Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cake and Martha, Again.

My friend's birthday is creeping up and once again I'm in cake brainstorming mode. Lord I love cake. Look at what I ran across on Martha Stewart's site!

Lovely and amazing? Yes, of course. But isn't it also just a little... creepy? This is basically  a princess party cake, but for grownups. And according to Martha this cake is inspired by.... wait for it.... ruffled tap pants. Jesus. I try Martha. I try to understand you and Gawd knows I've defended you against the haters. But it's time to lay down the pipe, and retire the tutu and tap shoes for good. You're no Ginger Rogers,  or a princess and neither am I. Also, the Ruffle Tower Cake recipe doesn't bother to mention flavor or  taste, it just stands there, defiantly tall and ruffley. If you need further proof of Martha's impending break with reality check out this monstrosity of a birthday cake.
I welcome any and all cake suggestions this week and Martha- if you're reading, call me. I can be your stay-at-home nurse. We can take psychotropic meds together and ride horses at midnight.

In baby news, my child has successfully replaced me with a breast-shaped toy. I wish you could see the way she goes to town on this thing. Mommy who?

She also has a Bumbo chair. 
So, as the person who suckles her and props her upright, I am now redundant. Who knew it would happen so soon? *weeping*
Anyway moving on. Those of you who know me in RL (that's "real life" for those who are not as sadly geeky as me) have heard of my impending trip to Hawaii. Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii. I think and talk of nothing else. That's right Mother Truckers, Hawaii. Let me know what you think of this swimsuit. I'm not prepared to wear my bikini five months postpartum. I'm no celebrity with my post-baby body looking bodacious. No way. I have wobbly bits where wobbly bits do not belong. Luckily, I truly like the retro swimsuit look.
That is all for now. Have a great week my friends. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Breaking News

As promised, I have some big news this week. I have an awesome new job!
Some of you may be aware of my financial situation. I am an RN, traditionally a well- paying job, but not so much for me. Here's the thing- I graduated from nursing school in 2009 and had a wedding- honeymoon-pregnant-childbirth cluster fuck all within 18 months. So that's my excuse for staying at a job that underpaid me and was super boring.
So, I finally got off my duff and my Shiny New Job allows me to work evenings so Matthew can go back to work full time. Also, it pays much more than my current job.
The downside is it will be much more stressful and challenging. That worries me a bit. When I became a mother my brain tissue transformed into cellulite. The other day I found a pair of my jogging socks in the fruit crisper. Not sure what happened there. If my brain had a window you would see my two remaining brain cells trying desperately to communicate via rusty tin cans and string. Also lots of cobwebs. And an old shoe. And maybe one of those creepy wind up monkeys. And a spider monkey eating a Reuben sandwich. Boy, I could go on all day.
Anyway, the point is I'm very nervous about Shiny New Job, but since my financial outlook is about to improve considerably I am going to have to grow a new brain right quick.
In other news, Spring has sprung in Bellingham

as evidenced by the tree in my front yard, and all the loud lovemaking coming from my neighbor's apartment window.
Also, Ceci is 5 months old!

Happy birthday Ceci! You complete me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday's Bling is Full of Piss and Vinegar

I love it. I am a huge fan of the multiple- finger ring. But honestly, what is up with the hand model's oddly bloated pinkie finger? God. I know that's rude but at least I'm promoting the product to my 13 faithful readers (and mystery lurkers), right?
I'm really just jealous because I had a dream to be a hand model. I was vain of my hands for many years until I had an unfortunate encounter with a bread knife while working at the Pink Door. Cutting yourself with a serrated knife is some gory shit for real. I went to the ER for stitches and felt like a big baby with my bloody finger when they roomed me between a guy who almost severed his arm with a chainsaw and another guy who was mauled by his own pit bull. These are the people you meet at the ER for folks with no health insurance. 
Seven stitches later my dream died. My left index finger is now Frankenfinger. It's all good. My beauty comes from the inside, obviously. 
So anyway, if you are a mystery reader, leave me a comment already! I'd love to know you. (Unless it's a mean comment, don't do that. I'm ridiculously sensitive).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tummy Trouble

Guess what guys? WINNING. Seriously. Me and Charlie are rowing the same boat this week. We are eating crazyfruit from the same tree. There are major life changes afoot here. I'll update you all in a week or so when I'm sure I'm not dreaming. 
In the meantime, look at this miserable little pumpkin. She hates tummy time with the heat of a thousand suns.  Tummy time is such a bad time for her I'm thinking about canning it altogether. 
What's the worst that could happen? It's not like she will NEVER be able to hold up her head, right? I have this terrible image of Ceci in high school, all dressed up like Joan Cusack in Sixteen Candles, and her orthodontia is actually wired to her neck brace, because she can't hold up her damn neck.

So there's that. And here's my nightmare scenario- she's teased so much about her orthodontia-neck brace apparatus that she drops out of school and becomes an exotic dancer.... At the circus! The naked lady with no bones in her neck! Poor Ceci. 
Parenthood is so stressful.

Friday, March 11, 2011

This Moment

This moment. A Friday ritual. A single photo- no words- capturing a moment from the week. A single, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. Inspired by Soule Mama.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

On Toys and Other Drugs

A friend of Matthew's recently gifted Ceci with this vintage Fisher Price airplane complete with a few passengers.

Isn't that adorable? Matthew says the guy in orange is Gordon, from Sesame Street. I'm not sure if that's the case. I remember Gordon having a mustache, not a goatee, and I'm pretty sure he had arms, and was made of human flesh. Bad jokes aside, it's a very cute gift, no? Unfortunately, Matthew's friend is unaware that giving me my daughter this toy is like giving a drug addict just one little taste of smack.
I say this because I've been fighting a vintage Fisher Price obsession since I birthed my little critter, and that may seem harmless, but in truth it's dangerous because of (A) my tendency towards hoarding, and (B) the potential cost involved.
I think it started when I saw this record player at the antique store I frequent. It had all four records, was fully functioning, and was in beautiful shape for a toy older than I am. It was $30, which isn't terrible, but I ran out of that shop like my hair was on fire. The problem is this- once I have the record player I'll want the TV. Once I have the TV I'll want the little camera. Then the telephone, then the whirly ball push-thing, then the pull- along duck thing. I will become obsessed with collecting all of the Fisher Price toys I remember from my childhood and then I will most likely lock myself in a room to coo lovingly to them while I polish them with moist towelettes. I may or may not consume too much wine while I deplete my bank account on ebay while in pursuit of my new collection.
Soooooo. Now, through no fault of my own, there is a toy in my home acting as a trigger for me. Should I go for it, or do I find a self- help group?

Also- here's that recipe for plum cake Missy. Enjoy.

Friday, March 4, 2011

This Moment

This moment. A Friday ritual. A single photo- no words- capturing a moment from the week. A single, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. Inspired by Soule Mama.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Return of the Pavlova

Pavlova (food)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Colloquially referred to as "pav", it is a cake similar to meringue with a crispy crust and soft, light inner.
Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Ánna Pávlova.
The name is pronounced /pævˈloʊvə/ or /pɑːvˈloʊvə/, unlike the name of the dancer, which was /ˈpɑːvləvə/ 
or /ˈpævləvə/. The dessert is believed to have been created in honour of the dancer either during or after 
one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The nationality of its creator has been a source of 
argument between the two nations for many years, but formal research indicates New Zealand as the more 
probable source.
The dessert is a popular dish and an important part of 
the national cuisine of both countries, and is frequently 
served during celebratory and holiday meals.

It goes against all my instincts to post a cooking story that was not a smashing success, but I will anyway because I'm not a food blogger or a chef, just a glutton who happens to have a blog.
Besides, as you will see, this pavlova recipe is a problem wrapped in a riddle inside a conundrum, with just a little dash of cultural misunderstanding to boot.
As some of you may remember, the pavlova was supposed to be my Valentine's day sweet for my sweetie, but after several hours of egg white angst, Fahrenheit vs. Celsius confusion, and fatigue (all set against the backdrop of whiny baby), the cake went into the trashcan. It was hard on my ego because I am generally quite a good baker. My obsessive compulsive need to check and recheck proportions over and over again usually result in a fine baked product.
Not this time. The first time I attempted it I was baffled by the metric measurements of the Australian recipe, but I made do with a online conversion chart. The one thing I forgot to convert was Celsius to Fahrenheit. Disaster. Even if I hadn't made that fatal flaw the cake would have failed, because I put the cake on parchment paper, not waxed paper. So the whole thing stuck to the parchment like hard little Frisbees. There were other problems. Apparently letting egg whites sit while you puzzle out conversions and try to draw perfect circles is bad. Taking egg white cakes out of the oven for a while and then putting them back in, also bad. Drinking a few glasses of wine while you do all this- fun, but it doesn't make it any easier.
The cake I made last night is an amalgam of the original recipe, some tips from my Kiwi friend, and a Epicurious recipe.
Here is the result.

Hmmm. It doesn't really look like the beautiful Pavlova pictured above, does it? It might even look a little bit like a cow flop, no? It did look a little better sliced.

A little better, right? Or does it look like a cow flop that grew a mouth and is choking something up? It does, doesn't it?
It tasted delicious though, and that's what really matters. It was creamy meringuey chocolaty goodness. It was what a unicorn would eat at a unicorn tea party. 
If you decide to try it, Go with God my friend. Buy an extra carton of eggs.

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