meatless meatballs roasted porcini with gremolata gluten-free chocolate chip cookies venison with morel sauce


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last day of summer

And look what it’s doing on the last day of summer!!!


whoooooooop!

[EDIT] as of 10:15 pm



Actually, there are a couple of inches of snow accumulation on our deck as I type. That’s a spankin’ sweet birthday gift and introduction to autumn (for tomorrow)!

I kept the house warm this afternoon with baking. I bought all of those delicious organic carrots for the sole purpose of making carrot cake(s). I made this one for my neighbors (Marcus and the kids):


ingredients minus the oil and vanilla

i like to use these cute 6-inch pans

creamy frosting really makes the ensemble

a small four-layer cake is ideal for a family

frosted and ready to go



Birthdays evolve as you get older. When I was little, for several years, my grandmother would make me an ice cream cake for my birthday. Oh, but this was no ordinary ice cream cake. My parents (in addition to working for NASA) owned and operated a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store. My grandmother managed it. Now that I think of it, my mom practiced discrimination in her hiring – she had an all female staff of young college women. My mom didn’t trust young men (who does?). I’m sure her logic was flawed, but man – you wouldn’t believe the amount of business we did among young twenty-something males! All of my mom’s staff were such sweet, smart, and hard-working women. My parents invited them to our house for dinner sometimes, and Tammy was my favorite. She always gave me presents. Once, she brought me a doll from some tropical location. I hate dolls. But I felt guilty for disliking this one because Tammy gave it to me and I adored Tammy, so I gave it a place among all of my 30+ stuffed animals that lined my bed each night. Anyway, my grandma was an expert cake decorator and she came up with incredibly awesome designs each year for me – like clowns climbing the cake, or a garden of icing flowers, or cute icing animals. My grandma rocks.

Then on my sixteenth birthday, my sister was at college, my mom was away on business, and my dad and I were the only ones home. Kris called after I got home from field hockey practice. Dad forgot. I was so disappointed because as a teenager there’s all this hype about your sixteenth birthday and so far, it was like any other day. My mom called that evening and when my dad talked to her he suddenly said, “Oooh oooh! I forgot!” and I knew she was chewing him out. I wasn’t surprised, because Dad forgets all dates. Since that birthday, I have been pretty lukewarm about birthdays. It’s part protection mechanism and part Jen’s Path to Becoming Practical and Realistic Jen. It’s always a good excuse for getting together with folks you like (everything is a good excuse to get together with folks you like), but otherwise, it’s fairly unremarkable for me.

As long as I get to spend tomorrow with my guy and my pup, I really cannot complain.

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