I’ve just binge-watched the entire eighth season of The Voice and I am in love with Gwen Stefani more than I was as a teenager, which is a crazy amount. I wish I was a singer just so I could try out for the voice with the hope she would want me on her team. But if I’m being honest, no one should hear me sing, EVER. Amelia hears me sing all day long and surprisingly she loves it (I think).
Oddly enough, I’m the worst singer in the world, but I love, LOVE karaoke. I don’t love to participate in karaoke, I just love to watch it. And here in LA, the land of Hollywood and fame and music, the karaoke bars are filled with people who moved here to become famous singers.
There was this one place in Hollywood I used to visit all the time called Miyagi’s; it was behind a Denny’s, attached to a bad sushi restaurant. No one ate sushi there but people loved singing karaoke at the bar.
The singers were incredible. There was the Asian dude who sang Guns and Roses ONLY (and he’d actually wear a Slash wig); there was this beautiful African American woman that sounded like India Aire but better; there was the guy from the mid-west who sounded like Frank Sinatra but looked like a surfer; and there was the MC who had been there since the 80s. The place was magical.
It was filled with people who had sort of given up on their dream; most of them had day jobs doing other things that they were ok with but they’d come to Miyagi’s to sing, because they couldn’t not.
One of the things I want to do in 2015 is push myself toward new adventures. I know that sounds sort of cheesy and dumb but I really want to make new things.
Most of us love doing what we do well. Me included. Being sucky at something doesn’t feel that great.
On my list is a whole variety of things I want to be better at, including but not limited to, decorating cakes. I feel like I can crimp a pie, I got that! But decorating cakes…oof…not so much. Cake decorating requires a ton of practice. A TON. So, consider this my first example of what I want to get better at.
Izy’sbook arrived in my mailbox a looooong time ago, nearly a month ago. I’ve been waiting to cook from it because when it showed up on my doorstep, it was only available for purchase in the UK (it’s available tomorrow!), and it just so happened to be the opposite of fall in LA.
But on Saturday, all I wanted to do was bake. The weather was brisk, the light sorta cloudy and moody and I was particularly in a good mood. The kind of mood I’m in is a result of Amelia letting me sleep in, a little.
As I thumbed through her book, deciding amongst all the beautiful baked goods what I should dive into, I was stopped at this Swedish Chocolate Cake. I’ve been on a weird brownie kick lately, so much so that I’m totally guilty of falling victim to the lure of a box mix at Whole Foods. No shame in that game; though that game often results in a bit of disappointment. There shouldn’t be any leavening in brownies, I’ve decided. I want them to be gooey! and rich! So rich that a glass of water needs to be served along side them.
I met Jessica a few years ago (gulp, maybe 3 years ago?), and she’s always been one of my favorite people in the food blogging community. Her recipes are fun, FUN!; her personality in person is exactly the same as her blog; and her photos make me want to leap into the computer screen and eat EVERYTHING she makes.
This book, Seriously Delish, is very much her in book form. Her personality shines through, there are tons of enchilada recipes (thank you, Jessica!) and the food looks slutty and gorgeous all at the same time.
It’s a keeper of a book. And I have a feeling I’ll be gifting it a lot this upcoming holiday season, which I don’t want to really believe is almost around the corner. Please, let’s not say the H-Word, T-Word or C-Word for a while. I can’t deal.
Amelia is officially a year old. And in human years that translates to seven big ones. She’s basically a second grader. I’ve learned quite a bit from raising a three-month old corgi until now…
I’m no dog mama pro but here are a few things I’ve learned:
1. Corgis bark A LOT. Amelia grumbles at me when I tell her “no.” She talks back. She has attitude. She can be a jerk sometimes. We get in a lot of mother/daughter arguments. I honestly had no idea that you could argue with a dog until she came into my life.
2. There’s nothing worse for a dog than being left alone. This is their worst nightmare. This is torture. They’re the clingiest, neediest friends you could ever have. Their desperation is borderline embarrassing. And yet their neediness is what I love the most. Does this make me a sad person?
Can I be honest? I don’t LOVE lemon flavored desserts. You’ll never see me whipping up a lemon bar and passing them out to all my friends. I’m more likely to give you pie or pancakes or hugs. Lemon desserts are usually a tad too sweet for me, and they usually make me pucker way too much and I make a super ugly “pucker” face. Trust me, it’s not cute.
There’s a popular photo amongst my family of me when I was three years old being taunted by my much older uncle to “close my eyes and stick out my tongue.” My aunt was camera-ready while my uncle swiped a lemon on my tongue. I apparently made the scariest “pucker” face ever. Also, now you know that my family found it funny to torture me as a small child. This explains why I torture Amelia–it’s a learned practice!
This post is all about overcoming adversity, cake decorating adversity. I came thisclose to having a cake worthy of a spot on Cake Wrecks. It all started when Martha’s people were super nice enough to send me an advance copy of their issue of Cakes & Cupcakes. There was a technique in the magazine that caught my eye; it was technique using acetate strips to create a pretty striped pattern. The pictures in the magazine showed glittery pink stripes and bright yellow stripes. I had dreams of creating a cake inspired by my favorite French shirt, the breton. White frosting and navy blue stripes. How spring and easy!
It didn’t go so well, guys. Not at all. So this is a story, not about making a pretty cake, but rather about saving a cake from decoration disaster. It’s a story about how I panicked, looked at the wilting roses on my bedside table and improvised the shiz out of the next move. Ready?
What do we think of people who eat things like cupcakes, French fries, candy bars and snow cones with a knife and fork? Are they dumb? Or just plain sophisticated? I vote BOTH.
Last week I combined numbers two and three and took a picture of a stranger eating a chocolate chip cookie with a fork and knife. He was out in public TOTALLY SHAMELESS. I took a sneak pic and thought about putting it up on Twitter, but then felt guilty. Here’s this guy doing a very private thing out in public and I’m about to take a picture and laugh at him to my internet friends. So I didn’t.
These cupcakes are delicious. Weirdly delicious. Fork and knife totally optional.
We’re all watching the HBO show, Girls, right? If you’re not then you must do this. Like, now!
A lot of my kewl friends like to dislike the show; but last night I finally caught up on the last few episodes and OMG!! I honestly don’t think there’s ever been a show that can simultaneously make me feel ridiculously uncomfortable, laugh so much and be on the verge of tears in a mere thirty minutes. That takes a crazy amount of talent/skill/insanity, AMIRITE?!
A few weeks ago when I was going through a super girly moment, I made this ridiculously girly cake. Yeah sure, I might’ve even painted my nails as I was waiting for this thing to bake up. SO WHAT! WHO CARES!
If we get into the nitty-gritty, this cake isn’t THAT girly. There’s a good amount of cornmeal mixed in, giving this cake a bit of texture, a little heft, if you will, all while still succeeding at being light and…moist hydrated. (Side note: Shout-out to Becky for coming up with the best word replacement for the word we all hate so so much: “moist.”)
This rich chocolate buttermilk frosting was the perfect match for the yellow cornmeal cake. It’s a winner. And since I was feeling angsty, I figured I’d put these heart sprinkles that were in the back of my pantry to good use.
For the rest of the step-by-step photos, with instructions, along with the recipe, jump over to PW’s Tasty Kitchen. Dooo it. And then watch Girls so we can talk about it!
I’m a big fan of layers. This is the very reason why Fall and Winter make me leap for joy.
These seasons give me the ability to wear a tank top, a t-shirt, a button up, and a jacket (and maybe a scarf)…all while not perspiring. Perspiring sucks. So does shivering, I guess; but at least I sorta get an ab workout when I shiver. AM I RIGHT?!
I dig food layers, too. These cupcakes? Crazy food layering going on here. Maybe you can’t see all the food layers yet. It’s okay. I’m gonna outline them for you.