And I want to go back.
I was also tan last year. Merw.
I believe this might be the most delicious food adventure I have had in a while. Of course one cannot go wrong with cake, but a cake made from SCRATCH….pure beauty. I got the idea to make a red velvet cake from this one show called Cook’s Country…part of America’s Test Kitchen. The host guy is kinda nerdy and always wears his red apron:
But anyways, they were cooking red velvet cake and it just looked so good that I found the recipe online and gave it a try. I’m pretty sure this is the first time I have made a cake like this:
(click on the link if you want to see the larger picture file. It’s pretty amazing!)
The batter was, really, like velvet. I had to use a whole bottle of red food coloring, which still wasn’t the 2 tablespoons they called for. It was probably about 1 1/2 tablespoons. So I guess it could’ve been a little more red. But it tasted SO GOOD. And usually I can’t really handle eating a lot of cake, but I have to restrain myself with this one. I will post the recipe here, to encourage you to try it.
Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red food coloring
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter , softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
16 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
16 ounces cream cheese , cut into 8 pieces, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and eggs in large measuring cup. Mix cocoa with food coloring in small bowl until a smooth paste forms.
2. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as necessary. Add one-third of flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add half of buttermilk mixture and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl as necessary and repeat with half of remaining flour mixture, remaining buttermilk mixture, and finally remaining flour mixture. Scrape down bowl, add cocoa mixture, and beat on medium speed until completely incorporated, about 30 seconds. Using rubber spatula, give batter final stir. Scrape into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes then turn out onto rack to cool completely, at least 30 minutes.
3. For the frosting: With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Beat in vanilla and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. When cakes are cooled, spread about 2 cups frosting on one cake layer. Top with second cake layer and spread top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 days.
You’ll notice how it said that it serves 12…and there are only two of us. So I gave some away….and there is even some left. Want a slice???
I almost titled this post “1 year of co-habitation” but then looked up the term “co-habitation” on wikipedia. Hah. Thas not what what’s going on here.
I’m not going to try to relate how I view this passage of time, or else it could just end up as a scattered and incomprehensible explanation of time and space. If you know me, you know the frustration that comes when I attempt anything of that sort.
Let’s just say it’s been fabulous.
But let’s get right to the good stuff, pictures, yes.
We spent Saturday afternoon at the Chicago Botanical garden. Conditions could not have been any better; it had just rained and the fog was lifting right as we arrived.
They had an amazing bonsai tree collection.
Below is a Juniper bonsai which is the same kind Micah got for his birthday! We are now more dedicated to the care of our bonsai.
I liked the name of this one:
smelling the flowers.
I love waterfalls.
Venus fly trap! Sweet!
This is my favorite picture of the day:
That evening we went out to eat and had the most amazing dinner. Mind you I am not really into meat, but I have always wanted to try fillet mignon, so I had my chance and BOY WAS IT TASTY!!
Micah was happy with his prime rib. That’s a meat-eater right there.
On Sunday, we went to church and then came home. Micah was kind enough to clean the bunny cage and the fish tank. I am, admittedly, afraid to do both those things. But seriously, look how big that bunny is.
LOOK AT THAT THING!!!!!!!!!!
We had indian food for dinner. Yay for Trader Joe’s. They’ve got some great stuff. And that is IBC root beer. Not real beer. Ha.
Micah made a special “curry sauce” to go on the chicken and it was delicious. Don’t ask for a recipe cuz he made it on the fly and he’s cool like that, yo.
The flowers and new vase bestowed upon me. And to think I got him an electronics book. Well, he loves that stuff so don’t judge me. I will support his hobbies even if he has no time to do them.
Happy Friday! Home-made pizza? Or $5 Hot-n-Ready at Little Ceasars??? Or even go crazy and get some Giordanos? Edwardos? Decisions decisions.
For those of you who wondered what was eaten on Micah’s birthday, it was our very favorite Lemon Clam Pasta with Caesar salad and green beans. The recipe can be found in our "Recipes” section! Try it out, it’s amazing!
Micah is getting through this LONG surgery rotation swimmingly, and tolerates my jokes about becoming a rich anesthesiologist. Luckily he will not have to work on the weekends (or so he tells me) for the rest of this rotation! Hooray! Part of me doesn’t believe it!
The other day Micah came back from the laundry room with a large dragon kite. A DRAGON KITE! And it was totally free; someone was just giving it away! I’m hoping it’s not because it’s broken or doesn’t fly. Still, I am dying to try it out, since I miss my old kite Wilbur very much (He is at home in California). Why such a strange attachment to a kite? I suppose for one, I am strange, and two, ol’ Wilbur has been through quite a few near-flying-off-into-nowhere incidents. Thus making his longevity a marvel. He also flies superbly well in proper flying conditions. I shall have to post a picture as soon as I have him in my possession again.
Another culinary adventure for ya’ll: Tabouli. This is a great Mediterranean salad that goes great as a side dish or stuffed into pita bread like I did here:
Doesn’t that look amazing? And it’s actually good for you? (YES!)
So I won’t delay any further, here’s the recipe!
3/4 cup Bulgar wheat (soaked 1/2 hour)
1 1/2 cup parsley
3 medium tomatoes chopped
1/3 cup chopped green onion
2 tbs. Mint
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Lemon juice
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Not too bad, huh? Sure sounds a lot better than what I had for lunch today: