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Sara Trice

Just a programmin', bellydancin', cake bakin' kinda girl

Birthday Cake

This was another commissioned cake for a birthday. Some confusion ensued on when the pickup date was, but everything worked out in the end, and they said it was very tasty. It was a white cake with vanilla buttercream frosting – not too exciting, but it had to feed a crowd of varied palates.

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(At some point I will set up a place in my apartment with some decent lighting to take cake photos.)

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Chalk it up to 50 years of Twinkies

I saw a recipe on the cakecentral.com forums that was highly touted by many people, and it went like this:

1 package dream whip
1 small package instant pudding
1.5 cups milk

So heck, I gave it a shot. And… it tasted like Cool Whip and pudding mixed together. Nothing more, nothing less. That slightly fake, chemical taste, with a lot of air and sugar. I poured the lot down the sink.

What the hell? People think this is a wonderful taste sensation? Come on! Haven’t these people tried ganache, or Italian buttercream, or anything classic and made with care?

Oh… yeah. They haven’t. They’ve had 50 years of Cool Whip Pies and Twinkies.

Black Bean Soup

I’d have to say this is one of my favorite new (to me) recipes. I found it on Food Network’s site, and you can too. I left out the ketchup and halved the Worcestershire sauce, just because the last time I thought those flavors were a little overpowering. I also ditched the cilantro because I don’t like it. (I’m one of those weird-palate people who think it tastes like soap.) Oh, I also hit it for a little bit with the stick blender at the end of cooking so it thickens up. Next time, I will probably take the bacon out after it gets crispy and put it back in at the end, as is noted in some of the comments on the Food Network site. Oh, and they’re not kidding about 8-10 servings – this makes a lot of soup.

Black Bean Soup

First Fondant!

I made up my first batch of fondant tonight. I tried out the new Americolor gel colors I got from Cakewalk Chicago, as well (“dark pink” – I don’t think I used quite enough to make it very dark, or they mean “dark” as in “not almost white”).

fondant

I made Rhonda’s Ultimate MMF (marshmallow fondant) – recipe found on CakeCentral.com. It’s a great site, but sloooooow. I imagine their bandwidth bills are through the roof. I used my Kitchenaid 6-qt mixer (much love for the stand mixer) with the dough hook, and it kneaded it up like a champ. The only thing I forgot to do in the recipe was to grease the mixing bowl before I poured the marshmallow goo in. At the end of the process, I found out why this part is important.

fondantbowl

Recycling Christmas Trees in Villa Park, Illinois

This isn’t posted anywhere on the web so I thought I’d toss it up on here:

If you live in Villa Park, IL and want to recycle your christmas tree, just leave it out on the curb anytime during the first 2 weeks of January (bare – not in a bag). Waste Management will pick it up and take it to be recycled.

I wish

…for an end to world hunger, but that’s a long-term goal.

If you were wondering, here’s my Amazon Wish List for the short term.
My Amazon.com Wish List

(And I like used books just fine.)

Wow.

I’m blown away. President Obama. My pessimism wouldn’t let me believe it until McCain conceded.

Not only that, but we’re well on our way to a Democratic Senate and House. I have to admit that makes me a bit nervous. We’re going to have to still be vigilant, as citizens, to make sure the laws we pass are what the American people need, and not what the party needs to stay in power. Remember what absolute power does, kids.

Also, most of the states were won by Obama by 10-20%-ish. That means that right now, there’s a lot of Republicans out there that have been terrified by this campaign, and they’re still wide-eyed and hair-triggered now. We have a lot of work to do to make sure this country isn’t torn apart by fear.

McCain gave his eloquent and heartfelt concession speech and it was the John McCain I respected in the past. I didn’t respect his campaign. It was dirty and divisive, and I don’t think he was steering the ship. Now, he can be Senator McCain, a dedicated Senator and advisor like he has proven himself to be, without the millstone of the GOP around his neck. Be mavericky, Mr. McCain. I can’t wait.

I can’t say I’m not pleased as punch that useless woman isn’t going to be in Washington. Go back to Alaska, Mrs. Palin, and stay there. And while you’re there, try and do some good, or at least, don’t make it any worse.

I know I still sound like a pessimist. But I really am surprised by the American people, by the system, that it is not truly corrupted, it is not decrepit, it is not lost. Maybe, just maybe, we can.

VOTE – And DO NOT accept NO for an answer

I voted this morning. I guess I got lucky, I showed up at 8:45 and there was 1 person in line ahead of me.

They asked me if I wanted to vote on paper or electronically. I couldn’t say paper fast enough. Hell, I work in computers and there was no way I was voting electronically. No paper trail? Oh hell no. I was slightly disturbed that they did not ask for any ID, but they did have my name on the voter roll, and I did have to match my signature that was on the slip, so it’s not like someone under one name could have voted multiple times – but still, someone could vote under another person’s name, by accident or no.

Edit: A bit of amusement: An older gentlemen saw my hair and said, “Oh, so you’re campaigning for the blue states?” I smiled and replied, “Nope – the purple ones!”

If you have voting problems in any part of the USA – if you’ve registered and they tell you that you can’t vote for any reason, such as that you moved too recently, or your house is listed as foreclosed, or your place burned down last week, or you’re not in the system, or whatever other BS reason they come up with – don’t give up.

If you have any any problems voting call:
The CNN Voter Hotline (877) 462-6608 (877-GO-CNN-08) – they are set up with InfoVoter Technologies to get help with any voter problems.
or The Obama campaign: (877) 874-6226 (877-US-4-OBAMA)
or The McCain campaign: (866) 976-8683 (866-976-VOTE)

Good night, and good luck.

Go Illinois! Yay for Lisa Madigan!

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iEW9FYay0lFbUS4UMghrpSYEKE9AD93D6DH00

“Attorneys general from 13 states on Wednesday protested a proposed Bush administration rule that would give stronger job protections to doctors and other health care workers who refuse to participate in abortions because of religious or moral objections.

In a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, the states said the rule is too vague in defining abortion, and may be interpreted to include birth control.

“It threatens to drastically discourage and even deter a woman’s right to choose,” Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said. “This proposed rule unconscionably puts personal agendas before patient care … failing even to acknowledge the rights of rape victims and others to access birth control and related vital health services.”

Other states joining Connecticut in protesting the rule are Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah and Vermont.”

Lisa Madigan is the Illinois AG. I plan on sending her a thank-you card.

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