Is it Friday already? And in the middle of February? It’s actually scary how fast time flies. The older I get, the faster it seems to go too.
Anyway, once again I don’t have many photos this week. I just didn’t draw anything. However, I do have some long history with photos. (I think they’re fun anyway.)
Here are some pictures from my camera this week…
Erin, a reader-turned-friend of mine who I met in Indy for a reader meet-up a few years ago, saw these Friends-themed conversation hearts and thought of me. He sent me a bag of them. I had planned to do something creative with them to give Jerry for Valentine’s Day, but that didn’t go as planned. So Jerry and I just went through reading hearts while quoting and talking about different episodes. It was fun!
My brother Brian’s birthday was February 15th, so I asked Becky if I could have Luke and Riley come and we would decorate a cake for Brian. I’ve wanted to make this vegan chocolate cake recipe for probably a year, but I don’t like to bake and I’m not good at it, so it’s been in my recipe book for the longest time. I thought Luke and Riley would have fun making Brian’s birthday special so I thought I’d bake the cake and frost it and then they could decorate it (which is the fun part anyway).
Since this was my first time making a vegan chocolate cake, I was curious to see how it would turn out, so I took photos along the way to write a review on my blog. I will do it this weekend but this is a funny story…
I had no problem making the batter for this cake. I used a stand mixer so the only “work” is just measuring things out. The batter looked thin, but the recipe said it would be thin, so I was glad I hadn’t messed with the measurements.
(I always put some batter in the cupcake pan when I make a cake so I can taste the cake without cutting it, especially since I’ve never made this cake before.) I poured the batter into two pans (and the cupcake pan) and I was surprised! , that the dough volume seemed low. Again, I just trusted the recipe. I read the recipe again and I hadn’t missed a single step.
After I stuck them in the oven, I started to clean and then scoop the batter into the mixing bowl. It wasn’t good at all, it wasn’t sweet like you would expect from a cake. I couldn’t figure it out, I looked at the ingredients to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I was just hoping that the cake would work its magic while it was baking and that it would taste great when it was done. I was happy to make the little cupcake to try.
While the cake was in the oven, I started thinking about it and didn’t remember putting the sugar in the batter. I knew I left out the sugar (it’s in the picture of the ingredients) and I remember looking at the measurement in the book. It must have been when I got distracted or something, but after looking at the photos I realized I didn’t actually add any sugar.
I let them finish baking anyway because I was very interested in how they would look and taste without the sugar. I took the cupcake out and it didn’t look too bad. It was very flat and smooth; when i opened it it actually looked pretty good.
Well, that ends it anyway. I tasted it and it was awful. (In case you’re wondering, here’s what the cake looked like: very flat and smooth.)
Needless to say, I deleted it and started over. And I’ll spoil the review now by saying that it turned out to be the BEST chocolate cake I’ve ever had, vegan or not. (I’m 100% sure no one will even know it’s vegan.)
Right after they finished making the cake, Becky said that Luke had a stomach bug, so the kids never came. That meant I had a whole chocolate cake in my house.
I think I underbaked because I was afraid of burning it, something I’m known for, but I really love a chocolate cake that’s barely baked, it’s so rich. But seriously, this was amazing. I was able to go right back to cutting out sweets, despite how hard it was to do so. One bite of it created a huge craving for more sweets. So I’ll be back to baking just a few times a year 😉
I decided to try growing sprouts again. I’ve always loved mung bean sprouts, especially in stir-fries. The last time I grew them I wasn’t sure how to tell if they were ready to eat or not, they didn’t look right like I was used to so I waited. Probably too long. But anyway, I make stir fry (A LOT) and am going to try again so I can throw some sprouts in there. This was yesterday when I started soaking them. I’m excited to watch them sprout 🙂
Phoebe is so sweet! He likes to lay in front of the heating vents or on an electric blanket or something, he’s like me, it’s always cold, but Jerry and I thought it was so cute when he started sitting on his computer with it on. inside because it’s getting hot. He didn’t want to move from that place.
I already posted a recipe review for this Cashew-Bean Queso, but if you missed it, definitely give it a try (the queso, not the review, haha). It was so good.
Last week I posted a Wordle photo that broke my streak. Well, the SAME THING happened again this week with the word SOUND. I started with CLOUD which wasn’t bad. I got 3/5 letters and the D was in the right place. I assumed it would be _OU_D and the N would fit neatly in the fourth spot. So I tried POUND. Then HOUND. Then MUND. ROUND: WOUND: I had yet to try FOUND, BOUND and SOUND. This was not a good idea for Wordle.
And I’ll end with a picture that might make your skin crawl…
I had seen some dark brown spots in the rice, but I assumed they were rice grains that had not been cleaned. I find a few of these in every bag of rice I buy. However, when I pulled out the rice today and thought I saw a few more of them, my panic sensor almost went into full alarm. One of them moved which absolutely caught my attention and I started really looking through the rice. There were probably about ten there.
Then I realized that they should be limited to rice. The rice was relatively new and sealed in an airtight container. I searched the pantry very thoroughly to see if I could find any more evidence of them, and there was none.
With a google search I found these are called rice deer. They are harmless like the pantry moth, but cause the same problems. And most of the time food pests are brought into people’s homes from groceries (makes me wonder how many we’ve eaten over the years and don’t know).
I can’t even express how GRATEFUL I am that I started using airtight storage containers after the pantry moth. I’ve been really meticulous about food storage, always putting things in containers right when I get home from the store. If I didn’t do this, the rice maggots could contaminate everything in the pantry.
Okay, I’ll leave you with that image. I wish you a nice end of the week! xo: