So I didn’t do the piping and mini cookies part, instead I just added a lot of rainbow sprinkles for decoration. I love icing so I iced the cake layers before putting the cookie dough layers.

My results didn’t quite match the Pinterest post. My layers were not even and the melted icing made quite the mess. However, the cake tasted good and once cut no one noticed the lack of beauty.

Next year maybe I’ll try something easier, like a sheet cake! Probably not, thanks to Pinterest and a tendency to attempt over-achievment!

~Emily

P.S. Happy Birthday Ryan!