It's a Sunday just right for lists and listing.
For listing all of the things that I say Yes to, on this pretty, blustery February day.
*Don't worry if you're only in it for the psychotically good chocolate cake recipe I promised...it's down at the bottom
These things are all making me happy this weekend:
A little drawing that I did that was included in the last shop update...I just keep thinking of it and cracking up with joy. There will be a print run of it, too, up in the next few days.
Izze soda, in Clementine and Black Raspberry, which I fell in love with at a bodega in Brooklyn & recently realized is sold at the good ol' Target! So I'm back on the wagon. Or off the wagon. Whichever. This stuff is so tasty, and as it is just loads of random fruit juices and carbonated water, I feel better about it than regular soda. I love carbonation (who doesn't?) and this help me get my fizz kick without all of the "mystery chemicals". And the packaging is cute as hell...the cans are adorable, skinny 8-ouncers.
Pete + Pete seasons 1 & 2 DVDs, which I got on from a certain sweet pea for my birthday. I looooved this show when I was younger and got to catch it at *GASP* a friend's house who had television channels beyond PBS. They totally hold up. Really. This show was so ahead of it's time...I remember when "Malcolm in the Middle" showed up and everyone acted like it was so quirky and revolutionary, and all I was thinking was "Hello!!? Does anyone remember a little show called "Pete + Pete"?!"
I mean, it's got Stephin Merritt music...Artie, The Strongest Man in the World (who, for Carnivale buffs, plays "Stumpy/Felix" aka "The Burlesque Dad")...and amazing plots about mysterious phone booths.
The one-person-quilt that I made for my sweet mama for her birthday (which was yesterday, 4 days after mine). It's all salmony and pinky and linen-y. We had a very fun family-party yesterday with my amazing grandparents from North Carolina and lots of guacamole and beer and two kinds of tasty cakes (one that they brought all the way from Elizabeth City, where they live...and one was my...dare I say it...perfected Nigella cheesecake). I have to say, it doesn't get much better than drinking Miller High Life with your funny, sweet, interested, and interesting grandparents. Nope. Or giving your wonderful mom a quilt you made to keep her toes warm (that's in the unlikely event that she ever sits down).
Scary-Good Sour Cream Chocolate Cake, Nigella style.
(The original text can be found in Domestic Goddess, which I highly recommend buying if you have a mouth, or know someone who does).
For the cake:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 c sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 + 2 tablespoons soft butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
3 tblsp "best" cocoa (Nigella says "best" alot. I think it is cute. And snooty.)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 thoroughly greased 8" cake pans (I used 9", and they were slightly flatter, obviously, but still fine)
For the Icing (so good!):
3 oz milk chocolate (I use a big bar of Cadbury, which I love)
3 oz bittersweet chocolate (again with the Cadbury)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tblsp light corn syrup
2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted (Nigella is insane... you will use at least 3 cups)
a bit of hot water
Preheat le oven to 350.
Combine the dry ingredients for the cake in a large bowl. Using your mixer, add the butter. In another bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla, then add this cocoa-y muck to the big bowl of floury buttery stuff.
Pour the batter into the pans and bake for about 30 minutes...the cake starts to shrink back from the edges of the pan, and this is when you take it out from the oven. Leave it for a bit, and then when you can, turn it out onto cooling racks or some paper towels.
Then start on the icing, which is the more fun part anyway. Melt the chocolate (both kinds) and butter in either a microwave (if you have one, and like to play it safe) or on VERY low heat on the stove. Very low. Remember how persnickety chocolate is and how easily it burns.
Once it's all smooth and nice, take it off the heat and let it cool for just a bit. Then stir in the sour cream, vanilla, and syrup. When this is blended, slowly start adding in confectioner's sugar, stirring and stirring until you get the right consistency. If you need to, add a pinch of hot water. You probably won't need to...but just make sure it's nice and thick, but easy to spread.
Then, ice your cake! (If it is cool enough, of course).
Cut + Serve to worthy peeps.
And eat some yourself. As soon as you can get your apron off.
What a nice start to the week! I hope that all weekends were A+.