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1. My Emily told me this morning that she wants to go as a "lousy superhero" for Halloween. She's just pull some underwear over her pants, wrap a sheet around her neck, and there you have it. Ahahahaha. Her super power? (And why I love this kid so much?) "Able to walk at a moderate pace for a little bit." Her words. <3 <3 <3

2. These little plant creations are AMAZING and I want every single one of them. Bonsai = dire circumstances. Just awesome.

3. I took myself shopping and bought a purple fitted dress that is so Mad Men, it's not even funny. And some spectator Mary Jane pumps to go with it. If only I smoked, I'd get a vintage little cigarette case and talk in a clipped tone. I'm so glad that fitted, ladylike clothes are in style, it's not even funny. Thank you, pencil skirt! You've never steered me wrong.

4. I made an Italian cream cake this weekend and OH MY GOD. It's one of my favorite flavors, but I've never made one. This is the tried and true recipe, y'all, no lie.


Italian Cream Cake

1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flaked coconut (from PW: If you think you hate coconut, trust me: I do too, and I love it in this recipe)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 2-lb package powdered sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside.

Make the Cake:
In a large bowl, cream together butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks, vanilla, and coconut.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
Alternate adding buttermilk and dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
Mix until just combined, then fold in egg whites.
Pour evenly into the three prepared pans, then sprinkle the top of each pan with 1 (at least) tablespoon sugar.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.

Make the Frosting:
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in chopped walnuts and sugared coconut. Spread between layers and serve.

Note: the frosting makes a LOT of frosting, so don't skimp in between the layers. You'll have plenty. I didn't make a thick layer on the bottom and I ended up with leftover frosting. Wah.

Note#2: this is a HUGE cake and will easily feed 20 people. I had a total of 10 mouths to stuff on Saturday and had half a cake left over. And some slices were generous. (I'd go with a knuckle thick slice from now on - it's rich and decadent.)

Now as it is only 81 degrees outside (what?!!?! I live in TEXAS.) I am going to grab my book, "The Family" and read all about the creepy religious politics that are screwing up America, and recline in the lovely sunshine. :)


( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 31st, 2009 07:24 pm (UTC)
Now as it is only 81 degrees outside (what?!!?! I live in TEXAS.) I am going to grab my book, "The Family" and read all about the creepy religious politics that are screwing up America, and recline in the lovely sunshine. :)

I know, right? Isn't it fantastic!
Aug. 31st, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
IT IS GLORIOUS. My buddy in your area told me how beautiful it is there, too. Get thee hence to a grassy field!
Aug. 31st, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
Actually, I am now in your area. :D We moved in mid-July. LOL.

So, I can appreciate the gloriousness that you are experiencing, though I spent most of the morning in a doctor's office. :D

Alas, even if it is lovely in my ex-area, it would be hard to get to a grassy field—everything is dead! (Though my parents tell me that it rained there a few days ago!)

Aug. 31st, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
Derp, shows what I know! Hopefully you'll be able to get outdoors later today and soak it up!

Aww, that makes me sad to hear - I want to always think of Austin as a verdant jewel in Texas' crown, lol.
Aug. 31st, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
Emily is, quite possibly, the most awesomest kid who ever awesomed. I love her idea for a Halloween costume!

We've been having very atypical August weather here, especially at night. So I'm pretty sure that means we're due for a snowstorm or something in a week.
Aug. 31st, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
As soon as your weatherman starts rolling his sleeves up, we'll know it's blizzard time your way, lol.

AUGH, it is so beautiful outside! I love having my iPhone so I can comment, hahahaha. I AM A NERD.
Aug. 31st, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)

Haha, I love that costume idea! Very clever! That said, it might take some explaining or folks might get confused.

That cake sounds soooooo good. Yum.

Enjoy the lovely weather!
Aug. 31st, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
She's a goofball, that one. <3

I just had a wafer thin sliver of cake and it was GLORIOUS.
Aug. 31st, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
That does indeed sound like a bad ass cake. I've been interested in that book. Gives us a review, precious!
Aug. 31st, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
The cake is redonk. Just... so damn good.

The book - so far - is really upsetting and amazing and informative. It's standard issue prose, but the information is head spinning.

And hahaha, my kids come up with fun costumes, fo sho.
Aug. 31st, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
See also: I think I am stealing Emily's costume idea. Brilliant.
Aug. 31st, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
*converts to celsius*

Wow, for a change I think I WOULDN'T die on your front lawn.

Sigh... and I want to move to Spain when I finish college.
Aug. 31st, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
Hahahahaha, I know, right? Normally we're Somalia temps. :)

Ooooh, Spain. That lovely ocean breeze - if you can get down there!
Sep. 1st, 2009 08:31 am (UTC)
If I moved, I'd probably live in Gipuzkoa in Basque Country, up north, which is brilliant - you can go hiking in the mountains or swim in the sea, depending on your mood. And the temperatures are actually survivable most of the year. It's just summer that, well, threatens to kill me.
Aug. 31st, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
I can't understand how you can eat cake like that and fit in a pencil skirt.

Great recipe.
Aug. 31st, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)

Well, I only eat a little bit, and I work out every day. Otherwise, I'd be wearing a Washable Fat Marker skirt. :D
Aug. 31st, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
1. Hahahahahaha! That is awesome.

2. I love those little sculptures. They're inspirational.

3. That dress sounds gorgeous. I love all my vintage dresses and skirts. They're so flattering for a hippy gal like myself!

4. Yum!

It was 72° overnight! I almost wept with relief. I was still sweaty on my walk this afternoon (because, hey, exercising), but it was actually pleasant. Please let the heat wave be well and truly over. That was no fun at all.
Aug. 31st, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
2. Aren't they amazing? I'm slowly converting my decor to a more streamlined, modern look, and I'd love a floating shelf with those on them. SO PRETTY. (I have converted most of my house plants to terrariums - very simple and clean in big glass jars.)

3. Macy's and Banana Republic have had the CUTEST dresses. UGH, J. Crew has this wool pencil skirt in this lovely heathered copper that I'm seriously in need. of. Yay for hip-hugging curvy, ladies are beautiful clothes!

I'm contemplating leaving my windows open tonight, as it's supposed to plummet to the 60s! YAY FALL.
Aug. 31st, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
Hey! I saw this on ABC News tonight, and I thought it might be something that you would be interested in looking into!
Aug. 31st, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
Cool! Thanks for thinking of me, that place looks awesome!
Sep. 1st, 2009 12:23 am (UTC)
Yeah. I saw it on the news, and it really looked like the people that ran the camp understood. So, I thought of you not just because you might have family members interested in it, but because you're such a huge advocate.

It looked very cool. ABC News might have a blip for you to see the camp people talk about what its all about, etc., if you want to see the people talk about it (there's only so much you can get from a website).

Aug. 31st, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
Oh. My. Gawd.

We were finishing an early dinner when D looked at me pityingly and asked for dessert, of which we had none. AND CAN YOU GUEZZ WHUT CAME NIXT?

I saw your post, but rather than whip up the cream cake, I made a faux-white-trash-white weddin' cake and topped it with your frosting. It is to die for!

Thank you for the receipt, dear. Ma Kettle is pleased as punch, thanks to you.
Aug. 31st, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
The frosting is CRAZY good, right? Hoo. I'm so glad you got to make something yummy!
Sep. 1st, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
Emily, you are made of awesome.

I want to see a picture of you in that dress.

I grew up next to an area that was mob controlled and man, the Italian bakeries were to die for. My favorite cake is an Italian whipped cream cake. Haven't had one in years.
Sep. 1st, 2009 01:16 am (UTC)
She really is. And snips and snails and puppy dog tails, with a hint of sugar and spice. :D

Ooooh, is that much different than the cake I mentioned? I'm all over whipped cream, yummy!
Sep. 1st, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)
I seem to recall the cake had a sort of pudding filling. I should go back to the old neighborhood and check it out. (Safest part of the Bronx, I swear. I mean who's going to commit a crime in a mob run part of town?)
Sep. 1st, 2009 12:03 pm (UTC)
Mmmmmmm. I'll let my fingers do some walking and see if I can't find a recipe that seems like it's the one you remember.

And hahahaha, YEAH. I know I wouldn't!
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 1st, 2009 12:04 pm (UTC)
The cake is REDONK. It's also massive. Both of those things together make for awesomeness.

Wouldn't it!? Sweater sets! Pointy bras! Skinny ties and shiny suits! Old school cocktails at 6! Misogyny! Wait... ;)
Sep. 1st, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
that's an excellent costume idea! well-thought-out, too!
Sep. 1st, 2009 12:04 pm (UTC)
Isn't that kid hilarious? She just turned 8, too. She's a knucklehead. <3
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 1st, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
Isn't that so funny? Moderate pace! LOL, that kid.

Hmm, the costume. Red felt in a tube with face, arm, leg holes, and maybe cotton batting to fill out the bun? Maybe put snaps on the sides of the hot dog so you can just affix the bun that way, instead of trying to figure out a way to make a zipper, something like that? You always have the coolest costumes for your kids. I love the continuing food theme. :D

Oh my gosh, Anne, this BOOK. I'm telling you, it's going to make you crazy. I'm just baffled over and over by what I'm reading, and EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAID: how has this not been splashed on every paper everywhere?! Thank goodness for Rachel Maddow who won't let it go!

(Also, HELLO, sweetheart! I'm sorry I've been a poor internet friend, but know that I love you very much! Go treat yourself at a bookstore and lunch today, now that your house is free!) <3
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 1st, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
I bet Butterrick has a pattern for one, too. They always have good kids costumes. I bet you'll make it look fantastic, as per usual!

Hahaha, I know what you mean. I didn't get ANY work done this summer with the kids running around. Now that they're in school, I almost don't know what to do with myself! (Almost. Heh.)
Sep. 1st, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
i've been playing with cake this past week....3 cakes in 2 days...and my deep dark magic chocolate cake is bringing in the raves. let me know if you want the recipe, it's on my lj, but i can cut and paste it for you.
Sep. 3rd, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I'll go hunt it down, that sounds GOOOOOOOD!
Sep. 3rd, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC)
just hit the tag 'recipes' and it should be the first one.

it's also really easy to make, and uses stuff you have in your house already. that's how i bake.
Sep. 3rd, 2009 02:27 am (UTC)
Cake recipes, i keep collecting them.

Do you whip the egg whites first, or just put them in 'as is'. And are these three regular cake pans? I only have two, but since you say the cake is huge, i'll probably cut the recipe in half.

Can't wait to try it!
Sep. 3rd, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
I think it's mentioned in the recipe - whip the egg whites first, set them aside, then start mixing the rest of the ingredients. You'll fold them in last.

I used regular 9 inch rounds, and I happen to have 3 of them (I wondered about using a springform if I couldn't find that third!)

I bet you could halve this recipe and use some 8" pans and have it turn out fine. The layers are normal sized in the 9" pans, so you might have sliiiightly thinner layers, but that wouldn't bug me, if I was eating at your house. :D
Sep. 3rd, 2009 01:44 pm (UTC)
Heeeeee. Cool. Cake - the perfect dessert!
Sep. 3rd, 2009 12:30 pm (UTC)
I had a response all planned and then I got totally derailed by CAKE. I'm sure it couldn't have been that imporCAKE


Sep. 3rd, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC)
I MEAN SERIOUSLY. It's redonk, that cake. We finally polished the remaining last night. It's HUGE. And good. so very very good.
Sep. 21st, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
I was just going over your recipes tag and found this. We have this recipe. Wanna know the irony? Like many Italians, 90% of my family is lactose intolerant, and can't eat this wonderful cake ;)
( 43 comments — Leave a comment )


Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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