Back in March of 2010 my cousin Nancy’s son had his first birthday.
To celebrate, Nancy and her husband Ethan threw a lovely party for all of their friends and family. A few weeks before the party, Nancy asked me to make Ohle’s smash cake. You know, the little cake that the baby gets to destroy and smear all over his face in utter delight. I leapt at the chance to make his special cake. A separate desert was being made by another friend for the rest of the party guests.
Oh and did I mention that my cousin and her family live in paradise? Well, not really, but close enough. They live on a ranch in Santa Barbara that grows avocados, oranges, and cherimoyas (custard apples.) It is beautiful. Visit http://www.designspongeonline.com/2010/03/sneak-peek-nancy-neil.html to see some photos of where they live. I was lucky enough to live with them them over the summer of 2010. But I digress, back to the cake!
Woo hoo COLORS!!!
I know that my cousin loves bright colors, and simple design. So when coming up with the idea for the cake I wanted to keep it simple and traditional, but also make sure that it was still fun and whimsical. In fact, I got some of my inspiration from one of my favorite cake books “Little Cakes” http://www.amazon.com/Little-Cakes-Whimsical-Bakehouse-Cupcakes/dp/B004AYCX3O from The Whimsical Bakehouse.
I made a 5 inch square vanilla cake, and filled and iced it with vanilla buttercream, something simple for Babys First Cake. And then I went crazy with the colors.
Baby O's 1st Birthday cake, photo credit Nancy Neil
The cake turned out better than I could have hoped, and was a huge hit. My cousin adored it, and Baby Ohle enjoyed it too. Although he wasn’t really “in” to the smashing part, he mostly just wanted to lick his fingers, and then get down to chase the dogs at the party some more. But what surprised me most, was that people started asking if they could have some of his cake too. Baby Ohle had only smashed one corner of the cake, so I went ahead and sliced around that. But by the end of the party, even the smashed end had gotten eaten. And that’s what matters most, that the cake was enjoyed, completely.
I have always loved rosemary. And Mustard. My favorite herb, and my favorite condiment. I can put mustard on almost anything. There are 6 different kinds in my fridge at the moment, thats actually low, I need to go to the market. When I was in high school, my family got a bottle of mustard in one of those “I don’t know you well enough to pick out a gift, but I want to display my generosity aka how much I spent” gift baskets with wine and cheese and other nibbles. I confiscated the jar of mustard as my own. It was a whole grain mustard, something I’d never had before. Oh my lord. It was like mustard caviar. The tiny whole mustard seeds, in the vinegary, briny base, the seeds burst when you bit down on them, releasing their tart, peppery, mustardness. I was in love. Now, it is one of my favorite things to use in savory recipes. Especially with rosemary.
I made this for dinner back in June, and when I described what I made on Twitter, I got requests for the recipe. So here goes! (A little late, but worth the wait!)
4 lean pork chops
4 tbsp whole grain or coarse ground Dijon mustard
a good sized spoonful of chopped garlic
2-4 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
salt & pepper
Rinse & pat dry your pieces o’ pig. Mix together mustard, rosemary, & garlic. Salt & pepper the chops then drizzle with olive oil. Massage mustard mixture (yes massage, they deserve a good rubdown) into the chops making sure to coat all surfaces, if you have extra just kind of pack it onto the chops. Grill on high until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 145-160 degrees. Enjoy!
I found that this is also a great way to roast potatoes and other root vegetables.
Soo…MTV is hosting a search/contest for someone to be the “Coke & MTV Insider at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards” and being the go getter that I am, I figured “why not?”
What I’ve copy & pasted below is what I want to submit as my “About Me” portion of the contest, pretty much the one thing they are judging on.*
So, give it a read through and tell me what you think. If there’s anything about “me” that you think I should put in, lemme know!
*Everything in this is true and I really have done.
At Nikki's house to watch the MTV Video Music Awards last year. Yeah, I know, wrong awards show. Oh well.
“The technical stuff first: I have background education in writing & journalism. I also have experience in blogging. That & I look pretty good on camera…I think.
I can keep my cool in “unexpected” situations, like when a friend & I snuck into the after party for “The Runaways” premier in LA. I chatted with Joan Jett & Kristen Stewart for over an hour, pretty sure they still had no clue who I was at the end of the party. Or the time I rescued Kiowa Gordon from a pack of fangirls. I’m pretty knowledgeable about film, television, & music. I had a great conversation with Quentin Tarantino at the Spike TV 2009 Scream Awards where I was a seat filler. Mr. Tarantino was sitting behind me & we talked about Stan Lee’s brilliance & the difficulties in turning such iconic comics into films.
I’m a fast thinker & can come up with interview questions on the spot. I’m a voracious reader & finish at least a few books each week. I love, LOVE movies, I saw “Avatar” in 3D at least 4 times. “Star Trek,” & “New Moon,” “Up In The Air,” “An Education,” & “Zombieland” were some of my favorites from last year.
Plus, I already live in SoCal so no need to fork over an expensive airline ticket! Heck, I’d even drive myself each day so no hotel either! I think I’d make an excellent Coke & MTV Insider for the 2010 MTV Movie Awards. Don’t you?”
So that’s it, I submitted yesterday evening. Lets hope that the Coke & MTV people lik it enough to pick me!
Just a quick note to say that I haven’t forgotten about my blog. Nope. Not a chance. In fact, it’s on my mind all the time. I can see it in my dreams. Staring at me. Accusingly. Because I haven’t updated.
But I will. I promise. While I get used to the idea of posting on here on a more regular basis, don’t expect something everyday, I’m not that good, I’m going to go back through some of my older baking projects and blog about them.
Now, not all of these will have pretty pictures to go along with them. Most of my pictures look like crap. But I digress. I kinds of had an “Uh oh” moment this weekend. For some reason, I tend to use the crappy camera on my phone to take pictures of my baking. I have a camera. It’s not great, but it’s sure as hell better than the one on my phone. I think I do this because my phone is usually close at hand, and I like TwitPic-ing my baking as I go along. A twit-pic is a picture sent to my Twitter account, so I can (hopefully) make my Twitter friends drool over whatever it is I am making. Anywho, this weekend I was trying to get all of the pictures from my phone, onto my computer so I could tweak them and try to make them look better. Well, I though that I had moved all of the pictures to the micro-SD card for my phone. But when I stuck the SD card in my lappy to download all of the pictures, there was nothing there. The card was empty.
Piece of CHIT!
*puts card back in phone. Scrolls through menu to re-move picture files to micro-SD card. “No Files” *
Somehow, the pictures did not get put onto the card, nor did they remain in their file on my phone. They’re gone. Poof. Vanished into cellphone mystery. They done gone dissaparated. I have no idea what happened to them.
So, no crappy phone pictures to put in my blog posts. Sad.
That’s pretty much it. There are definitely more bloggy blog posts to come, but some will be lacking in the visual stimulation aspect.
I haven’t forgotten about it. I’m still here.
Boy howdy am I in over my head, at least right now I am.
I’m very, very new to blogging. So as I try to make this look pretty, have a little patience. Once I figure out how to use wordpress, I’m sure that the posts will start flowing at a more regular pace.
Also, if anyone wants to give me a crash course *coughNikkiJamieBekahAmbercough* I would be a more than willing student.
"These are a few of my favorite things"
Since I recently lost my 9-5 job, I’m going to try and dedicate more time to this blog, making it as fantastic as I dream it to one day be. I can’t promise a post everyday, nor can I promise that all posts will be about my (mis)adventures in baking and pastry artistry.