At the risk of sounding repetitive, thank you lovely people once again. Not only did you completely kick ass with the San Francisco trip ideas, but you also equipped me with suggestions for enough reading material to get me through my next 10 plane trips. I ended up buying a lot of what was suggested, and whittled my pile of actual plane books down to the following four: Oh, WHATEVER. Don't act like you don't watch Gossip Girl too, and aren't the slightest bit curious about the book upon which it's based. YOU CAN'T TELL ME YOU WOULDN'T BUY THIS, EITHER. Well, perhaps you can, but you know what? I revel in my choice of questionable Young Adult literature. I'm FINE with it. (That said, I plan to hide it behind A Short History of Nearly Everything. I chose to take a large book for a reason, you know.)
At the very least, the existence of the following book--which I spotted on my bookstore adventure-- pretty much makes me feel okay about anything I will choose to read, EVER:
In any event, I promised you a caramel cake recipe as a token of my appreciation for your awesomeness, and I'll get to that in just a moment. In a stunning coincidence, however, over the past few days, I've been inundated with emails regarding a recipe swap. I was on top of my game at first, but then, between the packing, book buying, and life in general, I fell behind...about which I feel terrible. So for anyone who sent me the recipe swap email to whom I haven't yet responded, here is my contribution to the cause. I truly feel that the sheer awesomeness of this cake--which is basically the healthiest thing you can bake-- should make up for my tardy response:
(While it's technically a cake, it's so rich that I make it in a regular bake pan and just cut it into small squares.)
1 pound light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan (that's my version...you can, if so inclined, use a real cake pan.)
In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir into the "wet" mixture until well-blended. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
While it's baking, make the frosting. (The cake is fine without it, but if you're going all-out, the frosting is incredible; it totally makes the cake.) Place all four frosting ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir frequently while it simmers for 5-7 minutes (until thickened). Spread over top of baked cake, cut into small squares when cooled.
I wish I had some pictures of me making this beauty, or perhaps a few shots of the cake itself, but you see, I woke up yesterday with a craving for CINNAMON. I decided I had to make Casey's cinnamon buns, which I've been drooling over for weeks now. (That sounded much dirtier than I'd intended.) They were incredible, and worth every second I spent slaving over them. See?
What best encapsulates the experience, however, is the following picture, sneakily taken by J. (I found it after uploading the rest of my weekend pictures this morning, and very nearly spat orange juice on my computer, such was my laughter.) We’d recently caught a show that discussed the late 70’s cinematic travesty, The Wiz. Which I’ve seen like seventeen times. NO, I DON’T KNOW WHY.
Anyway, after working on my cinnamon buns for what seemed like eons, I began to get a little antsy and walked over to J, who was searching for something to watch on TV. As he was flipping through the channels, he happened to stumble upon…The Wiz. Ordinarily, I’d probably just remark upon the coincidence, but I think I’d “tested” a bit too much cream cheese frosting by that point, and spontaneously broke into a full song and dance routine, accompanying Miss Diana Ross and Michael Jackson…on my handheld mixer.
I’m so sexy, it huuuurts.
Because I can't let that image sear your poor eyes, I'll leave you with this shot of my little family, taken this morning:
Much better than my sugar-fueled lip syching, yes?
With that, I'm off to San Francisco bright and early tomorrow, armed with your trip ideas and suggested books. Oh, and yes, I’ll be wearing comfortable yoga pants. (I will don my recently-purchased --and perhaps ill-advised-- skinny maternity jeans once I’m there.)