Tag Archive: cream cheese

Nights in Red Velvet

This year, my wife specifically requested a red velvet cake for her birthday party.

That was when I realised that I had never baked a cake from scratch before.

I’ve completed the first semester baking class, which was pretty much everything EXCEPT cake. But I looked up the recipe in my textbook, and found an insane amount of red food colouring. I’ll eat a lot of processed foodstuffs, but after what I’ll describe as an awkward consequence of Lucky Charms, artificial food colouring and I are on the outs. I read up on the olden-timey recipes, natural processed chocolate vs. Dutch processed, the chemistry of buttermilk and anthocyanins. Then I tried an experimental round of cupcakes using beet juice instead of food colouring. It didn’t make a significant difference in the colour, but we sure did eat all of them before I could take a picture.

And that, I think is the most important lesson to take away from this experience:

Otherwise, your birthdaydrunk wife will brutally stab and hack the handcrafted symbol of your love, and you will cry a little bit, and be stuck posting what looks like a crime scene photo.

From “mortared brick” to “Bates Motel guest” in 4 seconds.

Aaaaaanyway, the cake you see above was based on sophistimom’s Red Velvet Cupcake recipe, which calls for pureeing roasted beet, so that it also includes all the fibrous, pulpy, nutritive goodness. It came out VERY red, and a bit more dense than traditional red velvet, but moist and delicious! I made an 8″x12″ sheet, which I then cut into thirds, stacked, and frosted. Unfortunately, I got a little outside my comfort zone with the cream cheese variant of LeelaBean’s cooked-flour frosting. It’s sweet and creamy, not grainy at all, but definitely better suited to individual cupcakes than a cake that needs to be sliced and served.

TL;DR – HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WIFE!!!  I love you, even though you murdered your cake!  29 is going to be awesome!


A Mover’s Moveable Feast


Got your attention?  Good.  I’ll get back to that soon, but first, some necessary exposition.

So, sorry about the extended absence.  Life and stuff.  One of the biggest things to happen during this extended hiatus is that the Wife and I are once again in a place of our own.  Our new apartment is in the crime-iest part of our adorably sketchy little city, but the space itself is lovely.  High ceilings, dark wood trim, lots of natural light.  But old charm comes with some downsides.

This is my kitchen:

A little messy at the moment.

In fairness, this little ol’ galley runs off a much larger room which has a refrigerator and stove from 1978.  After some power-scrubbing, I can safely say that they are now cleaner than they have been in the last 15 years.

The Problem:

The oven does not work.


Fun Fact: Montgomery Ward has been out of business for over a decade.

The range burners are just fine, but apparently the glow rod in the oven gave up the good fight a few years ago.  We’ve got a call in to get it repaired, and in the meantime, I’ve been making casseroles in our toaster-oven, and thanking past-me for having researched and invested in one big and reliable enough to handle whatever shenanigans we might try to make.

And so, today’s breakfast while I wait for the repairman to arrive.

Every time I make this sandwich, Wife shudders and makes these “choking on saturated fat” sounds at me.  Today’s example is compromised by my pantry not having fully recovered from the pre-move purge, so we don’t have certain staples on hand, but the written recipe has the recommended ingredients.  Hooray, flexibility!


We almost have the technology.

We almost have the technology.

2 slices cinnamon raisin bread
cream cheese
Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread

  1. in a toaster, or toaster oven, or on a stick over open flame, toast the bread to crispy
  2. schmear one piece with cream cheese
  3. schmear the other piece with Nutella
  4. put the pieces together, and call it a sandwich

This with a cup of tea, and your day’s off to a chocolatey cheesy gooey gluttonous start.

Did I mention that we don't have sugar, either?

Did I mention that we don’t have sugar, either?