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Archive for August, 2010

bad, lazy blogger.

I don’t even really have the right to call myself a blogger, per se. I am a blogger poser, a dilletante. Shameful, really. I haven’t posted anything since June and it is now August 1st. I set out to learn how to grill, and do a few crafty projects around the house. Have I done any of those things, you ask? No. I have been plopping my butt on a deck chair at the pool in one of my three bikinis from Target and getting my first suntan, courtesy of the pool in my complex that my homeowner’s association fees help to pay for. At least I am getting my money’s worth.

Not to justify my lack of posts, but I was also quite busy through most of July with the community theater production I was involved in… but now that’s over and yesterday my mom mentioned that she hadn’t read anything new from me for a while. So, here I am. I did bake up some fun birthday projects in July including this:

My first attempt at a children’s birthday cake was for my friend Alexis’ one year old (who is a total Elmo freak.) I did use the Wilton Elmo pan, so I didn’t have to shape the top cake. Originally, I was going to make the top cake out of funfetti mix (for the kids at the party) and I did a really rich homemade chocolate cake for the base of the cake. Well, I tried a new product to grease the pans and I won’t be using it again. Elmo didn’t want to release from the pan and I was forced to turn the first cake into funfetti cake balls. Luckily I had a box of red velvet cake mix on hand (which, I will admit, made Elmo look a little gruesome when we cut into him) but came out of the pan nicely. The rich chocolate cake, however, was another story. Now, I have made this particular recipe many times so I know it’s a good cake. It’s a sour cream cocoa cake made with, well, sour cream, cocoa, brown sugar, butter… all sorts of healthy things. But it makes such a rich, moist cake that of course it didn’t want to release from the pizza-sized 16 inch pan I had poured it into. It actually broke into several pieces and I stood there staring at the mess on the table for a moment thinking, “Well. F—.” (in case you couldn’t tell, that was the F-dash-dash-dash word. The word. Sorry, I never pass up an opportunity to quote ‘A Christmas Story’. Anyway, I digress.) I stared down at this cake with the realization that, not only did I not have time to bake yet another massive cake, but I didn’t have the rather specific ingredients to do so. So I pieced it together as best I could and used a can of chocolate frosting to serve as spackle before I iced the cake in the homemade buttercream. I have to say, it worked nicely. No one was the wiser, and the cake actually turned out really cute.

I have also made some rather inventive cake balls this summer. Some perched atop tiny ice cream cones, others using Nutella or peanut butter and covered with crumbled pretzels. Yum. I am very much enjoying working in my new, more efficient kitchen.

Yesterday I traveled up to Ithaca for an impromptu visit to Mom and Dad, and had the pleasure of spending a lovely, sunny Saturday alternately reading Eat Pray Love in the backyard and meandering around the commons for the annual sidewalk sale. Today, Mom and I went to the Farmer’s Market and saw things like this:

but of course came away only with our customary breakfast burritos. In general, my summer has been so relaxing and pleasant, I can’t seem to remember how I filled my previous summers in my sweaty old apartment. I wasn’t spending it outside, that was for sure. And I certainly wasn’t turning on my oven to bake much. I don’t remember what I was doing then, but I am definitely having more fun now. Entertaining lots of guests in my new house, reading, tanning, and generally enjoying myself. Life is good.

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