Friday, September 30, 2011

And You Think You'll Burst Apart

A few weeks ago I decided I was tired of this shit, "shit" in this case being all of Emery's constant puking and called the GI office at the local children's hospital.

Two days later we were in the office, talking to the doctor - who I will never, ever visit again. Anyone who thinks I'll pay him to treat me like I'm stupid obviously isn't nearly as intelligent as he'd like to believe.

The next day we were at the Occupational Therapist getting Emerson tested for a behavioral problem with vomiting; he was cleared of that diagnosis.

The following day we were in Radiology having the worst x-ray experience of my life, where they fed him barium and ran the machine like a video feed, rotating him in this 18th century torture contraption. They thought he had a mal-rotated intestinal tract, but after another hour (!!!) of testing they deemed him anatomically perfect.

The next week the GI's office called to say they have a diagnosis! He has acid reflux!

My reply? "Um, yeah. I know. That's why I brought him to the office to begin with."

So, here we are - now waiting for a stomach scope. Which they have to do in in-patient surgery due to his food allergies. Where he will be put under with anesthesia. I am not looking forward to that.

A day later, I came down with Strep and here we are, more than a week later and I'm still not made of awesome - I blame the crazy antibiotics. I'm sure you'll agree.

I've had the honor recently to participate in two quilting bees. One, a quilt for Jacquie (oh, how we will miss her from KCMQG!) and a very special quilt of love. Both ladies put into words what I simply cannot.

Today is my and Aaron's 11th wedding anniversary. Three kids and one crazy puppy later, here we are: old, going gray and we still like each other. WIN!

Tonight we celebrate as a family, ordering pizza, family movie night and bakery cupcakes. Monday we'll celebrate as a couple, dinner out and tickets to see Death Cab.

I think this may beat last year's hardy high-five in the kitchen.

In other news, have you seen Emerson?

Emery? Where are you?

Peek-a-boo! There you are!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm Just a Million Miles Away

The week began with cake and ended in multiple new doctors and tests.

Acid Reflux is no damn joke, internets.

So, let's focus on the good: cake

My dad's 60th birthday was last week, we had my parents over for a big birthday celebration which included a gluten-free version of my dad's verymostfavorite, German Chocolate Cake.

Gluten-Free German Chocolate Cake

for the cake:
16 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 oz 70% dark chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk*
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking salt
2 teaspoons xantham gum
2 cups gluten-free flour**

for the filling:
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 3/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks

for the buttercream:
1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 to 2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9" round cake pans, cover bottoms in parchment paper and grease again.

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, add in eggs one at a time; drizzle in melted and cooled (for the love of P, it must be cooled) chocolate, scraping every last drip in. Add vanilla and buttermilk and mix well (it's gonna look gross; welcome to gluten-free baking).

Scrape the sides, mix a bit more and sprinkle in salt, baking soda, baking soda and xantham gum. Scrape sides again, mix well some more and then sprinkle flour in 1/2 cup intervals, until all the flour is incorporated. Scrape down the sides again and mix well by hand. Globby gluten-free batter doesn't bake well, ya'll.

Divide batter between the two pans (I took out enough batter to make 4 cupcakes before dividing) and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when testing the center (the four cupcakes baked for 20 minutes).

Remove from the oven, let cool completely before moving on (preferably overnight).

for the filling:
Place chopped pecans and coconut in a large heat-proof bowl. Dice the cold butter and put that on top of the pecans and coconut.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat cream, sugar and egg yolks stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Pour hot mixture through a five sieve into pecan mixture, stirring until butter melts. Set aside until it cools to room temperature (about an hour).

for the buttercream:
In a mixing bowl, beat butter and one cup powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, salt and cocoa-water mixture. Slowly add melted chocolate chips.

Slowly add more powdered sugar until it's at a consistency and sweetness you like. You can also put the mixture in the fridge and beat occasionally.

(It's not plagiarism is it's copying myself. Ahem.)

Put the dang cake together already, Laura:

Remove cake from pans, slice in half width-wise. Oooh and aaah over how well it slices and stays together. Place one half of the cake on your cake plate, cut side up. Top with about 3/4 cup filling. Add next cake half, more filling; repeat two more times. Frost outside with buttercream.

Don't share.

*make sure your buttermilk is gluten-free. It does no one any good to get the wrong buttermilk. You can always make your own by adding one tablespoon white wine vinegar to one cup milk, let sit for 10 minutes.

**I use King Arthur's gluten-free all purpose flour. Paid outta my own pocket.

A couple of notes:
This cake is no.damn.joke. So good. Awesomely good. I'm sorry for not sharing the actual, physical cake but certainly the recipe is enough, right?

The cake is mild and holds up to the super-sweet filling really well. In future endeavors, I'll likely make more filling to have thicker layers. I got lots of whines for wanting to eat extra filling by the spoonful. And over ice cream. And on pancakes.

Most German Chocolate Cakes have beaten egg whites. When egg whites are beaten it changes how the proteins stick to each other - whatever that is called, it makes me sick: hence, no beating of the egg whites in this recipe. If you want to do that, you are certainly welcomed too. Add the egg yolks where I say to add the eggs, beat the egg whites and fold in at the very end after the flour is added. But seriously, the recipe already filled my pans, adding that much air in would overflow so have a third circle pan on hand. Or make cupcakes.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Shake, Shake, Shake it Off

Random Lady I've Never Met Before: Oh! Your baby is cute!

Me: Thanks!

Random Lady: Does he have... The Cancer?

Me: ... Um... His face? He has some dermatology issues but we're working on it...

Crazy Lady: Oh, that's good. I'd imagine it would be hard to bond to an adopted baby with cancer.

Me: ....

Crazy-Ass Lady: He is adopted, right?

Me: Does it matter?

Fucking Crazy-Ass Lady: Oh! Haha, no? I mean? It's just... he's so white and you're so dark!

Me: ...

Dumb Bitch who Needs to Pull Her Foot Out of Her Mouth: ... Um... I take it he takes after your husband? Your husband must be really white. Why...

Me, walking away.