Monday, January 18, 2010

SMS: Amazing Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake

Man, what a recipe to come back to. This weeks SMS recipe was Lemon Walnut Pound Cake chosen by Raeann of Basically, Baby Boots. The recipe can be found on her blog. I was excited to make this cake given all the rave reviews it received from the other SMS bloggers. Man, this one is a keeper.

I didn't want to do the nuts thing, and after seeing Cassie's Lemon Poppyseed Cake, I knew I wanted to sub in poppyseeds. I knew I made the right decision when hubby started cheering at the thought of a lemon poppyseed cake. I also substituted Greek yogurt for the sour cream and lactose free margarine for the butter. And still, the cake turned out AMAZING. So moist and light and fluffy, which is a miracle since I noticed about 40 minutes into my alleged cooking time that my digital oven had turned itself off, leaving me to guess at how long it had actually been cooking and how long it had to go! My dinner guests and hubby and myself all agreed that the baking fairy must have laced it with crack, we just couldn't stop eating it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Where have you been?

OK, OK, it has been waaaaay to long. I know. Life has been filled to the brim, with both highs and lows. Since several of my awesome blogger friends have left comments wondering what's up, here's a brief recap on what's kept me away: From late October to mid-December we hosted hubby's (Mathias) mother and her boyfriend for two weeks, Mathias' pseudo Nicaraguan Mom for a week, Mathias' brother for two weeks, Mathias' father, grandmother and stepmom for Thanksgiving weekend, Mathias' best friend for a week, Mathias' friend and longtime volunteer for his non profit for two weeks, and my sister for 4 days. I calculated it, we had 10 days total with no guests in our house during that time.

In addition, Mathias' awesome non-profit, blueEnergy, had two big events which I was volunteering and baking for. A trivia night, where I made 10 doz cupcakes for the event and the grand prize was a gift certificate for 2 doz cupcakes for each winner on a team (5 pp team = 10 doz cupcakes). These were all cashed in! Then a Taste of Nicaragua fundraiser - where I did a lot of work soliciting donations, and then made the dessert bar which had Tres Leche cake, La Lechera balls, coconut rum cupcakes, banana caramel cupcakes, Mexican chocolate cupcakes and fresh mango mini cheesecakes.

Then we threw a housewarming holiday party, with a dessert bar of course. I also made all of the food myself, mini empanadas, mini pork buns, phyllo triangles with sauteed mushrooms, many dips, shrimp, lamb and vegie kabobs, cheese crustini with carmelized bacon, etc. For dessert I made mini pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, mini chocolate mint cupcakes, chai blondies, s'more bars and rice crispy treats with chocolate and peanut butter fudge. Not a one picture of the food, can you believe it? We also went to three other X-mas parties, and hosted another improptu holiday dinner party for 10.

Then, sadly, my mother fell very ill and was hospitalized. That left us driving home on Christmas day and then spending 11 days with her in the hospital. She has pneumonia, which is not better unfortunately, and had to have surgery (on New Year's Eve) to remove her gallbladder and appendix. She is out of the hospital, but still recovering from surgery and still fighting pneumonia. I am headed back home on Thursday to support my family. It has been rough. Since she was in the hospital in Pasadena, CA, we did get to go to the Rose Bowl game. Unfortunately, the Ducks didn't win.

So, on top of all of that, I am a corporate attorney and that keeps me plenty busy. And, to top it all off, right after we came home from LA, I threw my back out and can't move around too well. Unfortunately, standing and cooking/baking hurts a fair amount. So, that's why I have been MIA. It has just felt too overwhelming to try and catch-up in the blog world and get around to everyone's blog to say hi and I was a bad blogger so didn't really take pictures of my baking these past few months. But, it is a new year, and I am hoping for a fresh start, as soon as possible. Thanks everyone for your concern, especially Cassie of How to Eat a Cupcake, Elyse of Belle of the Bakery, Michelle of Flourchild, and Monica of Lick the Bowl Good. It is nice to feel missed.

And of course, my sincerest apologies to the SMS bakers for being MIA, and for Karen of Karen's Cookies Cakes and More for taking over my hosting duties. I am coming back and about to start making the Lemon pound cake right after I hit post!