Sunday, June 24, 2012

When Daddy's Gone, Momma Goes Nuts

I know I'm already cuh-razy, but this weekend has put me over the line into absolutely insane.  Ryan's been in California galavanting with his childhood friend Brandon, ogling hot women, eating good food (currywurst?), and sleeping in.  So what have I been doing?  Painting?  Cleaning? Being otherwise productive?

Nope, not this gal.  I've been trying to just hold it together.

While I was on the phone with Ryan, my youngest two decided to make toilet paper art.  And then when I snapped a photo, they both hid their faces like common criminals (or celebrities).

Yesterday, we got our chickens from Padgett Pasture. I brought my camera along, but decided that posting photos of chickens being slaughtered might offend even the most sarcastic of my readers (the snarkier the person, the more sensitive she is, I've learned). The girls made notable observations about the process, saying "I don't think the chickens like being killed" and "Mom, it stinks out here!" and "That chicken will taste good once Mommy cooks it."  Drew played in the mud.

My friend and neighbor invited us over for dinner, and when we got home, everyone collapsed.

The cake of pain.
Out of sheer loneliness, I then made a cake.  Because I was suffering a great depression from missing my husband, and I'd been dreaming of a good tiramisu for weeks, I decided to make a melancholy (read: easy) version that even the saddest (laziest) of bakers could tackle, and even made up the recipe myself, adding in a few tweaks to make it chocolatey (only for its medicinal properties of course).

After finally getting a slice a couple of hours later, I fell asleep, making up for the lost hours from the night before.  I missed having Ryan around to get up in the middle of the night when I hear suspicious noises, and I even missed the whiffs of dragon breath that linger as he rolls over.

Thankfully, Ryan returns this afternoon.  And the children have been well-behaved.  And I've got loads of leftover cake to make me feel better.

Tiramisu for Dummies*
1 Box of Yellow Cake Mix (plus whatever the box calls for)
1/4 c. brandy

A cup of strong coffee or espresso 
Sugar to taste

Mini chocolate chips

8 oz Mascarpone
2 c. whipping cream
Powdered sugar to taste (at least 1/2 c.)

1. Make cake according to box instructions, putting in a tad less oil and adding the brandy.  Bake in a 9x13 pan that's been greased.  (My box said 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, which was perfect)

2.  Let cool for a few minutes.  Make your coffee--I used Ryan's Moka, but made regular coffee--and add in enough sugar to make it sweet.  

3. Poke holes in the cake with a fork, every half inch or so.  Brush the coffee onto the cake. I wasn't very generous with it and the cake could've used more.  Next time I might just pour the coffee onto the cake.

4. Dump a lot of mini chocolate chips onto the cake.  Enough to cover the whole cake.  Wait a few minutes while the chips melt. Use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate across the top of the cake (a spoon might work too).  Let cool an hour or so.

5. Let the Mascarpone (or cream cheese if you don't have the Italian cheese) soften up.  Take it out of the carton and stir it up a little.  Use your mixer to whip up the cream and powdered sugar until it hold medium soft peaks.  Add in a little bit of it to the cheese to get it all incorporated. Then gently fold in the remaining whipped cream.  Top the cake with the mixture.  Refrigerate.

My "icing" was lumpy because I didn't work too hard to mix everything up well.  But honestly, it's still tasty and allowed me to drown my sorrows a bit.

Send cool thoughts to us here in Kansas. The forecast predicts temps over 100 today.  Thank goodness Ryan got me that box of white wine before he left!

*This is tiramisu in the vaguest fashion ever.  If you get on my case about it not being authentic, I'm going to send you photos of chickens being "processed". 

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