Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sugar Coma

My son's birthday fell on Friday the 13th...his lucky day or so he says. I wanted to bake him a special cake and was looking through my box of old recipes and found one from mom called, "The Perfect Chocolate Cake." Well, "perfect" caught my attention. I perused the recipe and made sure I had all the ingredients it called for, and let's not forget the cute apron. A baker MUST have a cute apron when making a cake of this magnitude. I proceeded to start this cake on the afternoon of the 13th. We were taking Scooter and his girlfriend, Tracie, out to dinner that evening, so I needed to get it done. Oh, did I mention I was also working through all this? It has been slow, so I thought, good, I won't be bothered much...WRONG...sooooooooo wrong! I was slammed (thank you #13)...I should have known.

Now, when I cook or bake, I do my best to kind of clean up as I go along..really, I do. Not this day. I was on a deadline, had faxes coming in, paperwork to deal with and this huge cake to figure out. Needless to say, powdered sugar was flying all over the kitchen! I had to boil the chocolate mixture and wait for it to cool. Whip the frosting over a bowl of ice (huh?) and bake 3 pans at one time. That made me so nervous.

The cakes had cooled, the frosting done, and the whipped cream filling waiting to be layered between the cakes. The cakes came out the pans just fine and the filling was layered and the cakes didn't slide off(I was holding my breath). The cake was a little lopsided, but not much. I made the mistake of leaving the frosting in the pan sitting in the bowl of ice, so it was not so easy to spread. I let it sit a bit and just whipped it up some more. I did some swirly moves with my knife and also took the back of a spoon to create some peaks. I didn't have anything to garnish it with, so it would have to do. It was 4:45 and I had to hop in the shower and get ready for the kids to arrive and take them out to dinner. It all got done in the nick of time.

After dinner, we came home and cut into that monster and that first bite was so goooood! Very moist, the filling delightful, and the frosting perfect. The chocolate was just right. Not too rich. Add a little vanilla ice cream and let the sugar coma begin!

BTW...that's the birthday boy, Scooter, with his lovely fiance, Tracie!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Finds

I haven't blogged in so long, I may have forgotten how. So...I'll just jump right in. I thought I would share a few of my favorite things found while antiquing, junking, flea marketing, etc. I love to go in with a clear open mind and see what pops out at me. The best things are those that scream at me...very loud! I MUST listen or I'll go home, come back, it'll be gone and I'll have to cry myself all the way home!

This is a vintage french bread box I found at a monthly flea market here in OKC. I was just meandering around and found an interesting booth and saw this awesome pale yellow metal box shoved under a table. I pulled it out and opened it and the vendor told me what it was and I told her it was going home with me! She was thrilled. She couldn't believe she still had it. I was just happy it had been "lost" under that table. Of course, I didn't use it for bread (the french must have smaller loaves), but used it in my bathroom on the counter for awhile. I put all my make up in it and other facial creams and goop. I really liked it there, until I found something else to replace that space.

It is with deep sorrow. hehehe, that this lovely box will be moving on to a new home. I can't say too much, but the new recipient loves it as much as I do and she doesn't know she'll be getting it as a birthday gift. So shhhhhh...

My next find is this gorgeous old jewelry box with the coolest chippy paint job. There's blue on white and gold on blue and the drawers have white porcelain knobs...eeek! I found this treasure at my fav hang out...The Rink. It's an old ice rink turned antique mall. They used to have the old zambonie in there, but had to get rid of it for the needed space. Very cool place. I grabbed this baby and when I got to the counter, everyone was fighting over it and couldn't believe they hadn't seen it. I was lucky to get out of there with all four limbs! BTW...this took the place of the french bread box on the bathroom counter. It's large and heavy, but so nice to have a place for some of my jewelry, instead of having it hanging all over the place or forgetting where I put it.

Can you say, "heavy?" That's this frame, but oh so chic, don't you think? I got all giggly when I found it, again at the Rink! I had no idea what I'd put in it when I got it home, but who cared, right? I will admit it sat around for awhile just looking amazing and then I put my daughter's college grad pic in it. It was a close up of part of her face. I just didn't like the way it looked, even though I kept it there for awhile. It was also a black and white print and just didn't do it for me.

One of the things I love finding is old paintings done on flat canvas with the artist signature on the back. Makes me think it was done in an art class for some reason. I also love paint by number paintings and watercolors and....I guess I just love paintings! The painting inside this frame is one of those precious finds. It's on a flat canvas and is signed by the artist on the bottom and back. It's not actually inserted in the frame, as it is larger. I just leaned it up behind the frame and thought, WOW, that looks good!!! I just love the colors in the painting...the pale yellows and blue/greens. The great thing is I can easily move it somewhere else if I want and use the frame for something else, as well.

So, there it is...a few of my favorite things! What are your favorite things? Are they new? Old? Borrowed? Blue? case your wondering about the roses at the top? Those are 50, yes fifty of the best roses, sent to me on my 50th birthday from my daughter and her boyfriend!!! The vase was so heavy when they were delivered, I thought I would drop them before I got them to the table.