Happy Birthday, Mom! and Cousin Wynette! Hope your days were wonderful.
Today I decorated two cakes for Jason's cousin who just turned 40! I baked them yesterday to get that out of the way. The baking of the cakes was an adventure in itself, since I used a total of 4 cake mixes. What else did I make but a "4" and an "0" to celebrate such a momentous occasion? I used a straight-sided 9x13 pan and did a cut-up cake style for the 4, and I used a 10" round for the 0. It was loads of fun to make, but I barely got it done in time! It went straight to the Expedition for the surprise party at the park--it was almost surprise, no cake! And so, sadly, I didn't get a picture. They were frosted with chocolate icing and decorated with circles in shades of purple. (And so of course, I had to wear my purple t-shirt.) In my dream world, the cake would've had a marzipan woman popping out of the 0, celebrating her wonderful life, but not in any lewd way--children at the party!! I bought marzipan, but since I was probably the first resident of Atmore to buy marzipan at Winn Dixie in the last two years, the tube I got was totally dried out. In fact, I could have knocked out someone with that brick. I have never worked with the stuff before, but something just told me that a hardened brick wasn't right....so we looked at Wal-Mart last night for it, and no luck. Either I'm blind, or ain't noone in Bay Minette ever heard of marzipan either. I didn't ask for help. It's hit or miss with Wal-Mart sales associates, and noone was lurking around to ask, either.
And so, on a different note (no pun intended), I leave you with a much-loved recipe for red beans and rice.
1 lb. red beans, soaked overnight
1 med. onion, chopped
7 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. parsley
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 c. ketchup
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. Tabasco sauce
2 bay leaves
1 t. thyme
salt & pepper
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into 1" pieces (or raw bacon--totally awesome)
I soak the beans in my crockpot overnight with lots of water. The recipe says to drain them in the morning and add 3 quarts fresh water, but I cheat and just skip that step, because deep down in my soul I am L-A-Z-Y!!! In the morning, I put in everything else, minus the salt, and turn it on high. (Don't add salt while your beans are still hard or only partially soft; it prevents them from softening.) I keep my crockpot on high until the mid afternoon, after my beans are soft, and then turn it to low. Serve over rice, and top with shredded cheddar, sour cream and extra hot sauce.
This past week, I also made Cincinnati chili. So yummy.....eat your heart out, Les! But...my kitchen still smelled of raw onions the next evening.