thanks…

mom and dad,
for bringing me into this world, on this day, 27 years ago. i love you!

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red velvet cake – sort of

i made a red velvet cake (with cream cheese frosting) for my friend barb’s birthday on friday. i tried a little bit and it tasted fudgy and good, however, it was not very nice looking.

i didn’t use the right pans and thought i would like the color of less food coloring than the recipe called for – but i didn’t. i’m also not a very skilled cake froster yet, since i mainly deal with cupcakes so i was worried from the get-go about presenting it to a party. i think i salvaged it though, but since i wasn’t particularly proud of it, i didn’t even take a picture before leaving for the party. perhaps i will update if barb ended up photographing it.

i will spare you the rest of the details until i have made the recipe to my liking 🙂

irish soda bread


in honor of st. patrick’s day (even though i am obviously not irish at all), i decided to make soda bread. this recipe turned out to be easy – i had the bread in the oven in about 15 minutes – and delicious. pair a slice with some homemade stew or soup and you’ll have the perfect comfort meal.

IRISH SODA BREAD (adapted from THIS recipe)

3 C all-purpose flour
1 C whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 C margarine (i used Smart Balance)
1 C buttermilk
1 egg
1-2 T butter, melted

pre-heat oven to 375, grease a cookie sheet
in a large bowl mix together all dry ingredients and margarine
stir in buttermilk and egg
turn dough out on a floured surface and knead for a minute or two, form dough into ball
brush butter on to, score large X across dough ball
bake for 45 minutes

*i didn’t have any buttermilk handy, so i added 1 T white vinegar to 1 C milk – wait 5 minutes and you’ll have buttermilk!
*also, because of the whole wheat flour, you may have to add an extra splash of buttermilk – play it by ear.


what to do with a bag of apples…

i made apple cinnamon muffins. from this recipe here. it was extremely easy and the muffins turned out really apple-y, fluffy and tasty. however, they weren’t the prettiest looking things. i think because i accidentally had the top oven rack down too low for something i had cooked previously and they baked a little weird.

anyway, that’s why there are no photos of the muffins.

also, in the recipe i substituted 1 cup whole wheat flour + 1/3 regular flour instead of using 1 and 1/3 cups regular flour. i sifted the flour and had to add about 1/4 cup more milk – they still turned out really fluffy and buttery. perfect! and i was at least able to introduce some extra fiber into the recipe.

february books (sorry, i’m slow)

snow white – donald bartheme: this was a strange book. i’m not sure i would recommend it to the average reader, it was so unusual. but i liked parts of it very much. i bought a copy with the intention of sending it on as a gift (it’s a beautiful 1st edition) and decided to read it before letting it travel on. my favorite passage from it “I could fly a kite with this hair it is so long. The wind would carry the kite up into the blue, and there would be the red of the kite against the blue of the blue, together with my hair black as ebony, floating there.” (snow white, talking about her hair).

ender’s game – orson scott card: i read this for the first time when i was in 8th grade and was pretty astonished that i read something science fiction and REALLY liked it. zac and i decided to read it for the books & bars bookclub and i’m glad it gave me the chance to re-read. i discovered i still liked it! it’s part of a 3 book series so eventually i may read the others. it lost some of its intensity to me, though, since the characters were all children and the climax happens when they are 10-13, so as an 8th grader i think i felt their emotions much more deeply. i recommend it for non-sci fi-y people (like myself). at book club the people who regularly read science fiction seemed dubious of how “real” these characters were. *insert long skeptical pause from me here*

good in bed – jennifer weiners: i’mgoing to admit this was a bit of junk food reading on my part, being as a busy month was drawing to a close and i only had 2 books read and knew i could knock this one out in couple days. it was very ophrah book clubby and i don’t mean that in a bad way. an overweight journalist has a bad break-up but then falls upon some good luck before coming upon some bad luck and her trials and tribulations bring her to a new place in life and she meets some great people along the way. you know, one of those books. but it was fun and there were funny and heartfelt parts.

coming up in march: fool by christopher moore and i don’t know what else, seeing as i finally have bookshelves and will be unpacking my books. including a box of entirely unread ones.

also, i recently found 1st and 2nd editions of raymond peynet’s books of his lovers’ illustrations. they should be arriving from the UK in the next couple of weeks here. i cannot wait to have them. his illustrations are so lovely and whimsical. perfect for spring.

recipe

BUTTERSCOTCH POT DE CREME

i found this recipe on the ceramic canvas blog and since i followed it without any modifications, it will be easier just to send you to the recipe HERE.

i didn’t let the caramel get all the way to the amber caramelly color (i was afraid of burning the sugar) so mine turned out much lighter in color, but still really smooth and delicious. i give this dessert 2 thumbs up.