Jeremy’s Message

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I was feeling pretty ready for the week this week.

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Starbucks Monday is always good incentive.

Today I had a grande soy toffee nut latte. I’m already over Pumpkin Spice, but I’m really looking forward to the other Starbucks holiday flavors…they should be here soon. Hooray!

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Before heading out for work, though, I had a fried egg and Honey Whole Wheat toast with real butter. Hubby cooked it for me!

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At work I got my fruit on with an organic banana.

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And I brought leftovers of the Smitten Kitchen Best Ever Birthday Cake (click to view and for a link to the recipe) to the office to help get rid of it. I mean…so others could enjoy it.

It was a big hit. Everyone was really excited about the cake (you know how offices can be, right?).

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Especially me!

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The cake was still pretty moist one day after baking. The recipe is definitely a keeper.

I ended up working till 6:30pm today, so I didn’t get to run as many errands as I wanted tonight. Hubby and I only had time to pick up a missing supply for one of our Halloween projects and come home to make dinner. He wanted to use one of our Groupons for dinner, but I just wanted to raid the freezer and pantry.

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I won and we had TJ’s soy corn dogs, Annie’s mac and cheese and steamed broccoli with a drizzle of melted real butter.

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Plus we had wine (yes wine and corndogs…I know).

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And this cake is calling my name right now, so I’m off to enjoy it.

***

Before I leave you, though, does anyone remember this video? I’m going to get a little deep on you guys for a minute…I almost didn’t publish this part of the post because I wasn’t sure what kind of reaction it would get, but…here’s hoping it helps someone…


It’s the music video for the song Jeremy by Pearl Jam – one of my favorite songs when I was a teen. I’ve been reminiscing on old songs a lot lately, including this one. Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis? lol…jk…at least let’s hope not! Anyways, I was googling about the song today, and I found an interesting interview snippet where Eddie Vedder discusses the story behind the song:

It came from a small paragraph in a paper which means you kill yourself and you make a big old sacrifice and try to get your revenge. That all you’re gonna end up with is a paragraph in a newspaper. Sixty-three degrees and cloudy in a suburban neighborhood. That’s the beginning of the video and that’s the same thing is that in the end, it does nothing … nothing changes. The world goes on and you’re gone. The best revenge is to live on and prove yourself. Be stronger then those people. And then you can come back. That’s kinda what I did. Now all those people who were my enemies want to be my friends. They don’t understand why, uh, I don’t respond to them.

Wow! All this time, for years and years, I thought the music video glorified Jeremy’s suicide. But after reading Eddie’s interview, I see now that he had a totally different message. That suicide doesn’t make you stronger, it just removes you from the picture. That if you feel bullied or otherwise depressed, to “live on and prove yourself” makes you the winner in the long run. I didn’t know Eddie himself felt so close to the story, and I think it’s great that he’s like living-proof of how things can get better. I wish Eddie’s true message would be more widespread because I think it could help some people. If you know someone who is going through a tough time, maybe you could share this story with them? I know Pearl Jam isn’t as relevant now as it was in the 90′s, but the message is still a good one.

Eddie’s point in his interview reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, which I’ll leave you with:

Success is the best revenge ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Have you ever enjoyed revenge by success? What’s your story?

It’s Never Too Late for Birthday Cake

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So, I know my birthday is in September, but I have this theory that it’s never too late for birthday cake. Good theory, right? ;)

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I almost didn’t bake any cake tonight. But, I’ve already put it off a month, so I decided to not wait any longer. Unfortunately, this meant that my room-temp ingredients had to be brought to room temperature faster than normal.

I figured you could put eggs in room-temp water, but a quick google search confirmed my suspicion. I learned on Chow that you basically put the eggs in lukewarm water for 5-10 minutes, until the eggs feel like the temperature of your hand. Check out this handy-dandy video if you want to see all the details.

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And lookie what I found at the grocery store! Unbleached cake flour. It seemed to fluff up just as well as normal cake flour, so why not go for the less-processed option.

I decided to try Smitten Kitchen’s Best Birthday Cake recipe, instead of baking in two 9-inch round pans, I used one 9×13 inch rectangle. I really wanted to do the two layers of round cake, but I only had 8-inch round pans, which wouldn’t work.

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Mix, mix, mix!

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Ready for baking.

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I almost freaked out that my cake wasn’t going to cook up right. At 30 minutes, I checked the cake and it was light brown on top, but totally liquidy in the middle. Yikes!

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I kept adding on time till the center was set. All in all, it took me about 55-60 minutes (though it may take you less time if you don’t open your oven as much as I do.

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While the cake baked, I had Paula Deen’s Old Time Beef Stew on the stove.

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Though, I did use an adapted version. I’ll have to post my version some time soon. :)

Anywho, while the cake cooled, we got to dig into the stew! I served it over pasta…I think rice would have been a better base. I tried to talk hubby into letting me add potatoes, in which case I wouldn’t have added any pasta or rice, but he didn’t go for it.

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The stew was such cozy comfort food. I totally had to enjoy it in some plush PJs.

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And then it was time for frosting! I just used the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa container. I’ve used it several times now and it always comes out wonderfully tasty.

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Mmm…frosting.

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Time to frost the cake.

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If I don’t eat all the frosting first. hehe.

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Glossy frosting.

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All frosted up and ready for one last decoration…

no, not sprinkles. I wanted to use those, but turns out…we don’t have any!

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But we did have candles!

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Hubby and Bailey even sang Happy Birthday to me. lol

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And finally. FINALLY! The birthday cake was mine to be devoured!

I mean…enjoyed. ;)

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The cake was wonderful! The top was a little crunchy, but the flavor was excellent and the center was very moist.

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Yum!

Now…what do I DO with all this leftover cake!? Anyone want some?

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Oh and if you’ve ever wondered what’s the best way to store frosted cake…look no further!

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Just stick toothpicks evenly spaced into the top of the cake and lay saran wrap over the toothpicks. Your cake will be covered and your frosting will not stick to the saran wrap. Ta-da!

Btw, I do think yellow cake with chocolate frosting is quite possibly my favorite ever birthday cake combo.

What’s your favorite type of birthday cake?

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