Nick, Julie Anne, and Tatjana Rhodes

Tatjana will shoot me for calling her a birthday “girl”, but I have a hard time believing twenty-four years have flown by so quickly! The Rip Van Winkle effect strikes again…

Tatjana and Julie Anne Rhodes
I still go looking for my little blondie at the airport every time she flies home, then a momentary shock hits me when the grown-up version comes walking through the arrivals hall. Just like her father, I’m never quite sure what color her hair will be? She likes to surprise me.

Julie Anne and Tatjana Rhodes

Tatjana Lee Orchid Rhodes,

You are my favorite person on the planet, let alone my favorite birthday girl. You are a kind, compassionate, creative, hard working, fun loving young woman today; but you will always be my little girl.
I wish I could be there with you today. Happy birthday and many happy, healthy returns of the day.

I love you,

Mum xo

PS. Here is the recipe for your favorite Waldorf Blue Velvet Cake. Hope your dad will help you make it.


Waldorf Astoria’s (Blue) Red Velvet Cake

Serves:12

Ingredients:

For the cake:
1/2 cup Crisco
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 ounces red food color
2 teaspoons cocoa
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the icing:
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla

Directions:

For cake:
1). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 – 9″ cake pans, or 3 – 8″ cake pans.

2). Cream together Crisco and sugar in a large mixing bowl with electric beater, then and eggs and beat until light and fluffy.

3). Mix red food color and cocoa in small bowl, and add to mixture in #2.

4). Mix salt into buttermilk; then add to mixture #2 alternately with flour. Using the fold setting on the beaters, end with flour.

5). Add vanilla, soda, and vinegar (in that order). Beat 2-3 minutes after everything is added.

6). Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake layers comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand in pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto cake racks to cool. Cool completely.

For icing:

7). Add flour to a large saucepan, then add milk gradually , stirring until smoothly blended. Cook milk and flour over medium heat until thickened to the consistency of oatmeal. Cool completely before continuing on.

8). Beat room temperature butter and sugar for 15 minutes, using a timer, until butter becomes pale yellow. Add vanilla, then fold the cooled flour-milk mixture into the butter cream icing.

9). Spread just enough icing over bottom layer(s) to secure next layer on top, then ice entire cake and decorate as you please.

TIP: You can substitute any color you like for the red…my daughter’s favorite color was blue, so she always had a Blue Velvet Cake for her birthday.

 

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  • August 23, 2010
    2:26 pm

    I hope Tatjana has had a great day, I remember her birth being announced………..I feel old now :)

  • August 23, 2010
    4:10 pm

    That's a lovely gift Jewels!!! Wish her the best in her special day,have a wonderful day!!!!!MariFer Cruz Ortega

  • August 23, 2010
    4:10 pm

    Happy Birthday Tatjana! ♥Lisa Lederman

  • August 23, 2010
    4:11 pm

    One PROUD momma!! Happy b-day, Tatjana!!Justine Owls

  • August 23, 2010
    4:22 pm

    Happy birthday to a beautiful young lady!Lara

  • August 23, 2010
    4:48 pm

    Happy 24th birthday Tatjana!Don't forget you're blessed, with the gift of life, love, a special Mum and a delicious cake! What more can a girl ask for? ;-)Ricarda

  • August 23, 2010
    4:59 pm

    Happy birthday to her!

  • August 23, 2010
    8:09 pm

    Beautiful JulieAnneKarla Minto- Billdt

  • August 23, 2010
    8:11 pm

    Happy Birthday Tatjana :)Miriam Monti

  • August 23, 2010
    8:11 pm

    Happy birthday Tatjana!Lara Coker Hayes

  • August 23, 2010
    8:12 pm

    Happy b-day Tatjana, all the best! ♥China Barbara

  • August 23, 2010
    8:12 pm

    Happy birthday Tatjana!Dorothy Ferlito

  • August 23, 2010
    8:13 pm

    Happy Birthday Tatjana!Lisa Van Ore Thompson

  • August 23, 2010
    8:14 pm

    happy birthday Tatjana what a lovely vid Jewels they look like a lot of fun for you all :) Jewels what's the UK equivalent to Crisco? that cake recipe sounds great I'd like to try it.Gem Keenan

  • August 23, 2010
    8:14 pm

    Happy Birthday!!!Ankh Abud

  • August 23, 2010
    8:15 pm

    Happy Birthday Tatjana! xoJade Vanity

  • August 23, 2010
    8:15 pm

    Happy Birthday,Tatjana!! ;)Alessia Save A Prayer

  • August 23, 2010
    8:16 pm

    Happy birthday to you Tatjana – time does fly Julie Anne – my daughter is now 18 and it is unbelievable how quick it goes – lovely words you have said about your daughter – hope she has a lovely dayRachel Day

  • August 23, 2010
    8:17 pm

    Oh that video made me cry Jewels!! Such a lovely thing to do. Can't believe Tatjana is 24…I remember when she was born like it was yesterday….now I feel old :0(. Happy Birthday Tatjana xxJulie Pocock

  • August 23, 2010
    8:18 pm

    i love it mum, thank youTatjana

  • August 23, 2010
    8:27 pm

    Thank you for all of Tatjana's birthday wishes. Gem, there isn't really anything quite like Crisco in the UK (unless you go to a store that carries American imports – there are a few in London). I've tried lard, but it had too much meaty flavor for my liking, so I would usually substitute with unsalted butter.

  • August 23, 2010
    8:45 pm

    Happy 24th, Tatjana!

  • August 23, 2010
    10:35 pm

    Happy Birthday Tatjana! I have 3 loves of my life and I can't imagine a day without any of them either! You are lucky to have such a loving mother! And father of course! Cheers!Andrea Schlegel-Wallace

  • August 24, 2010
    3:03 am

    Happy Birthday, Tatjana! I hope you enjoy your special day! And congradulations to Nick and JulieAnne… You two have a wonderful daughter!

  • August 24, 2010
    4:19 am

    Happy Birthday,Tatjana!! ;)Alessia Save A Prayer

  • August 24, 2010
    4:21 am

    ‎*** Happy B-day Tatjana ***All the best!!!Séverine Boyer

  • August 24, 2010
    4:21 am

    The video was great! I hope Taj had a great day :) My daughter just turned 11 on 18 Aug and it feels like time had already passed too quick!Penelope Worley

  • August 24, 2010
    4:22 am

    Happy birthday Tatjana!!!! :)Marzia Medazzaland

  • August 24, 2010
    7:52 am

    Happy birthday, Tatjana, and best wishes for the next year.

  • August 24, 2010
    8:18 am

    Wow! Julie Anne time really does fly!!!! As I sit here with 11 weeks to go(with girl number 3!) I am reminded of when my other 2 (aged 12 and 6) were born and the milestones they achieved..Daughters truly are a blessing as my girls are my best friends!!! Happy Birthday Tatjana Colleen from Australia xx

  • August 24, 2010
    8:52 am

    Belated Birthday Wishes to TatjanaSonas Breithlá Duit, Tatjana !!(in Irish)And thank you Jewels for answering the eternal Crisco substitute question :D

  • August 24, 2010
    11:34 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TATJANA!I hope you had an amazing day. Such a lovely post Jewels. What a great mum you are.24 years…..how time does indeed truly fly. No doubt, I will be saying the same thing in years to come about Mia. Congratulations on a beautiful, talented daughter and for being an incredible mum.Aussie Mum

  • August 24, 2010
    3:50 pm

    Sorry the video wasn't better quality, but I couldn't upload it without compressing it, and the soundtrack did fit, but for some reason didn't play to the end once I uploaded. Anyone know why?Tatjana loved all the birthday fuss you all made.

  • August 24, 2010
    4:06 pm

    Hope Tatjana had a wonderful birthday! But, it's a day for you and Nick to celebrate too. You both raised a lovely, gracious daughter with the best qualities instilled in her from both of you. While it's Tatjana's day to celebrate, I think both parents should too. The video was lovely and while we all enjoyed it, I'm sure the birthday girl was equally thrilled. Happiness to all three of you on Tatjana's special day.

  • August 24, 2010
    6:23 pm

    Thanks Ruthee, and so true – I do celebrate. Tatjana liked the video so much she asked me to run off a CD for her of it this morning.

  • August 24, 2010
    6:23 pm

    ‎:-))Miriam Monti

  • August 24, 2010
    6:24 pm

    Beautiful ladies :)Melanie Angel

  • August 24, 2010
    6:24 pm

    better late than never..happy birthday tatjana…all the best..Sandra Lai

  • August 24, 2010
    7:07 pm

    Happy Birthday Tatjana!!! *throws confetti*Kelly :cD

  • August 24, 2010
    9:55 pm

    So sweet!Josie Elder- Chow

  • August 25, 2010
    1:36 am

    Jewels, that was about the sweetest thing I've read (and I'm not just talking about the cake recipe!). So many of us "fans" have watched Tatjana grow up, too, and I for one am so impressed with what a lovely lady she has become.Happy Birthday, Tatjana!

  • August 25, 2010
    7:56 am

    My God…..24 already? How the time's flown! Happy birthday, Tatjana!

  • August 25, 2010
    3:13 pm

    Your video was so sweet. You and Tatjana have a great relationship. You must be so proud. She is a lovely young woman. I hope she had a brilliant birthday.Happy Birthday Tatjana. Darlene

  • August 25, 2010
    6:02 pm

    so cute :-)Miriam Monti

  • August 25, 2010
    6:02 pm

    Is it her birthday today ? We'll you make her a blue cake LOL ? Soooo happy birthday to her :-)Angélique Goury

  • August 25, 2010
    6:05 pm

    Thank you Suzanne – I'm very proud of her. Tatjana loved all the birthday wishes everyone, and asked for a CD of the video. She got her sentimnetal gene from her mum. Angelique – her birthday was Monday, and she has already been celebrating for two days, but thank you for the thought!

  • August 25, 2010
    7:17 pm

    omg I can't believe Tatjana is 24. I officially feel old as dirt now. I remember being so excited when I read you and Nick were expecting. In Bop magazine I think, lolBudgie Bradberry

  • August 25, 2010
    10:11 pm

    Julie Anne, a very happy birthday to your sweet daughter. It seems like only yesterday that you and Nick were expecting. I couldn't believe it when I read that she is now 24! The video was very precious and sweet and I can see why she loved it.Laurie

  • August 26, 2010
    6:18 pm

    I was in London when you get out with this beautiful cake !!!! Souvenirs, souvenirs… Kisses to you Julie AnneLaurence Bordat Vachaud

  • August 26, 2010
    6:19 pm

    I can't imagine how hard it is to live so far from your daughter … even though she's such a capable young lady now.Justine Owls

  • August 26, 2010
    6:20 pm

    There is always a deep sadness in my heart I have to live with, but we do our best to call, email, and stay in touch anyway we can. In a weird way it has made us closer, because we've had to work at communicating rather than be in the same room taking it each other for granted.

  • August 26, 2010
    6:21 pm

    How true is that! The addage "you don't know what you have until it's gone" is pretty accurate. I do admire you for your efforts and finding ways that work!!Justine Owls

  • August 26, 2010
    6:21 pm

    24?!? Really?!?! *sigh* I remember hearing the great news when she was born…. I guess I really AM getting older, darn it!! :DRhonda Le Donne Rivera

  • August 26, 2010
    6:22 pm

    my mum is in Italy and I live in Canada I understand so well the way you feel …hugsMiriam Monti

  • May 24, 2012
    4:24 pm

    CIAO JULIEANNE & TATJANA VI AMO ANCHE NICK RHODES IL MIO IDOLO

  • May 24, 2012
    4:26 pm

    :D