Monday, April 29, 2013

Frank's Birthday Cake

Frank turned 40 last week and we had a wonderful extended celebration. I made him the Apple Pie Layer cake from Momofuku Milk Bar. I still haven't bought the cookbook, but it is on my wish list. Everything that I have made from it has been fantastic, and this was no exception. I was told at dinner with friends that it was the best cake one friend had ever eaten, and that is high praise! Apple Pie Layer Cake Apple Pie Layer Cake

As with all of Christina Tosi's recipes, there were a lot of steps to this cake. There is the Brown Butter Cake layers, the Pie crumbles, Pie Crumble Frosting, Liquid Cheesecake and Apple Pie filling. I left out the Apple Cider soak because Frank isn't a fan of vinegary things. I also made this cake sans cake ring and acetate. It held together, but only barely. I think the presentation is a lot more beautiful with those gadgets. I will have to invest in those supplies for next time. You can find all the recipes for this cake here, if you are inclined to tackle it. It is most definitely a labor of love and I think it was befitting a 40th birthday!

Between a music festival on Saturday, dinner with friends on Sunday and a short trip to Austin last Monday I don't know how I didn't take any birthday pictures of Frank or Frank and I together.  I'm kind of sad about that now.  No capturing the moment, which is unusual for me.  I guess we were having too much fun. So just for fun I thought I would share this picture of Frank and our niece Karlie.  He is such a good uncle and she loves to be silly with him.  I think this picture illustrates that quite well.

Karlie and Gagee

Friday, April 26, 2013

Karlie's Easter Dress

Wow, I feel like I have so much to catch up on, especially here. Our lives aren't slowing down any. After we went to Austin for Dad's birthday my parents came up to visit with Karlie that week. Then it was Frank's birthday celebration and a quick trip to Austin to pick up a car. There just isn't much free time these days, and there never is this time of year so I don't expect it to change any time soon. I have been wanting to share this dress that I made for Karlie for Easter and am just now getting around to it. It got lost in the mail, so she didn't actually get to wear it until my dad's birthday party. Since I was there to take pictures that was fine with me!

I used New Look 6202 for the dress, which is a super cute pattern with a circle skirt. You can see my pattern review here. I went up to a size three and it should fit her for a good long while.  The bolero is self-drafted and based on her Snow White costume bodice, so it is more fitted.  I adore the look of the eyelet with the coral fabric and might have to make something for myself with that combo!  I also adore the Anna Maria Horner moth and butterfly fabric that I used in the skirt.  I think the whole outfit came together really well.
 Karlie's easter dress Karlie's easter dress

Karl's birthday 2013 115

Here she is demonstrating the twirliness of her dress. Karl's birthday 2013 104 Karl's birthday 2013 101

I also made here this skirt from a thrifted shirred tube top. I simply cut off the top part that was shirred, added a lining and put elastic in the waist. Repurposed thirfted skirt

I love to sew for Karlie and will continue to do so, I only wish I could find more time to sew for my own wardrobe!

I have to mention this cake that I made for Dad's birthday. It got rave reviews and is sure to be an often requested recipe. It is from Smitten Kitchen and her recipes never steer me wrong. It is a Chocolate cake with Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Frosting. Mmmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I think it might be the moistest cake I've ever made, much less tasted! I left off the ganache topping, but the writing and dots are made with chocolate and added a nice texture. Karl's birthday 2013 120

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lovely days

It has been a busy few weeks around here. My days off have been taken up by visits with friends and family, both in and out of town, hosting our nieces for a sleepover and getting ready to leave town. We went to Austin last weekend to celebrate my dad's birthday and see my parent's new house, which is lovely. We had a wonderful time and didn't want to come home. Then my parents came up this week and brought Karlie for a quick visit. I have spent most of my free time in the back yard, pruning, watering, pulling weeds. It is looking pretty good. Here are some of my favorite plants right now.

The poppies are blooming, as of today. Spring


I acquired a few new succulents in Austin and I'm loving them. My collection is growing. Spring Spring Spring

Frank turns Forty next week and we have no plans. He doesn't want a party, which I have honored. I am thinking apple pie and salted caramel ice cream, but he may have other ideas. Yesterday we played pool, rode bikes and grilled dinner on the patio. It was nice to just hang out with him all day and I'm hoping for more of that next weekend.