Decorating in the Dark…Adventures in Baking!





We had a lovely Easter…lots of good food over the weekend! This weekend provided me with three valuable insights:

  1. Our household does not go through very many batteries at all.
  2. Replacing the dead batteries in your flashlight with the ‘on-hand, just-in-case-of-emergency’ batteries circa 2002 is NOT a good idea.
  3. I can decorate a cake in the dark.

Living in TX this time of year brings a lot of uncertainty with the weather, and this past weekend proved that! We have had the craziest storms here lately. My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by these terrible storms. We have been very fortunate and have avoided any damage…Saturday evening – the night before Easter – yet another storm was in the process of blowing through town. I made sure to get my traditional Easter coconut cake in the oven so it wouldn’t get caught being half-baked in an electrical outage. Smart move! What I didn’t anticipate was the lights going out just as I held the cake up to begin decorating it. Around 11PM I finally had everything ready and lined up to assemble the cake. It was being supported in my left hand while I used my right hand to ice it. The wind was a-howling…and suddenly the house went dark…and quiet (ok, that part was nice). My husband quickly grabbed his cell phone and held it up so I could have a little light. He ended up going for the flashlight, the one that actually worked, although I had it pretty much iced and covered in coconut by then.

I must say, I had no idea how good or bad the final product turned out until the next day when I opened the fridge to see a beautiful coconut cake peeking out at me from the refrigerator [see cake above]. And the taste was just a delicious as ever!

5 Months in a Nutshell…

Wow! I cannot believe it has been 5 months since my last post! So many wonderful eating adventures have transpired, and I have yet to record any of them…I need to make up for lost time!

I have officially missed blogging about our extravagant Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, as well as the numerous phenomenal feasts we devoured in Madrid and Rome this past January. Have I ever mentioned what an incredibly lucky girl I am??? Okay, the kicker is this: I get to go back to Europe this summer for a month…Italy is one of our return visits, and I promise to blog this time.

My husband and I hit Spain and Italy in celebration of our 20 year anniversary. It was truly a magical trip on many fronts. I am married to the most wonderful man, and despite the ups and downs that are inevitable in every relationship we have managed to grow stronger over the years. Even the prospect of being ’empty nesters’ in the very near future seems exciting! Yes, I will certainly miss that phase of my life, and I will miss having my boys living with us and sharing everyday life; however, I cannot wait to have time alone with my man and take it to the next level.

While in Europe we had many food adventures. In Madrid we enjoyed tapas near Plaza Mayor and spent time at the Mercado de San Miguel. One night we had an anniversary dinner at El Cheflan, a wonderful place located in a small hotel in Madrid where we savored a seven course meal – my husband had his paired with wine while I chose to stick with champagne…I can’t think of one meal we had that was not delicious. And I believe all of our meals were at places recommended by locals. I am totally convinced this is the way to find the best places to dine.

After five days in Madrid (which included a day trip to Toledo – awesome!!) we hopped on a plane to Rome. Rome is magical. That is a simple as I can put it. We had so many great food experiences there, beginning with dinner right after we checked into our hotel. The concierge directed us to a hidden gem about 10 minutes away called Santo Padre. There were no menus…the waiter gave us an overview of their foods and then asked what we wanted. Everything was amazing…and inexpensive. We even shared a bottle of wine (Italian, of course). Our last night there we enjoyed a second anniversary dinner at an upscale restaurant called Il Convivio. They have one of the largest wine menus in the entire city…that says a lot!! And the food was definitely not as inexpensive as Santo Padre, but it was worth every euro we spent!!

So that is my ever-so-brief recap of my past few months…Lots to catch up on and even more food adventures coming up!! Ciao (for now…)