Saturday, July 28, 2007

paula who?

seriously, boomama, i hope your friend leigh has the other half of your necklace.

because to make this cake for her. well, you are one incredible friend.

after reading your blog about this beautiful cake, i was moved. emotionally. spiritually. physically. and by physically, i mean i had to head straight to the local store to buy EVERY INGREDIENT!

so, let's stop there for a moment. for those of you who don't know me or haven't read this blog before or for very long, i do not cook. and to say i don't cook is quite an understatement. and frankly, i can't even come up with a decent comparison. let's just say that one time i messed up kraft macaroni and cheese when buz and i we were first married. buz walked around that night with a dazed and confused look on his face. "did she mess up kraft macaroni and cheese? i wasn't sure that was possible." so again, people, i do NOT cook. not sure buz was that excited about that when he decided to pursue me, but apparently something else drew me to him. probably my looks. yeah, definitely my looks.

so for me to read a blog post about cooking is saying something. to actually be spiritually inspired by that cooking post is almost unheard of.

hmmm...if only i had an occasion coming up....


i know! i will make a cake for goo's first birthday party! with all my bestest friends!

my track record with big occasions is as follows:

  • big h's first birthday at our house with our closest friends. i decided i would live outside the box and make something other than the usual yellow cake with chocolate frosting. (incidentally, that is one of my favorite sweets. which is funny seeing as how i don't really like sweets. i know. i don't really like chocolate. it's a blessing and a curse.) so in my "i'm so hip, i'm not going to fix something *normal* moment," i decided to get a cake mix in a box called cinnamon crumb. and then, i paired it with some cream cheese frosting in a can. oh yeah, that's going to be delicious. at the end of our pizza that night, i was essentially serving our guests another meal...breakfast. seriously. it tasted like some breakfast treat. don't get me wrong. it was good. just should have been served with flavored coffee, not dr. pepper and kiddie water bottles.
  • big h's second birthday party. i got smart. stick to cupcakes that taste like cupcakes. yellow cake and perhaps white frosting? whatever. it was good. thank you, betty crocker.
  • big h's third birthday. my intelligence was growing by leaps and bounds. BUY a cake. so we bought a cake with a MOVING! THOMAS! AND A TRACK! i kid you not, even the adults were ooh-ing and ahh-ing. this cake was all that.

so this year, i knew i wanted to do something special for the goo. and when i saw the post, i just knew this had to be it. mind you, i read the post for pure entertainment purposes. i never actually put two and two together with the whole "make your frosting from scratch" thing.

so buz tells me yesterday that i really needed to make the cake the night before. the day of (today), we have church, and the party will start at 4. and he figures i will be stressed. at first, i'm like, "oh pretty, i'll have plenty of time. there isn't that much to do around the house, other than throw everything in the guest room and lock the door." but he insists. make the cake, he says.

don't you hate it when your husband is right? and often?

i do.

so we decided to forgo date night (which is renting a movie or previous episodes of grey's anatomy and eating pei wei take out) last night so i can work on this cake. whatever.

bath for the kids. check. read big h a cart full of stories. check. watch goo in the baby monitor and ooh and ahh over her cuteness. check. big glass of ice water ready to be enjoyed. check.

and sweet buz walks in the kitchen with his laptop so he can "be there for moral support." honestly, don't tell him this, but i think it was going to be a turnon to see me in the kitchen. granted, i wasn't wearing an apron (should have been), but i was holding a hand mixer, a whisk, and a spatula. this is buz's idea of perfection. (never mind the fact that i don't know how to use any of the aforementioned objects.)

so prior to the evening, buz had taken big h to the store to get groceries and all of the items on my list as well. my list included all the ingredients for this cake. as well as some other things that i apparently needed to complete the cake.

a sifter. which buz had to purchase.

a double-broiler. yes, i kept referring to it as a double BROILER not BOILER. aren't you sad for me? needless to say, buz had trouble finding that.

i had to buy another 9" cake pan because i only had two. and the two i had. well, i had to use my goo gone to get the stickers (i.e. price tag) off of them. because with all the heat and humidity in the SIX years since we got married, the UPC bar codes had stuck pretty good.

there is quite a bit of just plain pitiful information about my relationship with my kitchen. for example, i was the only one to get married between 1980 and the present and not register for this. not because i forgot to. because i didn't want to and honestly couldn't think of any use for it. i think if someone were to have asked me who paula deen was, i would have assumed she was a friend of my mom's. no doubt my mom wishes that were true. but no such luck.

are we getting the message that i am not confident in the kitchen? like buz is not confident in a hoyty toyty children's clothing store? got it?

so i began the cake extravaganza at approximately 8:30. you have to read to the bottom to know when i actually completed the cake.

i start with the cake mix. and it tells me to mix the butter for seven minutes until fluffy. i mumble to myself about how in the world will it get fluffy? people, it got fluffy. i know! it did! and then, she goes to tell about how to add the ingredients. seriously. so i did all of it, by the book. and they went in the oven. and i was so tickled with myself. because i had just made three cakes from scratch. FROM SCRATCH, PEOPLE! while they baked, i prepared the filling and prepared the ingredients for the frosting.

seriously. at this point, i am really struggling with pride. but i am so freaking proud of myself i can't see straight.

[but then i hear a screech on the record player]

sorry, make the frosting? missed that part. but ok, so i'm up to the challenge. (cue eye of the tiger)

so i begin mixing my frosting over boiling water in my double BOILER, not to be confused with double BROILER (which actually doesn't exist). and after mixing for the recommended seven minutes, i let everything cool. and watched buz check me out. he was so into "chef janet." seriously, he was. granted, this is the first time he had ever met her. but that's not the point.

filling completed but was in the red bowl in front. that blue thing in the bowl? it's called a spatula. on the right in the double BOILER pan is my HOMEMADE FROM SCRATCH frosting. i think the drying bottles really gives this picture that down to earth feel, don't you think?

and now the prep work began.

poke holes in each layer and fill with filling. add another cake. repeat process. until the cake part was finished. and we were ready to frost it and lavish it with coconut.

so my finished product doesn't look quite like boo's (i reserve the right to nickname you boo right now in my own little pretend world. because i stayed up until ONE O'CLOCK in the morning making this bloody cake because of your recommendation. i wish i had a British accent) does. and it definitely does NOT look like jamie's. but it's the thought that counts, right? we'll soon see.

do you see the coconut oozes over the edge of the cake? i don't think it's supposed to do that.

look at all of those kitchen gadgets! you're impressed, huh? and do you see the sifter? yeah, i used it. i'm a baker like that.

OH! AND LOOK! i have a cake plate. apparently, someone gave us one for a wedding present. i should use it more often. and who knew? it can also serve as a punch bowl? craziness, i tell ya.

also, there are so many things i enjoy about this picture. the household cleaning wipes on the table. the hamburger and hot dog condiments behind the cake. and how enormous is that big bottle of pace picante sauce? buz bought it at the store. and i appreciate his positive outlook. you know, the one that says that we are having 172 people at goo's birthday party. (buz, i love you so much.)

updated: it was a hit. i think. will post about goo's little party later. but as for the cake. first of all, we went ahead and ordered a cookie cake for the kiddos and for those allergic to coconut or for those who just didn't like coconut oozing out of every corner of the mound of sweet goodness. and yes, the cookie cake was a hit with the kiddos. but listen to me when i say that people were talking. they were whispering. they were asking where this cake was bought. ok, that's not totally accurate. that's just what i dreamed about last night. but they were talking. maybe just being nice. i don't know. but honestly, there was about a fourth left when everyone left the party. and i couldn't find much of it when i searched the trash. (oh, by the way, i didn't really search the trash.)

that's success.


Big Mama said...

I am so proud. I'm just like a proud, proud mama over your sifter and double boiler acquisition. Seriously. And the cake turned out beautifully!

I would never even attempt to make that cake, because hello, labor intensive. Plus, anything that doesn't contain chocolate isn't worth that much effort.

BooMama said...


Oh, I could cry.


We're gonna have to get you an apron now.

Alana said...


Before I go on, the cake looks good! And like Big Mama I am impressed because that is a labor intensive cake if I ever saw one!

I, too, love yellow cake with chocolate frosting!

I, too, bought that VERY SAME Thomas cake for MY SON's 3rd birthday. Could we have more in common?

Yes! Apparently our date nights are very similar as well. You'll have to check out my next post about that. I've written, but not posted it yet.

Oh, and double broiler? Still giggling over that.

Anonymous said...

i can testify that it was sinfully delicious! and now that i know the background to the murmurings that were going round the kitchen about how infrequently (which appears to be an understatement) you cook, i appreciate it even more!

the party was absolutely so much fun, even with the slight change in planned activities. it was so nice to wrap up the weekend in the home of friends celebrating a tremendous one year for sweet, sweet, toothy smiley goo. thank you for having us!

p.s. can i tell you how much i loved holding her?! she is so blessedly mellow and listened patiently to all my ramblings about balloons and swimming and thomas and the mosquitos.

p.p.s.told buz last night that i made pete a cocoa apple cake for his birthday last year,(shunning cake mix the way i do so well) much to his disappointment. he wanted a yellow cake with chocolate frosting (his favorite)! this year i went all out and did the yellow cake with chocolate frosting out of a box and a can and am still delighted with how it was the quickest and easiest cake i have ever made. cheers to betty crocker!

crazydaisy said...

What a beautiful cake! I hope to post one of my daughter's for her birthday (2 more weeks!) Please pray that mine is worthy of a pic, let alone a BITE!!! P.S. NEVER say you can't cook from scratch, us resourceful moms are quite capable of SCRATCHING open the box;)

wads and bob said...

The cake was worth it. Promise. You know when my hubby is praising it, it is good. He is finicky with his cake compliments!

Thanks for having us! The highlight for me was holding the goo....she is a total doll. We had a great time.

Kelly from Montana said...

you are awesome, chef janet! how much would a cake like that cost? what would you charge???

Franklin5 said...

Y'all. Y'ALL.

Yes, you can see that this was a gorgeous confection, but I... I... well, I just have no words to describe how delectable it was.

I was so sad this morning to wake up in my own house, with nary a crumb of coconut cake to be had. So Janet, I hope you enjoyed a breakfast of champions on my behalf.

And just for the record: I don't think I can identify half of the kitchen-type implements in your sink. You do know that Carter's first words were "to go," right?

Also? Your daughter, as is fairly well-documented, makes EVERYONE WHO HOLDS HER want to have another baby, pronto. And I know full well that this is dangerous territory for me, but how can I resist when she holds up her sweet little arms and beams that megawatt smile at me? Sigh.

Big love to your cute family...

Tam said...

OK. I am seriously impressed. I can't believe I've been able to read about someone making a cake, not once, but TWICE, and find enjoyment in it BOTH times. Hysterical! I don't cook/bake much either (OK, I don't bake at ALL)and wouldn't even have the needed tools. And, holy crap, that's a lot of work! Good job!

Janelle said...

I, too, bought the same ingredients for the famous BooMama cake. I have yet to make this cake. I seriously have a problem with peer pressure. Whatever she says to buy, I buy. Whatever she says to cook, I buy the ingredients for and they sit around in the pantry waiting to be made edible.

Thanks for making me laugh!