Monday, April 18, 2011

news from the sick bay

Well, I'm starting to feel human again, so this is good news. This weekend was a busy one because of a very special person's birthday. That's right, our very own Nathaniel James was born 24 years ago!!!! A cause for celebration--so we had a little get together with some of his friends from school, Steph and Ben, and our old friend Staci and her boyfriend, Derek. And everyone actually showed up! A tax day miracle! I pulled myself out of a near comatose state to go to the grocery--twice--and make a boxed cake. That's love.
I made a Peanut Butter Cup themed cake. Here it is!


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup whipped topping
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions, using a 9-in. fluted tube pan. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add the peanut butter and confectioners' sugar; beat until blended. Fold in whipped topping. Split cake in half horizontally; place bottom layer on a serving plate. Spread with the peanut butter mixture. Top with remaining cake. Refrigerate until chilled.
  3. In a small heavy saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Stir in chocolate chips; cook and stir until chocolate is melted. Refrigerate until spreadable. Frost top and sides of cake. Refrigerate until serving.

Here is the URL:

I didn't use a tube-pan obviously, just baked half (or what I thought was half but in fact was not even close) of the batter in my 9" cake pan, then the other "half" and layered that way. And put PB cups on top. It was easy. The only think I might add to this is read the instructions on the "whipped topping" (which is cool whip.) I read "Keep Frozen" and so didn't realize before I made the filling that you are supposed to defrost the cool whip in the fridge for 4 hours before you use.

Nathan: about to blow out all 24 candles. That's a whole box. The cake is on fire basically.

Enjoying his first bite of cake.

The innards!

So that was a good time. I also hosted book club this weekend. We just finished reading The End of the Jews by Adam Mansbach. The title is misleading. It's about a Jewish family with multiple generations of writers who are immersed in Jazz music, graffiti art, photography, and hip hop. Lauren gave it to me for Christmas and so I suggested it for our book club. I don't want to write a book report here, but it gave me a very interesting perspective into writing and how it differs from dance and other art forms. Mainly that it seems like a very lonely, solo journey. Dance is so collaborative, it's reigning in a different animal. Pros and cons to both I suppose. Here was the spread for book club. I got totally out of control at trader joe's and so I didn't even put all of the food out.
I made bread again and macaroons. Both are recipes I've shared on this blog. The previous two books we read were White Teeth by Zadie Smith (which I enjoyed immensely) and War Dances by Sherman Alexi. All three books were modern, had huge casts, and dealt with identity/race/cultural blending. It made for a nice trio actually. Next we are reading Travels with Charlie by John Steinbeck to do something a little different. I am about halfway through The English Patient (not for book club) which so far is lovely and so dreamy. A really beautiful book. I haven't seen the movie, but would like to once I finish.
Also, last week we had a little home-improvement project, which was recovering our chairs! We have four--two gross, two not-so-gross, but not really our style anyways.
Recovering chairs just takes a little elbow grease if you've never done it. If you look at the bottom of a chair it is pretty self explanatory. You just unscrew the seat, and then remove the staples or tacks holding the old fabric on. Staple on new fabric, and re-screw. Of course there were about 80 staples in each red chair (someone got a little trigger happy) so that took forever, but now we have:
Here is a close up of the fabric. Nathan picked it out. I couldn't decide what I liked and so I went with his choice:

So nice.


  1. Dude, those chairs look great!! Tell Nathan he did a good job picking the fabric--totally would have guessed you'd chosen it yourself.

  2. I love the chairs!! They are so you even if Nathan picked the fabric. Also the cake is making me really hungry. Who knew you would turn into such a chef.

  3. Speaking of which, I just paid an homage to you and your culinary snazziness on my own blog: