Saturday, April 6, 2013

Cake Time!

I am not a cook. Not at all. (Ask my husband.)

But, I was raised in the South, so any time we get invited to a party, I open my Big Mouth and ask if I can bring something, as if I'm some kind of Paula Deen.

Image from Google

So, when our sweet neighbor Belinda invited us to 60th birthday party for our other sweet neighbor Janet, I asked what I could bring.  Belinda listed several things, including dessert, which I sometimes can pull off.  

Thinking I did not want to "clash" with the cake, I e-mailed to ask what kind she'd be serving.  

That was my first mistake.

She wrote back and said it would be wonderful if I'd bring the cake.  So, I figured I needed to step outside my comfort zone, and actually make (not buy) the cake. 

That was my second mistake.

I then e-mailed to ask Janet about her favorite kind of cake.  She wrote back and said Boston Cream Pie or Angel Food.

As a child, I'd watched my Southern Mother make an Angel Food cake in a special Pan-with-Weird-Handles turned upside down on a Coke bottle, but I didn't have a Coke bottle...or anything even resembling that pan.

Image from Google (obviously...Mom would NEVER have used a DIET Coke bottle!)

So, I figured I'd make a Boston Cream Pie, although I've never even seen one in real life. 

That was my third mistake.
Image from Google

Undaunted, I found a "Boston Cream Pie Mini" recipe that reviewers said was "quick and easy," with a prep time of 20 minutes, and a total time of less than two short hours.  It looked less frightening than the real pie recipe, which called for making nice, flat, even layers ~ have YOU ever made a cake layer that was perfectly flat, much less even?  Sure, you just cut each layer with a knife; I've tried that. It wasn't pretty. Or flat. Or even. Or bloodless.

So, instead, I gathered the ingredients for the harmless-looking little mini cakes, and in less than THREE long hours, I had these:

Not too bad, right?  Hey, I was proud enough to take a second photo, to show that more than one of them came out OK:

I was on a roll!  I even arranged them in a "60" shape, as I'd seen in a Martha Stewart Living Magazine, first doing a "rough draft" with plain pastel liners:

...and then creating the final masterpiece with "Happy Birthday" muffin cups (I went all out):

I think I'll quit teaching and open a cupcake shop!

What?  What's that?  Did I hear someone say something about a FOURTH mistake...

Thursday, April 4, 2013


This is the most beautiful sight in the world.

OK, so maybe that claim does need a little explanation.

You see, the rain and snow we've had over the past couple of days means we're once again able to joke about Colorado's three seasons:  winter, mud, and construction.  

For the past few years, there's been no joke. It was winter or wildfire season. 
Nothing else.

This year, we're hoping the mud season stays for a while.  I used to gripe about slogging through the wet, slurpy mix of mud and manure, but never again.

I welcome the rain.

The animals might not be quite so thrilled, though.

"Stupid rain. I'm wet, and cold, and hungry."
(She's ALWAYS hungry.)

"Stupid mud."
(And she's ALWAYS grouchy.)

"Feed me. Now."

Some things never change...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!

Every year, I'm amazed at just how cold it can get for the New Year, and every year, my husband reminds me that THIS is nothing ~ the cold weather is still on its way.  Yeah, that makes me want to get out of bed in the mornings...

Well, at least the cold brings special beauty with it ~ these unusual icicles were decorating the barn recently, shimmering in the morning sun.  In trying to figure out how these beauties were formed, I almost forgot how cold I was, until I realized I couldn't feel my finger as I pushed the button on the camera!

These icicles reminded me of pea pods, but I think that's because I have gardening on my mind!  We're going to try to start our Community Garden again this year at our schoolhouse, and I just can't wait! Please feel free to check for updates on that garden at our other blog:

I like how the icicles weren't all the same; diversity is good!

Look at that delicate top; how is this heavy icicle still up there???


Mother Nature continues to amaze me daily!  I think the icicles were a metaphor for hanging on, even when times get tough (or COLD)!

Hopefully, your New Year won't require much "hanging on," and it will be filled with beauty and WARMTH ~ Happy 2013!