creme brulee

Last week Em and I made some creme brulee (thanks to my grandma for the set!) and it turned out quite yummy. It was a bit runny, but you can't really go wrong with cream and sugar...

I look forward to perfecting my creme brulee in the future*

We put a few ramekins in the fridge and the next day one made a very classy birthday cake.

*ps aluminum pans+hard water+heat= pan that you can clearly see the outline of the ramkins because the rest of pan is blackish. use a steel pan, perhaps.


Calvin is actually pretty happy most of the times we see him. Shanna and I went for a bike ride this morning and Calvin was in a great mood. He also doesn't stay still for very long.

Major props to Shanna for riding her bike with Calvin in a bike trailer...I followed behind and her speed was about where I wanted to be...

the basics.

A few friends and I just finished a cake decorating class and it was fun!

I don't think I want to make a cake for another 5 years or so, but it was fun to learn how to do some new things.


huge tips. this wasn't really part of the class but we did a little with them. And now I have them, so they are my favorite way to decorate.

shaggy mum and droopy leaf; this was a bad frosting day.

final class: roses (which I later scraped off because I thought they were ugly and ill-placed), cool dot border, little rosettes and ugly piping.

I still graduated, if you can believe it. It was fun and hopefully I'll use some of my new skills in the future. That is the point, isn't it??

and most of these pics are from photobooth or a phone (the clear ones are from jody's iphone).

mom practice

Last week I took Calvin to 7 peaks. It has been really fun living so close to Calvin. I'm a little bummed to think that we probably won't get to see our future nieces and nephews this much, and our kids may not get to hang out with their cool aunts and uncles so often. But I remain hopeful.

Anyway, we had a pretty good time. It may not look like it because Calvin rubbed sunscreen into his eye and I think it was a little too bright and busy for him, but once we found him a turning wheel (you know, those plastic ones on playgrounds?), he was laughing and splashing away.

I mean, just look at that face!

We saw him again that evening at dave and evan's ultimate frisbee game and he was happy (and again, you couldn't tell from the photos taken by the fabulous emily). I aided him in spilling water all over himself and the blanket. He wanted me to pour water into the water bottle lid, he would try to take a sip and then dump it back into the bottle. Hmm. yummy.

more than you needed to know about my cake-making experience.

This weekend I made my sister a birthday cake (who is, by the way, sixteen today. happy birthday, dude). (and dude, I can't believe she's sixteen).

She had one request: "a harry potter cake". Well, most the good harry potter cakes are made with fondant and a lot of talent. So....I had a vision. A layered gold and scarlet cake with gold frosting and banner that said "alisa for president" on top. You with me so far? Anyway, she likes chocolate cake so I decided to try making a red velvet cake and frost it gold. Then I decided to pipe the harry potter logo on top.

first up: red velvet batter. beautiful, right?

Next up: a perfect cake!! I was so happy. Then the second cake totally stuck to the pan and was a big mess. Dave was nice and fixed it by piecing the pieces together right on the pedestal.

Next is the part where I ended up with pink frosting. Well, we added a ton of red and blue and green food coloring...and eventually got a color that could pass as maroon/some sort of scarlet. It did darken once I frosted it. Why wasn't it gold? I figured the logo was gold, so the frosting should match the cake. bahhaha. NOTE TO SELF: stick to pastel frosting colors.

BUT please note the lovely and perfectly round flat cake.

Then I free-handed the logo . Why does it look like I frosted a bologna cake with mustard? Don't ask, because I have no idea.

And, by the way, the cake was really good! I would recommend it!

Eh, things always look better in your head. Next time, though. next time.

cake decorating

I am taking a cake decorating class with a few friends. It has been pretty fun so far. I mean, it's nothing super hard, but it is nice to have time set aside to practice, etc. In this week's class we practiced putting a cake together (I know, hard, right?) (though I did learn a cool technique for filling a cake), frosting it (and I did wonderfully. notice the cake crumbs spread through out the frosting) AND how to do pipping gel transfer. That was a new skill I learned and it is pretty awesome. It makes it easy to decorate cakes with a cool design.

Even with the speckled frosting, this was one of my better cakes. Don't get me wrong, both layers totally fell in the middle (grr). BUT the frosting I used was great (I just didn't use two inches like most fancy cakes, hence the crumbs) and I'll have to try again. I have the whole world of tip design open to me. Well, after I learn how to do roses during weeks 3 & 4. Then I'll be all set.

We didn't learn how to do these, but the kit came with a 1M star tip (which is awesome) which makes these fabulously easy roses and cute...dollops (for lack of a better word). Fancy stars, etc. I don't know. I made these for our little baby shower.

p.s. I used this cake recipe and got nothing but good reviews.

baby set

I made this little baby set for a friend/coworker of mine who is having a little girl soon. She is moving soon and will be missed!!

Every time I make those little onesies I can't believe how little babies are and then I think how I really need one of those little babies.

stuffed peppas.

we made these stuffed peppers yesterday. they were really good! packed with veggies (and pepper jack cheese, need I say more?), full of flavor and suuuper filling. I could only eat one. I just made three and we kept the rest of the filling to eat with chips, but I think it could have filled 8 medium peppers.


I made myself a striped tote yesterday. (I was jealous of katie's cool penn chemistry one!)

I'm surprised as anyone that it turned out. I used another bag as a template and just went for it. The strips are a little mismatched (which I was kind of going for) and I love it.

As always, you can't look too close because I'm an impatient sewer BUT it is quite symmetrical/even so I'm super proud of it anyway.

*watch this. it's hilarious. then this.

recommendation: complications

I remember my old roommate Katie reading this book a few years ago and I finally got around to reading it. It is so interesting and very good. I would highly recommend it. That is, if you're into reading about medical procedures, reading about human capabilities or how they are like computers in some ways, are interested in human anatomy/physiology or have a strong enough stomach to read it anyway. I wouldn't say it is super graphic in description, but I would be prepared.

Dave and I both read it and really liked it. The book is about the imperfections of medicine and humans, which leads to interesting situations when humans practice medicine. It a compilation of his experiences as a surgical student/resident. It is very well-written and a great read.

The coolest part was reading about a case and being like "they totally did an episode about that in House/Grey's/Scrubs."

mac & cheese take 4

I made this broccoli and white cheddar mac & cheese. It was so good.
The pepper jack cheese was the perfect touch. It is also a three-pan meal, which means I was a one-woman show of boiling broccoli and pasta while turning roux (me: 2 universe: 2) into a cheese sauce.

totally worth it. try it.


I love June. I think it's my favorite month and I'm glad it's finally here.
Look at our first beautiful dahlia! I can't wait to have a pot full of these.

i give up.

banana bread (or any kind of produce bread) and I do not get along. It may be my pan, the altitude or my impatience. but no more. I am taking a vow of banana bread silence. I will only make banana muffins from now on.

*alternate titles for this post include "third time's the charm; always a bridesmaid; sometimes you just gotta say what the fudge; if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably not a duck.


my old roommate Lauren got married a few weeks ago. suzy, dave and I had a great time at the reception. the backyard was beautiful, the food delicious and the bride gorgeous! we definitely missed the other two fabulous roommies who were MIA.

calvin time.

We babysat Calvin last weekend and had a blast on the playground. I have never heard him laugh this much. It was really fun. Check out the videos if you want to see some baby adorableness.