Tuesday, June 19, 2012

TWD: Baking with Julia - French Strawberry Cake

Well, I am finally around town this Tuesday so I had to whip up what was scheduled, especially when I heard it was strawberry cake.  It started out with a French cake called a genoise and then was sliced into layers and filled with cream frosting and strawberries.  I thought about trying to only make half the recipe, but then when I read through the whole recipe it only made one 8 inch round square cake so I decided just to give it a go and be short on the strawberries.  I couldn't find my 8 inch round cake pan so I decided the square one would suffice. And then I bought a pint of strawberries on Sunday and today they were about half gone... whoops!

Well the genoise was something new for me, it was eggs and sugar whipped with a little vanilla extract and then cake flour and sugar stirred in and then butter folded into the batter at the end.  I was a little scared to over mix it, but I am not sure I mixed it enough.  It didn't seem to rise very much so it could have been my mixing, but I am going to blame it on baking at a high altitude and in an 85 degree house!  Here are my pictures of getting the cake ready.

Once the cake was cooled, I whipped up the heavy whipping cream with some sour cream, sugar and vanilla.  The recipe said to cut the cake into three sections, but since the altitude didn't let my cake rise at all I stuck to just two layers.  Covered the first layer with strawberries and whipped cream and then covered the top layer with more whipped cream.

I thought for sure it would be my new favorite cake, but my dad's favorite chocolate chocolate was pretty good on Father's Day and I think I might have like it better even with all the frosting!  This cake kind of tasted like eggs and the texture of the cake was kind of eggy too, it didn't seem like cake.  I might try it again some day after I try to make genoise for some of the other recipes in the Baking with Julia cookbook.  If you would like to check out the recipe the two hosts were Sophia and Allison!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oregon (part 1)

We headed out of Seattle with our sights set on Cape Lookout Campground in Oregon.  It is close to Tillamook Oregon.  It took us some time to finally get there, but we stopped for pictures once we could see the waves of the Pacific!  We crossed the Columbia River and left Washington and entered Oregon!  We drove for about five hours and finally made it to Tillamook.

Entering Oregon

Yes it is the same place that Tillamook Cheese is from, so we of course stopped by the factory.  It was even open on Memorial Day, but no one was really working on making cheese, mostly people we just working at the gift shop and the two ice cream counters.  They have a little deli inside with a lot of, yep you guessed it, cheese!  We got some cheese curds, which they claim are squeaky cheese curds and they only sell them at the factory because after a day of being made they lose their squeakiness. We got the smallest bag we could find and had ourselves a snack, we had about half of them left so we decided to save them for dinner and they were even squeakier at dinner!  Then we headed about fifteen miles further down the road and found our campground.

Playing at the factory
Squeaky Cheese Curds
It was a great campground, I would definitely go back!  We had a great little site that was really close to a path to the beach.  I am pretty sure I jump out of the car and climbed up the little hill to see the Pacific!  Then we set up camp and went for a walk down the beach.  It was kind of chilly but it was wonderful!

We made it to the beach!

After the walk we cooked up some dinner and finished our cheese curds.  Then we put on our warmer clothes and watched the sunset!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Julie and I took a vacation earlier this month to the Pacific Northwest all the way down to San Francisco.  We had never been to Seattle so we wanted to go check it out, so we decided to head there for a few days, then rent a car and drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to San Fran to see Julie's Aunt and Uncle there.  We have a boatload of pictures, so I think we'll do this in a few segments.  First up is our time in Seattle.

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Seattle, which accidentally coincided with the Folklife Festival bringing out all of the hippies and just about everyone else in town it seemed.  Our drive from the airport was made much longer because of the line of cars heading downtown, right where our hotel was located.  But we got in just fine, and after a quick nap we headed out to see the town.  We stopped at the Pike Place Market first and saw the first Starbucks, the fish throwing butchers,  and tons of people looking around the market.

The first Starbucks!

After the Market we walked our way back to our hotel that was about a mile north.  We grabbed some hamburgers at a local favorite called Dick's.  Then we headed through the Folklife Festival and grabbed a snack and watched people by the fountain Key Arena and then turned in for the night.

Sunday morning we had a date set up with Theo Chocolate to take a factory tour.  The factory is in Fremont which meant that we had to either drive or walk two miles over Queen Anne Hill.  We choose to walk, and man they really mean it is a hill!  We woke up pretty early and had found out that there was a farmer's market by the factory so we thought we would go get some fruit for breakfast and then hit up the chocolate...  well we didn't know that the market didn't really start until 10 am, so we decided to find a coffee shop and get some breakfast there.  We found ETG in Fremont and it was a wonderful little place.  Then since we still had time we made our way over three blocks to find the Fremont Troll.  He holds a real VW Bug.
This is what Julie and I plan on doing when we retire!
Wonderful street food at the Market
That is a real VW bug!

Then it was about time for chocolate!  We had a great tour of the only Organic, Free Trade Chocolate Factory in the USA.  We learned that all their flavored chocolate is mixed by hand which is pretty impressive for the amount of chocolate they sell across the country.  You can find them at Whole Foods and REI.  After the tour we headed to the farmer's market and found some pizza for lunch.  After lunch we walked back over Queen Anne Hill and then headed to the Flagship REI store to pick up some camping supplies.

After we found everyone at REI we headed back to our hotel to get ready for our big fancy dinner at the top of the Space Needle!!    We had a great dinner, mostly because of the view, the food was fine, but a bit pricey, but then we were eating dinner in a rotating restaurant at the top of the Space Needle!  It was totally worth it!

The following morning we headed to Oregon!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

DC in May

Well we are back from our trip down the West Coast, but I figured I should write a quick blog about a trip I took out to DC for one of my best college friend's bachelorette party!  I flew out with Liz and we meet up with the other girls that flew into DC and then we all headed over to Candice's place for a big surprise!  She had no idea we were coming and her fiance Chris did a great job setting everything up with one of my other best college friends Amy!

Candice surprised
Ruth, Jan, Me, Candice, Amy, Rachel and Liz

We had a great time hanging out the night we got there!  There was a ton to catch up on!  I don't think Chris got a word in with all of us girls there!  The next day we were lucky enough to be in town for an air show at Andrew's Air Force Base.  We spent the afternoon watching all sorts of planes fly overhead and then we got to end the air show with the Blue Angels!

Candice and Chris

After the Blue Angels we headed back to Candice's to get ready for a night out!  We had to take a group shot and then since we are all Sailfish, we had to show some school spirit!  We went out for dinner in Claredon and then danced the rest of the night away.

You wish, you wish, you wish you were a fish!
The following morning we all finally woke up and then after lunch we all headed back to our homes.  We took one last group shot minus Jan.

On the way home it was the night of Eclipse, which Liz and I could see in Dallas!

Can't wait for the wedding!