Monday, March 10, 2008

My Boring Life

We're nearing the home stretch on wedding planning. Dresses are being sewn, travel plans are made, the favors are coming together. There's a quiet satisfaction in all this. It's just not very interesting to blog about.

Here's Amelia, our littlest bridesmaid, in her dress (sans sash). Isn't that wonderful? A picture is worth a lot more words than I was planning to write today anyway, so I think I'll leave her to make you smile!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Shout-out to Teena!

This was our birthday cake a couple weeks ago (yeah, yeah, so I'm behind in my blogging -- just try suing me!). Coffee Jones, Dino Burger Jones, Jumping Bean Jones and the Beanette came for the annual Winter Holiday, along with Granny Jones. Granny J. and I nearly share a birthday, so I baked this cake for us both -- well, frankly it was for everyone and the neighbors. This is a very generous recipe.

I got this recipe from a wonderful blogger, Teena. Teena is a mathematician and professor at Indiana University. She's also cooking her way through the Gourmet Cookbook. The cake is not from The Book, as she calls it. It's her very own recipe.

What happened was, she entered the Bloomington, Indiana chocolate festival, and won a ribbon for this cake! So I asked for the recipe, and that's when the most amazing thing happened. She actually posted the recipe here. A responsive blogger! What a wonderful thing.

I did promise Teena I would make the cake and post these photos. (Flash-free photo below.) It's very very dark, rich, moist chocolate cake, with a lush peanut butter/chocolate frosting. I wasn't all that successful with the decoration. But I don't have Teena's cake decorating skills. Check those out here. I found her through these cakes -- they're made from a recipe in The Book that's also on for a wedding cake that could be frozen. (Remember the temporary insanity where I thought maybe I could somehow make my own wedding cake? Well, the photos of this chocolate cake will confirm that really it's much better for everyone that professionals make the wedding cake.) Her review on Epicurious included the link to her blog. I've been a constant reader ever since.

I don't know her whole life story, but I gather she went to culinary school. Each recipe she makes from The Book looks beautifully plated, so I can well believe it.

That's not the best part. What I love about Teena's blog is that she seems to have a nice, balanced life. She's not a lot older than my older niece, so a whole generation younger than me. Her blog entries start with the recipe, a photo, a grade, her fellow cooks and her dining companions. After a discussion of the recipe, she writes about her life. And it's all so delightfully straightforward. No navel gazing or angst in sight. Not that there's anything wrong with navel gazing, mind you. I gaze at my navel a fair bit. For all I know, Teena occasionally peaks at her navel. But if she does, it's in between working on advanced mathematics, catering her friend's baby shower, visiting her special gentleman friend, and chatting with fellow passengers on all these flights back to Boston and Stanford.

I could say how much I like her, but I'd sound like a stalker. I'll just say instead that I really like the cake! Thanks, Teena.