Baking a cake

Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday, and thanks to my mother’s tips, I realized I needed to make the cake tonight to give it adequate time to cool. Here’s how you would have found me at nine o’clock tonight:

2014-04-14Travis took this and was, I think, impressed by my appearance of competency.

In all reality, the purple Nike socks, the pile of grocery bags on the floor behind me and the shavings of chocolate all over the floor suggest something other than competency.

Sometimes I glorify time in the kitchen and imagine myself as Julia Child with large copper pots hanging from the ceiling. Tonight, however, I just wanted to get a cake in the oven.

The recipe is famous among my family. Passed down from my grandmother, this is how I will always remember the cake:


I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if mine turns out looking more like this:


At least we can fall asleep tonight to the smell of chocolate.

Things my husband likes, part III

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetSometimes I get bored cooking and worry that it also means that Travis is bored eating my cooking. He assures me that eating is never boring, but I had to add some new meals to our rotation.

We love this simple yellow curry served over Basmati rice. Travis voted for more liquid after the first time, so I added some more water and coconut milk and it was perfect. I added some extra curry powder and it has the perfect amount of spice and heat.

We love meat, but sometimes I get bored because it feels too plain. I made these turkey chorizo burgers and they were perfectly moist thanks to the chorizo, as just turkey can be dry at times. We also loved this buttermilk braised chicken served with pan-fried red potatoes with pancetta. I’m not one for potatoes very often, but these were so good that I would make them every week.

And of course, breakfast. We eat breakfast for dinner at least once a week and these pancakes are just perfect.

Things my husband likes, part II

IMG_20140117_194122“I think the unity of the flavors is the best thing about this meal.”

When your husband says something like that about dinner, you know it is a keeper. I have been making this since I was an Odell girl and it is simple and easy, but absolutely one of the best dinners. I just serve it over brown rice.

At the end of last month’s budget, we had money enough left over from the food category to buy a treat. So far, the treat has always been lamb, but maybe next time I will branch out. I have been wanting to make short ribs recently. I made these goat cheese burgers (pictured), and they were excellent. (The roasted red pepper relish, however, my husband did not like. More for me!)

We also love breakfast food, and I love making the scones from The Bread Bible. That one recipe is worth the entire book.

And to end with a bit of comedy:

Me: “One of my childhood friends got married today.”
Travis: “One of your Amish friends?”

Things my husband likes


There are lots of great things about having a husband. He always takes me to get frozen yogurt, there’s always someone around to make me laugh, I don’t have to go to church alone, and he puts the dishes in the dishwasher away when I don’t feel like it.

But the best part? A husband to cook for. (Okay, maybe not the absolute best, but it’s pretty high up there.) Some of my friends and siblings believe that I survive primarily on froyo, but that is not true—despite the numerous trips that we take down the street to our local neon orange and green-accented Yummilicous. I love introducing Travis to new foods and dishes. I found that the biggest cooking challenge is finding something to eat along with the main dish of meat, but I am slowly finding some staples.

Some of our favorites are the spiced sweet potato wedges from The Sprouted Kitchen, green beans with paprika and shallots from Fine Cooking (we call them the Wedding Beans since they were served at our reception), and orzo with lemon, garlic, and herbs also from Fine Cooking.

As one more note—and my mother will be shocked to read this—I suddenly love eating and making pasta. Since when? Here are two of our favorites: Asparagus, goat cheese, and lemon pasta and Orechiette with sausage and sun-dried tomatoes. I added browned Italian sausage to the asparagus pasta, and it made for a full meal plus a perfect lunch for my seminary husband the next day!