Friday, April 30

Rainbow Cake

Recently, I tried my hand at baking. I love sweets, I love to make people happy and baking someone a homemade treat is an easy way to make them feel special. But you know what? I'm a TERRIBLE baker – good intentions and all the effort in the world don't affect the outcome in the slightest. You have to be attentive, precise and follow directions. Whaaat??? Yes. All of the above.

This was my first effort. I saw these colorful cakes on several blogs and whipped out my mixer. I've made cakes before, but now that I've been reading so much about food, I thought it translated into a new skill set. Completely delusional.

It was five layers, originally six, of good ol' white cake mix from the box. You whip some gel food coloring in there, pop it into the oven and like magic, a gorgeous rainbow cake comes out. Okay, I'm lying. I had a mess of bowls for all the colors. I only had two round pie tins. My oven is from the 1970s but it only cost me $25 so I don't complain. And let's not forget, I don't pay attention. End result, beautiful but dry. Topped with a buttercream frosting that was way too sugary and gritty. My co-workers ate the crap out of it, but I found it disgusting. They probably thought it was less than delightful too, but are too kind to say so. Well, I can't be perfect at everything!

When I first started on this rainbow adventure, I diligently washed everything as I went. But only because I needed those two pans again. TIP: Wash the frosting off everything. It hardens and is very hard to clean up. Just ask my husband, who usually finds unexpected evidence of my culinary experiments when he's cleaning up after me.
Can we say major disaster on the first layer? I got a taste preview at this point and things weren't looking good, but I was invested.
Switched tools for getting cakes out of the pan and hey, check out my cooling rack. It's a strainer but use what you have, right?
The layers came out in weird shapes. So I alternated the lumpy parts with the flat ones and covered it with a ton of frosting. Voila!
Next time, I'm leaving the baking to the pros.

Tuesday, April 27

M&S Grill

M&S Grill, an off-shoot of McCormick & Schmick's, just started serving Sunday brunch last month. I love buffets, but brunch is a tough meal for me to pig out on. I only got small bites of half the items offered and even that is a huge helping of food. I built my own Bloody Mary, skipped the made-to-order Belgian Waffles and parfait and did I already say that it's too much food in the morning???

Usually on Sundays, I roll out of bed, run my hands through my hair, brush my teeth and throw on the easiest, most comfy outfit I can muster the energy for. This is not the place to be my grungy self. The food was mostly good, but it was missing the charm from my preferred brunch places, Happy Gillis and Cafe Europa. I especially did not like the corn chips they used in the Southwestern egg strata, they overwhelmed the entire dish. My biggest complaint is that we were there early and the food was lukewarm. Read The Pitch review here.

The best part of brunch? My filled to the brim Bloody Mary. I checked just about every garnish you could stick in there. And it was devoured in seconds. Maybe that was why I wasn't so hungry. :)

on the Country Club Plaza
4646 JC Nichols Parkway
Kansas City, MO 64112

*$18.95 per person // $8.95 for kids ages 7-12
10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Reservations recommended.

Sunday, April 25

Inspired to Bake

This print by Flowers in May would be perfect for my friend Rachel. She loves to bake and I love to eat, and that's how friendships are formed. via Black Eiffel

Friday, April 23


Hello Blog,

I apologize for leaving you for so long. It's been a busy month, happens every time an event I'm chairing comes close. Everything gets thrown on the back burner while I'm throwing myself in a million directions. My sister has taken to calling me Mao, as in Chairman Mao, and I can't say that I disagree. Gotta get all my soldiers in a row. :)

But it hasn't been all work. I always, always, always squeeze in time to stop and smell the flowers. George and I went on a little staycation at a boutique hotel downtown. Our supper club gang has had two fabulous dinners, one of which we hosted. The City Market has this great "garage sale" every Sunday which is more like a flea market. One lady was selling naked Barbie dolls and clothes you could mix and match. And finally, my garden is bursting again.

Life is busy and life is good and soon I will have time again to share it all. See you soon!

Monday, April 12

Thirty Three

That's how old I turned this year. I celebrated for three days, doing all the things that make me happy – a movie, dinner with good friends, estate sale shopping and of course, Sunday brunch. And in my wide old age, haha, I asked for no gifts this year. I am blessed to have so much, my cup runneth over....and over....and over. It only made my friends more resourceful. Thank you everyone. I love you!
Reba makes the most lovely arrangements. I love the mix of flowers and textures and how she snuck into my house to get my vintage milk jug. The tulips got bigger and bigger every day, surprising me every time I looked at it. Flowers make me so happy, especially one as gorgeous as these.
Lynn's family had an estate sale so I picked up some straw hats that belonged to her grandfather, among other things! Then Lynn GAVE me everything for my bday instead of making me pay for it. She is so crazy. But there's only one thing I like better than old stuff and that's free stuff. You know me so well.
Chocolate covered strawberries, lemon cupcakes, lemon cheesecake, brownies dusted with hearts, chocolate covered pretzels, vanilla cake with blue frosting and tons of other sweet goodies. I was drowning in dessert and they were all made with love. But I swear, no more! My pants were tight before my birthday. And now?
Still tight. :) But my ass is happier.

Thursday, April 8

Just Desserts

Apologies for the lag in posts the last few weeks! I can't seem to catch up and keep signing up for more. It's crazy but life is more interesting that way, don't you think? I am on full fundraiser mode of late, crafting, organizing last minute details, attending meetings, designing and trying to stay motivated! Urban Picnic is less than three weeks away and I can't wait to show you the final results. It's going to be fabulous.

In the meantime, I just wanted to share the event invitation I designed in for the Women Attorneys Association of Topeka. I'm sure we'll be editing the crap out of it as I changed their sponsorship level names and copy. I just wanted the initial work to reflect the sweet theme of desserts. They're still looking for donations if you're interested in supporting their scholarship programs geared for single mothers. Click on image for a more detailed view.