Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Animals Anniversary

So yesterday marked our 14th anniversary. Out of curiosity I looked up to see what the traditional gift is for 14 years. On the Hallmark website it said Animals*. What? So the asterisk basically said that the traditional gift was ivory, but that's not ethical. So they changed it to animals? So I'm supposed to come home with a kitten? That's crazy. They could have changed it to bone, antler, or just something ivory colored, but no, they chose Animals.

I won't even get into the more modern anniversary gift suggestions. It is basically the same stuff over and over again: jewelry.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Flashback Friday: Ethan eating pudding

This is Ethan eating Pooh-beer: Guinnes chocolate pudding in a Winnie The Pooh cup. He was just shy of his 4th birthday at our dessert party, 2008. He kept inhaling the stuff.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Rockin' Out

So the one thing I wish was different about my car: The cassette player. My car is a 2006. A cassette player, really? I wish it had some sort of hook-up for an mp3 player. Today I was bumming around at Marshall's, avoiding doing laundry, when I found this gadget. You put it in the tape player and plug the other end into your music device. I couldn't wait to try it. I tore open the blister packaging without harming myself and shoved the thing into the cassette player. I plugged in my phone. Nothing. Just a little static. Well, it actually worked when I pressed play on my phone! At first it was very static-y, but when I cranked up the volume on my phone I was able to turn down the volume on the car stereo and rock out without static.

I paid 4.99 for this little gem! In the past I have tried adapters that transmit to the FM radio. They never worked well for me and they always required batteries. This is great. Now I can listen to all the music I have on my phone (probably close to 25G) and I can listen to it through my awesome car stereo system, not my little phone speaker or a cheapie bluetooth speaker. Now I'll have more surround sound than tin sound.

Cactus Love

I recently bought a bunch of cacti because they were 75 percent off. I wanted to make a cactus garden in a large pot my mom had given me.

 This cactus looked so sad and lonely, all droopy, I had to buy it.
 After some TLC it perked up.
Now it's fully erect! Hahaha.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Rod's Mexican Sheet Cake

I went to a little pot luck get together last night.  I didn't want to go to the store and buy things to make a main dish (I had originally thought of making gnocchi del Cassentino), so I decided to bake a cake. I mean, if there's anything I am in the cooking department, it's a cake baker. I figured I had everything to make Dad's Mexican Sheet cake. I measured, and I only had 4 Tbl. of cocoa. Oops. I had to go to the store anyway to buy cocoa powder. Still, this cake is easier than gnocchi.  The cake was a real hit last night and I promised to post the recipe. So--full credit to my dad, Rod Burton, who perfected this recipe (and of course I still mess with it).

Rod's Mexican Sheet Cake
1 c. butter (2 sticks)
1 c. water
6 Tbl. cocoa powder
2 c. sugar (I skimp a little)
2 c. flour
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla (preferably Mexican)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. pasilla chile
1/2. tsp. chile arbol
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (I omit this sometimes and just throw in some other kind of chile powder)
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Spray 9 x 13 inch pan with nonstick spray.
3. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil.
4. Add sugar and flour and mix to combine.
5. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
6. Mix in vanilla and spices.
7. Stir baking soda into buttermilk and to chocolate mixture.
8. Mix thoroughly.
9. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
10. Nom. Nom. Nom.

For the fancy lace top: use either a paper lace or lace fabric and lay it on the cake. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the cake/lace--I use a fine mesh thingy and tap it to sprinkle the sugar.  Then carefully remove the lace. Don't put too much sugar, or it will go everywhere when you try to remove the lace. I use a lace shirt that I have to do the design. Last night I was really tempted to add black pepper to the cake, but I decided not to. Maybe next time.

If you like this cake you might like my Chocolate Pink Peppercorn Honey Cake. I used my dad's sheet cake recipe as a base--along with a ginger cake that I've made before. I guess I really like pepper.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Limerick and Bo: Moving In

We had our first freeze last night. We moved Limerick and Bo into the house, along with everything else from the front porch, and of course Gingie. I also moved all my jades and cacti away from the windows. Limerick's limes are ready to harvest. I think we will pick them tomorrow and make limeade.