This month has been a super month for warm and fuzzy feelings in regards to food.
First, if you haven’t heard already, the Nudie Foodies cookbook is available for purchase!
I did a small blog post about this a month or so back, but to refresh your memory and update the information I had there, the Nudie Foodies cookbook is a cheeky cookbook featuring 18 food bloggers posing nude with fude – uh, food – to raise money for Japan’s recent hardships. This full color cookbook includes their own personal recipes along with their photograph and sells for $27.95, 100% of which (excluding the additional ~$7 shipping’n'handling) is being sent to AmeriCares, a disaster relief and humanitarian charity. If you’d like to check out AmeriCares’ credentials, look here.
There’s also a small preview of the book in the link below, so feel free to take a peek if you’re not sure if you want to buy it. All pictures are relatively safe for work; there is no full frontal nudity. All pictures are “tastefully” (HAHAHA) put together with food over naughty bits.
I’ve already received (and eaten most of >.>) the most excellent and fancy Zebra Bundt Cake I bid on by Bake Me Away! It is awesome and also delicious. It arrived very well packaged:
The package also included a very thoughtful lawl-inducing note from Jessica herself, accompanied by other zebra accoutrements:
Then of course, there was the cake itself. As aforementioned, delicious and way-fancy. I definitely bid on this bundt cake because I love the way it looks, but have absolutely zero desire to go through the work it takes to make it. Big thanks Jessica for donating this cake to the bake sale!
Then of course, there’s the marshmallow brownies that I’m actually sending to two lucky bidders! …Unfortunately the first batch I baked up last night did not turn out as expected…note to self, keep a better eye on brownies with marshmallows so they don’t get brown and crunchy. /facepalm Sorry Skip and Anna if you’re reading this…you may have to wait until next week to get your delicious baked goods! I’m sorry I’m such a noob!
In all likelihood there will be more bake sales this summer to generate funds for cancer research or other worthy causes, and if I see them I’ll be sure to be mentioning them on Twitter. This was the first time I’ve ever participated in such a thing, either buying or baking, and I wanted to let everyone know that really, this type of thing is no big deal. I think some people are hesitant to participate in online bake sales because it takes them out of their comfort zone, they’re not sure how the online payments will work, or they’re unsure of the quality or safety of the food they’ll be receiving. I’m here to let you know that these online bake sales are run by and participated in on a volunteer basis by people who just want to lend a helping hand. If you have $20, consider sending in a bid. It’s fun, it’s simple (just read the directions! :)) and you’ll get the warm fuzzies and a sugar high. It’s win-win.
My dad turned 60 yesterday. Isn’t that something to think about?
He’s a super guy, my dad is, so naturally I felt it was only right to make him something tasty and delicious for his birthday. Dad’s been a big emotional supporter of my blag every since the day he started reading it, and is always interested in what new recipes I have in my head. Supportive parents are great. ^_^
The other cool thing about my dad is that when it comes to baking, he is always happy to try something new. For his birthdays he tends to give me a “whatever you want” response when I ask him what sort of cake he’d like, which while it initially bothered me I finally found freeing – I knew he’d like whatever I made anyway (as long as, you know, I didn’t turn it into a charcoal briquette…I don’t think he’s that open minded [OR IS HE???]), so I started trying to think of something creative and tasty.
One of my very first excursions into baking was actually for him on Father’s Day about two years ago. I made him a very crunchy chocolate cake (that tasted more like butter and flour than chocolate) with melting vanilla icing, as it was June and blazingly hot. He put on a great face and claims to this day that the cake “wasn’t that bad”, but I know better (though appreciate his desire to not break my spirit). Maybe he’s so open minded because he knows anything I’ve baked since that day must be better. At least I’ve shown improvement, right?
Anyway, so what to make this year? After much deliberation I finally decided on a chocolate-orange flavor of some sort, which I finally narrowed down to a bundt. I really enjoy baking with oranges because so far every recipe I’ve made that includes them has really picked up the flavor and has been a pleasure to eat. Orange and chocolate is always an acceptable pairing, and with my mother in the house it’s always recommended to include chocolate so everyone can be happy.
I was really happy with the way the cake turned out except for one thing that made me really angry, and one thing that made me kind of sad.
The anger came when I broke the cake while removing it from the pan. >.< It was completely my fault, too; it wasn’t some bit of bad luck that happened to swing my way. I was in a hurry to get the thing out of the pan and onto my new cake stand so didn’t take proper precautions to loosen the cake up first. I did a quick run-around with my rubber spatula, then turned it upside down and gave it a rough shake – too rough. About a quarter of it stayed in the pan, while the rest plopped onto the stand. Curses!
The sadness had to do with how the cake finally tasted. Don’t get the wrong idea – the cake was good. It was cool and moist, not terribly crumbly. It was pretty too. But I felt it was…overwhelmingly orangey. I know I mentioned earlier that I like orange in my desserts, but this one I felt may have gone better with slightly less orange in it. The chocolate flavor was there, but rather than being equal to that of the orange, it tasted like much more of a second thought…which in retrospect I guess it kind of was.
Still, not bad – very enjoyable (and not crunchy or melty at all!). If you love orange, this cake should make it onto your list.
Happy Birthday, Dad! Thanks for putting up with all my culinary experiments! <3
Adapted from Black Book Kitchen Diaries.