From Scratch

As a result of my new-found love of blogging, I’ve started to follow various blogs, mostly about DIY type projects, wedding ideas, and cooking. It is impressive to see how many fellow bloggers there are out there, most of whom have very interesting things to say or talent to share with the world. With each new blog I come across, they have at least 5 or 6 more blogs listed on their site, of places they like to visit when they aren’t busy blogging. It is a vicious cycle that eats away at my day… which isn’t really a bad thing since I have been spending most of my work day sitting at my desk feeling uninspired to actually do work. It is quite perfect that my new obsessions with blogs has come along just as I’ve run out of things to google (you know you are bored when you start googling, “google” just to see what comes up!)

Once of the blogs that I check periodically has inspired today’s post. The blog, “From Scratch” posts a few times a week about various recipes that the blogger has made. The recipes are usually unique and fun and it has inspired me to spend a little more time in my kitchen (I plan to make the tomato sauce tonight!) I really do like to cook and I LOVE to bake, but finding the time, inspiration and energy to do these things isn’t always easy. However, last night I decided that I would spend a little time getting in touch with my 1950/60s housewife-self, pearls and all!

Matt and I have been watching a lot of “Mad Men” lately and I have fallen in love with Betty (Bets) Draper. So last night, I channeled my inner Betty. While Matt  loves Don Draper (what guy doesn’t) let’s hope he doesn’t start channeling him!

Matt informed me that he would probably be able to leave work at a decent hour and that we could eat dinner together. He offered to take me out, but I decided to treat him (although he would argue that isn’t always a treat!) to a home cooked meal since he has done so much work around the apartment for me lately, and to make up for that whole 1:30am fire alarm incident thing.

I prepared a delicious meal of steak, potatoes and asparagus. It turned out great and I am happy to report that the smoke alarm didn’t go off! I felt like such a good fiance, making a meal for my hard-working man. I know my feminist mother would be proud!

I capped off my domestic diva evening by baking a cake, from scratch. This is something that I used to do often, back when I decided that I was going to move to Baltimore and work with Duffy at Ace of Cakes; however, I haven’t made one in a very long time. I made a vanilla cake with buttercream frosting, following a recipe that is apparently what New York’s Magnolia bakery uses for their cakes and cupcakes. The recipe wasn’t very difficult, but I did substitute the “self rising flour” with cake flour, salt and baking powder.

The cake turned out a little denser than I would have liked. I blame this on my oven – I have convection oven settings which always seem to screw things up for me (clearly I accept no blame for this). I have officially swore them off and promise to use the regular temperature settings from here on out! I finished the cake off with the frosting and pink fondant flowers. I can never get the frosting to be as smooth as they do on Ace of Cakes or Food Network Challenge, even when I attempt to do a crumb coating.

 While the cake looks good, my hands are now covered in pink food dye (note to self, use gloves when handling food dye).

I brought the cake into work today and it just happened to be someone’s birthday in my office – how perfect! Now all I need is for my co-workers to post comments about how delicious the cake is. Stay tuned…