November 28, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Cake

I like pumpkin desserts.  Pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie- I like it all.  I made pumpkin spice cake tonight.  I saw John Barricelli bake this on Everyday Food a few years ago.  It's incredibly easy.  I don't even need my stand mixer to make it.  It tastes more like pumpkin bread than pumpkin cake, but it's good all the same.

The problem when baking anything with pumpkin is that my dog likes pumpkin.  The beagle never gets people food, except for pumpkin.  He is a pumpkin monster.  That means when I open the can of pumpkin purée, he comes running.  He got to lick the spoon.  

When I made this cake before, I made it with the honey cream cheese frosting in the recipe.  I didn't really like that frosting, so I made a simple confectioners' sugar glaze this time.  That was better.  It doesn't need any icing at all, but I felt compelled to put some on there since it's called a cake.  Here's the cake last time with honey cream cheese frosting:

I like this pumpkin spice cake a lot.  I'll probably make it again in a few days.  

November 19, 2012

Glazed Chocolate Cake

I made a chocolate cake this weekend.

It's from the cookbook Fresh Flavor Fast, and the recipe can be found here.  I've baked this cake a few times before.  These photos are from the last time I made it.  I'm not a huge fan of this cake, but my family likes it, so I made it for them.  It's a dense cake with a chocolate ganache glaze.  Here's a shot of the warm ganache sliding down the side:

I think the cake smells better than it tastes.  Mmmm, chocolate.  My family goes nuts for this cake.  I don't know why I'm indifferent to it.  It's good but not great.

November 12, 2012

Kenobi update

For those interested in news of the gentleman beagle, this post is for you.

Kenobi had surgery two months ago to remove two growths from around his left eye.  One had grown very large, and the vet thought it was time to take both of them off.  Kenobi came through this like a champ.  Was he groggy when I picked him up at the vet's office?  Nope.  He came prancing out, doing his beagle bounce and wagging his tail.  He was not very happy about wearing the cone, however.

Why are you doing this to me?
He kept scratching every time I applied the medicine, so he ended up wearing the collar for a week.  I'm very happy he had the growths removed.  I was weary about the anesthesia because he is eleven.  But, he is a healthy dog, and I trust his vet.  For several months before the surgery, I noticed Kenobi was going up and down stairs slowly.  I thought he was slowing down with age and that his arthritis was getting worse.  After the surgery, I see Kenobi run up and down stairs like he used to.  I think the growths must have been impairing his vision, and that was causing him to be slow on the stairs.

Now that it is getting colder, our ongoing battle for my blankets is heating up.  Kenobi especially likes my blue blanket.  He often wraps himself up in it.

Mmmm, blanket.
That is my blanket, Kenobi!

Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!
He is stubborn.  My protests are met with him sticking his tongue out.  It's not like he is a deprived beagle.  He has three blankets, a cushion, and a dog bed.  He still prefers my bed and my blankets to his own.  That's okay.  I don't think I'd be able to sleep if he wasn't snuggled next to me under the covers every night.  Plus, I have pretty bad nightmares sometimes, and he is right there for a hug when they wake me up.  Beagle hugs are the best!  So is Kenobi.

November 3, 2012

DUCKSTORM at the lake

This lake is around the corner:

I never knew it existed.  One day I drove by and thought, hey, there's a lake- I should go check it out.  So I did.  It was a dark, overcast day.  There was a bench by the lake, so I sat down to relax and take in the scenery.  That's when I heard the quacking.  Ducks are cute!  I am a friend to ducks.  They were hanging out in the lake, and I was minding my own business on the bench.  In the photo above, they are almost all to the left, out of frame, but there is a rogue duck lurking close to the water's edge.  The ducks started to come closer.  Onward they swam, a giant mass of fowl, forming itself into a line and coming right for me.  They arrived on land as DUCKSTORM, the water fowl version of DOGSTORM.  The quacking was thunderous, and the ducks were annoyed because I had no offering with which to appease them.  

a small portion of DUCKSTORM
Bread?  Crackers?  Nothing.  Demanding food, they swarmed the bench, pleading with their sweet, yet murderous, avian eyes.  You will feed DUCKSTORM, they seemed to say.  The ducks pecked at the ground like I had already thrown food and they had simply missed it, so incomprehensible was it that I could have nothing for them.  Eventually, they got sick of this disappointing visitor to their lake and went back in the water to swim and do whatever ducks do to amuse themselves.  DUCKSTORM had passed.  All was well.  
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