Thursday, March 17, 2011

A few pictures

Miss Amy at 7 months old:

Brett and I trying out our new carrier, a BabyHawk Mei Tai:

Gorgeous little girl modeling a new dress from Grandma Minster:

As long promised, a couple of shots of the red velvet cake I made for Brett and Sue's birthday party back in January:

Further baking endeavors

Well, I'm still keeping on track with my goals, including the one about baking a new cake every month.

Every month the women's group has an activity. This month was a collective birthday party for all the women. The theme was so fun, and was based on a sort of play-on words about "Purse-onal" effects the women have had on each other. I was asked to make a cake, so I decided to go all out and make one in keeping with the theme.

The cake I made, and the picture it was sort of modeled off of:

It was an...interesting experience. It was a 2-layer cake. I free-handed the shape, and I wish I hadn't cut the angle so steep. Between the layers was chocolate frosting, chocolate ganache, and mini chocolate chips. I also added an "extra" ribbon on the bottom because the frosting cracked and broke when I transferred it to the cake.

Everything I read said to use fondant, but I really don't like fondant because it just doesn't taste good. So I discovered something similar to fondant, called "rolled buttercream". It's buttercream frosting, but it's made differently so it's more like a dough. The difficulty was that it wasn't as sturdy as fondant is. It took me FOUR TRIES to get the stupid frosting on the cake. After the third try, I was so frustrated that I balled the frosting up and threw it down on the counter. Poor Brett had to talk me down so I would finish it!

But, eventually I did. It turned out pretty well. The frosting was a little...gritty, almost. It wasn't as smooth as I expected it to be. I think if I were to do something like this again, I would just use fondant and flavor it with something. But it was well-liked, and enough people took some home that I didn't have any left! (Which was what I wanted since we're leaving town tomorrow.)

I'm looking forward to my next cake!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What a fun weekend!

The past couple of days, Brett's been on a skiing trip in Utah with his dad and his brother Bodie. I was really excited that he gets to do something so fun, especially since he doesn't get to spend a ton of time with his family these days. I was a little wary of spending the entire weekend alone with Amy, especially since I'm struggling with depression right now and get overwhelmed really easily. Fortunately for me, Mom asked me if I wanted to spend the night with them on Friday. So, I went down to Mom's Friday afternoon to help out with Heather and then party!

I guess I use the term "party" lightly. We didn't do anything extreme, we just relaxed and watched part of a TV series from BBC. It was a little slow, but I enjoyed it. Heather said the other ones she's watched have been way better, so I'm excited to watch some of the other series.

Mom and I made the most AMAZING flourless chocolate torte Friday afternoon. I was a little wary, as I've never made any flourless baked goods, and I was hoping it would turn out well. It most certainly did! It was just so moist and delicious. And there are so many different things you could do with it! The actual recipe calls for a chocolate glaze on top (which was good, especially since Mom also toasted some pecans and sprinkled them over the glaze). But you could do a white chocolate, whipped cream, some sort of fruity something. I think a raspberry sauce would be delicious, personally.

So I had a lot of fun, and it sounds like Brett has too. I pick him up from the airport tomorrow, and then this coming weekend we'll be going to see Sharon! I can hardly wait!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Undue excitement

Tonight I made a late-night, last minute run to Walmart to grab some things for tomorrow. Well, the closest 24-hour Walmart is at Manchester and 141. So I drove down there, and as I exited 40 to get onto 141, I noticed that it seemed like someone was following me.

Talk about creepy! He (the car) was following really closely, so at first I sped up and got over, thinking he wanted to get around me. Nope. He sped up and got over behind me. So I tried slowing down. I changed lanes a couple more times. I even cut someone else off in the hopes of shaking my apparent tail. The further I drove, the more I was freaking out! I turned off 141 to go to Walmart, and the guy STILL was following me (in a black car with very darkly tinted windows). Fortunately, there's a police station just across from Walmart, so I pulled into the police station, ready to run inside if the person chose to pull in behind me, and assuming (correctly) that whoever it was would leave me alone if I went to the police station. The person drove away, so I pulled out and went over to Walmart, checking as I walked in to see if anyone was paying me any undue attention. Nope.

So I did my shopping, figuring it was all over and everything was fine. Well, as I was walking back out to my car, I noticed a police car waiting outside. I didn't think anything of it since the station is so close. So I started putting my groceries in the car. When I turned around, the cop had pulled up next to the car and gotten out!

After his initial "Hi, ma'am, how are you tonight?" the cop explained to me that someone had called in on me to report me as a drunk driver!!!! WHAT?!? I probably looked fairly stunned, and then it clicked. I explained to him that someone had been following me the entire way down 141, which made me incredibly nervous (being a young woman, alone, late at night), and that I'd been trying to get away from the car following me. Which would have looked like erratic driving. He seemed fairly satisfied with my answer, and asked if I'd been drinking. I told him no. Obviously by this point in our conversation, it was clear that I hadn't been, and he seemed to realize it. He said he just needed me to follow his finger with my eyes really quickly, did a couple of passes, and told me I was free to go. He apologized for inconveniencing me, which I thought was nice of him.

The drive home passed without incident, although admittedly I was nervous the entire way home.

Seriously, though? If you're following a couple of feet behind a car for several MILES, following their every move, don't you think they'd drive a little erratically to try to get away from you? I thought I was going to be attacked or something! Yikes!