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Running Back to Basics & Avoiding the Chaos

So after a hefty hiatus, I’m back! Hopefully, I’ll be more consistent with my updates now that I’ve got my handy, dandy ipad. I’ve spent the majority of my off-blogging time caught up staying afloat in my classes.

This week I’ve been a little weirded out by old “friends” coming back to haunt me. When I was younger I spent a lot of my time making sure I spent quality time with all of my friends, to the point of personal exhaustion. As I’ve gotten older, I have TOTALLY reevaluated the importance of alone time. Not that I have anything particularly important to do, but I would like the opportunity to lay around like a sack of potatoes if I wish to. As I spent more quality time with myself, figuring out my identity and what I wanted in life, my view of certain people shifted. Well, I should say people who hold certain personality characteristics. Rarely….rarely…can I keep my mouth shut if someone is just spewing nonsense everywhere. My mom has tried to pass down her mastery of ignoring others, but I was never able to pick it up. I’m a firm believer that whatever you put out in the world is what you deserve to get back. So arguments with pals are bound to come up. I’ll admit I didn’t always play fair, but now-a-days I tend to avoid ultimatums unless absolutely necessary. Usually bringing up something that bothers me in a non-confrontational way works just fine. However, there are those moments when you have a all out brawl. Now how in the world do you come back from that? I’ve always seemed to be able to hold on to grudges longer than others, but is that so horrible? I don’t think its such a terrible thing to have a defined sense of right and wrong, of justice. So when two friends go without talking for months after a serious argument, the friendship is over right? Or so I thought. When someone approaches you with apologies and promises of change, how is someone supposed to react? Well, my reaction with surprisingly…lukewarm. You know when you’ve been waiting for a text all freaking day long, so every ping gets you leaping off the couch, but when you get to your phone its not the message you were waiting for? Yup, that’s the feeling I got when I look to see five pages of blah, blah, blah. On the one hand, obviously on some base level anything anyone has to say is important. People want to feel as though they’ve been heard and respected. On the other hand I have been so wrapped up in doing what I want to do for a change that I really didn’t have a second to remember you existed. So how do I relay, “thanks, but no thanks” to your heartfelt novel without seeming like a huge jackass? One of these awkward besties interventions is enough, but multiples? Time to bake. So stay tuned for my trying-to-forget-you treats!

Layered Lemons

I found recipe number 1 to use up my left over lemons. I had to look long and hard for something that required more lemon juice than zest. I was worried that the obviousness of the lemon would be overpowering, leaving a soggy, sour cake. I was totally wrong! The actual cake has a subtle vanilla twinge and there is only a light lemon flavor in the filling and frosting. Because I was forced to used a square pan, I had a shortage of frosting. I tried to cover the unseemly naked cake with strawberries, which added contrasting color and flavor. I think I’ll bring this cake back around for easter or during the summer. The recipe I tweaked from allrecipes.com didn’t really have a title so i’m calling it..

Layered Lemon Cake

Lemon Cake with Lemon Filling & Lemon Butter Frosting
Originial recipe yields: One 4 layer 8 inch cake 
 
 

Ingrediants

Cake –

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsps baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 1/4 cups white sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup milk

 Filling –

1 tbsp grated lemon zest

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (*I used abt 2.5 lemons)

1 tbsp cornstarch

6 tbsp butter

3/4 cup white sugar

4 egg yolks, beaten

Frosting –

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup  butter, softened

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp grated lemon zest

2 tbsp milk

* I added about 1/2 a pkg of strawberries for contrasting flavor & color

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans (I only had 1 available so I ended up settling for a square one). In a bowl mix together the flour, baking power, and salt. Then set aside.

Cake

2. In a large bowl, cream (beat) together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (abt 5 minutes). Then beat in each egg one at a time, then add the vanilla. Take your flour mixture and add it alternativly with the milk (add a little bit of one, then a little bit of the other). Combine well.

3. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Removed and allows to cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then invert and allow to cool completely on the racks.

Filling

4.  In a medium saucepan, mix together the lemon zest, lemon juice, and cornstarch until smooth. Mix in butter (I zapped it in the microwave), sugar, and then bring to a boil over medium heat. Keep the mixture at a boil for 1 minute now stirring constantly.

In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with a wire whisk until smooth. Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture. Then, beating rapidly, add the egg mixture to the saucepan. Reduce heat to low; cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until thick.

5. Pour this mixture in a medium bowl, then press plastic wrap tightly around the stop to avoid filming while it cools. Cool to room temperature then place in the refrigerator for 3 hours (*I left it in for about 5 hours while I went to work, then nuked it in the microwave so it spread more easily).

Frosting

6. In a large bowl, mix confectioners’ sugar, butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest until smooth. Beat in milk and increase speed and continue to beat until light and fluffy.

Assembly
 

7. Using a long serrated knife, split each cake horizontilly, resulting in 4 layers (*I had 2 round and 2 square, but you should have 4 nicely matching round layers). Place 1 layer, cut side up, on the serving platter of your choice. Spread the first layer with half of the filling (the stovetop mixture). Add the second layer, then spread with 1/2 cup of frosting (I didn’t really measure, just used enough to cover). Add the third layer and spread with the remaining filling. Add final layer and frost the tops and sides with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate until time to serve.

* For the future: Having 2 square layers stretched the filling out too much. I either have to make more filling or use only circular pans. My frosting wasn’t soft enough so I should probably either add more milk or beat for a longer period of time.