Sunday, April 11, 2010

mmmm vacation

I need a vacation! I have a wicked statistics mid-term this week that is hurting my brain. And my next break isn't until the end of May. :(

But what a break! We're headed to Manhattan to attend the National Cartoonist Society convention, and I am soooo excited. (Also way stoked to see my sister's beautiful house in Pennsylvania and her even more beautiful boys.)

This vacation is also special because it will be a 2-in-1 celebration or our first wedding anniversary (May 8) and my 27th birthday (June 2).

I can't believe it has been a year since the wedding. That is both a relief and a disbelief. I still think of ways I could have done the wedding or the photos better. I hope that feeling goes away with time. Being married is way easier than getting married, that's for sure!

And as for my birthday, I feel ambivalent at the moment. It's farther away from 25...I think I'm squarely in late-20s land. But I'm happy. Nothing else I'd rather be doing with my life at 27.

Possible exception: studying statistics.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Nuts for coconut!

Ah the power of advertising. A few weeks ago I saw an ad in a magazine for coconut cake, and have been obsessed with making one ever since.

For this one, I chose strawberry cake made with applesauce instead of oil (you can substitute it directly -- 1:1). That turned out fine.

The filling, however, did not. I found a recipe online (btw I would avoid -- the recipes there don't have enough info and don't always work right) that included cream of coconut, milk, sugar and butter. Sounds easy enough, like frosting, right? No. It sat on my stove for 40 minutes and never thickened, even after I desperately started throwing cornstarch in. I had to DUMP IT DOWN THE DRAIN.

This is my first time baking where I had to completely toss something because it wasn't turning out. Frown!

So I found a more traditional coconut cream cheese filling recipe that I figured couldn't fail. I taste-tested it just to be sure. Smile!

I also tried my hand at multiple layers:

We'll see how that goes. Layer cakes like this usually get all crumbly when you try to frost them, so I sprayed a light layer of PAM before frosting and it seemed to work OK.

Topped it off with a low-sugar frosting and fresh Peeps. Hoppy Easter!