Friday, April 30, 2010

Chocolate With Francois--Chocolate Mousse

What does it mean that my priorities for today went:
  1. get up as late as possible
  2. read blogs and post friday favorites
  3. make chocolate mousse
  4. take a shower and get ready for the day (which happened about 3 pm...)
Well, one thing that means is that it is Friday and I am off work (until I go in for month end that is...)  Another thing that it means is that I must be very lazy!  This is evidenced by the fact that I had COMPLETELY forgotten about this months CWF challenge until I saw Julie's post about it.  Oops!  Well, she mentioned that the recipe was super easy, and I had all the ingredients on hand, so I decided to jump right in and whip up some chocolate mousse!

Well, Julie was right and this was a super easy recipe to throw together:  whip up some cream, beat eggs with your kitchenaid, melt chocolate, then pour boiling sugar syrup into the eggs, continue beating for a bit, and then fold it all together and refrigerate!  And it was super yum--light yet incredibly rich at the same time.  I had a bit an hour after making it and it was just lovely. 
whipping eggs w/sugar syrup
whipped cream and melted chocolate
yummy light as air mousse!

Moogie of Moogie & Pap chose this month's recipe and said we were all to present it in a creative way.  Well, since I barely got it done at all, I'm afraid that all you get is chocolate mousse in vintage fire king bowls...but it is delicious!  Head over to her blog for the recipe!

Fab Five Friday

Yep, it's that time again, to join Emily and list five things that made our lives fabulous this week!

1.  Knitting.  I have recently gone on a knitting kick again and am working on a very special project that I'm super excited about!  I will post it once it is gifted as I don't want to ruin any surprises.  I've spent my evenings knitting and watching my shows and really relishing both the freedom to do that and the fact that I am accomplishing something in my leisure time.  

I know, it looks gross but it is wonderful!
2.  "Mexican mush"  I've mentioned this before, but one of my very favorite things about going to eat at a Mexican resturant is mixing up the beans, rice, queso, sour cream, and guacamole and eating it as a dip with chips.  It  brings joy to my heart!  Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to have dinner with some of my former Bible study girls and I got to pick the resturant in honor of my birthday (next Tuesday)--so of course I chose my favorite Mexican resturant, Peppers.  The night was perfect with great food and fellowship, and I got to eat my leftover mush for lunch today.  yum!

3.  Zoom panel   This is another thing that I mentioned a while back, but I love this market research panel!  I signed up with it in college and take several online surveys each week, and then I win points to cash in towards awesome things!  Of course, being the reading whore that I am, I ALWAYS use my points for books (cooking or "regular").  I got one of my prizes in this week (shipping is free) and was super excited to get Julie Powell's new book Cleaving, which I had been wanting to read while I"m on my memoir kick but didn't want to pay for in hardback.  Now I'm quickly accumulating more points and cannot decide between getting Baked or Pioneer Woman's cookbook...(please way in with feedback if you have either one...)  Also this week I got a new product to sample and report back on--and it was something that I was going to have to buy otherwise--score!!  If any of you are interested in joining this, send me your email address to and I will send you a referral link--it's a great way to feed your "shopping" habits for free! (and they have tons of non-book stuff too: kitchen gadgets, electronics, dvds, you name it!)

4.  Bloggy friends :)  In the past few weeks I have really found joy in the blogging community.  I truly feel that so many of you are great friends--even those of you who I've never met!  I love how I can communicate and grow closer to people that I know in "real life" but may not get to see very often, and I love finding new friends all over who share interests and encouragement.  It makes me feel so special to know that some people who I have never met care about what is going on in my life.  Hugs to you all!

5.  Twitter.  So I caved.  I signed up this week and love it! (even though the stupid facebook apps are not working for me to link my accounts...)  Another fun way to keep in touch!  I'm @sarahedmundson1 if you want to follow me :)

What made your life fabulous this week?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

TWD: Chockablock cookies

For Tuesdays with Dorie this week, Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet chose the Chockablock cookies from page 86 of Baking From My Home to Yours.

These cookies were not what I expected.  You know how sometimes you just have this image of how things are going to be made, and then they aren't it at all?  When I started first grade and was going to eat cafeteria food for the first time I would try to imagine what the food was when we got the menu each week.  When I saw "chuck wagon" on the menu, I was so far off....I imagined that the cafeteria ladies would actually have made little covered wagons out of vegetables!  (i tried to find an image of what I was imagining with Google, but apparently I am alone in this fantasy...)  Well...needless to say, I was very disappointed when instead of an intricately designed sculpture, I was served a breaded patty of mystery meat.  *sigh*

My thoughts were similar (though a little less grandiose) when it came to these cookies.  Apparently I just think very literally:  I imagined square shaped chocolate cookies (you know, like chocolate blocks?).  I did read the recipe and figure in all the chunks of things, but I just thought they would be a little more chocolatey.  When I mixed up the dough I was kind of "eh" about it.  I really felt that the molasses flavor was overpowering.  I liked them pretty well when they came out of the oven though, and I'll update you tomorrow to see if I like them even more (I've heard that they are even better the next day).  

I did as Dorie suggested and froze some of the dough in lumps in the freezer for later consumption and only made six little (ok, BIG) cookies for myself b/c I knew in advance that these would be a "Sarah cookie" aka, too many "ingredients" for hubs to try.  I did use dried cherries for my fruit component b/c I had some on hand and I LOVE them.  I got excited with my new chopper and cut the walnuts a bit too much, so they weren't quite as chunky as I would have liked, but overall I think they are good--lots of flavorful components and a very little amount of fat compared to most recipes that we do, and that is always great!

Thanks to Mary for picking this week's recipe (check her blog for the recipe) and check out the TWD site to see who baked along this week!

**Update: I really like these the next day!  I think some substitute other than molasses would make them even better, but they are pretty darn tasty cookies!  :)  **

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fab 5 Friday

Hello again!  It's that time of the week where I join with Emily and the girls in listing 5 things that made life fabulous this week!

1.  Kroger. 

LOVE IT!  I've been a walmart kind of girl most of my life but lately have been converting to Kroger.  It can be more expensive for some things, but the customer service is so worth it!!  In the past few weeks I have been specifically blown away when I actually had someone help me unload my cart into my trunk (and i had a HUGE bag of mulch so that was so helpful), and today--after scouring the whole town for a container to package a cupcake order in, I asked if they would sell me one of their cupcake holders and they did for just over a dollar!  Now other bakeries may do this too...but they were so friendly and helpful.  It made my day :)  I also LOVE that they give either 4 cents off or gas points for every reusable bag that you bring in to use with your groceries instead of using plastic bags.  They don't even have to be kroger brand!  I highly recommend them.

2.  My Scentsy pay card.  (sorry, not going to take a picture of that).  I have mentioned before how much I love the Scentsy products that I sell, but this is an awesome thing about being a consultant with them.  When I've done other direct sales stuff you just purchase the products at a discounted rate--you don't actually get "paid" but with Scentsy, if a customer gives me a credit or debit card info I can put their order in with their information, saving myself the whole pay, then get reimbursed process.  Then once a month the company loads your commissions onto a pay card which you can use as a debit card or transfer the funds directly to your bank account.  Well last night this got me out of trouble!  I had run to Kroger to pick up some pecans for a pie, and not until I was in the checkout line did I realize that I had left my credit card sitting by the couch where I had just paid my vehicle registration.  Thankfully, I had my pay card with me and it had recently been loaded w/last month's commissions--woohoo!

3.  Good deals on fancy baking tools. 

Okay, this isn't exactly a tangible thing, but recently I got some items that I had really wanted at a great price!  I have really been wanting a marble slab for working with pastry.  A few weeks ago I went to one of my favorite consignment stores and found this piece of marble for $8.50!!!  and even better, I had a credit on my account for some things that I sold, so I paid nothing!  Also, I was wanting a french rolling pin but had not been able to find one in town.  I had gotten one of those $10 gift cards from Kohl's and went in on my lunch break yesterday and saw this one for just $15.00, so I would only have to pay $5.  I didn't realize that the Food Network brand stuff was also on sale, so I ended up getting it for 64 cents!  Woohoo!  I used them last night to make some pies and felt very fancy : )

4.  Cream Honey

I discovered this stuff a few years ago at TJMaxx and fell in love.  So good.  So creamy.  Mild and sweet and wonderful :)  I love it on my sourdough bread, and recently used it on my TWD biscuits.  The only thing is that TJ Maxx is not a place that carries a regular inventory of things, so I just stock up whenever I see it in the store.  Thankfully they have kept a fairly regular supply.  If you like honey, I definitely recommend it!

5.  Glee!

I love this show and am so glad that it's back!  It's the perfect thing for a musical-loving girl like me :)  I'm hoping to get season 1 for my birthday in a few weeks (hint hint hubs)

What made your week fabulous?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

TWD: two for the price of one!

I missed last week's treat due to illness, but got to make it later on and that Swedish visiting cake was WONDERFUL!  Such a simple recipe and it turned out great!  I was also very exicted to use my cast iron skillet from my granny for the first time.  Thanks to Nancy of The Dogs Eat the Crumbs (sounds like my house!) for this simple and delicious pick!

For this week, Melissa of Love at First Bite chose the Sweet Cream Biscuits from page 23.  I was so excited to make these because just the other day I was talking to hubs about how I need to learn to make biscuits!

Well, these were wonderful!  Super easy to throw together, once again only requiring a couple of dishes and very little mess...and so addicting!  I'm not really sure why Dorie says to cut these w/a 2 in. biscuit cutter--they were tiny, and I will definitely use a bigger cutter next time--but they were the perfect size for popping into your mouth! (bad tummy is too full...)  She also says you will get about 12 biscuits...I got at least 2 dozen...another reason why I questioned the size of the biscuit cutter.  I even googled "diameter" to make sure I wasn't just confusing it with radius! lol.

I ate a few with my favorite cream honey and some fresh lemon curd : )

I was surprised at how high the little biscuits puffed up!  If only my puff pastry would get his high...

I definitely recommend BOTH of these recipes, and it was a nice change of pace to have something a little less "fancy" and time consuming.  Both of these can be thrown together in minutes and make for wonderful snacking...I think I'm gonna use some of the rest of the biscuits for mini ham sandwiches for hubs to snack on tonight.  He's gonna love me!  : )

And don't forget to stop by the TWD site to see who baked along this week!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dinner w/the neighbors and a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake!

Tonight we had the very fun priveledge of having a dinner party with our new(ish) neighbors!  I have to admit one shameful thing...they have lived next door since november and last week was the first time that I went over to introduce myself!  This past year has been so crazy, but we have finally established a relationship.  : )

I introduced myself to Rachel last weekend after I made a batch of sourdough bread and took some to share, and then this Saturday afternoon she had slipped the sweetest letter into our mailbox asking us over for dinner!  She also asked if I would like to make dessert since I had mentioned how much I love to bake, and of course I gladly agreed : )  They are just a lovely couple...but I must admit I feel very young and inexperienced compared to them!  I don't think they are too much older, definitely not over 10 years, but are both astronomers from Australia, and have lived all over Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, and the US.  They are here teaching at our alma mater which is just wonderful for WKU!  We also got to meet the couple who live on the other side of them--English teachers at the local community college.  It was fun and also kinda rare to have 3 houses in a row with young couples who don't have kids.  Not that I have anything against children or only want friends who don't have kids, but most of the other people on our street have families and there is a bit of a difference in how we all relate. 

This was also a fun time for me to get to make anything at all that I wanted!  Since the TWD recipe for this week is biscuits I looked through my other magazines, cookbooks, and bookmarked recipes for a great dessert, and finally settled on this Paula Deen recipe that I have been drooling over since 2007!  It was perfect b/c I had a bunch of mini peanut butter cups left over from Easter too.  After I made it I had a bit of second-guessing myself...what if they don't eat peanut butter or are allergic?? so I made a fudge pie too just to be sure ; )
Well, everyone definitely did eat peanut butter and everyone raved about this cheesecake!  After our huge meal (steak, chicken thighs, asparagus, salad, mashed potatoes and bread) only a few people had room for tiny slices of fudge pie too...but everyone ate the cheesecake!
I made half the recipe in a 6 in. springform b/c I was short on cream cheese, and i'm glad b/c it was so rich i still have nearly half a cheesecake left to take to work tomorrow.

I couldn't get a picture of the sliced chicken before dinner, but I wanted to show you the chocolate layer...YUM!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Paula Deen's Best Desserts 2010 or Holiday Baking 2007
I baked half the recipe in a 6 in. springform pan, but for the same time

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

Chocolate Layer:
6 (1 oz.) squares semi-sweet chocolate
6 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

Peanut Butter Layer:
3 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Chocolate ganache:
3 (1 oz.) squares semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Garnish: chopped peanut butter cups

  • Preheat oven to 300 * F.
  • To prepare crust; In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and brown sugar.  Add melted butter, stirring to combine.  Press crust into bottom and 1 in. up sides of a 9 in. springform pan.  Bake for 6 min; let cool.
  • To prepare chocolate layer: In a medium bowl, combine chocolate and butter.  Microwave on High in 30 second intervals, strirring after each, unil chocolate is melted and smooth (about 1 1/2 min. total).
  • Whisk in sugar, eggs, and flour until combined.  Pour into bottom of cooled crust and bake for 15 minutes.  let cool.
  • To prepare peanut butter layer: in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and brown usgar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Beat in peanut butter until combined.  Beat in eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in cream.  Pour over cooled chocolate layer, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minues.  Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around edges to release crust from sides of pan.  Let cool completely.
  • To prepare chocolate ganache: in a small bowl, combine chocolate and cream.  Microwiave on High in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted and smooth (about 1 min. total) Spread over cooled cheesecake.  refrigerate a least 8 hours before serving.  Garnish with chopped peanut butter cups, if desired.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Favories...Jewelry!

So this week I'm skipping out on our "fab five" group b/c I wanted to dedicate a whole post to my most recent project...

a frame to display my jewelry!

I actually made this over 6 months ago, but just over the weekend finally sorted my jewelry and attached some hardware so I could actually hang it up.  This fun little project cost me less than $10 to make--I found the fun vintage frame at one of my favorite consignment shops, bought a roll of screen from Lowes (which I will use the rest to repair my screen door!) and attached it to the back of the frame w/my staple gun!  To hang the necklaces and such I bought a little bag of earring hooks from a craft store and stuck those through the back of the screen. 

Those of you who know me well may be surprised to hear that this is something I like so much...I am a very plain-jane kind of girl.  The only "accessories" I wear regularly are my wedding rings and hubs' grandmother's ring and a pair of earrings.  But ever since I was a little girl I have loved jewelry.  When my mom would get catalogs in the mail I would get out my scissors and cut out the pictures of rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets and keep them in a little box...I just love all things sparkly and feminine and vintage!  

But I just don't wear much of it.  That is why this project is so wonderful!  Instead of letting everything get all jumbled together in a jewelry box, I can neatly organize it and also have it on display.  And I still get to enjoy it even if I don't wear it. 

I do want to show you some of my favorite pieces, mostly things that came from my grandmothers:

I absolutely adore those tiny little rose earrings!  They are hand panted on ivory--my great-grandmother got them while in Alaska.  A few of the other earrings on here are also ivory but these are my favorite.  I actually never wear them but I think they're just gorgeous.  

I love the little horn-player pin too.  This was from my granny.  I don't think it is a real pearl, but I love how the little face is painted on.  The hat is made of some kind of fur...not really sure what.
And the tiny red and blue hearts towards the right are turquoise that my mom gave to me.  I think they are so sweet. : )

The tiny gold balls in the center of this picture were the first piece of jewelry that my Pappy ever gave to my Granny, and when I got my ears pierced she passed them on to me. Just simple and precious!

I think this love of jewelry definitely runs in my family.  My maternal grandmother had an enormous collection of...well...enormous clip on earrings!  lol.  They were so big and extravagant that she used them instead of ornaments to decorate her Christmas tree!  We still have most of those as well and I'll have to add some of them to my little display here.  : )

I just love this new display!  I smile everytime I walk by it : )  Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry??

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

msc...will be late

fyi, i will be late posting my martha stewart cupcakes club for this week, but do still hope to get to it.

also, i had another weird spider dream last night.  this time they were lowering from the ceiling onto our bed.  i started screaming in my sleep and woke hubs up before i realized that once again, it was just a dream.  i have been sleeping HORRIBLY this week.  probably from the fever and illness, but my whole body hurts constantly and my sleep has been very restless.  blech.  contemplating some blue medicine for tonight...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

there is no TWD today.  my little body is sick.  i had two good weeks which were wonderful, but after fighting through so much pain yesterday my body gave in today.  :(  i really want to make the Swedish Visiting cake that was chosen for this week, and will probably make it later in the week.  anyway, thanks to Nancy of The Dogs eat the Crumbs (love that title!) for picking this week, and I hope to join you later!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fab 5 Friday

Once again, joining Emily and the girls to post about 5 things that made our life fabulous this week!

1.  My coin counting bank!  Okay, I'm a nerd but I get serious joy putting all our change into this little bank and having it keep a total for me!  We're like the couple in Up, dropping in the coins to save up for a vacation.  (we hope to go back to Maine one day)  We already have a little over $50!  ; )

2.  Barnes & Noble.  You know I love to read (oh how I love it!).  This week has been a bit too rainy to enjoy reading at the park, so instead I have cuddled up in their big comfy chairs with my book and had blissful relaxation on my lunch break : )

3.  Speaking of my book:  Get Happy: the Life of Judy Garland  which I just found out (when i googled the title to find an image) is going to be made into a movie with Anne Hathaway!!!  I love the tragic Hollywood story and I really love learning about this time.  It has been a very interesting read so far.

4.  My swing.  I really  want that to say "my hammock" b/c everybody else is posting about their hammocks, but alas, I do not have one.  Though I cannot recline, the swing is quite lovely for reading outside with my bulldog, or swinging with my sweetheart.  Hubs got it for me for my birthday a few years ago and came home early from work so it would be ready when I got home : )

 kitty likes it too

5.  Reeses Eggs.  Yes, I know Easter is over, but these things have been calling to me from my kitchen counter ever since!  I love the peanut butter chocolate combo, I love how much more peanut butter these have...I LOVE THEM!

What made your life fabulous this week?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

what a tiny mouth you have!

The better to eat you with my dear??  haha i'm so clever ;)

I had to go to the dentist today b/c I am having some pain from my wisdom teeth coming in (oh, and the fact that I'm over a year past due for my cleaning...)  I was dreading it b/c I have: overactive salivary glands, a small mouth, and very acidic saliva (i know you were just dying to know all of this about me, right?).  All those combined mean that I have some really bad problems w/tarter buildup--but b/c it builds up I never get cavities...just gum disease ;) I hate going to the dentist b/c it hurts and they yell at me, but I couldn't keep putting it off for fear that my wisdom teeth would get infected or something miserable like that.

It was my first time with this hygenist and the first thing she said is "You have a tiny mouth!  Is that as wide as you can open it?  I don't know if he will even be able to get back there to pull your wisdom teeth!"  Yikes.  She actually ended up being very nice and giving me some good tips, and we scheduled a time to get one of my teeth out (we're going to have to pull them one by one as they come in due to my small mouth and lack of dental insurance.  YUCK!)

Then, she told me that she wanted me to stop using my current toothbrush...and gave me this:

yep.  i have a tigger toothbrush.

Just so you can get an idea of the size, here it is compared to a normal grownup toothbrush:

I feel silly. 

Oh well...hopefully it helps!  lol. 

Also, I did not do the TWD recipe for this week, though I did still make one of the treats chosen previously (which is my favorite to date).  I have noticed an odd trend...I have not made any of the bundt cakes except for the banana cake which was my 2nd recipe ever.  Weird...I mean, I really do love bundt cakes--their simplicity, their "freezeability", the lack of decoration (I really do not like decorating cakes).  But I've skipped all of them!  I may go back and make the coconut tea cake from last week, but mocha is just not my thing anyway.   Thanks anyway to Erin of When in Doubt...Leave it at 350 for picking this week's recipe!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Apple Crisp for boys who like to bet

So my husband...the dear man that I married and who promised to love and honor me no matter what...apparently he has a gambling problem.

Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a bit.  Really there have been only a few times that he has bet on any things and most of them have been in his "money league" for fantasy football which is just a fee to play that is later divided up to the winners.

But last week he decided that he had a different safer way to bet with his friends.  Some kind of game, I don't really know what, but he bet with his friend Jack on who would win, and the stakes?  Well, since he is not really the kind of guy who likes to risk any money he decided to bet that if he lost I would make Jack whatever dessert he wanted.  If he won, Jack would pay him whatever I would normally charge to make that dessert for an order.  He saw it as a win-win.  Of course he did.  I guess I should be flattered that his friends value my baked goods as highly as money!

Well, needless to say, he lost.  And Jack chose an apple crisp, so here we are. 

Recently Joy the Baker posted a list of her favorite recipes, and it included this one for an apple crisp.  I bookmarked it and decided that it would be a fun one to try.

I made a tiny sample of the crisp in a custard cup as well so I could try it before sending it off for his friend and it really was wonderful!  I would have liked it better with whipped cream or ice cream, but I didn't want to whip any up for my tiny bit of crisp.  I meant to take pictures of that too so you could see what it looks like, but it was gone too fast!  (I did NOT, however, save any for hubs.  hmmph. )

I also used my handy-dandy apple peeler/corer and had forgotten how fun it is!  Lovely ribbons of apple peel all over...

sorry the picture is awful but it is 10:00 at night and hubs is taking it to his friend tomorrow morning!

Sit and Stay Awhile Apple Crisp
 from Joy the Baker
bake in an 8x8 baking dish or double the recipe and bake in a 9x13 dish

5 to 6 medium-size apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices. (About 7.5 cups)
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1.5 tsp cinnamon

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, well-softened
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
1/3 cup quick oats

Preheat the oven to 350. Generously grease an 8x8 baking pan with butter.

Place a layer of apple slices in the bottom of the pan and dust with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Continue layering apples and dusting with cinnamon/sugar until done. Toss the apple mixture until evenly coated in cinnamon sugar. The apples should be just about to the top of the pan (they will cook down).

For the topping, place the flour, brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon and oats in a large bowl and stir well with a wooden spoon. Work the butter into the mixture with your fingertips until evenly distributed. Take one full handful of the topping and toss it into the sugared apple mixture. Spread the rest of the topping evenly over the apples. (I usually end up with a dough-like topping that I just lay on top of the apples).

Bake the crisp in the dish on a baking sheet on the center oven rack until the topping is crunchy and the apples are bubbling, 55-60 minutes.

Serve hot; it's excellent with vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter and a Berry Surprise Cake

First and most importantly, Happy Easter!  I hope that your holiday and celebration of our risen Lord has been as wonderfully special as mine!  We started the day by going to church with my parents for a wonderful sermon and reminder of what this season is all about.  Then picked up some things from home (including Butch) and drove to my aunt's house in Owensboro, KY to celebrate with family, and also celebrate her birthday.  It was a very special time--as you may remember, my granny passed away last summer and this was our first Easter without her.  Also, Aunt Gail is in the middle of some very intensive cancer treatments, so it was definitely a time to treasure.  Sadly, we didn't get any family pictures!  :(  Oh well...I think she took pictures of Butch in her Easter shirt ;)

My parents had asked me to make a dessert that we could also use to celebrate Aunt Gail's birthday...I had recently made lemon curd and had thought about doing a pie, but also had Dorie's Berry Surprise Cake lurking in the back of my mind...This particular recipes was chosen in January of 2009 before I was blogging, but when Jacque of Daisy Lane Cakes was going through all the TWD recipes that she had missed and posted on this one I knew I would have to make it!  The cake was originally chosen by Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen (where you can find the recipe).  It consists of a sponge cake (or genoise) that is hollowed out to contain a mixture of cream & fruit, then "iced" with fresh sweetened whipped cream.  Absolutely gorgeous, light, and perfect for springtime!

First you make the cake--from the original TWD P&Q on this recipe I had read that almost everyone's cakes had risen very high and then fallen flat (due to the temperamental attitude of the heavily whipped "diva eggs" as Dorie calls them, lol).  I was honestly kind of hoping for this, b/c when Jacque made it she sliced off a bit of the bottom of the cake, put the filling where the cake had fallen, and put the bottom on top like a seemed much easier to me than trying to slice and scoop and all that.  Well, shock of shocks, my genoise barely sunk at all!  I actually tried to push it down a bit, but then gave up and cut a circle about half an inche from the sides and scooped out some of the cake with my fingers.  I did, however, still use Jacque's idea of slicing off the bottom of the cake and using it as a lid. 


After making the cake "bowl" you brush the inside of the cake with a raspberry sugar syrup to make it moist (genoise by nature is very dry).  Then fill with a thin layer of the cream filling, top with berries (i used raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries), add more filling, and then put the "lid" on.  (btw...I added about a fourth cup of fresh meyer lemon curd in with the filling, just to brighten it a bit.  Also added one extra tablespoon of sugar as some people said that it was not quite sweet enough.  Then you frost it with sweetened whipped cream and decorate with more berries (and I was asked to write "happy birthday gail" on it as well).

Well, this one was a HUGE hit.  It's great b/c it isn't overly sweet.  Just light and fresh.  Perfect for Easter!

(tried to get it home to get a good natural light did not like the hour long drive...)
I used the remaining cake that I had scooped out to fill these adorable little sherbert glasses and make mini trifles--cake, syrup, berries, and a bit of the cream filling.  delish!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Easter holiday to celebrate our risen Lord!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fab 5 Friday

Hello all!  After a much better week than last (yay!) I am joining in with Emily and a ton of my other friends to write about what has made my life fabulous this week!

1.  FLOWERS!!!  I am loving springtime and all the trees around the Edmundson homestead are in bloom! 


My very favorite is this weeping cherry tree--I always have loved "weeping" trees (willows, cherries, etc...) and always wanted one, and our little house has a weeping cherry in the front and a willow in the back! (it's actually our neighbors but they share ;)

2.  The park.  As I wrote in my resolution check in, I have been spending my lunch breaks in the park reading, which is awesome b/c I accomplish two of my resolutions (read more books, and save money) in that time!  The weather this week has just been gorgeous and has made those times so very special.

3.  Open Windows.  Hubs and I argue about this one b/c he likes to be shut up in his man cave, but I want natural light and fresh air dang it!  I have been opening all our windows and letting in the breeze and it just rejuvenates me.  :)

4.  Google Reader.  Believe it or not, with all the blogs that I follow, for the past year I have been going to each blog individually...opening about 30 tabs or internet windows at a time to read each new post.  I knew about google reader--even using it to search all my blogs for recipes, but had chosen to read them the long way b/c I do like to visit the individual blogs (i mean, we all put so much effort to make our sites look pretty, so why not take advantage of looking?) and you know that I'm a bit of a comment whore....well, this week in the interest of saving time I have finally embraced Google Reader.  I still go to the actual sites of a lot of my closer friends, but i have got to admit that I love this new way!

5.  Okay...this one is embarrasing and may get me laughed off the blog world, but it has given me joy...

This little guy was affectionately named the "zombie gerbil kitty" in my preteen/early teen years.  Being the hoarder that I am, I still have him & dug him out of a box this week and have been snuggling him at night. Here's the deal.  I need to have something to wrap my arms around at night.  Just do.  And I know that I have a husband AND a bulldog in the bed, but we have come to find out that none of us like to cuddle when it's time to sleep.  When I was a young girl I had this idea of cuddling my future husband at night...then when we got married and slept in the same bed for the first time we snuggled for a few minutes...then we were done, and off to our opposite sides of the bed!  and it's a good thing too with all the talking and tossing and occasional walking that I do in my sleep--I need a bit of space, but I still like to hug something.  Earlier this year I had found a stuffed "Sleepy" (of the Snow White dwarfs) and had used that, but it was just too back came my zombie gerbil kitty!  The only problem is that after so many years of taking him on high school trips and having him cuddled by who knows how many people, Butch thinks he smells quite interesting and keeps trying to eat him!  lol.  So there is my embarrasing joy. 

What made your life great this week?