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Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Fixed Again; Sunny side Up! Cheesy Visions!

Delicious Carrot Cake



Here comes another sunny weekend as Friday crawls off into the corner. There aren't many bad things I could comment on at this point. Life is good! I wish I could say I have been working out like a demon; but I havent. I wish I could say that I missed it like New York Cheesecake; but I havent. But I do wish I was surrounded by all my friends and their smiles. Anyway, its been a long week thats about to end and the weekend looks pretty good from the front porch of Friday. My iPOD and I have become inseperateable and thats probably not good at least for the people I send my days around. Nonetheless, hey, he's an artist — they're allowed to be wierd, strange, mysterious and just plain moody. Speaking of all those great things; how about some of this Friday Fixin' with a big bowl of twice churned vanilla bean ice cream.

....Friday Fixins; All the better to see you with!!!!!

Everybody who knows me well knows that butter or cream cheese make everything better! Thats just a fact of life. Throw in some mushrooms and how could you go wrong!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
 
Ingredients

 
For the carrot cake:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 egg
1 egg white
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup grated carrots
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup drained, canned, crushed pineapple
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional
Nonstick cooking spray
 
For the cream cheese icing:
4 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
 
Cooking Instructions
 
For the moist delicious carrot cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the butter and eggs from the refrigerator to allow them to come to room temperature.
2. Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Gradually add the brown sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very fluffy.
3. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg and egg white. Stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg and carrots.
4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
5. Fold in half the flour mixture. Stir in the pineapple, raisins and walnuts. Fold in the rest of the flour mixture. The batter should be smooth, but do not over mix.
6. Coat a 10-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake until the cake is golden brown and set in the center, about 35 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.
 
For the cream cheese icing:
1. In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla together until the mixture is smooth.
2. Using a spoon or spatula, spread the icing on top of the cooled cake. Store the cake in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Cut the cake into 12 pieces and allow it to come to room temperature before serving.


crazy chef

Thats all I got for you today. Major blogdom coming soon. Have a great one and remember something good about anyone you dislike. Pass me another piece of that Superman Carrot Cake. It promotes internal vision! ...but that may be too strong for you....LOL CHEERS!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Simmering Friday Fixin's for Turkeys!

wild turkey



Its another beautiful sunny May day in Nashville, Tennessee. Its been one of those easy-going days. this morning, I was greeted by an enormous wild turkey in my back yard. I was confused whether he could hear me walking toward the long row of windows or not. He immediately looked in my direction and popped all his feathers up. Friday is moving quickly and the hassels have been minimal. My iPOD of course has changed how I work and probably increased my productivity too. Not only can I privately listen to new or favorite music; but I can also be learning new things from some great podcasts while I am designing or even just the occassional production tasks. Its all good! It's become so normal that I dont even notice that I am driving or eating or whatever with my earplugs still in until I get that "are you listening glare." I am sure its going to be a great weekend. So do I have any "dream interpretueurs" out there? Its been a month of odd dreams for me. Anyway, the only thing that really matters this weekend is my 6 year wedding anniversary. Its been a great decision and an incredible relationship. I look forward to another couple of decades. And now, on to what you came for!


Its time for some of those incredible Friday Fixins from something that might just take you back to a time of lets remember. Who doesnt love vanilla wafers?!!!


Vanilla Wafer Cake




* Vanilla Wafer Cake

1 C butter or margarine
6 eggs
1/2 C milk
2 C sugar
16 oz vanilla wafers, crushed into crumbs
8 oz Angel Flake coconut
1 C chopped pecans
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a 9" bundt pan well.
Cream butter and add sugar. Beat untill smooth.
Add eggs, one at a time. Beat batter well after each egg.
Stir in vanilla wafer crumbs a bit at a time alternating
with milk. Add coconut and pecans.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 1 1/2 hours. Cool completely before taking out of pan.
I loosen the cake from the pan with a narrow rubber spatula
and/or a table knife. It can stick to the pan so take your time.

Put the cake plate on top and turn over. Release. Powder with the sugar.

This is too yummy with ice cream...vanilla, butter pecan, rum raisin...my mouth is watering!

Another version
Flora's Version


Enjoy your incredible weekend. Make the most of your opportunities.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Once a Lifetime!

dolphins birthing




Happy Birthday Pickle!


There are very few things that are as precious as the moments that only happen once. They mark a line drawn into the sand of time that separates before and after. Though not always good; it is always undeniable. My sweetie celebrates her birthday. I am glad that day happened. I wish I could have gotten to her sooner; but I wouldn't have been myself yet .... or would I? Are we ourselves regardless or are ourselves evolving through the context of our experiences? Hmmm...thats an odd normal blog.

Anyway, our birthdays happen only once; but we celebrate them every year at least once. Obviously there are better days than others for that special day to fall on; but its still special. Not only does it represent when someone arrives to the lucky mud; it also indicates a relationship of two others before you. Are we not all the product of someone else's relations??? Does that effect who we are as much as it determines who we will be?

Birthdays are filled with cakes, kisses and candles. Speaking of candles; it reminds me of the spark of life - when two people get together with the fire of passion that ignites a new generation; hence a birthday. Hmmm...watch your sparks. Sunday I heard a great sermon about the power of the mouth to destroy or build. Consider a ship in all its majesty, guided by a tiny rudder... a forest burned down by a tiny spark. Very good message on being mindful of what we say and the power of words spoken.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mysterious Mothers; Vessels of Love

mothers embrace
photo courtesy: Nashville artist James Threalkill; Mother's Embrace



Another weekend under the belt. Hope everyone had a happy or at least a thankful Mother's Day. Mothers; they're pretty special people. There is something magic about mothers. Some of it is hard to translate into words; but today I might just try at least a little.

Mothers:



They seem to have a capacity beyond fathers to love unconditionally; even through their disappointments and personal/emotional injury. I say that because it seems to be more true than the opposite. Rarely do you see the father show up on TV crying or begging the child to return or be returned or to give up peacefully. Men are more judgemental and final. We have different rules to live and die by. Our ability to give the benefit of the doubt and countless mercies seem far stretched after some magic number in our heads. Its always the mother willing to go beyond the believeable for her offspring; sometimes even starving to feed her children. Men seem to operate under the guise of "I'll just make more..."


I am always amazed at a mothers capacity to hurt when you hurt. Whether its a scrape of the knee or the heart; she's always in tune with your level of suffering. In spite of being typically taken for granted, her capacity rarely diminishes. That's amazing...probably even spiritual. She finds a way to lighten or at least endure the burden of suffering along with you. Noone ever does everything right; but I do believe most do the best they can with the given circumstances. In the end, every man AND woman dies for themselves; nothing can change that destiny. However, I am certain that if mothers could do that for you; they sure would try.

mothers touch


There's just something about a mothers smile; the way her eyes light up when she sees you coming or her ears perk when she hears your footsteps or even he silent communication at a glance, thought or touch. All of these little notes your mind makes note of especially when you arent paying attention so it can randomly remind you when you arent so guarded. Its only in the quiet alone times that men might even begin to note the silent burdens of a mothers love.




Happy Mothers Day. Such a love would appear to be a burden; hence I am still glad to be a man learning to understand the journey of woman to mother or at least offer my two cents and try to help where I can. Wow, momma, you sure had your hands full....


"...even bad men love their mothers" ... 3:10 to Yuma

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Its a good day!

ice cube
...did you ever notice how practically all rappers make great actors too...must be the game...mad survival skillz!!!



Thursday slips by barely noticed except being the day before Friday. That's ok; it was a good day. I am looking forward to another busy weekend with some good quality time squeezed in too. Busy...busy...busy; but dont that make it fun.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Wed - nes - DAY! Just the crumbs, please!

deer up ahead




Its another gorgeous day despite starting out a bit rainy in the city. The temperature is pleasant and it brings out buried people pleasantries. Ahhh...Spring/summer. I say that cause its nice before it gets too hot and humid to have the arid breeze that massages us through the day.

What does anyone know about deer whistles and do they work? ....personal accounts only please.

The other night my honey and I were blazing down the highway (yes, I was driving) I-40 with a large diesel truck to my left just after dark. Of course we were in excess of 50mph when these glowing eyes bounded into the lane; then two other eyes. The other driver slammed on his brakes just as I did the same. It could have been really bad; but thanks God, it wasn't. I continued on to Demos' Steakhouse only to discover absolutely no damage from my slight bump of the large animal. By then, Pickle's heart had slowed down enuf to eat a bite.

Anyway, as some of you might know, I am an avid "Appleon" — a die-hard Macintosh Disciple for the last 16 years. Having only lately discovered the iPOD and its musings, it has really transformed my busy days and the times in between. I don't think I would enjoy the commitment of podcasting; but it has some merit.
Little Mickey's Penultimate Podcasts
Unpredictablely Cool Delicious, a real mix of anything unexpected: Pod of Funk!
Cool ambient house music: Thinktoy
Excellent relationship/marriage improvement tips: Great Relationships
Cool everything, head bobbing music: Heavy Rotation
Ok...call the COW! This one rocks too. Its electronic madness: Apocalypse Cow
So your day needs some internal tweeking, try Bach: Bach Unleashed


Todays Cool Tip Idea:
Remember a gift doesn't always come with a price tag. Some of the most special and precious gifts are a Big 'ole bear hug, or a gift of service. Doing something for someone just out of the blue may mean more then any material gift. A homemade card or made up poem of how you really feel can be very rewarding to that person. Plus it's a gift that keeps on giving...

BONUS TIP:
Everyone knows about pouring vinegar down the sink to
freshen the smell, but don't pour vinegar right out of
the bottle. First run the vinegar through the coffee
pot to clean that, or do any of the other many chores
you do with vinegar, and THEN run the USED vinegar
down the sink. It works just as well, and you save
even more.



Monday, May 05, 2008

When Momma's Happy; Daddy's Ecstatic!




WELL; we finally left the boro!
So far this year will be quite different than the one before.
Its been really nice despite the hard work. Sunrises and sunsets are the best;
second only to the sparkle in her eyes and the sunshine in her smile.





Well its a beautiful day in sunny downtown Nashville. It has been a fantastic weekend too. Everyday was marked by some unique oddity of fun that is just typical. All of this is underscored by the active pursuit of something new and different than the previous year. I enjoy waking early to see the deer feeding in my backyard. They always seem to hear my barefoot steps to the glass.



Their heads raise as the chewing slows and their white tails flash in the morning dimness. I find that the simple things are quite filling for me. Good family/friends, laughing and my sweetie; that's enuf. I have not been blogging lately — I've been a very busy beaver! I hope to return this week to my daily blogging that revelation. Not only is it theraputic; but its just fun to let whatever write itself out. Yes, sometimes there is less than others and other times I dont write it because you don't need to read it.


More to come. Thanks to my great realtor, Michelle Donaldson of Crye-Leike Realtors.