My Summer Vacation
By Liz W.
My summer vacation was the best summer vacation since 1986. There was so much fun to be had and I had it. I watched an amazing 4th of July fireworks display in the pouring rain. I danced late into the night with my girlfriend while wearing neon sunglasses. I watched in horror and awe as my 6 year old son jumped from a 10 foot high dive. I counted new freckles on my arms, and watch old freckles darken each day on my face. I worried about skin cancer. I read one book after another. The last one being Amor Towels’ Rules of Civility, which left me in tears. I emailed Amor Towels about being his number one fan. I never heard back from Amor Towels. I put my tiny, 3 year old son on a school bus to camp every morning, and waved furiously as it drove away. I drank vodka martinis, and Kir. I watched my house get messier and messier. I went to the New Jersey State Fair and waved furiously as the Corn Princess rode past me in a Cinderella-inspired carriage. I jogged so much that I got shin splints. I celebrated being married to Aron for 10 years. I told my kids we’d have a kick-ass lemonade stand, but never got around to it. I vacationed with my entire family on a lake in the Poconos, and we talked about politics so loudly every morning that our neighbors heard us, and I suspect, disagreed with our views. I got a reading from a psychic and she told me to start meditating, and so I’ve started meditating because she told me to. And finally, a friend and I went through a secret door in a payphone to drink my first, but not last, Old Fashioned. The summer of ’86 has nothing on you, summer of ’16! I’m going to make you chocolate bowls filled with Nutella cake and Kahlua whipped cream. Continue reading →
Last month a friend of mine asked me if I could make a dozen Oreo cupcakes for her daughter’s 10th birthday. I said yes immediately because I’ve never eaten an Oreo cupcake before, and imagined how pretty spectacular it could taste. That particular weekend was a busy one with a big “Family Day” celebration (a weekend-long, awesome block party of sorts), so before I put my party dress on, and shined up my wine glass I set out with determination to bake the yummiest Oreo Cupcakes ever. Long story short, it was a damn good cupcake (a moist vanilla cake baked over a whole Oreo cookie, and topped with Oreo buttercream), but that is not what stands out in my mind from that weekend. It was my friend’s daughter who left an impact on me. She was the one who answered the door when I was dropping off the cupcakes. She looked down at them in silence, and then looked me right in the eyes and said squarely, “You’re talented.” The baker in me felt instant relief, and the middle-schooler in me screamed with giddiness, “I’ve been accepted!” The next thing I know we were fist-bumping each other as if it were a completely normal occurrence between the two of us. I did make an explosion sound when our hands made contact, which is unfortunate (stay back, goofy mom! I’m climbing the ranks of preteen society here!). I asked her what her birthday plans were, and she told me that she and her friends were going to see the new Ghostbusters film and then head home to celebrate being 10. As soon as I found myself wishing I were invited to this party I quickly made my exit. Later that night while I drank wine and chatted with my adult friends I thought about that very confident, and very kind 10 year old girl. I hoped that she was having wonderful birthday party, I hoped she enjoyed her Oreo Cupcakes as much as I enjoyed baking them, and I hoped that one day I would grow up to become as cool as she is. Continue reading →
My first instinct while writing this post is to tell you that I am well aware of how imperfect my three tiered cake is. This cake might look like a joke to you, but I want you to know that I’m in on the joke. In fact, I am willing myself to not point out its many flaws before you even get the chance to spot them yourself. However, I don’t want to go down this self deprecating path because the truth is I love this cake. I loved baking this cake. I loved looking at this cake. I loved eating this cake. I love this cake, and I’m proud of it. It is very hard for me to post something that I know looks inferior in this Pintrest-perfect inspired world we live in today, but I cannot ignore the great joy I got from this particular baking process. So now, without further ado, I give you the conclusion of Baking My First Three Tiered Cake. Continue reading →
Okay, so the cakes are baked and in the freezer. Now it’s time to make enchanting marzipan roses to adorn my masterpiece, and hopefully hide its blemishes. I could have used fondant for this task, but…
1. I love the taste of marzipan and hate the taste of fondant.
2. I’ve never worked with fondant before, but I suspect it wouldn’t be very nice to me, and I’m just not in the mood for that kind of rejection. I’m also out of vodka, so…
3. Marzipan has never been cruel to me. In fact, marzipan has been quite complimentary.
I used Odense marzipan, and also followed their video tutorial on how to make a marzipan rose. You can find that here. Continue reading →