Imagine that. I have been fearful of baking for much of my life. Truth is, I am horrible at following instructions. As a kid, I would be the one coloring outside the lines with a sharpie marker. I was every teacher’s worst nightmare. Imagine my surprise when my latest baking creations not only looked like the picture in the recipe, but tasted pretty darned good too (in all modesty). I diligently followed every recipe to the tee and by George, it worked! I’m including references to the recipes I found online. I have also recommended some minor adjustments, where noted.
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake (copied directly from website)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 65 minutes
- One 18-1/4 ounce Yellow Cake Mix
- One 4-serving size Instant Lemon Pudding Mix
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons poppy seeds
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
* The cake can be prepared a day ahead of time and stored in a covered cake plate or sliced and stored in an airtight container on the counter. The eggs in the cake really keep it quite moist. I served the cake with a side of Trader Joe’s Lemon Curd, which was delicious.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.
Mix together the granulated sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Add the brandy, stirring well. Pour over bread pudding. Serve warm or cold.
The tea party this weekend went off without a hitch. I thoroughly enjoyed baking the goodies and decorating the space. Can’t thank Hubby Dear enough for helping with all the cleaning (that’s tireless devotion). It was good to enjoy the company of good friends on an otherwise gloomy Saturday afternoon. It’s heartening to know that good ol’ fashioned conversation still has a place in this day of instant (and constant) communication (texting, Twitter, Facebook).
With baking semi “under-my-belt,” I set about on Sunday trying to find sewing classes in the area. Several Bing searches later, I was disappointed in the lack of formal classes in the tri-valley area. I expanded my search to San Francisco and Oakland and discovered a website called “Better Living Through Sewing (http://www.betterlivingthroughsewing.com). The Yelp reviews have been pretty positive about these classes, so I’ve decided to give it a shot. I’ll be starting my Ins and Outs of Commercial Patterns class on the 2oth of this month. It’s a 4-part class and we will be designing a pair of pants or a skirt of our choice to be completed by the last class. I am pretty excited. I saw some skirts at Anthropologie that I’ll use as inspiration. If these classes go well, I may sign up for the second series called Copy a Garment, where you learn how to replicate your favorite articles of clothing without deconstructing them.
Source: http:// http://www.anthropologie.com
February is going to be a busy (and quick) month. We have something or the other going on every weekend of the month and my days continued to be filled with little projects here and there, my walks, and Bikram Yoga. The weather is picking up and there are more days of sun now than rain. Spring feels like it’s just around the corner. In March, I’ll start working on my patio garden. Over the last couple of years I’ve had success growing tomatoes, serrano peppers, Thai chilli peppers, and even eggplant. I’ll have to figure out what goodies to plant this year. So much to look forward to!