Monday, January 23, 2012

He prefers HBO, for some reason.

It has taken a year of tireless campaigning to convince The Man Who Lives In My House to watch Downton Abbey with me.  I found it myself about six months ago when he was away at a meeting.  I watched the entire first season  over the course of 3 days on Netflix.

It is, as you probably know, SO ENGROSSING.  Who will Lady Mary marry?  What is Mr. Bates' secret?  Why does Anna find him attractive?  Why is Mary so mean to Edith?  Will Sybil become a suffragette?  More importantly, will she run off with Branson, the chauffeur? And why, oh WHY is it no longer customary to dress for dinner?  Because I really want to swan around in a drapy, beaded frock.

None of this sounded appealing to TMWLIMH.  He is afraid that if he watches Masterpiece Theater, he will turn into our parents.  In fact, he might age.  Perhaps avoiding PBS is the secret to his youthful visage! (I have completely given up on hope of him ever watching antiques roadshows)

 I don't care.  The show is so good it is worth it.  I will just go get some botox.  I cajoled him into watching the opening episode of season 2 with me.

"World War I has started!"  I promised, "So there will be explosions!  And trenches.  And bad Germans, although not yet Nazis."

Well this piqued his interest, albeit grudgingly.  Is this not mysterious?  Why is a man attracted by war, but not love and intrigue and issues of social class?  He sat through the 2 hour special with me.

"What did you think? I asked him as the credits rolled,  "Wasn't it great?  Aren't you excited for next week?"

"Well, it was better than I was expecting," he admitted, "But I think they could improve it a lot if those women just took their clothes off."

Thursday, January 12, 2012


We are going to the mountains this weekend.  This plan just happened semi-spontaneously.  I informed the Hooligans.  The Larger Hooligan is in a snit because his leopard gecko is about to shed and he feels he must be there for her.  Apparently you have to provide a bed of moistened moss.  You would think that this was the birth of his first child.

The Man Who Lives In My House is the one who ok'd the aquisition of a leopard gecko.  I handed this issue off to him.  He started making some calls.  

TMWLIMH  to Lauren, one of our babysitters:  "Hi Lauren, What do you know about lizards?...............So you don't have a phobia of lizards?  Good...................How would you like to housesit a lizard this weekend?.......................No the Dog will be with us, it's just the lizard................Yeah, the hot tub is working...................Oh, what about crickets, are you ok with handling crickets?....................Yes, live ones..........

(to the Hooligan:  how often does the lizard need to eat crickets?)

..... It only needs to eat every few days.  You won't have to deal with crickets.............You'll do it?  Cool.

I don't know how much Lauren will charge us to house sit a lizard, but it's coming out of the Hooligan's allowance.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I have nothing to say. But a girl's gotta eat...

So I give you this cake:

The back story is the basic cake recipe originated off a land o' lakes butter package.  The orange/chocolate modification came from a cake called the "Cassata" that used to be served at the Bread and Ink Cafe on Southeast Hawthorne Street in Portland.  It was so good.

I think my tongue has a photographic memory.  This did not help me much in school, but it's great when I try something amazing  in a restaurant that I want to re-create at home.

3/4 C butter
3/4 C sugar
4 egg yolks
Until fluffy.

2 t grand marnier or other orange liquer,
zest of 2 oranges,
1/2 cup orange juice,
1/4 cup milk or cream,
2 t baking powder,
1/8 t salt
2 C flour
1 c mini chocolate chips (the darker the better).
Mix until just blended, pour into greased loaf pan.
Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes.

Cool and frost with a dark chocolate ganache frosting.

I make this by melting the rest of the chocolate chips and adding 1/4 butter and a little cream or milk until it has a nice spreading consistancy.

You don't really need to frost this cake--it's pretty great straight up, but frosting does make it a little fancier if you're having a dinner party or something.  Just serve it in slices, like bread.