“Oh, Hi, Mom, could you take my picture, I colored all over my nice pants and both shoes and some paper with this really cool bright yellow pastel type crayon I found. And don’t worry, I didn’t get any on your bed! Thanks, Mom. I sorry.” (SIGH!)
Tuesday’s with Dorie this week was a perfectly simple cake chosen by the fabulous Nancy from The Dogs Eat the Crumbs. Nancy is great to help a lot of us bakers out by posting on the P&Q her quartered (or halved or third-ed or even smaller!) recipes and many helpful ideas about the recipes each week. (I hate math and especially fractions, so thanks Nancy!) She chose Swedish Visiting Cake (pages 196-197 in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours) for us and like many, I’m sure, when I first saw the cake, I wasn’t that excited to make it. But I was intrigued by the fact that the cake is so simple you can make it in no time and have a great dessert ready. So Sunday night as I was making dinner, I got out all the ingredients for the cake and whipped it up while preparing the last few things for dinner (multi-tasking here, you can’t do that with a lot of recipes!) You can get the recipe for the cake on Nancy’s blog. It really is a great one to have when you have last minute company.
I was excited to use the cast iron skillet I got for Christmas and have only used one other time so far—for the Tarte Tatin we made back in January for TWD. Get this—I followed the recipe! I know, I know, what is wrong with me? Okay, one MINOR change. I ran out of vanilla. So I used 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (instead of 1 teaspoon) and used 1 teaspoon almond extract (instead of a half). They were both optional to the recipe, so really I could do whatever I wanted to there, right?
Cake going in the oven. Oh, wait, first I had the extreme pleasure of doing this--
The rubbing of the zest into the sugar! It doesn’t even involve chocolate and it’s one of my favorite things to do in baking. (Simple pleasures, right.) Mix a few things here and there and then the cake was ready for the oven.
It baked for 30 minutes. After it had only been out of the oven for about 15 minutes (at the most), Kevin wanted a slice. (Shocker—Kevin wanted cake. The key here is that there was no frosting, it’s really frosting that he hates so much. I know, let’s not talk about the craziness of that!)
He put a dollop of some Cool Whip
ped Cream on top. (We had some that needed to be used or else I would have whipped some real cream, although, I still prefer the fake, bad-for-you stuff. I am a skim milk drinker only and I think whipped cream reminds me too much of drinking full fat, whole milk (I can barely even stand 2%). Anyway, back to the cake. Almost never in the history of me participating in Tuesday’s With Dorie has Kevin ever really tasted a cake, savored it and given me some good, honest feedback. But this simple little cake was it. He REALLY liked it!
I mean, he was even saying things like, “I like how moist it is inside but I really like the crunchy top from the sugar and almonds.” We’re talking real opinion here. I was almost in shock. I usually have to really prod him about some of these recipes to get an “It was alright.” out of him about things. He often just eats to fill his tummy as fast as he can and doesn’t really taste his food. He liked the almond flavoring (although I decided it was a little too strong, and actually next time I make this cake, I want to try it with no vanilla or almond and maybe add a little lemon flavoring. I wanted to taste the lemon more than we did with this one.
That said, I really liked the cake.
So did the boys. They each had a piece. (Taylor had to pick off all the nuts from his, but still ended up eating the whole thing.) I really thought they’d all think this was too boring and not like the almond flavoring.
Scott ended up eating two pieces and finishing a good half of Parker’s. (Parker is just not a really big sweets eater. Sheesh, how would THAT be?)
Kevin had gone to a meeting at church after downing his piece. When he got home a few hours later, there was about two pieces left. He asked if he could finish the cake. Kevin finished a cake. You just might not realize the significance of that. He. doesn’t. like. cake. I’m not sure I can convince myself to make such a simple, kind of boring cake for his birthday, but I wouldn’t doubt if this is what he requests then.
And that was the end of that only hours after pulling the cake out of the oven. I call that success!
And I call this little stinker dadgum cute!
This one, too, but he’d be SO mad at me if he knew I put this on the blog. I did not take these pictures and I don’t know if Kevin was letting Sam use the camera or what, but this is a good interpretation of the usual kind of pictures of Scott we get—he’s a blur and trying to duck out of the pictures.
He will go out of his way to NOT STOP for a photo op. This is the best we got. Hi, Scottie!
Beautiful night (Monday). Lovin’ springtime! Riding scooters and bikes and blowing bubbles all evening. Didn’t capture any pictures of Taylor and Parker. Parker was hurt by a basketball to the head. Our neighbor wanted to make him feel better, so he took him for a ride in his Porche. Parker thought that was pretty darn cool. Thanks, Ron!