Friday, February 27, 2009

Caved-In at 2:36 PM CMT

Okay, so I caved. I grabbed the keys, ran down the stairs (knife in hand), strode to my beloved's office out back, unlocked the door, briskly approached the refrigerator, pulled open the door... and, ahhhh... there it was!! THE Cake!

Oh, I was so going to not have any today. Weigh in tomorrow at 7 AM. Not good. I was doing kind of okay distracting myself... then, I got a text from my friend, Milha. She was licking the cake batter off her flip flops (No lie... that was the text. I hope she was just kidding... sort of... Man, THE cake is THAT good). She is making THE Cake today for her son's birthday. Since that text, we have talked/gushed over the wonders of the batter; just wait, I tell her, the sum is greater than the parts!

Looking back, this is about the time I started to cave... Well, today is my brother, Jeff's birthday, too! So, I had to have a piece to celebrate for him, didn't I? He is almost 400 miles away and chocolate is his favorite... someone had to do it! =) I love how, if we try hard enough, we can justify anything... Not sure how that will work for me on the scales in the morning... but, ahhhh... I am satisfied now... =)

THE Ultimate Chocolate Cake - a Robert St. John recipe

This is an amazing cake: a genuine eyes-rolling-back-in-your-head, excuse-me-I-need-some-alone-time AMAZING cake! It lives up to its name of The Ultimate Chocolate Cake... from a cookbook by Robert St. John, I give you the cake... See The Celebrity Chef event on my other blog.

1 3/4 c. cake flour
3/4 c. cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. melted butter
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. brewed coffee, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter 2 8-inch cake pans and line with parchment. Butter the parchment and flour the pans, shaking out the excess.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Reserve.

Using a mixer with a whip attachment, beat eggs and sugar until thick and lemon colored. Beat in the melted butter. Alternately add dry ingredients with buttermilk, scraping the bowl once or twice. Add the coffee and vanilla to form a think batter. Divide batter between prepared cake pans.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Cool in pans 15 minutes. Invert onto cooling racks, peel off paper and cool completely.

When cool, split each cake in half with a serrated knife to form four think layers. Freeze 1 hour before assembling the finished cake.

Make the fillings and icing and assemble.


1 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate pieces

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

3/4 c. powdered sugar

Place chocolate in a double boiler and heat until completely melted. While chocolate melts, use an electric mixer with whip attachment to beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Allow the melted chocolate to cool slightly, then drizzle it into the cream cheese mixture and continue beating until the filling is cool. This spreads best if used immediately.


6 oz. unsweet chocolate

1/2 c. unsalted butter

4 c. powdered sugar

1 c. sour cream

1 Tbs. vanilla

Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Use and electric mixer with a whip attachment to cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Add the melted chocolate, sour cream, and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. As with the filling, this spreads best if used immediately.

Can you say YUMMY?? Cake GOOOOD. Okay, so I don't get points for the best assembled and iced cake, but the taste... bring it on! =) This definitely falls under the category of Living the Good Life!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Busted Bust...

I love this bust... sadly for her, the weedeater did a disservice to her nose. I am posting it for Carmi's Thematic Photographic 37

Monday, February 23, 2009

Living the Good Life

For my little group of family and friends, you will notice that the title of this blog has changed AGAIN. It has morphed from, "Menopausal Madness" to "Menopausal Metamorphosis" to "The Change: Women of a Certain Age." Now I am to "living the good life"... I guess I have moved a good way through the metamorphosis that accompanies this passage. I am definitely a survivor. I can get down and get 'er done when the going gets tough; but, even more than that, I am a thriver. I believe in adapting: accepting what you have to, changing what you can and learning to love wherever you are in life. We moved a lot throughout my childhood. Maybe that's where I learned to be such a good little adapter... or maybe it is just inherent in my nature. Whatever the reason, I am going to thrive as a crone. =)

I will be calmer.
I will be more tolerant.
I will be wise.
I will grow and learn.
I will laugh... a lot!
I will love... even more.
I will TRUST God.
I will let go.
I will be free.

I am calmer.
I am more tolerant.
I am wise.
I grow and learn.
I laugh... a lot!
I love... even more.
I let go.
I am free.

I am living the good life...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Just a little humor for our days:

Baby Boomers

Click on the link above for a guaranteed chuckle! Have a fabulous day!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Back on the clean slate thing...

Back on the Clean Slate thing again… Well, yes, my slate is clean… but, what was on it “before?” Obviously, some of the things will have to stay on the slate… being a mother and inhabiting my own skin are not going away. Being wife to my husband, living in our home, and enjoying my friends are things I want to stay on the slate. I would argue that, even though these things seem the same, they have or are changing, too.

On being a mother, I am now about to be a grandmother. My role is officially being bumped up a grade. Yes, I know, my children have been grown for a good while… but, this makes it hard for me to deny. =) I like thinking of my children as my babies. Though I believe either of them would attest that I have always strongly encouraged them to stand on their own. The greatest gift and the biggest job we have as parents is teaching our children self-competence. I say competence, not confidence, because I believe passionately that confidence comes from competence. Competence comes from doing: trying, failing, succeeding. (That belief will still be on the slate.) You can’t do it for them.

My own skin… hmmmm… that sagging, wrinkling, age-spotting thing that covers my body. I don’t even recognize myself sometimes! LOL. The Clean Slate will obviously not have wrinkle-free body-covering! You know you are there when people begin to tell you, “You look good for your age.” On to another aspect of the body, I have always been very active. One of the biggest things I had to let go of was being a person who could and would run 20 miles at four in the morning to have time to walk and carry my bag for 36 holes of golf. Not on the Slate.

One thing for certain, I need a vision of life on this Clean Slate. Without a vision and direction, we drift aimlessly. That’s okay for awhile. But, I’m not down with that indefinitely. Self-fulfilling prophecy is a powerful influence on our lives. One day I will post about turning forty and how strongly I experienced that effect. For today, I am going to begin to visualize The Woman of a Certain Age I desire to become.