Sorry About January.

Yeah, Cathy Cake Club had to take a hiatus for the month of January.  There was a lot of travel during the month, and the month started out with a less-than-successful Cathy-shaped meatloaf that I chose not to write about.

Yeah.  Well, I mean, it actually tasted pretty good.  It was half beef, half chicken, and it had roasted garlic in it.

But still.

It looked like barf on the platter.  I didn’t even decorate it with mayonnaise.

SO.  February will bring new and exciting Cathy action!  Cathy CAKE action, that is.  Get psyched!

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Cathy Cracks on Christmas.

Yes, I realize that Christmas was a week ago.  And I also realize that today is, in fact, a separate holiday of its own (see post to follow).  But the holidays make me lazy, and, as you’ll see, my Christmas cake is not really what one would term “a success”.

On Christmas Day, I decided to make a Christmas-appropriate Cathy cake.  I wanted candy cane flavor.  It’s festive, sounds yummy, and I had big dreams of decorating Cathy to look like a magical red and white candy cane princess.  With sparkles.

Feeling all Christmas-y lazy as I was, I opted to find a recipe on the internet rather than search my cookbooks.  A Google search for “candy cane cake” quickly yielded the recipe for the aptly named Candy Cane Cake on the Betty Crocker website.  Appealing to my sense of laziness, the recipe started with a Betty Crocker cake mix and seemed to require minimal effort.

Basically, you just prepare a box of their white cake mix just as instructed to on the package.  White cake mix calls for egg whites – not whole eggs – and I wondered later if this contributed to my, ahem, cake issues.  But I digress.  First you pour about a third of the batter into your cake pan.

Then you take another third and tint it as red as you can with food coloring.  I was having trouble achieving my desired shade of pure redness, so I would recommend using paste food coloring instead of the liquid that I used.  Also, you add peppermint extract, to get that real candy cane flavor.

And yes, I was wearing a Santa hat.  It was Christmas, for chrissakes!  It’s in the bible that you’re supposed to wear it!

Anyway.  Next you pour that down over your base layer in the pan.

Aaaand then you pour the rest of the white batter on top.  At this point, the cake should look like a child’s crudely drawn rendition of lasagna.  This is normal.  I guess the effect is meant to be red and white layers, like a candy cane, but that probably only works if you’re using a bundt pan like the original recipe calls for.

Off into the oven with her.  And then Tim helped to clean the bowl and spatula.

I pulled her out of the over early, as I often find I need to do with Cathy.  Then I set her on a rack to cool, still in her pan.

And promptly forgot about her.

And this may be where the problem REALLY started.

A couple of hours later, we remembered about Cathy.  The remembering was prompted by Tim asking “Can we eat Cathy cake now?”

“No no no!  We have to ice her! And her glaze has to set!” I replied frantically.

As I started assembling the necessary ingredients to decorate and ice Cathy into a sparkly, candy cane princess, Tim unmolded her onto the rack.  At first, she looked fantastic.

Then there was the first tiny crack.

Disappointed but undeterred, I moved her onto the platter and set about with her first layer of decoration – a simple powdered sugar and milk glaze.  “This will be perfect as the base layer of my grand icing design plan!” I thought foolishly.

One layer of glaze on her and her face cracked.  As I stirred up additional glaze, the crack extended down the length of the cake.

Here’s a disturbing and slightly pornographic close-up:

ACK, as Cathy herself would say.  ACKKKKK!!

I gave up my dream of creating a glittering, candy cane princess.  Wiping the sweat of disappointment from my brow, I was forced into Plan B.

“Fuck it,” I said. “I’m striping her.”

The sparkly pink sugar was my only consolation to the big dreams that had been so cruelly and swiftly dashed.

ACK.

As I prepared to slice into her and eat from her shattered loins, she cracked once more.

Sigh.

It tasted good, although the cake was crumbly and difficult to eat.  It struck me as odd that a cake could be moist and flavorful and yet crumble all over the place (including your shirt).

I left the sad, barely Cathy-esque remainders at Tim’s house so that the kids could enjoy it the next day – and the kids WOULDN’T EAT IT.  Flat out refused to even taste the cake.  Maybe because it looked like part of a sparkly, bleeding carcass?

Next time, I’ll let her cool OUTSIDE the pan.

Candy Cane Cake from the Betty Crocker website (direct link here)

Cake:

  • 1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and egg whites as called for on cake mix box
  • 1/2 teaspoon red food color
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

White Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, if desired

Decoration

  • Crushed candy canes or hard peppermint candies, if desired

Heat oven to 325°.  Generously grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan.  Make cake batter as directed on box.  Pour about 2 cups batter into pan.  Into small bowl, pour about 3/4 cup batter; stir in food color and peppermint extract.  Carefully pour pink batter over white batter in pan.  Carefully pour remaining white batter over pink batter.

Bake as directed on box or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes.  [Whoops.] Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack or heatproof serving plate; remove pan.  Cool cake completely, about 1 hour.

In small bowl, mix icing ingredients.  If necessary, stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth and spreadable.  Spread icing over cake.  Sprinkle top with crushed candy.  Store loosely covered.

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A Tribute To Grandma.

Last weekend, I travelled to Arizona to visit my mom, brother and sister.  (This is why there was no new CCC entry last week.  Family calls!) While visiting, we got the very sad news that my grandmother had passed away.  This was, of course, inevitable, but for me it was somewhat unexpected and very, very sad.

My grandmother was a complicated person.  She was extroverted, exuberant and extremely smart; she was always the center of attention.  Her humor was sometimes cruel and she could be intimidating, but when I spent time with her as a child she ALWAYS, always made time to make me feel special and spend dedicated playtime with me.  She even played a mysterious fortune-telling gypsy at my 3rd grade Halloween party.

My grandma also loved to drink.  Jack Daniel’s, specifically.  Nowadays, we call a person like her “an alcoholic”.  But back in her era, she would have been known as “the life of the party”.  So, my old friend Danya suggested that it might be fitting for me to pay tribute to Grandma with a very special Cathy cake.

Specifically, a Jack Daniels Cathy Cake.  Or, as I will be referring to it, the Cathy Daniels Cake.

I searched some recipe sites through Google but eventually settled on a recipe that is posted right on the Jack Daniel’s website under “Jack’s Birthday Cake”.  I chose this one because it specifically called for a 9″x13″ pan, which most closely approximates Cathy’s size.

The batter comes together fairly quickly, although the one cup of melted butter used to make the batter is fairly frightening.  When the batter has finished mixing, it looks like melted caramel and tastes like a combination of Jack Daniel’s and bananas – which is bizarre, considering that there are no bananas anywhere in this house, let alone the cake batter.

A defining feature of this cake is the layer of chopped pecans and chocolate chips that you are supposed to sprinkle onto the cake batter before you put it into the oven.  Tim helped me by chopping the pecans.

Then we sprinkled the pecans and chips onto the cake batter.

At this point, Tim expressed concern because what was now the top of the cake would eventually become the bottom of the cake – and then wouldn’t it be weird to have all this stuff on the bottom of the cake?  Nonsense, I scoffed.  All cakes get inverted eventually, right?

As the cake happily baked away, I worked on the thankless part of Cathy Cake Club – the dishwashing.  Here, Tim captured a rare photo of the behind-the-scenes drudgery that goes into each and every goddamn Cathy cake.  This lady is HIGH MAINTENANCE.

I ended up pulling the cake out of the oven about 10 minutes earlier than the recipe suggested, and she unmolded perfectly.

Now, at this point, let’s remember that the nuts and chips are on the bottom.  Immediately after inverting the cake onto the rack, I realized how weird this was.  (Yes, Tim realized how weird it would be about 40 minutes prior.  But I guess I just needed to SEE it.)  I went back and read the original recipe and I don’t think that, in their version, you are even supposed to remove the cake from the pan.  Which makes even more sense when you move onto the next step – the Hot Buttered Whiskey Glaze.

This glaze is delicious, boozy, and very runny.  Like, I added an extra cup of powdered sugar to the glaze and it was still the consistency of light salad dressing.  (Bleah – flashbacks to Italian Salad Mold Cathy!)  When I poured the glaze over her, most of it ended up on the platter surrounding her.

And those weird white spots are just clumps of powdered sugar.  I chose not to sift my sugar before making the glaze, mostly because I am lazy.  But it was really at this point that I realized that if it was still in, say, a 9″x13″ glass pan, the extra glaze would soak into the sides and bottom of the cake too.  UMMM.  Lesson learned!

Then I set about adding details with melted chocolate.

The melted chocolate stuck to the cake better than the frosting usually does, and even adhered well to the still-wet glaze.  But it was also somewhat difficult to control.

And that’s my explanation for ending up with this Cathy – with a face only a grandmother could love.

Yeah, one eye is significantly bigger than the other, but that hasn’t hurt Shannen Doherty’s career, so, you know, whatever.  And I was actually able to see the “bow” on the edge of the package, which gave me just a little bit less room to write “I Heart My Grandma” with a very uncooperative bag of melted chocolate.  But I think it turned out okay.

But the BIG question is – how did it taste?

Very good.  Very rich.  Very boozy.  Grandma would have LOVED it.

Jack’s Birthday Cake a.k.a. Cathy Daniels Cake from the Jack Daniels website

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 package (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • Hot Buttered Whiskey Glaze (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 325°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in the brown sugar, eggs, flour mixture, and Jack Daniel’s, stirring well after each addition. Pour batter into the greased pan. Sprinkle evenly with pecans and chocolate chips. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until center of the cake is firm and edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. [I baked Cathy for 35 minutes.] Cool on a wire rack and drizzle with glaze. Makes 16 servings.

Note: Cake may be baked in a greased 10-inch tube pan. Increase the baking time to 1 hour. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Drizzle with the glaze.

Hot Buttered Whiskey Glaze

  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
  • 1/3 cup Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey [No, I don’t understand why it calls for two seperate measurements either.]
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Blend well with a wooden spoon. Drizzle over the cake.

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Cathy Cake: Not An Actual Cake.

This week, I decided to do something a little different.  I had been planning on making an Eggnog Cake, but when today came I realized I just didn’t have the stomach to make something so heavy and fattening.  Let’s face facts: both my weekend breakfasts were spent at Roxy’s Diner, and last night for dinner I had a huge burger topped with peanut butter and bacon.  I needed to lighten it up a bit for Cathy this week.  But WHAT could I make that would be light and refreshing, yet compelling and totally repulsive?

Oh, of COURSE!  A molded vegetable salad!

I consulted a few of my more low-brow cookbooks before finding my perfect recipe in Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Recipes.

Clearly this tome has been well loved, most likely by the home-ec department at Tyee Junior High School in Bellevue, WA, if the stamp on the inside cover is any indication.  This cookbook is a prime example of one of my favorite eras.  Dating to 1979, it is filled with full-color, friendly photos, chunky and easy to read typefaces, and TOTALLY unpretentious recipes that sought to proliferate good, old-fashioned home style cooking just as the era of “nouvelle cuisine” was dawning.  Awesome.  Plus, did I mention the stamp from Tyee Junior High School?

The recipe that I chose was Italian Salad Mold.  I was mostly drawn to this recipe by the photo of the glistening, shimmering mold, laden with radish slices arranged like jewels.  Yes.  Yes, this would do.

So the recipe begins with the combining of lemon gelatin with half a packet of Italian salad dressing mix, and then dissolving the mixture with boiling water.

Although not exactly necessary, I took this opportunity to purchase a new teapot with which to boil the water.  And, since I was already going with the yellow theme…

After dissolving the gelatin and salad dressing mix in the boiling water, it looked really, really nasty.  REALLY nasty.  Like bile-barf.  And it didn’t smell any better.

At this point, I began to worry.  You didn’t worry BEFORE this point, you ask?  No.  Not until this point.  But I stuck the mixture into the fridge so that it could start “setting up” and I prepped my vegetables.  This is the part where I should have just tossed them with a little dressing and eaten them as-is.

After an hour and a half or so, I guessed that the gelatin was the right consistency for me to fold in the vegetables, so fold I did.  Then I poured the whole mixture into Cathy, whom I had previously greased with olive oil.

Aaaaand into the fridge she went, for about 2 1/2 more hours.

Then I began worrying about how I would get her out.  I decided on a two-part method.  First, I took a butter knife and carefully ran it around the edge.  Then I filled the sink with warm water and gave her a 10 second bath.  Then I flipped her onto the platter, and voila!

She slid right out!

Thinking she needed a little decoration, I piped some mayonnaise on her in the style of vanilla frosting.

I Heart Salad, indeed.

I did find that it was somewhat difficult to get the mayo to stick to Cathy’s surface.  I believe this was due to a combination of gelatin’s inherent slipperiness and my use of olive oil to grease the pan.

On a side note, Cathy was pretty shallow.  Meaning, the finished molded salad did not have a lot of height.  Next time, I will use a recipe with a larger yield.

And yes, I ate a piece of her.  Two pieces, actually.

It was okay.  It would have been way better using a plain or savory gelatin flavor.  Using the sweet lemon flavor gave the whole salad a sweet-and-salty tang that I didn’t appreciate.  Also, there’s the whole texture thing.  I will say that the mayo helped to cut the tang.

And the final verdict on the finished product?  Well, she’s in the fridge right now, in case I want another helping in the morning.  So that says something for the flavor being okay, right?  Right?

*the sound of crickets chirping in otherwise complete silence*

Italian Salad Mold from Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Recipes, copyright 1979 by Meredith Corporation

  • 1 6-ounce package lemon-flavored gelatin [I used Jell-o]
  • 1/2 of a 0.6-ounce envelope (2 1/2 teaspoons) Italian salad dressing mix [I used Good Seasons]
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar [I used white wine vinegar]
  • 1 cup chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup quartered and thinly sliced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup sliced radishes
  • [I also added 1/4 cup sliced grape tomatoes]
  • Curly endive

In bowl combine gelatin and salad dressing mix.  Add boiling water, stirring to dissolve gelatin.  Stir in cold water and vinegar.  Chill till partially set [about 1 1/2 hours].  Fold chopped lettuce, zucchini, carrot, and radishes [and tomatoes] into gelatin.  Pour mixture into 5 1/2 cup mold.  Chill till firm [about 2 1/2 hours].  To serve, unmold and garnish with curly endive, if desired [I did not desire].  Makes 8 servings.

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Happy Thanksgiving from Cathy.

So, as a red-blooded American, I was happy to celebrate Thanksgiving today in the traditional way: drinking mimosas, watching the dog show on TV, eating WAY too much of everything, and baking a very special Cathy cake.  Luckily I had help with all of these activities as Suzanne came over to celebrate the holiday, Cathy-style.

Since Suzanne was the guest, I gave her the task of finding a good Thanksgiving-appropriate cake recipe for the Cathy pan.  She chose a very simple and yummy sounding recipe from Cooks.com for a Squash Cake that listed canned pumpkin as a good substitute for the squash (recipe at the bottom of the post).  To have a more appropriate name, I’ll refer to it as Easy Pumpkin Cake.

I would say this is pretty close to a “dump cake” – you know, one of those cakes where you dump everything into the cake pan and throw it into the oven?  Except in this case you dump it into the Kitchenaid and let it whirl around for a few minutes.

I was a big fan of the orange batter whirling around inside the orange mixer.

We were a little worried that, with the recipe’s addition of addition leavening (meaning, adding baking soda to an already leavened cake mix) that it might rise too high or breech Cathy’s levees, so to speak.  So we were prepared to not to use all the batter.  But once I spread it out throughout Cathy, it seemed like just the right amount.  Please note the festive mimosa to the right of the pan.

Then we took a break to eat Thanksgiving dinner.  That is what this holiday is all about, right?  Wait, what?  It’s about giving thanks?  Well, I’ll be darned…anyway, we had braised turkey thighs, garlic mashed potatoes and cornbread stuffing.

About 35 minutes later, we pulled Cathy out of the oven and she unmolded cleanly.

Then we took a break to have some of Suzanne’s homemade pumpkin pie.  YES, we had both pie and cake today, because, like I said, eating is what this holiday is all about.   OH, RIGHT, the giving thanks thing….right, right.

And then it was time to set to work on making the Cream Cheese Frosting.  I found a recipe online that is apparently straight out of The Joy of Cooking, and I doubled it knowing that we would need to tint several colors to achieve the masterpiece we had planned for the day…“Pale Feather Cathy”.

Pale Feather Cathy getting her hair worked on:

And the final Pale Feather Cathy!

What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving, the holiday about eating (wait, what?) than with a cake that commemorates the Native Americans who, in sharing their food with us, allowed us to have the very first Thanksgiving back in 1973?  And besides, a pilgrim cake would have been so boring.  All black with a white collar?  SNOOZE.  Native Americans have way cooler accessories, like face stripes and feathers.  So Pale Feather Cathy it was.  Here is Suzanne showing it off:

And a picture that Suzanne described as “Cathy and her hole”, but which I describe more as “Yum”.

The cake was moist but dense and with a subtle pumpkin flavor that was surprisingly good.  And the frosting turned out great too.  Now I just need to keep myself my from sticking my face right into Cathy’s side and eating her from the inside out.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Easy Pumpkin Cake (a.k.a. Squash Cake) adapted from Cooks.com

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine all ingredients, beating until smooth.

Spoon into a greased but not floured angel food pan.  [I used Pam for Baking in the Cathy pan.]

Bake for 45-50 minutes. [I only needed 35.]

Cake is very moist and is good unfrosted…except…I frosted it with:

Cream Cheese Frosting from The Joy of Cooking

Beat 8 oz. cold cream cheese with 5 tablespoons softened butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla until combined.  Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar that has been sifted after measuring.  Continue to add more sifted powdered sugar until you reach a consistency and sweetness that fits your taste.  [I doubled the recipe for Cathy.  Also, we found out that the more powdered sugar you add, the softer and more spreadable the frosting becomes, which was unexpected.  Delicious!]

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A Cake For Beginners.

Well, I chose my first official Cathy Cake Club cake.  I decided that the best choice for the first cake would be a recipe from a cookbook intended for children, because it would probably be basic, simple and good.

I scanned through my children’s cookbooks and settled on Betty Crocker’s New Boys and Girls Cookbook.  I am having trouble finding the correct publication date for this book; the page with the publication info is missing from my copy and my online searching is turning up dates ranging from 1965-1973.  So that at least gives a good impression of the era of this book.

I believe I purchased this book at a garage sale, long ago.  It seems like it has been around forever.  And it was clearly well-loved before I got my hands on it.  There are food stains, penciled check marks, and random scribbling throughout the book.  One of my favorite things about it is the front page full of random quotes from kids that were involved with testing the recipes for the book.  These quotes range from the informative:

“It’s important to read the measuring cups right.  When we didn’t, we had problems.” -David

To the wistfully creative:

“Mother showed me how to cut parsley and put it on top of soup.  It looked pretty there.” -Joan

To the sad:

“Betty Crocker is like a real friend to me now.” -Carol

After reviewing all the recipes in the book, there was really only one option given Cathy’s size (roughly equivalent to a 13″ x 9″ pan).  Cocoa Fudge Cake.  Now, I wasn’t particularly thrilled with this recipe, as I am not a huge fan of chocolate cake.  But I liked the idea of making the cake from scratch instead of starting with a mix, and I liked the idea that, again, the recipe had been tested with children – and if children could make this goddamn cake and have it turn out right, then I could too.  (Recipe typed up at the end of the post.)

The cake was pretty easy to put together, especially with my giant Kitchenaid stand mixer (and no, they are not paying me to say that).  The batter tasted good and it looked nice and thick and glossy.  I pulled it out of the oven a little early and, while it was cooling, set to work on the icing.  You can see how nicely she unmolded (except for the bottom edge).

Now, normally I will just whip up a homemade buttercream icing.  This is what my mom always made and I still think it tastes the best.  But I tend to have consistency problems – it is usually too thick and impossible to spread, and then when I try to thin it it just runs all over the goddamn cake.  So I decided to take the cookbook’s advice and frost the cake with their Quick Fudge Frosting.

The idea of making a cooked frosting is pretty scary to me, especially when it involves boiling corn syrup, because then we are staring to get into candy-making territory and, let me tell you, there is nothing scarier than candy making.  NOTHING, people.  But, I reminded myself this is a cookbook for CHILDREN, and I should be able to execute any recipe in this book (or otherwise I will have a serious problem successfully writing this blog, or really any other activity that requires normal brain function).

I was also concerned that I would not be able to properly decorate Cathy.  I like to give her the full Cathy treatment, with the tinted icing and whatnot.  But, as this cake-making process wore on over the course of the day, I became less and less concerned about properly decorating Cathy and more and more concerned with just getting her into my mouth.  The apartment was really smelling like chocolate by this point.  SO.  I cooked up some frosting.  Then, I poured it on top of Cathy.

Then I smeared the frosting around in an attempt to “decorate” Cathy.

Then I felt bad about how she looked like Cathy under a thick chocolate burka, so I gave her eyes and a mouth with my wooden skewer.

Then I SLICED RIGHT INTO HER SIDE AND ATE HER.

Yum.  MMmmmm.  Yes.  Approved!

Cocoa Fudge Cake from Betty Crocker’s New Boys and Girls Cookbook

Heat oven to 350°.

Grease and flour an oblong pan, 13×9.5×2 inches [or use Cathy cake pan].

Stir together in mixer bowl:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soda [that’s BAKING soda, not Diet Dr. Pepper]
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Mix in:

  • 1/2 cup soft shortening [I used butter-flavored Crisco]
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat for two minutes at medium speed on electric mixer or 300 strokes by hand.  (If you use an electric mixer, scrape the sides and bottom of bowl often with a rubber scraper.  But be careful – don’t catch the scraper in the beaters.)

Add:

  • 2 eggs

Beat 2 minutes more, scraping bottom and sides of bowl often.

Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes.  [I pulled Cathy put of the oven after 35 minutes.]

Cool in pan on wire rack.  [Whoops, I unmolded her to let her cool faster.  As you can see above, she sustained some damage to her bottom edge.]

Frost with Quick Fudge Frosting.

Quick Fudge Frosting

Mix in saucepan:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa

Stir in:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Bring to boiling.  Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat.  Set pan in cold water.

When you can hold your hand on the bottom of the pan, the syrup is cool enough.

Stir in:

  • 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir the frosting until thick enough to spread.  If frosting is too thin, add a little more confectioners’ sugar.  If too thick, add a little more milk.

Makes enough frosting for a round two-layer cake or a big oblong cake or 3 dozen cupcakes.

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So Many Choices.

Picking the recipe for my first official Cathy Cake Club cake is proving to be a challenge – but, you know, in a good way.  I have a lot of recipes to chose from, both good and bad, from my cookbook and magazine collection.  Here, to help illustrate my point:

Some have been passed down in the family and some were gifts or thrift store treasures.

Most of these are thrift store finds…

I love most of these have “New” in front of the title.  Now how will I ever know which one is really the new one???

And of course, the magazines (which probably have about 50 recipes in each issue)…

Extreme magazine close-up:

Aaaand let’s not forget the Pillsbury Bake-Off pamphlets – which, I should add, provide a yearly cultural snapshot as well as any Billboard chart or Oscar list:

So, where to begin?  I’m at the point where I would consider just going alphabetically by resource…

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