You guys, I was given another Liebster Award! This time it was from the fabulous Summer from Mallow & Co. She makes all different kinds of Rice Krispies treats, so her blog is right up my alley. And she is so creative. I can only think of a couple different versions of cereal treats, but not Summer. Since I did just do a Liebster Award post, I’ll take a cue from my blog BFF Kayle and just post new facts about me and answer Summer’s questions.
Facts About Me
1. Both of my pinkies are crooked, just like Dad’s.
2. I have never had a manicure or pedicure and don’t think I ever will. I really love painting my own nails. It is one of the most relaxing things for me and I don’t think I would at all enjoy letting someone else do it.
3. I have to tape my toes when I run because I had a couple incidents where my toe nails fell out. (Gross, I know!)
4. I don’t like talking on the phone. Obviously I do it when I need to, but it makes me rather nervous and I’m told I almost always sound sad, even if I’m not. I’d rather talk in person or over email.
5. I don’t text. I’ve never gotten the attraction of texting and being constantly attached to my cell phone. If someone needs to get ahold of me, they call, email, or Tweet and I get back to them quickly, but texting is not my thing.
6. I love Snoopy (and Charlie Brown and the whole gang)! I watch all the TV specials every year, have tons of various holiday related decorations and stuffed animals galore. There’s just something about Snoopy and Woodstock that is irresistible to me.
7. I used to love playing with Barbies when I was younger. I had tons of them, along with clothes, houses, even an airplane. I still have the vast majority of them and sometimes still wish I could play with them.
8. We feed the birds at our house. We have two feeders and a little house where we put peanuts. Sparrows, woodpeckers, finches, blue jays, cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, and more all visit, along with lots of squirrels. In the summer we also have hummingbird feeders that attract tons of the little birds.
9. I never drink pop/soda/soft drinks, and haven’t had one in almost a decade.
10. I love listening to Sirius radio. I always wanted to have it. When I finally got to try it when one of Mom’s cars came with it a few years ago, I was hooked instantly. Great music and no commercials. There’s no better way to spend some time in the car.
11. I have worn makeup since kindergarten. I only wore lipstick then, and hated to leave the house without it, but it was a very slippery slope that has made me fall in love with all kinds of makeup.
1.) What are your hobbies or things you do in your spare time?
While I love to go shopping or for a quick walk, my main hobbies are watching TV and movies. After spending all day writing and baking and exercising, there’s nothing better than sitting down at the end of the day and catching up on my favorite shows or watching a movie.
2.) What is your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is people who chew loudly or with their mouths open. I am very sensitive to the noise of chewing and anything that makes it louder or more noticeable drives me up the wall to the point where I have to leave the room. This is an actual medical condition called misophonia. Kelly Ripa has it too.
3.) What’s one of your favorite blogs of the moment?
My favorite blog has been Brown Eyed Baker for years. It was the first blog I visited, the first blog I made a recipe from, and the blog that was part of the inspiration behind starting a blog of my own. I make Michelle’s recipes all the time and am constantly impressed at how good they are.
4.) Salty or Sweet?
Sweet all the way. I have a pretty much insatiable sweet tooth. Candy, cake, pie, cookies, dried fruit, fresh fruit, cereal, I love pretty much anything with sugar.
5.) What is a goal you have for 2013?
To get a novel published or my screenplay turned into a movie. Writing is really where my heart lies and this is going to be the year I finally get the break I am looking for.
6.) How many kids are in your family?
I am an only child. While sometimes I think I ould like a brother or sister, I am really happy that I am an only child and it is just my parents and me.
7.) What is your dream job?
My dream job is to be a novelist and screen writer. There is no other job for me. It is only a matter of time and hard work.
8.) What is the hardest thing about blogging?
Making the blog grow. I do everything the books and websites suggest, yet it won’t grow. It’s very frustrating, but I keep at it, hoping one day everything will just click.
9.) What is your favorite restaurant and why?
My favorite restaurant is my own kitchen. Sure I eat out occasionally, but I can’t remember the last time there wasn’t something wrong with the meal or I wasn’t feeling crappy the next day from all the salt. I love cooking at home and am almost always happier with the results.
10.) What would your touchdown victory dance look like if you were in the NFL?
It would be a model walk. I love fashion and one of the things on my bucket list is to walk in a fashion show, so I would pretend like I was walking a runway!
11.) What’s your favorite season and why?
Summer. I love hot weather, bright sunshine, long days, beautiful flowers, and walks outside. It makes everything better. I am hoping to move somewhere with year round sunshine and nice weather. Hello California or Florida!
Thanks again to Summer for giving me this Liebster Award!
So while I was celebrating this award, I made Pumpkin Cake with Penuche Frosting. I know what you’re thinking. It’s not pumpkin season. It’s almost spring. Unfortunately here in Michigan, well, it doesn’t look like spring. It’s gloomy and cold and windy and snowy. Yuck! Also, I still have some pumpkin puree in my freezer that was calling my name because in my world, pumpkin has no season. Plus, I even called my local supermarket to make sure they still have canned pumpkin, so all of you can make this yummy cake. The batter is fabulous and it bakes up so nicely.
It was supposed to be topped with a brown butter frosting but it didn’t turn out right. I have no idea why, but it looked separated and it wasn’t going to ruin my cake. After a moment of panic, I made a batch of penuche frosting from the pumpkin cookies I posted back in pumpkin season.
This was a happy accident, as the end result surpassed my high expectations. The moist and dense cake isn’t too sweet with great pumpkin flavor and some spice. The frosting is a perfect match with its sweetness that is never cloying from the hint of caramel flavor. This cake won’t wait for pumpkin season to be made.
By the way, I posted a YouTube video about why I should be on The Jeff Probst show (a long shot, I know), but I would love if you’d check it out
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (I used homemade)
- ½ cup milk (I used almond)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup milk (I used almond)
- 2 – 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment, butter the parchment, and flour the whole pan, tapping out any excess.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until once again light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin and milk and mix until fully combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until a batter is formed.
- Pour batter into the prepared cake pan and bake 40-50 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Allow cake to cool in pan about 20 minutes, before gently loosening from the pan and inverting onto a cake plate. Allow cake to cool completely.
- Once the cake is cool, make the frosting. In a small saucepan, combine butter and sugar over medium heat. Stirring frequently, bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. The mixture will harden. Loosen it with a spoon and add the milk, stirring until it is fully incorporated. Add 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar and mix to combine. Continue adding sugar in ½ cup increments, until the frosting is quite thick but still spreadable. Immediately pour frosting onto cake, focusing in the middle. Spread to cover almost the entire cake, leaving about ¼ inch boarder.
- Cake may be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag in quarters for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for several hours.