Today is my co-blogger, co-worker and friend of over four years (!), Monique’s, birthday!
From what I understand, her husband (who, while very sweet and kind, tends to stick to things like surfing and let’s Monique do the ‘kitchen thing’) woke up and made her a birthday breakfast of waffles with fresh fruit. Lucky girl!
On Friday, the girls at work and I celebrated Monique’s birthday the only way we know how: with food and yarn. The night before I made her a cake. This particular cake took about four hours due to a few mishaps along the way and had me crawling into bed at 11 o’clock PM, mumbling to my husband about how it was the “Worst Ugliest Cake Ever.” He was fast asleep, so I’m still trying not to begrudge him his answer of: “Oh honey, that’s too ba– SNORE.”
I didn’t bother taking any pictures of it before I left for work. Saving that cake at a stoplight cost me my coffee and resulted in sticky peppermint syrup all over the center console. So, by the time I arrived I was pretty peeved that the Worst Ugliest Cake Ever ruined my caffeine fix, would potentially harm my coworkers’ digestion and would definitely, definitely offend their eyes if they happened to look at it. At least two of our coworkers went in on a Nothing Bundt Cake’s cake that morning, just in case we had to fling this monstrosity in the direction of the nearest waste bin.
We delivered gifts to her desk and I threw in a few disclaimers regarding the cake, assuring her and everyone in earshot if they hated it I wouldn’t be offended, and then left it at that.
About half an hour later, Monique rushed into my department with the cake on a plate and spare forks in her hand. It was good! She promised!
What a relief. There are few things worse in Baking Land than spending hours on one item as a gift and then finding it tastes almost as bad as it looks.
I named him Frankencake. Don’t mind the Project Management folders in the background. I didn’t expect to ever want to see this cake again, so there wasn’t any effort put into staging a photograph.
Now, I’m going to point you in the direction of Dessert For Breakfast for the recipe for this Raspberry Lemon Lime Layer cake. The cake itself I found to be absolutely amazing. The right consistency, just the right amount of sweet and sour — divine. The lemon curd was amazing as well (and it was my first time making lemon curd — woefully not vegan, though I’ve seen that those recipes exist!). But it was the raspberry buttercream that didn’t thrill me. I’m sure I must have done something wrong, but it was just.. too thick for my liking. For such a dense cake with so many complex flavors, I would prefer something lighter. So! This has become a personal project — to perfect a cake to my tastes. I know it may sound absurd to all the foodies out there, but I’ve never done that. I’ve never taken pieces of several recipes and twisted them until they became my own. But I’m about to!
(Also, please notice that her cake is gorgeous and doesn’t look anything like Frankencake.)
You may notice a few bites taken off the side of the cake I was bringing home to my family after work. I must have mice. In my car. Or something.
I mentioned yarn, right? Well, it was my first time giving a gift that was still on the needles, but apparently the ride back and forth from Las Vegas last week wasn’t enough time for me to finish her scarf. I know what you’re thinking: Gifting a scarf in May? It’s practically summer in California! Yes, well, it’s winter temperatures in our office all year ’round, so she can just drape it over the back of her chair and use it to combat her boss’ air conditioning needs.
The yarn is Lorna’s Laces (of course it is!) in Honor. The colorway is “Cookie’s Vintage Office.” The pattern is “Seafoam” and is very easy to memorize! Once it’s finished and blocked, I’ll show off the pattern a little more.
When I went outside to photograph this, the boys that were playing in the street got quiet. I didn’t look up to see what they were up to, but I’m pretty sure they’re starting to wonder why the crazy lady across the street takes her food and other objects outside, photographs them, and then disappears again. Or, they might wonder why she’s still in her pajamas at noon. Valid questions.
Happiest of Birthdays to you, Monique!