easy as rocket science

DSC_4667Yes, someone very new became a little wiser today (yesterday, actually) and yours truly was in charge of the confections.  Initially, I had delusions of grandeur:

zoe bakes, click for link

But after an unpleasant run-in with the standing mixer (okay, it wasn’t the mixer’s fault) JR took an emergency run to the only gas station with frosting (thank resurrected Jesus!) that was open on Easter.  The cottage cheese textured frosting, which left me sitting at my kitchen counter laughing maniacally at 8 o’clock this morning, was quickly ‘fixed’ with a little food coloring and piped edges to make it look a little less, err, regurgitated.

DSC_4657Yes, ‘before’ pictures do exist and no, I’m not going to post them, it’s just too revolting.  I think the lesson in all of this was that we all screw up sometimes in ways that are truly, truly unimportant.  Granted, the texture of the sour cream butter cream left much to be desired, but the taste?  Oh, the taste!

DSC_4695Plus Brother’s girlfriend reminded us all that there’s an inverse relationship with flavor and looks:  “The uglier the cake, the tastier it is!”  So while I’m not quite in the running for cake wrecks, I do know that if you can’t make a gorgeous cake you ought to at least be able to whip something up that can make everyone laugh.  And ultimately, this is all that matters:

DSC_4677

sold!

tims01

printborn02As far back as I can remember, selling has always been super exciting for me.  When I was in first grade, my friend and I bought erasers, pencils and other junk and set up a combination lemonade stand/gift shop at the edge of the yard.  I don’t think we made too much money, but I do remember a rather substantial stack of ones about 6″ thick (folded) that I would cram in my little pockets whenever I was ready to open up shop.

In my teen years my dad used to take my brother and I to thrift shops on weekends in the city and we could always get one or two things.  This is an especially exciting adventure for young people, because the price tags are reasonable when your income is essentially zero, plus it is WAY more interesting than picking one of twenty barbies off the shelf at a big box store.  Thank you, Dad, for that thrifty training.

In college, I followed my heart rather than my wallet to art school where I gained tremendous satisfaction in turning real, lived experiences in to frozen works of art using photography as a medium.

Now, as my interests focus on sustainable practices I’ve found that two pastimes  one education have effortlessly meshed in to the perfect amalgam of supplemental income.  The satisfaction of the hunt, then the find in thrift stores, yard sales and other various windfalls is exciting.  Then the sculpting, brushing off and photographing the artifact, making it new again.  Lastly, the thrill of the sale and of course the economic benefits of doing so.  Just perfect.

din din

IMG_1556Last night, I declared we’d be having something new for dinner tonight.  A long winter of freezing temps and snow right up to the windowsill often creates a pattern of hearty monotony in the kitchen:  thick chilli, pureed winter vegetable soup and pasta (obviously) in heavy rotation.

I went over to Tastespotting (favorite) and found this recipe for flatbreads with a built-in salad.  As I am wont to do I didn’t actually follow the recipe or get all the ingredients it called for, obstinate cooks unite!

Here’s what I did:

Preheat oven to 425°.  Put two na’ans on a big cookie sheet.  Generous handfuls of asiago cheese (if you like cheese, it’s about 1/4 cup, but if you’re cool it’s probably more like 3/4 cup).  Shaved prosciutto on top, thick (about 1/4 inch) slices of pear on that.  Drizzle raspberry habañero jam (mixed with water, for consistency) on top.  10 minutes in the oven, until edges are blackened (yum, char!)  2 cups (ish) of arugula on top, plus some black pepper.

Ingredients:

Na’an•Asiago•Prosciutto•Pear•Raspberry Habañero Sauce•Arugula•Black Pepper