I am happy to say the cake was a success! David enjoyed it and even shared with a couple of people outside of our core team. I think he was happy with the extra cans of Guinness as well. Happy Birthday David! Enjoy your day off and the rest of your weekend.
David’s Birthday Celebration April 27, 2012
Happy Birthday David! April 26, 2012
I have a pretty close-knit core team at work and one of them is having a birthday Friday. Since he is taking that day off I decided to bring in a cake today to celebrate, but what kind of birthday cake do you make for a man who has gone on a health kick and rarely eats sweets? I searched until I came across a recipe for Guinness Chocolate Cake. Perfect! He does enjoy an adult beverage along with a good cigar, so I decided to give it a shot. My first challenge was converting the receipt from UK measurements to US. I wasn’t up to the task, but I found someone else who was. Then I was surprised how hard it was to find a single serving of Guinness, so I ended up getting a four pack. Aside from the immense amount of whisking involved in this recipe it was remarkably easy.
If you would like to make this yourself, here’s the recipe:
1 cup Guinness (dark beer)
1/2 cup butter, cubed
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup sour cream
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Grease a 9-in. springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper; set aside. In a small saucepan, heat beer and butter until butter is melted. Remove from the heat; whisk in sugar and cocoa until blended. Combine the eggs, sour cream and vanilla; whisk into beer mixture. Combine flour and baking soda; whisk into beer mixture until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Remove sides of pan.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and cream; beat until smooth (do not over-beat). Remove cake from the pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Ice top of cakeso that it resembles a frothy pint of beer. Refrigerate leftovers.
Yield: 12 servings.
I’ll give the extra three beers as a gift to the birthday boy, and maybe tomorrow I’ll post a picture.
Cooking for One Not So Blue April 24, 2012
Last time I wrote about how discouraging it can be to cook for one. This weekend I broke that mold though and had an absolutely fantastic dinner of coconut breaded butterfly shrimp, cilantro-lime rice, and asparagus. I was excited when I found the rice recipe, as this was my first chance to use fresh cilantro from my garden. It was surprising how well all of the flavors went together. As I was eating I was even thinking about changing one of the meals in Julianne to this combination. This novel is set in a seaside town, and the shrimp would be much more appropriate than chicken. As I go into more revisions this week it is certainly something that I will have to consider.
If you want to try to Cilantro-Lime Rice here is the recipe.
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon chicken bullion granules
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
salt to taste
(you can also substitute the water for chicken broth)
Bring the rice, water, and chicken bouillon to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, 20-25 minutes. Remove from the heat, add lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Fluff with a fork and serve.
Cooking for One Blues April 20, 2012
It’s interesting, as much as I enjoy food, cooking for one can be a real drag, especially after a twelve hour day at work. I am grateful to my dear mother who froze several individual servings of soup, spaghetti, chicken strips, and even Vodka chicken for me on her last visit. Last night I took some of those chicken strips out and put them on a salad, which would have been a nice meal, but I opened the pantry door and saw a bag of dried orange-cranberries. These made the dish really pop.
Even in my books, it is rare for my characters actually cook for themselves. In Julianne, due out this summer, Michael Finnegan is the owner of several restaurants and resorts, but he does actually make his sister, Julianne, two meals at her home. Be sure to follow me on Twitter or Facebook for more updates on the release of my next novel.
Lucky 7’s April 11, 2012
I’ve been tagged by Beth Lynne from http://www.bzhercules.com/index.html So when an author is tagged for Lucky 7′s, they go to page 77 of their latest release or work-in-progress and count 7 lines down. Then they post the next 7 sentences from that point.
From the soon-to-be-released Julianne by Rebekah Lyn:
“When will she be done?”
“This afternoon hopefully.” Oliver turned at the sound of a large group entering the diner. “There’re my friends. I’ll see you later.” He rose and greeted the boisterous group of actors and stagehands.
Oliver and his friends parked several blocks from Hue MacRea Park.
Tagging the following wonderful authors: