Life. Is. Nuts. How does time slip away from me? How on Earth is it September? Football season is starting? Summer is over? I made this cake a month ago and haven’t told you about it yet?! When the heck did this happen?! I am slowly realizing that life is, in fact, hectic and that no, it will not ever stop. What’s that? You have a baby and three dogs and I should stop whining over here about being busy, grad-student-with-no-dependents-not-even-a-fish?
This was another of the epic-dessert–baking-series that occurred after my oven-less stint in China. And this one, well, it’s going to happen again soon. Because people loved it. It got scooped up so fast not only did I not even get a bite, but I didn’t get picture either. But I’m thinking that nothing at a dessert buffet runs out that quickly unless it’s something to make again. And again. and again.
I have an oven again after six weeks without. And it was my birthday Tuesday. Clearly, a cake must be made. But guys.. don’t think me blasphemous or anything.. but I’m not really a cake person. I know, ‘What do you mean you’re not a cake person?! What up with all the cake recipes on here?’ Um. Well. I really like making cakes. And cupcakes. But the eating of them.. well let’s just say I’d rather have ice cream. Or pie. or ice cream and pie. But on a birthday, I just feel like it has to be cake. Enter: Cheesecake.
Good lord I love cheesecake. Possibly more than pie. But maybe not more than ice cream. Either way, cheesecake is the most delicious form the cake can take, if you ask me about it. Which you didn’t, but I told you anyways. Cheesecake is what other cakes hope to be. It is creamy and sweet and savory and doesn’t even need any frosting to gussy it up. I just love it. Once, when I was little, we were at Boll Weevil and after a giant hamburger, fries and a shake, they asked if we wanted dessert. I wanted cheesecake. My cousin (or maybe my uncle?) bet me I couldn’t finish it all. The slice was the size of my head. I finished it all.
When my Grandma died, just under 3 years ago, I was literally on the other side of the globe and completely isolated from my family. I couldn’t go home to see her before she passed, and I couldn’t make it to her funeral. Luckily, Brett was visiting, and between him, a giant flower, the friends I had made there, and substantial amounts of ice cream, I got through it. I made a giant chocolate cake in remembrance of her, which I think she would have liked.
What I learned from that experience, is that losing the ones you love is extremely hard, but having family and friends that love you around can make it easier. My Grandpa passed away this past weekend. It was hard, and it’s still hard, to realize I’ll never see him sitting in his chair again, but I got to say goodbye to him, and I have a huge, amazing family, and the best friends the world has ever seen, so I know I’ll be okay eventually. I don’t know my Grandpa’s favorite kind of cake, so I don’t know what to make in his honor (Family: if you let me know what it is, I’ll make it pronto). But about a month ago for Brett’s birthday, I made angel food cake for the first time. And I feel it is an appropriate thing to share now. This cake is for you, G-Pa: I hope you’re eating some with real angels, and that G-Ma has a giant slice of double chocolate.
I made this cake for my cousin’s birthday.
Almost exactly one month ago. In March. (told you it takes me forever to post things..) That’s how lame I am. But it was delicious. And it was the very first time I’ve ever made a cake 100% from scratch. Some people find that strange, or pathetic even. I have no shame–I grew up on boxed cake and I still love a good funfetti every now and again. But part of this growing up business and part of this learning to cook business means I gotta bust out the flour and sugar and do it myself. Continue reading
do you love cranberries? I think I love cranberries. I’ve always been a fan of cranberry sauce, cranberry muffins, cranberry scones. Really that’s all the cranberry things I really remember eating a lot of. Then I found a recipe for cranberry upside down cake. And I realized I had every single ingredient it called for. In my house. already. (We bought a costco size bag of cranberries for thanksgiving and they were still in our freezer. and still delicious.) I didn’t have to buy anything. If that’s not enough of a reason to bake something, then I just don’t know what is.
So I made it. And I will probably make it again and again. The cake itself was just sweet enough to work with the super tart cranberries (especially if you slap a huge dollop of homemade whipped cream on top..mm..) and it was moist and yellow and yummy. I wish I were actually knowledgeable in food and food terms so that I could describe this cake “properly”. It was great. I feel like that’s enough.
Brett said recently that we eat too many sweets.
Let me put this into context. We got a really good deal (86% off, anyone?) on these fitness classes, so we decided that working out intensely was the perfect way to get a jump-start on our new year’s resolution of being more active. (Ps. does anyone ever have a new years resolution that doesn’t involve working out? It’s no wonder we never stick to them…sweat sucks) So we both agreed that we should make some small adjustments to our diets in order to help us achieve our fitness goals. In other words, we are trying to be more healthy. “Don’t we pretty much eat healthy-ly though?” I said (in admittedly bad English) “Well…” he replied, “we eat a lot of sweets.” …
I was speechless. ‘what??‘ I thought. ‘too many..sweet..but…what?‘ I didn’t have a response. Sugar is probably my favorite thing. Um. Ever. Some people like salty things, some people like savory things, some people like spicy things. Me? Give me some sugar and I am a happy camper. Now if you mix that sugar with any combination of flour, butter and eggs… well then I’m just in heaven! So to me, saying that “we eat a lot of sweets” is like saying “we breathe too often.” Saying “we should cut down on desserts” is like saying “we should try to stop thinking.” Seriously, unheard of. And quite impossible.
But after a few days of thinking about it (and looking in our kitchen which only has 2 food cupboards and realizing that almost one whole one was dedicated to sweets) I consented that.. “well… I guess we do kind of eat a lot of sweets..” I wasn’t ready to give them up. That’s blasphemy. I’ll never consent to that. But I did (eventually) agree that we should maybe not eat dessert every night…and at every lunch time. Ok, maybe I had a bit of a dependency problem. And perhaps a cavity or two. “Ok. You’re right. We should only eat dessert 3 nights a week. or maybe 4. but definitely not 7.”
I made a decision to cut down on the sugar intake.
Then the next day I decided I wanted to make a cinnamon crumb cake. (I couldn’t find a recipe I liked so I did a cinnamon coffee cake instead. Same flavors, so it did the trick)
It’s a breakfast cake! So it doesn’t count as dessert! hah! I beat my own system! Continue reading