Posts Tagged 'cake'

Handmade Presents for ME!

Months and months ago I participated in on of those Handmade Pay it Forward gift exchange dealies on Facebook. I sent Sunshine a baby chick hat for her tiny daughter.

This weekend I received some handmade goodness in the mail from her!! Check out these cute and super strong refrigerator magnets.

My favorite is cake.

Now I can retire the ugly bottle opener and ridiculous knife sharpener that I had been using to hold up the Boogedy’s artwork!

Also, she sent this adorable garland that says “Frosty”.

I wish I had had time to take it to the beach and model it there! But here I am in front of my neighbor’s house, with their garden composed of vegetation that is considered “houseplants” in most of the country!

Also, Sunshine was kind enough to send me a jar of Mentholatum, which must not be popular in the south, because no one here carries it. A few weeks ago I had the worst cold, and all I could find was nasty ol’ Vicks!

Sunshine, this was such an awesome box to receive. Thank you so much for making me these gorgeous presents!

Lamingtons and December Fun

I swear that Lamingtons transcend the sum of their parts. Look, they’re just sponge cake, jam, chocolate, and coconut. But all together they’re amazing. I borrowed a cake pan from Kelly and Adam (super cool owners of Honest Works Island Pottery in Key West). So, when the Lamingtons were done, I took them some cakes and modeled them on one of their lovely turquoise plates.  Recipe Here.

On the way home I saw this big truck parked across the sidewalk and it made me laugh out loud. I can just picture my DVD remote control running out of juice and me calling these guys for some spare Triple A batteries, Pronto!

I strung the advent calendar up in the kitchen. Each day I try to think up some free or cheap activity. Last night was “go pick up dad from the airport and raid his suitcase for presents!”

Saturday’s advent activity was the Key West Holiday Parade. Here’s the haul. We threw most of this away, but kept enough to eat one piece every Monday for a few months. (That was the deal the kid came up with, after I said one piece each day was Too Much Candy.

Sunday’s activity was free locals day at the aquarium. This sweet pigeon ate from our hands!

They have a fish there that looks like a PUPPY. It’s called the dog-faced puffer fish. We couldn’t get a great shot, but I wanted to pet him, he looked just like a beagle.

Here are the finished sugar skulls from my sister-in-law Noemi in SLC! The Boogedy believes he won the contest, for Most Use of Frosting. Zach believes he won for best disco lips.

Birthday Dishes and Linens

My birthday was last weekend and I invited some friends over for a grownup dinner party. Really, I wanted the excuse to show off the dishes I bought and the napkins I made to go with them.

Miss P brought citronella candles and I set out the bug spray and I didn’t even get bitten (a nice b-day gift of itself). I made pototo lima bean soup and whole wheat rolls. C&D brought a quiche and P&T brought grilled veggies. Everything was so good, and I counted myself really lucky to have such great friends!

I made the birthday cake, just my usual chocolate cake from a mix, but I used some cake-decorating resources to frost it nicely (turquoise with white polka dots). It was my 36th birthday, and I didn’t have enough candles, so I made an 8-bit binary code. I also served soan papdi, a box of which I have been saving since my trip to Salt Lake. Soan Papdi is so sweet that you have to wash it down with birthday cake.

I had spent the week leading up to my birthday sewing napkins. It was surprising how many turquoise/orange/red fabrics I had, and I bought some others at the shop on my street corner (yes, I live practically next door to a quilt shop!).

Plus my old napkin rings went fabulously:

In uploading these photos, I was reminded of another dinner party almost exactly two years ago, where I also showed off new dishes, and where I OUTDID myself on food. See Indian Feast.

 

 

Adventures with My Sisters

I had fun with my sisters, Jeaka and Marian. They are so good to me! Here are a few of our adventures.

Heading to Blazing Needles, an amazing SLC yarn shop.

Going to Nothing Bundt Cakes with our sweet mama. We bought four flavors, then shared the quarters.

Visiting Orson Gygi, the COOLEST kitchen supply store Ever.

Super Auntie Jeaka and Super Auntie Marian took the Boogedy to a splash pool! Super Auntie Jeaka made visiting splash pools a priority during the Boogedy’s visit.

And near the end of the visit, Jeaka took him to Cookie Cutters to get his first ever haircut that I didn’t do myself. We chose to buzz it for the summer, which I think is adorable, but which he doesn’t like because he’s never had anything but long, “grupply” hair.

Here’s a picture of the big boy with his new “do”. We visited the playground near our old house, where we took him to play the first 3 years of his life. It hit home how big he is getting!

Happy US Citizen Day

Our friend Jose invited us to the ceremony yesterday where he became a US Citizen after 12 years of paperwork. It was a very moving ceremony and I was so pleased to listen to the speakers. I loved seeing the proud families and friends of the new citizens, many in beautiful clothing from their native lands, and everyone so happy.

So what could I do except make Jose this cake for the party last night?

However, I noticed an error on this cake and did a little research. To my embarrassment, I found that my flag faux pas could easily appear on this Flag-Loving Website.

I now know that I made at least THREE violations against proper flag protocol. Can you spot them?

Honey Lemon Cake!

honey lemon cake (Small)

This cake is SO delicious and light and fluffy, not like many of the other things I’ve made using honey instead of sugar. Zach has been telling me that the reason I haven’t been successful is that I’m trying to do the substitution myself, rather than just looking for recipes that call for honey from the get-go. But for me, baking comes on a whim, and I’m not always up for recipe hunting the moment before I bake.  I’m also not a big experimenter: if the recipe fails the first time, I’m unlikely to modify it to try a second time.

We have two kinds of local raw honey on hand at home in bulk (and I mean A LOT of honey). One is a golden liquid honey that tastes like commercial clover honey. It is good for using in recipes that have another overpowering flavor, like homemade hot chocolate with cinnamon and cayenne pepper, or my deep dark honey molasses ginger unsnaps, but it is too cloying to use in something like chocolate chip cookies, which was a big failure last week.

We purchased the other honey in a 5-gallon bucket last fall at the Downtown Salt Lake Farmer’s Market and it’s solid and creamy tan. It is AMAZING in tea or on hot toast with butter, but it is not easily spreadable and sticks like glue to every measuring cup. This is the honey I used this time, and I will be baking with it in the future (Oiling every spoon or licking my fingers where that fails!).

Here is the recipe for this delicious cake. The Jugalbandi blog was recommended by the computer as something I would like to read. It’s the best recommendation I’ve gotten so far! Jai and Bee have a beautiful site with gorgeous photos and an exotic feel.

Because I have a well stocked pantry, I didn’t have to shop for anything except a single lemon!

A little TOO experimental

I love cooking for company. When friends ask what they can bring, I usually say I’ll make the main dishes and sides and they should bring dessert. Last week I had visitors and decided to make a small, simple cake to serve with coffee. I modified this Orange Yogurt Cake recipe to use lemon zest and juice instead of orange. It was delicious! I made it again for different visitors later in the week…again, delicious!So last night, when I went to a friend’s house for dinner (chicken mole and fresh guacamole and tortillas) and mah jong lessons, I decided to get creative and make two modified cakes: cinnamon-chocolate and key lime…

chocolate cake

key lime cake

Zach has decided that we are cutting out refined sugar, so I made the cakes with local raw honey.

Unfortunately, I don’t know much about substitutions in baking, and the cakes lacked depth of flavor, and were rather dense and low. I didn’t sub 1:1, thinking the honey would be too sweet. So the flattish cakes were pretty, if unexciting. If you have ideas on substituting honey in baked goods, I’d love to hear!


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