Hubbys Birthday Surprise Cake!

I am so tremendously proud of myself. Actually it is too early to say that, but I am. I baked a red velvet cake from scratch for my husband for his birthday! Since his birthday isn’t for another 10 minutes and he is still at work and has no clue about the cake, I can’t really say I am proud. Hopefully it turned out tasting ok and I will be able to say it! I haven’t baked a cake from scratch since I was in Jr High in home ec class. I still haven’t totally figured out my oven so the edges may be a tad over done. It turned out looking ok though. I used a recipe I found on the Internet. I googled red velvet cake recipes and it came from a site that came up called southerncooking or something like that. I will try and find it again and link it later.
There was one thing that I really didn’t like about this recipe. It said mix all the dry ingredients together, no problem there, but then mix the eggs and oil into the dry mix and after that mix the rest of the wet ingredients. So I was mixing them into a glorified paste. It reminded me of white gravy (only different colored) and was really hard to get it all to mix. I am not sure if there was a reason for this but if I use the recipe again I am mixing all the wet ingredients at the same time. I also don’t have a decent mixing bowl, which is no fault of the recipe, and ended up with my hands red. Like I said, my oven and I don’t always see eye to eye so I am hoping that it is ok. I also might have added too much sugar. Thinking back, I can’t remember how much I put in there. It may have been the right amount, I just don’t know. The batter tasted awesome! So did the cream cheese frosting (from the same recipe), although in the future I will add the nuts after the cake is frosted. It is really hard to frost with chunks in it.
Thanks to my best friend Jessica’s mom, I now know that the best way to frost a cake is to freeze it a bit first. It was so very helpful. This is the first time I have baked a cake since learning this and I will never go back to my old ways again.
Baking a cake from scratch was truly exciting. I have been on a cooking spree lately. Ok, I haven’t really been cooking so much as I have been facinated by people who do. I really would like to decorate cakes. I also would like to be able to make a big meal for guests that is really impressive. I know that may sound odd, but I want to. I don’t even know anyone here who would appreciate it, unless it was fried chicken. I want to grill veggies, make casseroles, big fancy ethnic meals, and general good meals. I have done pretty well about making meals from nothing since we have had nothing to make anything from. I don’t eat meat, but I want to make pretty cooked meat. My husband has no complaints about that since he is a carnivore! Mostly I want to make meat free meals that would make even meat eaters forget that there’s no meat in the meal.
I guess I should make a little list of recipes I have tried and recipes that I want to try. Why? Because I love lists. Do I need a better reason?

Foods that I have recently tried to cook:
Fried rice- apparently I cook this well despite the fact that I don’t like fried rice.
Cheesy broccoli rice- this was good but I think it could have used more cheese. Using a different kind of rice may have resolved this issue though.
Red velvet cake- up in the air until morning.
Fried jalepeños- amazing. Love love love.
Peanut butter cookies- super quick and easy

There are many other things that I have learned to make throughout the years: vegetarian chili, 4 cheese lasagna, and enchilladas to name a few.

Foods I want to try:
Vegetable lo-mein
Poptarts
Grilled things. What can I say I have never grilled.
Pretty cakes.
Homemade noodles like mom makes
Homemade ravioli
Fancy fondue- who doesn’t like playing with food!
Eggplant parmesan

Again this list could probably go on for miles and miles, but these are some things I want to try sooner rather than later. Suggestions and/or recipes are welcome! I am planning on starting a recipe box soon of my favorite recipes. The more the merrier!

Thoughts for today

Well despite my horrible toothache/jaw pain yesterday, I had a nice birthday. Jim took me to dinner at Ruby Tuesday. We don’t have a lot of choice in LaGrange on restaurants, especially on a Monday, but I like Ruby Tuesday so it was fine. After dinner we went to Wal*Mart to get a movie, or 4. We were going to go see Planet 51 or whatever that movie is, but it didn’t start until like 8, and that is too late for me. We got the entire Jurassic Park trilogy, Pixar Shorts Vol. 1, and Wizard of Oz. Yay. We watched Pixar Shorts because of the time. OMG I love the sheep one! Too cute. There is a sheep, clogging, shearing, and singing. Absolutely adorable. Also for my birthday I got a sheep robe and slippers from Bath & Body Works. Very soft and fluffy and comfy. I highly suggest it to anyone looking for a robe. And now my dog has a Snuggie, so that is too much fun. She loves it. She snuggled up in it and was so cute. She didn’t even give me the humiliated look, like normal. And for the tooth, I gargled with both peroxide, and salt water. Ew. But I was able to sleep last night so that is really what matters I suppose.

Knitting (related anyway): Well I obviously had a full day yesterday and did not get any knitting done. The sleeve did look at me sadly though and said “Finish me!” Really my mouth hurt too bad for me to focus on much yesterday anyway. Also I have a serious lack of knitting podcasts. I am rationing the ones that I have. Ok so when the last update came out, I couldn’t get iTunes to download it. I called Apple support and she said that I needed to uninstall/reinstall iTunes. I uninstalled. I tried to reinstall. Didn’t work. It kept saying that I couldn’t install because it was already on there. So I did what the website told me to do. I deleted all the things that said iTunes. Apparently in doing so I deleted my music back up file thingy. What was the problem? Apparently I had some Windows updates that needed to be done and if I had just done them in the first place I would have never had to delete iTunes. I am more than miffed about this, because the lady didn’t even ask me if I had all my updates done. So yeah all the music that I have on my iPhone, will be lost if I sync it. I don’t know what to do. The stuff that is on Jim’s iPod that I bought on iTunes is now on there again, but I can’t even get the stuff I bought from my iPhone to switch back to the computer. All of our CDs are still in Arkansas. So do I lose all my music so that I can listen to podcasts? And of course it won’t let me download any without WiFi. Starbucks run maybe? I don’t know. I am so behind on podcasts. And even if I get my CDs from 800+ miles away, I still lose the stuff I bought on my iPhone, because it will delete when I go to sync my phone. I guess at least it wasn’t a lot. Just like one album and one song or something.

Spinning: I emailed them on my part and I haven’t heard back yet. I figure this is because of the holiday, because last time I got an answer back within an hour or so. I really want it to be fixed. I also really want a Schacht Matchless. Jim mentioned something about making me a wheel last night, and I would love for him to do that, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. He works 12 hour shifts and is pretty well exhausted when he is at home. I need that replacement piece so I can spin. As much as I really want a Schacht, my Babe does everything I need it to do, plus it is familiar to me. The matchless has different tensioning and I would have to learn how to use that. But still, it looks better than my Babe, and functionally there is more that it can do. I can spin laceweight on my Babe, but I think it would be so much easier and potentially finer if I had the Schacht. Am I just being lured by the looks? I don’t know. I keep going back and forth on it. The price is really what turns me off. And my Babe, when all in one piece, does work well. Darn indecisiveness. Really though, we just don’t have the money to spend on it. I am going to go back to school in February and therefore I won’t be working full time anymore. Plus we have a kid to fly here for spring break, which being a minor, won’t be cheap. And we have a house to fix. And we really could use a second vehicle in the next couple years. Ok. What I really need is about $500,000.00. Anyone want to donate? Yeah. I didn’t think so. What if I beg? LOL!

Happy Birthday

Um yeah. So this is the last birthday that I will be celebrating as I feel that this is as close to 30 as I need to be. So next year I will again be celebrating #27 and then again the year after. And the year after that (which will be a very black Friday) I will once again turn 27. I am boycotting getting older. That is all there is to it! Ok so we had a nice Thanksgiving. Nice quiet lazy day with family. Nothing major happened, besides mass amounts of eating. Seriously we ate around 1 I think and I was full the rest of the day. I did have some pecan pie around 4 or so, but that was my dinner. I did not black friday shop. I did have to pick up a few things at walmart, and a pair of tennis shoes, but I waited until early afternoon to avoid the crowds. Worked like a charm. Enough about that boring stuff though.

Knitting: I am almost done with the first (or rather 3rd) sleeve for Jim’s sweater. Like I knitted all day yesterday and I have 12 rows left. Plus 2 inches. Gar. I am beginning to believe that there is some sort of weird worm hole with this sleeve that keeps setting me back 2 inches. I will try to finish it this week. Then I still have the other one to knit. Plus I am wanting to work on that blankie for my special little boy. Sleeve has to come first though. I want this sweater done before Christmas. I have a whole bunch of things that have ended up in my Rav queue that I want to knit. Specifically the Give a Hoot mittens. I am IN LOVE! I think I am going see what gauge my gray handspun is and see if it works for these mittens.

Spinning Tragedy has struck the Humphrey household. My. Wheel. Broke. I wanted to have all this fun stuff to say about the 1 lbs Merino/Bamboo that I bought that came in the mail on Friday, but I spun about a yard of it and my wheel broke. I almost cried. Seriously I had set aside Saturday for spinning. I wasn’t going to do anything but spin. This was like a little birthday gift to myself, just me and my wheel and lotsa fluff. But no. See this is what I am saying about having crappy birthdays. Stuff like this always happens! LOL! Oh and before the accident happened I did do a little experiment playing with a tiny bit of leftover kiwi fiber and a bit of the alpaca that I have spun up. I wish I had plied the entire amount of Kiwi with the alpaca. I am so in love with the way the colors came together. I don’t have pictures right now but I will soon. I do however have a picture of the Kiwi yarn plied with itself. That will do for now. I will post more as I get more uploaded. I am not very organized today, sorry. I had no clue I was going to blog. I suppose as soon as I am done with the knitting I need to be working on, I will get my drop spindle out. I need to practice on it anyway, right? Right!