Monday, March 28, 2011

A must-read

In case you don't check our adoption blog on a regular basis, you probably want to head over there now.  Really.  Click here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Current book

If you are the person who recommended this book to me, thank you SO much.  I am reading it right now and I am really, really enjoying learning about Pakistan and high altitude mountain climbing and building schools for children in impoverished third-world countries.  I know that somebody recommended it to me, but I can't remember who. 
And if you aren't the one who recommended it and you haven't read it, consider this an endorsement.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Winner winner chicken dinner!

On Saturday morning Paul woke up and said, "Pick a number between 1 and 22."  I said "um, 21!"  And he said "great!  Let's see who won the giveaway!" 

I said, "hey - that's not fair - I didn't know that is what you were talking about and I wanted to put numbers on a piece of paper and have you draw a number from a hat!" (We're pretty much amateurs at this giveaway stuff if you can't tell.)  So Paul said "fine" and wrote the numbers 1-22 on little scraps of paper (he didn't cheat - promise), folded them up and threw them in a baseball cap.  I stirred them around and had Paul draw. 

He drew a 21. 

So, the universe DEFINITELY wanted Denver's Dining Diva (aka Tiffany) to win!  Yay!  I'm glad you outed yourself on our blog DDD!  Email us at amynash at gmail dot com so we can send you the deets about the $20 gift code. 

But as a consolation prize for everybody else who commented, our friend Bethany said that it was okay if we posted the recipe for the Almond Roca cake that we posted about last week as long as we gave credit to Williams-Sonoma since the recipe came from one of their cake cookbooks.  So here you go:

Almond Roca Cake

1 butter pound cake (make your own or just buy one like I did from the grocery store)
Sour Cream Fudge Frosting (see below)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp finely chopped Almond Roca toffee candy or Heath bars

Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the pound cake horizontally into 4 layers.  Place the bottom cake layer cut side up on a plate.  Spread 1/4 cup of the frosting over the layer.  Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of the chopped toffee.  Spread the underside of the second cake layer with 1/4 cup of the frosting and place it, frosted side down, atop the toffee covered layer.  Spread 1/4 cup of the frosting over the top of the second cake layer.  Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of the toffee.  Spread the underside of the third layer of cake with 1/4 cup of the frosting and again place the layer, frosted side down, atop the second toffee covered layer.  Spread 1/4 cup of the frosting over the top of the third cake layer.  Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of the toffee.

Now spread the underside of the fourth cake layer with 1/4 cup of frosting and place, frosted side down, atop the cake.  Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake.  Sprinkle the top edges with the remaining 2 Tbsp of toffee.  Let stand until the frosting sets slightly, about 1 hour. 

Serve immediately, or cover with a cake dome and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Sour Cream Fudge Frosting

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I would substitute with maybe 1/3 semisweet chocolate next time)
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup powdered sugar (I ended up using 1 1/2 because I didn't think the frosting was sweet enough)

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and cream.  Heat, stirring frequently until the butter melts.  Add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat; let cool to barely luke warm, about 8 minutes.

Whisk in the sour cream until fully combined, then whisk in the powdered sugar.  Let stand until thick enough to spread, about 10 minutes.  If the frosting becomes too stiff to spread, rewarm briefly over low heat and whisk again until smooth.  (I had to rewarm the frosting and it worked just fine).

Thanks everybody for participating in our first ever giveaway!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Give-oh-give away...

So, the other day I got an email from an online retailer, CSN stores, letting me know that the internets and blogospheres like our blog - how cool is that?  In fact, they like us so much that they wanted to know if we would do a giveaway sponsored by them for a promo code to use on the CSN stores website. 

Um, yes please.

SOoooooOOOoooo, we are doing our first ever HoN giveaway!  The winner gets a gift code to use to buy lights, cookware, a new purse, jewelry, baby stuff - whatever you want! - through  Kind of awesome, right?  I think a disclaimer goes here about how they only ship to the U.S. and Canada and if you are in Canada international taxes might apply or something.

To enter you must pat your stomach and rub your head at the same time while jumping on one foot.  Just kidding.  Um, leave a comment I guess?  With your email address?  Because giveaways sometimes seem like more hassle than they are worth, I'm making the executive decision and saying that you don't have to do anything like woof, tweet, blog, FB or use other social media avenues that I am not cool enough to know about to spread the word about the giveaway.  But you are, of course, welcome to follow our blog, like us on FB, and post our adoption blog button on your blog.  But you don't get extra entries for doing any of that.  And by all means, feel free to share about the giveaway with your friends. 

Afterwards, we'll draw a winner out of a hat or something.  You have until oh, Friday night, my friends.

Ready? Set. GO!

Friday, March 4, 2011

For Bakeshow...

...because she said she likes the blog "Cake Wrecks" better than "House of Nash."  Just playing with you Bakeshow.  (btw, Bakeshow is my lovely friend Heather). 

Here are some photos of the Almond Roca Cake I made.  I meant to take photos along the way, but, yeah, that didn't happen. 

Eat your heart out Martha Stewart.