all dressed up

I don’t always like to dress up. I barely ever wore skirts or dresses, but I’m getting a little better about that. As long as they still hide my “Hall knees”.

I don’t like to wear a lot of jewelry. I haven’t bought an accessory in years, and for some reason I just keep wearing the same necklaces I’ve always worn. I have a box of rings, but am pretty content with the wedding rings going solo. It’s just how I roll.

But sometimes, I like to be a really girly girl. Sometimes I like the frills, the lace, the bows and all that jazz. Sometimes I wear heels when I’m not at work. Sometimes jeans aren’t the look I’m going for, and sometimes my favorite Toms are just plain frumpy. Sometimes, but not all the time, that’s for sure.

Sometimes dessert needs dressing up, too. Cake needs to be more than cake and icing every so often. And today, rather than a pop of color in an outfit, I thought I’d share a cake with a dressed-up, unexpected flavor – Earl Grey tea.

I’ve managed to stay off of the coffee addiction I conquered so long ago, but I tell ya – a cup of earl grey most days of the week is an addiction I won’t be trying to cure myself of anytime soon. And an extra helping of it in a cake is nothing to feel shameful of either.

Dressed up or not though, be sure to dig your finger (or maybe your hand if you’re feeling ballsy?) into the raw dough before it bakes up. It’s the best cake batter I’ve tasted in a while.

Some things are just perfect in raw form, unadorned, unbaked, whatever. Don’t judge.

Earl Grey Chocolate Cake
adapted from Real Simple Magazine via Shutterbean.com; serves 10-12

time commitment: ~1 1/2 hours (~20 minutes active time)

printable version

ingredients
6 Earl Grey tea bags
1 c water
1/2 c (1 stick) butter
3 eggs
2 c granulated sugar
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted & cooled
2 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/4 t kosher salt
1/2 c plain yogurt
confectioners’ sugar

instructions
Heat oven to 350 F. Coat a bundt pan with cooking spray.

Brew the tea in the water 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and set brewed tea aside.

Using a mixer, beat the butter, eggs, and granulated sugar until fluffy. Blend in the chocolate. Beat in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, yogurt, and brewed tea. Pour into pan.

Bake 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out with a few crumbs attached. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.

Turn out of pan and cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

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Happenings, Part 1

I was thinking the other day (I know, I know) about this little blog. I was thinking about how I do love for it to be about food and about recipes I’ve tried and loved, and about stories that may or may not tie in to those recipes. That will always be the focus here, because that’s what got me started writing here. Not writing here about food and recipes would just seem weird, I think.

I want to keep it that way for as long as I can, until I get absolutely tired of blogging every week, or whatever. But I also decided this: I want to add a few random things, too. Sorta like our Stairway Walks (which we are WAY behind on), or our travels (even though those are often about food, too). Whatever the crap is on my brain at the moment. And while I’d love to promise something every Friday, I know better than to commit to that. Sometimes it’s hard to blog every Tuesday…

Thanks to those of you who provided the inspiration, even though you didn’t know it – Heidi, Tracy, and Liz. Now I’m going to sort of copy you :).

So anyway, here we go.

Today I’m going to share a list of some of the most awesome things that I’ve done, that I’ve eaten, or that I’m into from the last couple of weeks. Hold on to your pantaloons, people!

  • First and foremost, I can’t tell you how freaking excited I am about this concert. I bought pre-sale tickets earlier this week and I am PUMPED. Yeah, I am excited about this guy and this band, too (and the venue! hint – it’s in the beginning of The Rock, one of the most awesomest movies ever), but I’m probably MOST excited about this one. Hoo boy.
  • Also, I’m slowly becoming addicted to PINTEREST. I know I’m not alone. Are you addicted yet? Or are you like my husband and you “just don’t get why that site is so popular”? I mean, for serious, it’s a virtual corkboard. Duh. So feel free to follow me, if you’re into that sorta thing. And join, so I can follow you!
  • Cold-brewed coffee sounds so excellent right now. Especially this one that’s made like the coffee in New Orleans. Tasters.
  • Speaking of coffee, I am also addicted to this place. Never mind the creepy picture on their site, their lattes are the best I’ve ever had, and I get them with soy instead of whole milk because it feels healthier…
  • I was in Charlotte, NC for a conference last week (at which time we also did our regular “driving around the state” to visit friends and family), and I was surprisingly super impressed with Charlotte. I don’t know much about the city, but after spending almost a week there I have to say – not bad at all. Obviously, there were loads of nice southern people (sooooo nice! I forget, sometimes) and the weather was gorgeous. One of my favorite spots was this restaurant. It shouldn’t surprise you – because it’s SOUTHERN FOOD. I forced my dining companions to eat pimento cheese crackers and deviled eggs (although I must admit, mine are better…), AND they both ordered the fried chicken. Aside from the great food though, this restaurant has a mission unlike any other: 100% of their profits are donated to feed the poor in Charlotte and everywhere else. They also employ people who may not get jobs as easily as others. And like I said, the food is great, too. If you’re ever in the area, you have to try it. In the words of the annoying Ina Garten, “how cool is that?!”.
  • What else? Oh! I bought some new kicks this weekend. Since I have slowly been learning to run for longer than 1 minute, I’ve run holes into my probably 10 year old sneakers, so I am finally retiring them. Plus, these are way cuter.
  • Also, I watched the movie that everyone else is watching this weekend. As usual, the books are way better, but hello, Lenny Kravitz is in the movie! And Woody. He makes a great drunk.
  • BBQ. Need I say more? I got yelled at for calling it “pulled pork” when I was in North Carolina, but I suppose I deserved it. We did get to visit my favorite spot for eastern NC BBQ when we went to my mom’s house. And earlier this week, we even tried BBQ in San Francisco! We also hung out with some really cool new friends. Thanks, Luke :).
  • The empty plate up above? That’s because the burgers here were so damn good I couldn’t stop. Also, it had pimento cheese on it. And tater tots on the side. Heaven!
  • Last but certainly not least, these exact prints are on my “to buy” list. I’m going to redesign our little office nook soon and yellow and grey are the colors. We’ll see how long this “project takes”.

 

What’s on your mind lately?

Oh, and Happy Spring. It is lovely outside, isn’t it?!