I just looked back, and realized the last time I posted anything to this blog was in November. That's pretty sad. It is even more sad to realize that during that period of time, I have only made two items that I can even blog about! I can blame many factors, but the primary culprits are: 1) my diet; and 2) my time constraints. But probably mostly my diet.
I didn't have to move to France right after Thanksgiving, so I really don't have very much to complain about. But the holidays bring their own form of craziness, which I cannot even begin to replicate in writing. We did find time during the holidays to bake cookies -- but we didn't use Maida's recipes. Since we were only making 4 types of cookies (one for each of us) we were looking for very traditional Christmas cookies -- sugar cookies, peanut butter kisses, shortbread, and a very sad (but tasty) experiment in lace cookies.
I did, however, get a chance during the holiday rush to make the Red Beet Cake. I don't even want to go back to figure out how long ago it was that Maria made the Red Beet Cake. I made it for Natalie's "birthday party," which was really a fun-filled trip to LA. I made the Red Beet Cake on December 11, to be exact.
I don't have any pictures. I was hoping for video (which I will write about in a minute), but it has not come through. The cake was very simple, although the can of beets was a little short in the weight department. I think Maria mentioned that. I didn't do anything to make up for it. I made the cake in a transportable rectangular cake pan I have on Friday night. I didn't make the frosting until Saturday morning. I slapped the frosting on the cake, stuck the cake into the carrier, threw in an ice pack (because the cake is supposed to be refrigerated), and we went on our trip to LA.
We did have a lot of fun in LA for Natalie's birthday. It was pouring rain. I mean pouring. All of our planned activities involved being outside. Lunch at a sidewalk cafe (only sprinkling at that point). Cupcakes at Sprinkles (raining pretty good -- and Sprinkles' has virtually non-existent indoor seating/standing room). 3 hour scavenger hunt along Rodeo Drive (pouring -- we looked like we had jumped into a pool and then started roaming around Rodeo Drive). Dinner at Ashton Kucher's restaurant, which we had to walk to (still raining, and no Ashton in sight). Movies -- which we also had to walk to (raining on the way/no rain on the way back). With all the food and rain -- we never cut into the cake. Or put it into the refrigerator at the hotel.
Next day -- brunch at the Magic Castle. Of course this day we had no outdoor activities planned and it was beautiful and sunny. Typical. Very late brunch followed by a magic show. Still not hungry for cake and didn't get back to SD until late afternoon. So we never actually cut into that cake. I left it with Maddy to take to school.
On Monday, Maddy forgot about the cake. I don't know if it ever even got put into the refrigerator. But Monday afternoon, Maddy brought some friends home for a school project -- filming a "how to" video about how to bake a cake. Apparently, the boy in charge of this project decided to make the cake recipe on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa can. I wasn't there, so do not know about all the mistakes he made. But I can assure you, there were many because I saw the finished project. The finished cake was about 1/2 inch high, light in color with dark colored specks throughout. It didn't even look fully cooked, and was really pretty nasty looking. This is not, however, the cake which appears in the video as the finished project. As in most cooking shows, the film depicts another cake for the finished project -- my Red Beet Cake. I asked for the video. If I ever get a copy, I'll post it.
After filming the cake, the girls ate some of it. They declared it delicious. Maddy said that the frosting was "the best frosting I've ever tasted." Pretty good for 3 day old, non-refrigerated frosting. Maddy took the remainder of the cake to school on Tuesday, where it was polished off. I never tasted it at all -- except for the frosting, which really is pretty amazing.
It's January now. I have the best of intentions. Training for Kilimanjaro in September, 3-Day Breast Cancer walk in November, Half Dome in June or July, and maybe the Grand Canyon or Zion Narrows in April. I should be able to burn off the calories . . .