Archive: September 2012

Yesterday after an amazing fall day out together as a family, I made Adam a double chocolate birthday cake–his favorite. But I decided not to go with my traditional recipe; I’m hunting for something a little more moist these days, and really–do 2 adults need a 3-layer cake all to themselves? Normally we have some of my family around to celebrate and eat cake, but September turned into a rough month of illnesses and work deadlines for everyone. So I cracked open my trusty America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book and made the Old-Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake instead. Made with a “pudding” of chocolate rather than just melted chocolate, even the distraction of a hungry 6 month old couldn’t make me over bake and dry this one out. It was exactly what a good chocolate birthday cake is supposed to taste like, straight from childhood.

And I made a proper chocolate buttercream frosting for it, because that’s just the kind of wife I am.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake
1/4 cup (3/4 ounce) Dutch-processed cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup hot water
1 3/4 cups (12 1/2 ounces) sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
4 cups frosting or buttercream

  • To make chocolate buttercream: Follow this recipe for vanilla buttercream all the way through, then add 8 ounces of melted bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate and whip the mixture for another minute until combined.

Read more on Adam’s Birthday Cake…

This has been some week. H woke up wailing on Sunday night with her first ever cold, poor thing couldn’t breathe. Adam and I both stayed home with her on Monday because we had no idea if she would get worse. Maybe we were overzealous new parents, but she slept all day and was right as rain yesterday morning. Must have been the right call. So everyone went back to work, but last night Adam and I both started to get sick. I had today off, Adam came home sick from work. And tomorrow is his birthday. It’s a little crazy here, I have not made a cake or even wrapped a present for him yet. I guess this is what we have to look forward to for years to come! But hooray for her little immune system kicking that bug in 24 hours, it was big encouragement for me to keep going with pumping as a working mom.

Read more on Getting My Jam Judged…

I bought some of Tula Pink’s Nightshade fabric over the summer, and I’m just cutting into it for this year’s Halloween project. I actually really wanted the purple colorway, but I caught a sale and the shop had run out of the purple. I do like this kind of greenish slate colorway, but I’m not feeling the love for what I’ve done with it so far.

Read more on Nightshade Quilt Pt. 1…

And I’ve got my new fall shoes ready to go.

Boots from Lands’ End and pumps from Aerosoles. Now if only it weren’t still 80 degrees outside….

My mom, the sprout, and I went back to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday. I was off for Rosh Hashanah, and the museum was closed. So Meredith took us around for another couple of hours to see some more things and get some fun photos of H.

They were tending to a lot of things when we there, so we still didn’t make it to William the hippo. And the Arms and Armor room, always one of my favorites, was also tricky to get to. But we saw lots of sculpture, European paintings, and I made lots of docents and guards nervous when I spread H out on the floor to take some photos. I mean, how many kids get pictures of themselves in the empty Met? I’m pretty sure I was horribly embarrassing, and my mother told me my mission for the day was clear–H photos. I swear we looked at art, and that’s why we went, but I’m also all about preserving cool memories. So here are my favorite photos from the whole day. The sprout photos are towards the bottom, I really did appreciate the art.

As close as we could get to the Arms and Armor.

But still very cool from above.

Read more on The Sprout’s Second Meredith Monday…

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