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It’s a Zoo in here!

April 2, 2010

At 3 AM I woke up to a hysterical 4 month old and 2-year-old.  I went to bed at 12:30 AM (I know, I know – sleep when the baby sleeps!) and was totally NOT amused.  Knowing that my hubby had only gotten an hour of sleep (he has a crucial deadline at work) and that he had to get up at 5:30 AM – I grabbed up both kids and started the routine.  Diaper changes, a drink for the 2-year-old, nursing the baby…Nick Jr. on the television and internet for me.  At 4 AM the 3 of us went back to bed.  At 5:30 AM my alarm went off and I got hubby up and made coffee and a nice omelet for him to start his day off right.  Now, this is the point where I’m supposed to say I went back to bed after seeing him off at 6:30 AM but it isn’t so.  I nursed the baby again at 7 AM and spent some fun time with him and then put him down for a nap.  Then I became a zookeeper of another kind.

My passion is for cooking.  Not baking!  I hate to bake – I hate to make cookies (love to eat them) – hate to bake cakes….but I digress.  Recently I came across this wonderful blog:  http://richfoodleantimes.wordpress.com/ – I truly love to read Sofya’s blog and have made some of her recipes as well as plan to make some more of her recipes.  Her blog led me to another blog and I fell in love with this blog too…especially the photography and especially that of Farida’s Zebra Cake!!!  Thus began my zoo keeping day, uh, part 2 in the zoo.

My “new” hand mixer is junk.  The metal beaters flake silvery bits of toxic waste and I complained to the company and they sent me new beaters and they also flake silvery bits of toxic waste and I complained again and they answered me with…Cut the cord off the appliance where it enters.  Next cut the plug off of the cord.  Next mail the plug portion to us and throw away the mixer, cord and beaters.  Also send us more money and we’ll replace the product for you in 10 – 12 weeks.  All I can say is – I don’t want another product with your name on it – I would however like to have my money back so I can put it towards a Kitchen Aid hand mixer – but I don’t forsee that happening.  Oh, I’m off on a rant – sorry.  I grabbed my handy Pampered Chef whisk and took to making the Zebra cake by Farida, found here:  http://www.azcookbook.com/zebra-cake/

Now I’m not going to show you pictures step by step because Farida’s pictures are far better.  I am in the process of charging the camera battery to take pictures of my finished project.  The house smells YUMMY!!  Braven is awake and wanted to eat the cake as soon as it came out of the oven.  He checks on it every few minutes and announces that it is now cool and waiting to be eaten.  It’s not.  Can I just say that I really enjoyed making this cake?  I even mixed it all up by hand – and that’s totally not my thing.  Basically you make a cake batter from scratch…separate it in equal portions and mix dark cocoa powder (not the stuff from Pennsylvania – I highly recommend Penzey’s Spice High Fat Natural Cocoa powder – and NOT dutch process as it’s too bitter) into one portion and leave the other vanilla.  You alternate batters in the pan, 3 tablespoons vanilla and then 3 tablespoons of cocoa batter in the center.  You work quickly and as you add batter it spreads out and you have a ring of vanilla, cocoa, vanilla, cocoa etc.  Then you bake it and when you cut it there are stripes – reminding you of a zebra.

I don’t think Braven (or I, for that matter) can/will wait for the camera battery to charge so I can photograph the finished product.  And it’s not that pretty as it has a big crack in it (supposedly from over mixing – which I can’t believe I did when mixing by hand?) but it did come out of the pan really nicely.  I really would like to photograph Braven eating the cake.  I guess he can have more than one piece.  The money shot is going to be whether or not the stripes are there when I do cut in to it – and I just know they are!  Despite the big crack in the cake it resembles Farida’s photos.

Devour!

Well, update…Braven decided to devour the cake while I was blogging.  I have photographed and will post the pics up now.

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