My Twentieth Birthday Wishlist

2015 Birthday Wishlist

In exactly one month and a day, I will be graduating out of the Teen Blogger hashtag and into my twenties. My TWENTIES!

I honestly only dreamed out my life until about eighteen, where I would have finally graduated from High school and left that horrible life of Math and History behind. Then I figured it would be pure bliss from then on. The world would be my oyster.

The world is still my oyster, and besides falling in love with blogging, I don’t have a set path for my life. But I’m figuring it out. I feel like I’m getting closer to what I want to do.

Anyways. All that to say, my birthday is coming up, so I started brainstorming what my answers would be to the inevitable question: what do you want for your birthday?

Vanilla Pound Cake

So, if you read my previous post. You know that I was excited about making the vanilla pound cake I read about on Martha Stewart’s site. And I was.

This recipe was so easy a ten year old could do it. At least, one claimed to in the comments. So, challenge accepted.

It’s actually really cool that if you want, you can try the recipe with me. Just follow the link to the recipe in my previous post, “On The Hunt“, and let’s try this thing.

If you do decide to try this out, I’m going to add in tips on things I figured out the hard way, so you don’t have to mess up like me.
You begin by creaming the butter and sugar. Yeah, I didn’t do this so well. However, my kitchen aid was all messed up. The paddle kept hitting against the bump in the bottom of the bowl (why is that bump there, anyway?) and I had to dig up the instructions booklet and figure out how to raise it. The paddle, not the bump.

It said to get a screwdriver and tighten or loosen that middle screw in the notch. That hard to reach one? Yeah. Then it said to turn it slightly. I think it was: left to raise it, right to lower it. Well, I did turn it slightly. Like, fifty times until it almost went full circle. And ten minutes or more later, I finally got the paddle to beat the butter without bumping into the bowl.

Make sure you don’t have any chunks of butter in your bowl before you move on. I guess that’s a given when they said “beat until light and fluffy” but I need someone to tell it to me straight. Because I did find a stray chunk of butter at last minute (I’ll show you in a sec) and it hurts the ego when something like that happens to you.

Next it says to add the eggs one at a time. This recipe requires four eggs. So before you even THINK about wanting to make the pound cake, check to see if you have enough eggs.

It said to add the eggs one at a time, “beating well after each addition”. I kept my kitchen aid stirring while a cracked a egg in the bowl and waited for the mix to reach the same consistency every time before adding the next egg. I was so busy over thinking this whole “beating well” thing that I forgot to take pictures, sorry. But it really just looks like yellow snot or something. . . Oh. Sorry again, that wasn’t very appetizing sounding. .

Moving on! Next comes the flour. It said to add it gradually until it was just combined and “DO NOT OVERMIX!!!!” Okay, it’s written “(do not overmix)”, like a meek little suggestion. But the exclamation points – and like – “overmix and die!” are what I see.

So I was maybe a little paranoid through this whole Vanilla Pound Cake process. But give me a break, a ten year old said how perfect hers was. Not that I was thinking about that the whole time. But it may have affected my subconscious.

Once it looked nice and mixed, I scraped the bowl with a spatula, making sure that everything was combined – or so I thought. Then dumped it into a crisco-and-flour coated loaf pan. (The recipe actually says butter, but I was naughty and used crisco).

Do you see it??! The picture isn’t that good. But if you look closely, toward the left in the middle is a pale-ish chunk. . . of butter. I don’t know how it survived, the darn thing. But it did. Unbelievable. But don’t worry, I squished the heck out of it until it agreed to commit to the rest of the loaf and not be an individual anymore. Team work is necessary.

After smoothing it out with a knife, making sure it got into all the corners of the pan, I slid it into the oven, where it stayed for fifty minutes.

After fifty minutes, I slid a knife in the center and it didn’t come out clean, so I left it in for ten more minutes, which I believe might’ve been too much.

The corners were already a threateningly dark brown. And very dark and crunchy. The loaf came away from the pan easy enough and after letting it cool I sliced it.

It actually does look like the picture, which is pretty cool, but there’s a distinct dark browning happening on the corners there. So yeah. I overcooked it a bit. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to try it.

*insert big smile*

Ever since I was little we would make something called “Cafe con leche”. It’s translated to the oh so descriptive term meaning: coffee with milk. . . Cafe con leche sounds way smoother and attractively mysterious, doesn’t it?

Cafe con lecheeee . . Oolala. 

Ha, I’m done. So anyway. My Abuelita would tear up slices of just regular sandwich bread and put them in a bowl, then pour cafe con leche in there with a little sugar, cause we were kids (oh and it’s decaf instant coffee, nothing weird or anything) and it would be like a bread pudding breakfast, I guess you’d describe it. Or bread cereal. Anyway. It was good.

So nowadays. I have a more adult version of it. Which is making cafe con leche in a mug and dunking sweet breads into it. Yes, it’s way more mature.

Anyhow. All you do is fill a mug with milk and pop it in the microwave for a few seconds ’till it’s warm.

Then you add as much coffee as you like. I don’t even use a tea spoon. I’m so used to my kid version. And hey, it makes me happy, so whatever.

Then you stir and taste it to be sure it’s good. I usually add sugar, but the pound cake is pretty sweet so I skipped that.

About at this time, I whined how my milk was still cold, and my mom (a more frequent cafe con leche-er than me) said I needed to put it in the microwave for a minute.

You can imagine the necessary steps I needed to repeat.

Hot enough after thirty more seconds. I then sat down with my cafe con leche and a few slices of pound cake and had a little party at the kitchen table.

And at the end of eating one slice, I found  that. . .one slice was enough. This pound cake is no light dessert. You feel that one slice collide to the bottom of your stomach and fill you up. It was very thick.

It tasted good too, don’t get me wrong. I just can’t stop thinking that maybe if I gave it five minutes less next time, it’ll be more moist and then hit perfection.

So I wouldn’t call this a fail. More like a work in progress. Anyone else out there try this recipe?

I’ve Fallen. .

I’ve fallen. . . From the face of the earth.

So sorry.

I very much so left you all hanging about the birthday thing. My apologies. I think the real problem was that I not responding” is fun. Just think if kids did that, if they just decided that today they weren’t going to respond. And, not only that but, just to be even more irritating, they’d respond every once and a while, until boom: “not responding” again. There would be a lot of beatings at that house.
didn’t have a true catastrophe to motivate me to write a blog post. And then, my laptop decided that playing “tag! I’m

I wanted to KILL my laptop.Yes. Sadly, I do admit to having some very unChristian thoughts towards it. . . I was frustrated to the point of tears, and to such an extent that the only thing that made me feel good was pulling the plug. (You know. Literally?) And then I sat there, disappointed, as it calmly went through the process of shutting down, as opposed to the dramatic bizz! black screen, I wanted. . So then I vented to a friend over text and text *beat the heck out of the darn thing* in the *backyard* and said how much I “hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate it” (Excuse my profanity) until I felt better and went and stuffed myself on crackers and chocolate.

All that to say, as irony would have it, I’m using my dad’s laptop. It’s an old HP with a place-mat size sticker of long aqua blue feathers stuck to the front, very tre masculine. It’s my old one. But it’s been working for the most part, so I ain’t complaining.

Anyhow. So for my birthday I made the ginger snaps, chocolate, and white chocolate bon bons, and lemon bars. *brings fingertips together and kisses them* muah, a masterpiece.

The ginger snaps I’ve made before, and since they require refrigeration, I prepped those first – in my handy dandy kitchen aid – dumped the ball into a bowl and covered it and stuck it in the fridge. (That’s the pic up there.)

How do I like my kitchen aid, you might ask. I like it A LOT. This is coming from a girl who’s found clever ways of holding the hand mixer without making her arm muscles burn. It is a glorious convenience to just flip a switch and stare. You can even get other things ready, or clean, or put ingredients away or bring them out. It’s very amazing, and I have to stop saying “very” like that, I’m annoying myself.

The kitchen aid makes a high pitched whirring sound, if you’ve ever wondered. It kind of caught me by surprise at first, for some reason. . Something else it does, is it sometimes leaves ingredients unmixed at the bottom of the bowl. The bottom of the bowl has a bump of a point right in the center where naughty ingredients like to hide. I read the instruction manual and it claims I just need to adjust the paddle a bit and that’ll fix itself.

Otherwise. Ver— ha, caught myself. I really like it. =-)

The bon bons were SO pleasant to make, not having to go through all my little tricks to get it to mix in all the way. With the Kitchen Aid, I just clicked it to a higher speed.

And the lemon bars I made from a box. Tip for the clueless (like me. Don’t think I’m judging you): if your lemon bars are too mushy, which you’ll find out when you start cutting, it means you need to cook them longer. Mine were a little undercooked, but God willing, I got them to plate nicely.

My mom even made cupcake ice cream cones. All you do is bake the cupcake in an ice cream cone. As simple as that. It fills up the whole cone and bakes beautifully. And the cone doesn’t burn. The small problem my mom came across is that the batter spilled from the cones during the baking, but she just sawed it off with a knife and you couldn’t even tell. And we got to eat the scraps. They tasted good too. A light crunch and then the spongy cake. Try it. =-)

Well. I guess you can call this a random post. I just didn’t want anyone to think I was being rude, leaving you hanging. Hopefully something from this post proved helpful, or entertaining.

Until next time!