Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Redeeming Dessert

Adam's birthday is on Valentine's Day. We could spend some time talking about that, but I have another thing to say. My sister's birthday is also on Valentine's Day and growing up she always got a homemade heart-shaped Red Velvet Cake. I don't think I was ever jealous of this b/c I looked forward to this cake and I loved it. So, naturally when Adam and I started dating I made him one for his birthday (homemade & heart-shaped). Come to find out, he doesn't want that for his birthday cake. Instead he wants a strawberry cake. (ps...I've never been a fan of fruit cakes) We had a delicious one at a friend's birthday in August and since then Adam has been talking about this strawberry cake. I get the recipe from my friend and prepare for the big day!!! I got up early to bake this thing that had fresh strawberries in it, along with Strawberry Gelatin which should have been a red flag (no pun intended) for me. The icing was mostly sugar...with fresh strawberries. Let's just say it started out bad and never got better. It was BRIGHT red (think Strawberry Shortcake the doll) and was sweeter than anything I've ever encountered. The sugary icing was oozing over the top, dense layer of cake. I thought if I put it on my cool antique cake pan with fresh strawberries it would be better. Nope not even that worked. I took some with us to Asheville and we ate some. Adam was a great husband and tried it and even said it was good. But we both knew the truth. I am really embarrassed about this, but I feel like you all should see what I mean. Here is a picture of the poor thing. (there was even an error in uploading it)

So, where is the redeeming part you ask? TIRAMISU. We both absolutely love tiramisu and are self-proclaimed experts on this Italian delicacy. I made it once when we lived in Louisiana and it was awful (too much brandy). So, this was my chance at redemption. Redemption from that alcohol soaked dessert and redemption from the sad strawberry birthday cake. I found the recipe in a Cooks Illustrated Magazine that I bought for 8 bucks at Earthfare. (realized it later and was annoyed) I made sure I had all the right ingredients and on Thursday I embarked on a fabulous journey of making this homemade tiramisu. The excitement built as I tasted the cream and it was delightful. I assembled various sizes of the tiramisu and put it safely in the refrigerator to set. Oh, I just knew it was going to be amazing. Friday night was the big night...the unveiling of this wonderfulness. After the first bite I was swept away to a happy place; maybe even an Italian Cafe in a small village. It was absolutely amazing!! And it only got better!!!
Adam loved it. We both needed this after the birthday cake incident. I will spend the next year perfecting Strawberry Cake, so that next year for his birthday, it will be as perfect as the Tiramisu. (if you have a recipe, share it!!)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

i'm at a loss

i'm not a writer and i don't claim to be. so, anyway, i haven't really been inspired with this blog lately. i often struggle with what is appropriate to blog about and what really is worth reading on a blog. i've just decided not to write anything. but, there have been a few things that come to mind during my day. here goes:
1) you should always take your shopping cart back to the store or to one of those shopping cart storage places. it drives me absolutely mad to see them scattered throughout the parking lot or halfway up on a curb. urgh!! so recently i was at Costco and this old man drops his cart off on the curb (the half-way deal) and all of a sudden this other man starts yelling at him to come back and get his cart and take it to the storage thing (what are those called?). so, he did. and i was amazed! i loved that this guy was willing to tell a stranger to take his cart to the appropriate place. not me, i just stew over it and get annoyed with people.

2) i love Amazing Race!! i was so excited for the new season. and i'm in a pool with other fans which is so fun...one year we won first place and got $75. i'm hoping for that again. but, watch it b/c it's such a fun adventure!! adam and i would love to go on the race...wouldn't y'all love to see the Patwa Team on it?!

3) driving...is it "defensive driving" or "aggressive driving"? i get so annoyed when people can't drive...which is often!!!!!

4) Dark Chocolate Peppermint Jo-Jo's from Trader Joe's. Let the pictures speak.

I usually think of random stuff (or soapboxes) that I think are worth sharing as I'm driving. By the time I get to the computer, it seems silly. I will have stuff to blog about soon...like a trip to San Francisco with Adam!!!! stay tuned for those goodies!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


i absolutely love swimming. i grew up swimming and have the most incredible memories of swim meets. swim practices, not so much, but i loved the meets. and i was actually pretty darn good. i think if i could go back and change something, i'd go back to swimming. with the craziness (and awkwardness) of junior high, i quit swimming year around. sometimes that makes me sad.
getting back in the pool totally does something to me. it's the one (probably only) sport that i can do. it's as if i was made for the water.
here are some fun pics from the "glory days."

me when I swam in Charleston. that's me, not a boy, in case you were wondering.
me and my sis at a swim meet. pretty stinkin' cute, huh?

my sis, and old swim buddy and me at the pool...every day during the summer!

most people have hobbies or crafts or other gifts. swimming is mine. i don't get in the pool enough, but i have to say that the 30 minutes i spend in it take me to a simpler time. it reminds me of my childhood and the fun that we had traveling around south & north carolina going to swim meets, eating carbs, hanging out in sweats, and cooking meals in hotel rooms. gosh--it was fun. can you believe that going to the aquatic center uptown once in a while totally does this to me?!

Friday, February 6, 2009


I am a big fan of NPR. I love just about every program. One program that always gets me is Story Corps. It's a super quick interview between two people; friends, mom & daughter, son & father, vice versa, and really anyone. I find myself drawn to each one and inevitably tear up. I realized this morning as I drove in for my early coffee date with girls that Story Corps comes on about 6:25am. Since I'm not always in the car during that time (or even up) I miss it. I get so excited when the person says, "and now a story from Story Corps." I was trying to get a clip or two posted, but couldn't. You can click on the link and have a listen.