Covering Up a Baking Disaster with Frosting

I look for any reason to bake a cake, from the most obvious: a Birthday, to the obscure, a Notre Dame football game. So, with the Super Bowl this past weekend, I figured it was a good time to put  on my apron, get out my KitchenAid and create a delicious treat.

I wanted to focus my efforts on my decorating techniques. I feel that I’ve successfully mastered making a cake from scratch. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t done much more than vanilla or chocolate, but the cakes normally taste good. However, there is room for improvement on the decorating front.

I’ve always envied the ability to crumb coat a cake. I’ve watched videos on how to do it and read cook books outlining the steps but whenever I do it, it doesn’t seem to come out as clean and smooth as the professionals. So this weekend, with the help of Butter Me Up Brooklyn, I decided to try it once more.

After gathering my ingredients on Saturday morning from the grocery store, I set about making a delicious brown butter layer cake. Even though this was a new recipe, I just said earlier, this part was supposed to be the easy part. I took my time, measured out all of the ingredients and even used some of the tip I learned at a recent cupcake making class I took at ICE. The batter looked amazing when I poured it in my cake pans and set them in the oven to bake.


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10 minutes into their cooking time, I was startled by the smell of something burning. I went to the oven to see this:

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My cakes were overflowing and dripping onto the bottom of the oven (hence, the burning smell). After throwing a mile temper tantrum and frantically googling what could have caused this (either too much baking soda or over mixing – both of which I swear I didn’t do), I decided to continue to bake the cakes, hoping that I could cut off the overflowed portion and that the remainder of the cake would turn out ok. After sampling a little – and not throwing up,  I decided to continue with my original plan and continue with the cake. Frosting can fix anything right?

I decided to make a chocolate butter cream frosting and again, I turned to Butter Me Up Brooklyn for help with the act of frosting the cake.

PreFrosting
Frosted

Smooth


Cake

It was a slow process, but I think in the end it was worth it.

In the end, the cake didn’t taste horrible, but it wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever made either… hopefully next time both baking and decorating come together in one cake!

I Like Turtles

So let’s just ignore the fact that I haven’t been blogging lately. I know, I promised to do a better job leading up to the holidays. Clearly I lied. But don’t worry, I’m just as disappointed as you are. Let’s agree to move on and never talk about it again – even if it happens again.

While I would love to update you on my holiday travels, I don’t want to make my sister jealous of the incredible time that I had on our sailing trip around the British Virgin Islands.

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Sunset

Plus if I mention anything about Miami and the National Championship Football Game, I think my husband and all of his Notre Dame loving friends might have to go back on suicide watch.

 

Tailgate

Giraffe

(Yes, there was a giraffe at our tailgate. Yes, I did freak out.)

So let’s skip all of that.

Tonight, I’ve spent the last two hours watching a documentary about Australia’s Great Barrier Reef on Animal Planet (now you understand why I haven’t been able to blog as regularly as possible. Very important shows like this…) The whole show is pretty incredible and definitely making me want to plan a vacation there. However, one particular segment stood out.

green-sea-turtle-24M2255-43(image from oceanwideimages.com)

Raine Island s a vegetated sandy island that is located on the outer edges of the Great Barrier Reef, approximately 390 miles north Queensland, Australia. Raine Island is the site of the world’s largest remaining population of Green Turtles. On any given day more than 5,000 turtles visit the sandy oasis; however, at the height of their breeding, more than 26,000 turtles arrive on the island at the same time to laid 100 eggs each.

Turtles(image from seaturle.org)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(image from Queensland Government Department of Environment and Heritage Protection)

So you do the math, even if some of the eggs are duds, the end result is still more than 2.5 million baby turtles. And you guessed it, all hatching and making their way to the sea at the same time!

I’m going to skip over all of the predator stuff – believe me, you don’t want to hear about it. But while watching all of this, I’ve come to a few conclusion:

1. I need to see a live turtle hatch at some point in my life
2. Herons are a lot meaner than one would think
3. Animals are much smarter than we give them credit for
4. I like turtles

 

Thank You Broncos…

for giving me, yet another reason, to hate strongly dislike a New York Sports team. I really needed that as I had started to become a Jets fan after watching Hard Knocks two seasons ago.



Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not a Peyton Manning fan (or Eli for that matter) but I might actually like him a little more than Tebow.

Why the Patriots Didn’t Win the Super Bowl

10. Wes Welker’s mustache got in the way when he tried to catch the ball.

 

9. Brady had Madonna’s Vogue stuck in his head for the entire second half

8. Brady was trying to stick it to Peyton – Your little brother, who has lived in your shadow his whole life, now has 2 Super Bowl rings. How many do you have?

7. Brady didn’t want to have to go to Disney World after the season ended. He prefers to vacation in classier places like Rio and the Mayan Riviera.

 

6. Gronkowski’s ankle sprain wasn’t going to make as dramatic a story as Curt Schilling’s bloody sock during the World Series.

 

5. The Patriots were too motivated by the Dodge halftime commercial – they were all focused on saving our nation, not winning a football game.

 

4. Gisele – always blame Gisele

3. Hernandez spent too much time rehearsing his touchdown dance (which was pretty awesome) and not enough time studying the play book.

 

2. Tebow – the Patriots used up all of their good plays in order to shut this kid up. You’re welcome world.

1. We didn’t bring our A game. Plain and simple. No excuses.

 

Super Bowl Party for Two

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So the Super Bowl is next weekend. I am thrilled because my beloved Patriots are playing. However, everyone else in this stupid city seems to be rooting for the Giants. Going to a bar or restaurant to watch the game is totally out of the question for three reasons:

1. They are going to be WAY too crowded
2. If the Patriots lose I will have to deal with the obnoxious Giants fans pouring salt in my wounds
3. If the Patriots win I will probably be shot on the way home

So, I decided that we should host a Super Bowl party at our house. We have a pretty big tv and amazing new speakers that my parents go us for Christmas. And clearly, after last year’s event, we all know I would make an incredible spread that rivals anything a bar could product. the only problem is, we have a lot of friends who are Giants fans (I know… I can’t believe it either…). I decided that Iw ould be the bigger person and include them in our festivities – and I didn’t even make fun of the Giants too badly in my email invitation:

Matt and I are trying to get a sense if people would be interested in coming to our apartment for a super bowl party. Clearly, our home is a Patriots cheer zone; but I guess we would welcome Giants fans too. Just don’t wear a Manning shirt; he sucks.

Let us know if you already have plans, would prefer a bar, or are psyched about the idea of coming over, eating buffalo chicken dip and have a massive Tom Brady love fest. And you can guarantee that there will be a sweet “Focus on the Little Things” blog post about the party that you may be featured in (I know, it is every one’s dream to make the blog).

Will follow up with details if people want to do it. And we won’t be offended if you would rather watch it elsewhere, so just let us know!

GO PATS!

The Englehauers

Here is a sampling of the responses I got back:

1. i can only imagine how delicious all the treats would be at your apartment but unfortunately i am a die-hard giants fan
and since i love the two of you very much, i don’t want to end our friendship with me punching someone in the face. i think i have to decline

2. Thanks for the invite, but we’re going to a friend’s party, viewing site of the last dramatic victory by the glorious New York Giants over the insufferable, cheating Patriots.

3. I don’t think I would ever be allowed back into the my parent’s house if I went to a Patriots Super Bowl Party.

4a. The Pats are wicked terrible. Not sure I can step foot in an apt that supports a man that dances like this…real tough guy.

4b. He also is the spokesman for Stetson and Uggs. Go giants

Leave it to Giants fans to put their loyalty to a sub-par team over their friends. Serves me right for expecting a little decency from NY sports fans. So it looks like it will be just Matt and me at our house next Sunday, alone with a giant vat of buffalo chicken dip!

Keep it classy Pats fans.

**WARNING, this video contains vulgar language (that a Pat’s fan would never use)

Fueling the Giants? I hope not.

Hmm – I am assuming they don’t mean my blog…

 

The Patriots might find inspiration here, but definitely not a Manning brother. Eww, gross.

 

Sunday is a big day for the Pats – I guess it is a big day for the Giants too. I can’t decide if I want the Giants to win so that we have a chance of playing them in the Superbowl. I am not going to lie, I am having some flashbacks to February 3rd, 2008 that aren’t very pretty. But at the same time, nothing is sweeter than revenge. Especially if that revenge also involves a Manning annihilation.

David versus Goliath

Take You Pick by Rick Reilly (ESPN.com)

*Written before their first meet up earlier this year (Which the Patriots won 41-23)

Tom Brady/Tim Tebow

When Tom Brady takes on Tim Tebow in Denver, it will be a tale of two very different quarterbacks.

Tom is righty. Tim is lefty.

Tom is 34. Tim is 24.

Tom is second in passing yards among NFL starters this season. Tim is dead last.

Tom is third in completion percentage. Tim is dead last.

Tom has won five games in a row. Tim has won six.

Tom swears like a teamster who has stubbed his little toe. Tim says “Gosh!” and “Golly!” and calls reporters “Sir.”

But in the fourth quarter, Tom’s is 91.0 and Tim’s is 99.6.

Tom is a national sex symbol who’s had two children, one out-of-wedlock with a stunning actress and the other with his wife, a Brazilian supermodel. Tim is a national sexless symbol, a proud virgin.

Tom has won 77 percent of his games as a starter. Tim has won 73 percent.

Tom throws spirals that could slide into a mailbox from across a cul-de-sac. They nestle into receivers’ arms like babies returned to new mothers. Tim throws chevrons of mallards. He has more overthrows than the Arab Spring.

Tom has the seventh-best-selling Fathead poster in the NFL this week. Tim has the best-selling one. And the second-best-selling one. And the 10th-best-selling one.

Tom is the ultimate pocket quarterback. He’s as comfortable in it as Sarah Palin in mink. Tim treats the pocket as an electric chair. He bolts it like it’s on fire.

While Tom Brady relishes the pocket, Tim Tebow can’t wait to rush out of it.

Tom runs like he’s wearing ski boots. Tim runs like he’s wearing ACME jet packs. In his entire career, Tom has rushed for 697 yards. Tim could very well run for that many this season.

Tom has lost games this season scoring 31, 20 and 17 points. Tim has won games scoring 18, 17, 17, 16 and 13.

Tom is aided by the NFL’s leading receiver, Wes Welker, and a touchdown-gobbling tight end, Rob Gronkowski. Tim is helped by God, according to his pastor, Wayne Henson. “God favors Tim for all his hard work,” the pastor says.

Tom is in his 12th season. Tim is in his second. Tom finished his second season with a passer rating of 86.5. Tim’s passer rating is about the same, 83.9.

Tom was born in San Mateo, Calif., to an insurance consultant and has three siblings, all girls. Tim was born in Makati City, Philippines, to a Baptist missionary, and is the youngest of five.

Tom went to the prestigious Catholic high school Junipero Serra, where Barry Bonds and Lynn Swann went. Tim was homeschooled.

Tom was mostly unknown in college. He sat on the bench his first two years. Tim was one of the most famous college athletes in history, a cinch for the College Football Hall of Fame, winner of two national championships, claimer of one Heisman and finalist for two more.

Tom was a sixth-round draft pick. Tim was a first-rounder.

Tom did not start a game as a rookie. Tim did.

Tom has won three Super Bowls, two Super Bowl MVPs and two league MVPs. He owns the NFL regular-season records for TD passes, best TDs-to-interception ratio, consecutive home wins and consecutive playoff wins. Tim is a favorite of Skip Bayless.

Tom is Goliath. Tim is David. A 6-foot-3, 235-pound David who can bench 350 and flatten cornerbacks into peanut brittle.

Tom has 24 fourth-quarter comeback victories in his 11 years as a starter. Tim has six in, basically, one.

 Tom has no jokes going around about him. Tim has this one: Tebow asks for an audience with the Pope, who grants it. Tebow flies to Rome and the Pope gives him a tour of the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, everything. But it’s Sunday morning and now the Pope needs to deliver Mass to the 50,000 people waiting in St. Peter’s Square below his window. “Come with me to the window and see for yourself,” the Pope says. The two of them go to the window. Down below, an Italian guy says to his buddy, “Hey, who’s the guy in the pointy hat next to Tebow?”

 

 Tom has made 17 Sports Illustrated covers. Tim has eight, one more than Drew Brees.

 Tom has 19 books for sale about him on Amazon.com. Tim has six.

 Tom is the namesake of the NFL’s Brady Rule, which prohibits hitting QBs below the knees. Tim is the namesake behind the NCAA’s Tebow Rule, regarding athletes wearing messages on their eye black.

 Tom is on a greeting card. Tim is on a Christmas card.

Tom has been named his team’s QB of the future. Tim has not.

 Tom is 1-5 versus Tim’s team. Tim has never played Tom’s team.

 Bradying is not an acknowledged English word, according to the Global Language Monitor. Tebowing is.

 Both men would chew through a cement embankment to win a football game.

 Who do you like?

 

 I think you all know my answer…

LET’S GO PATS!