Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Today's Best Hits...

You guys!

Today--today today hot damn TODAY*--is Matt's last day of class. My boy's mere hours away from completing his degree. Everyone say a small "hallelujah" for us from wherever you are. Tonight, after he turns in his paper, we'll be out celebrating with chicken wangs and his classmates (and everyone else in Knoxville because, naturally, his last night is on St. Patrick's Day, but oh well...).

*paraphrase courtesy of Darren McGavin from "A Christmas Story"

My contribution to our personal celebration? What else, I made a cake.

Yellow cake, chocolate frosting, recipes courtesy of America's Test Kitchen, and oh, my, but it's heavenly. I could use nothing but this frosting for the rest of my life and be happy, it's quick, easy, and completely divine tasting. And because I'm such a pal, I'm posting the recipe. You need a food processor, that's the only caveat. Otherwise, this recipe is perfection.

Foolproof Chocolate Frosting

Makes 3 cups to frost one 9-inch 2-layer cake
20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter , softened (60 to 65 degrees)
1 cup confectioners' sugar (4 ounces)
3/4 cup cocoa powder

Pinch table salt
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces chocolate , melted and cooled slightly

In food processor, process butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add corn syrup and vanilla and process until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl, then add chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15 seconds. Frosting can be used immediately.


Beyond frosting, I have another new love this week. Miniature gardens. Tiny little landscapes contained in nothing more that the space your potted geranium used to live. I first discovered these a few years back on Little Landscapes (how much do I love the airstream trailer and it's Christmas lights and tiny pink flamingo?) Then recently, while poking around on Apartment Therapy I found this. *Squee!* And a quick round of googling yeilded even more treasures, some I love like weegarden and Two Green Thumbs, and, yeah, a few that aren't quite my style but may have some useful tips (ahem, Enchanted Gardens, I'm only using you for your accessories). I cannot wait to try this out, y'all. Maybe you don't know this about me but I HEART TINY THINGS. Tiny = adorable, always. And with the acres of new real estate known as my perfect, pergola covered deck and the 20 or so various containers I've amassed already, all I need is spring (and, I suppose, some garden center gift cards/a few extra hours at the bakery, whatever it takes).

So, y'all, what's floatin' your boat this week?


The Colorado Carrs said...

oh I want to eat that right now......

KatieKate said...

Seriously, Cort... anything with 20 tablespoons of butter is my friend.

And those wee gardens are sooooo cute! I wonder if, being smaller, I would have less of a chance of killing it?

Courtney said...

That cake looks amazing! My husband loves yellow cake with chocolate icing.. so thank you for posting your recipe.. I'll have to try it for him soon!!