Whatsup, Martha?!

Baking Lessons have continued, and this week, I learned how to make a homemade Funfetti cake. We had talked about making muffins this go around, but, I’ve been making a lot of cake references lately, and I think Haley was worried I’d buy a Betty Crocker cake mix, and fall back into my childish ways. It turned out amazingly, and I did every single step all by myself. I also asked a lot of questions along the way so I could understand WHY I was doing certain things. I know how my brain works, and if I don’t understand the why, I’ll start skippin’ steps like some kinda pro. So here we go…

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Here is what you will need:

Unsalted Butter

Milk

Eggs

Sugar

Flour

Baking Powder

Salt

Vanilla

2 Bowls

1 Mixer

2 cake pans (if you want to make a layered cake)

1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

2) In a bowl, mix together 2 1/2 cups of flour, 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt

3) In another bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together 3/4 cups of butter (room temperature), and 1 3/4 cups of sugar. Why use 2 bowls you may ask? If you throw everything into one bowl, and try to mix it, its too much dry ingredients, and it won’t get equally mixed. Its just too much, basically. So while you may be like me and say “its all going into the same bowl eventually, so I’ll just throw it all in there,” resist the urge. RESIST.

4) In the bowl with the creamed sugar & butter, add in 3 eggs (1 at a time, being sure to thoroughly beat each egg into the mixture). Now, according to the recipe that we loosely used, you are supposed to add in the vanilla next. We actually did that last, but I think its not a completely necessary ingredient. So, if you want vanilla, mix in 1 teaspoon.

5) Next, measure out 1 1/4 cups of milk. You now will add little bits of your dry flour mixture into the sugar mixture, along with a little bit of milk, and beat together using your electric mixer. I am not that skilled, so this process was sort of irritating. I can’t crack an egg with one hand, and my silly mixer wouldn’t stand up on its own, so I was cussing a lot and Haley was just laughing at me. Patience is key here. What is also key is that I suddenly recognized that I need a stand mixer. A teal one. With all of the fancy attachments. What was I saying? Oh right, so, slowing add in more milk, and more flour, until you’ve combined all of the remaining milk and flour into your sugar mixture. Mix until everything is combined. Do not over work your batter. I don’t know what happens if you do (I forgot to ask), but just don’t do it.

6) Lightly mix in your sprinkles. We used the round sugar sprinkles. You don’t want to mix it a lot, because the sprinkles will melt, so just toss in however many you want and give it a light mix.

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7) Grease and flour both of your 8-inch cake pans. (I think ours were 8 inches). Then, equally distribute your batter into the pans.

8) Bake. We started with 20 minutes, then checked on them, and baked them for an additional 7 minutes. One of the cakes was done, but the other wasn’t springy yet when we touched the top, so we removed one, and cooked the other for an additional 4 minutes. Basically, this is the part where its not smart to go take a shower (I don’t know anyone who would do that…*stares at ceiling*). We were watching MasterChef in the other room, but paused and went in after each timer beep.

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Now, the frosting was homemade. However, I did not make it. I know. I’m sort of a fake. But, Haley bakes a lot, and had a lot of egg whites, and apparently frosting is a bit more difficult than my skill level. Also, Haley makes an amazing Buttercream frosting, so she made it in advance, and brought it over. Lucky for you, Haley has the recipe up on her blog —-> here.

9) We let our cakes cool, then carefully put one onto our plate. Then, I put frosting on top of that layer so I could stack the 2nd cake on top. I then frosted the entire cake, and made cute little swirly-dos on the top, and dusted it with some pink “sanding sugar.”

See:

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Beautiful.

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It tastes delicious, and while a little bit more labor intensive than my Berry Pie, it was definitely worth it. I was mostly proud that the cakes didn’t sink in the middle. My sister and I made a cake as kids, and I remember filling in the center with like a pound of frosting. It also tasted awful.

Until next time, happy baking!

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Oh, Hey.

I’ve been blog absent lately. Don’t worry, I’m alive; I’ve just been busy enjoying summer with this girl.

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My graduate classes start up again next month, and I’ve found myself completely consumed with enjoying the little bit of summer break that I have left.

Kinsey and I started our music class a few weeks ago. Once a week we sing songs and bang on instruments for an hour. Kinsey genuinely loves it for about 20 minutes, then spends the remainder of the class digging around in other moms’ and dads’ diaper bags. Its a total shit show if I’m being completely honest, but I am hopeful that she’ll be more excited to participate once the parents learn to put their bags away. If anyone is going to teach those parents that they shouldn’t trust toddlers, it is Kinsey. The class has also taught Kinsey how to make a bee sound, so it’s not a total loss. Bzzzzz!

Afterwards, we walk around the aviary looking at all of the birds. Kinsey seems partial to the ‘Wetlands’, and likes to sit on the pavement right next to the fence and watch the Swans and Ducks swim around. She yells “dog!” at them, but they don’t really seem bothered by the confusion.

We’ve been going to the pool 2-3 times a week. Kinsey is becoming more confident every single time, and has been practicing blowing bubbles. This often results in her inhaling a lot of chlorine, but I’m hoping that eventually she discovers that blowing out is more comfortable for the nasal passages.

I love being a Mom. That has become even more apparent as of late. I always loved it, but the more time we spend together and the more that Kinsey interacts with me, the more my heart just explodes with joy. She will sometimes stop what she is doing just so she can walk over and give me a kiss. I melt every single time.

So, I am sorry for my absence, but we are busy. Busy loving on each other and soaking up all of the moments.

An Open Letter to Curious George

George,

My daughter and I spend 30 minutes or so of our mornings watching your shenanigans. She enjoys the opening credits the most, and for some reason, is drawn to the characters that you run into on a daily basis. She points and says “dog!” when Hundley shows up, and claps when you do something that she’s deemed as amazing. But, George, I am having a problem with you.

Firstly, please stop agreeing to take care of Bill’s things. It is not very nice. While it always seems to turn out ok, I feel like you are lying to Bill when you monkey promise. It seems pretty chancey to me that he comes back and somehow you’ve dug yourself out of whatever problem you’ve seemed to create, and Bill assumes that it wasn’t total chaos while he was gone. Now, I recognize that Bill isn’t the brightest crayon in the box, but please stop taking advantage of him.

Secondly, what is the deal with Charklie? That dog is a menace. I actually thought his name was Sharky, but today realized they were yelling “CHARKLIE!” You really need to tell Steve and Betsy to lock that dog up. It’s a bit irritating to see such a wild animal causing so many problems for everyone, and yet no one will just take him to go live in the country. Maybe he should go live with the Renkins. Just a thought.

Do you know if the Man in the Yellow Hat has a name? I googled it, and apparently they made a movie and his name was Ted, but that just doesn’t seem to fit him.

Back to Bill, I don’t think that he knows that you are a monkey! I know! He always calls you ‘city kid’ and I am seriously worried about him. Is it because Bill lives in the country? Does he just not run into people that often? Someone should probably tell him that he’s been leaving his stuff in the care of a monkey.

Please take the above under advisement.

Concerned Parent,

Katie Krongard