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I Made Another Cake

It was TWELVE LAYERS. I’ll spare you knowledge of exactly how many pounds of butter, cups of sugar, and dozens (yes) of eggs I went through to make this sucker. (Hint: more than any other cake I can recall making, except maybe my wedding cake. Which was for many more people.)

Yellow Sponge Cake Chocolate Soufflé

Yellow Sponge Cake.
Mocha Buttercream.
Hazelnut Meringue.
Coffee Buttercream.
Chocolate Soufflé Cake.
Mocha Buttercream.
Repeat.
Shave Good Dark Chocolate on top.
Serve.

What can I say? It was my birthday. I went overboard.*

Close up.
Finished Cake

I made a whole bunch of other food too. I know you’re interested, because you love food as much as I do (don’t you? Isn’t that why you’re here?) so here’s a round up of the party menu. I decided to keep it classy with fancy, bite-sized apps and none of the usual chip-and-dip business. Also, I attempted to maintain a balance of hot and cold things and to make sure my vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free/kosher friends all had options. Here’s what I made, in no particular order:

  • Bacon-Wrapped Dates (hot) – a time-tested standby, it is hard to go wrong with these. Plus, Julia and I had them on our first date, and so they are special. Plus, you know, really freakin’ tasty.
  • Caprese Skewers (cold, vegetarian) – my play on the classic Italian salad. I put a cherry tomato, a small basil leaf, and one of those tiny (3/4″ diameter or so) mozzarella balls from the deli onto each stick, arranged them on a plate, and then drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Brie with Apricot Preserves & Almonds (hot, vegetarian) –  I make this a lot at parties because it is quick and easy but also fancy and delicious. All you do is top a wedge of brie with a few spoonfuls of preserves, warm it for about a minute in the microwave, sprinkle it with nuts, and serve with crackers. The amount of effort involved is nearly zero, and compared to the usual grabbing of chips & dip on the way to the potluck… WIN. Seriously, do this instead.
  • Chilled Cucumber & Dill Soup (cold, vegetarian, gluten-free) – This was a new recipe I tried. I tasted it while I was cooking it, and truthfully, I liked it better warm. Still, it was pretty good. I served it in 1oz shot glasses. FYI, I subbed vegetable stock for the chicken called for in the recipe to keep it as a meat-free option.
  • Red Wine Poached Figs (hot, vegan, gluten-free) – Holy crap, these were good. Unfortunately, they came out of the oven right after we decided to bust out the cake, so they were largely overlooked by the guests. Too bad for them. If you like figs, you should make these sometime. Soon, because as I mentioned, they are almost out of season.
  • Cucumber Chickpea Bruschetta (cold, vegan, gluten-free) – We made these once before, at our vegan/gluten-free dinner party, and they were as good as we remembered. Yum.
  • Shrimp Cocktail (cold) – Let’s just say we started with two pounds of shrimp and leave it at that.
  • Lemon-Parsley Gougeres – I’ve been wanting to make these for a while. Glad I finally got around to it – they were heavenly little flaky pastry puffs with a zesty lemon bite. They did not last long.

Of course, there was also wine a plenty along with champagne and some non-alcoholic punch, which turned out to be so good that I ended up drinking quite a bit of it.

In summary: delicious food + wine + the most excellent people = one awesome 30th birthday!

*I spent the better part of my actual birthday on Saturday prepping for this party. There were spreadsheets involved. Because, you know, I needed a schedule and a list of prep times and to make sure I had enough vegetarian, gluten-free, & kid-friendly things as well as a balance of hot & cold; sweet & savory. And also I just like spreadsheets. Yeah, I’m a major geek. But you knew that.

Working for the Weekend… Again

Well, once again, it’s been a busy week and weekend (so far) over here. Right this second, I am waiting for a few files to upload and then… the Crafty Broads website will be live and ready for action! I would LOVE your feedback – please email me or comment here if you have a chance to check it out.

I am SO. EXCITED. to be done making the website. Although it didn’t take me long in total number of hours, it has really eaten up the last couple of weeks, and I have other projects I want to work on.

Here’s the rundown of things that are in the works:

  • Next week, we’re meeting with a potential client who is looking for a custom wedding dress (very exciting, especially since she wants something 30s and bias-cut, which we adore)
  • Also next week or the week after, I’ll be doing a guest post on another blog (I’ll link when it’s up)
  • I’ve got two big events to stage manage in August – a friend’s wedding and a handful of small parties being held around the country which will kick off a major event celebrating the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York. (You can read about it here and here.) Also? Same-sex couples are getting married there RIGHT THIS MINUTE, thanks to some nice judges and government officials who kept buildings open late and came in on their days off to dispense forms and officiate nuptials. Hooray for that! (Still waiting on you, Illinois. Ahem, downstate…get with the program.)
  • I’m hoping that tomorrow I’ll get time to work on the pattern for a custom three-piece suit we’re making, which I’ve been wanting to work on for way too long now.
  • If I ever finish all these other obligations, I have a ton of sewing projects for myself to get started (or finished, as the case may be) on too!

In food news, tonight I made a horribly unhealthy, carb-filled meal of latkes and butternut squash mac & cheese. Both were delicious. I am in carb heaven. I promise to eat veggies tomorrow.*

And with that, I am calling it a day.

*Julia disagrees, but squash is totally a vegetable.