Friday, January 18, 2008

A Month of Birthdays

This past weekend we celebrated both my Dad's and Aaron's Mom's birthdays. Their b-days are within 2 days of each other and same goes for Aar's Dad and my Mom, but theirs are in the month of March. It's just a weird coincidence.
  My Dad loves cake. Sometimes, just on a random visit, we'll be driving over to my parent's house and our cell phone will ring, it's my dad, and he's curious to see how close we are and if it's not too much trouble.."could you stop and pick up a piece of cake?"...and by "piece of cake" he means a whole cake, but that's just the way he likes to say it..."piece of cake". Anyway, for his birthday he goes for tradition. Heck, for his entire day-to-day life he goes for tradition...he used to eat a whole bowl of Haagen Dazs every night while watching the eleven o'clock Seinfeld. (he's since become more health conscious and has switched to King of Queens since exhausting every Seinfeld ever filmed.)
  So every year on his big day he wants his favorite meal: Sauerbraten, followed by his favorite cake: The Brown Derby. So I'm voluntary and designated cake maker for all family birthdays, and I have to say that The Brown Derby is one of the simplest cakes to make yet earns the greatest praise. You start with your favorite Devils Food cake recipe...go for rich and moist. I suggest two, 9 inch cake pans . Cut the two layers so that you have four layers. Layer with fresh whipped cream sweetened with confectioners sugar and a little vanilla extract. Then layer with thinly sliced bananas, strawberries, and peaches, (canned peaches in syrup work great). Then frost the entire cake with whipped cream and sprinkle with Oreo cookie crumbs! It's super easy and super good!
  In fact, so much so that I decided to do the exact same cake for Aaron's mom, aka Barb. She expressed interest in the description of my Dad's cake last year so I made sure to bring her one this year. I have her cake pictured here, and her still wrapped bottle of Vera Wang's perfume Princess. It's real good and soooo Barb!
  Since being in Romantic Homes our phone has been ringing all day with readers inquiring about and ordering our Valentine's stuff. Over the phone we tell them that they should go check out our other stuff online and we're always surprised to hear when someone says "Oh, I don't go on the internet." And I know that there is definitely an age factor that goes along with that but sometimes age isn't the issue. Some people simply say "hmmm the internet? thanks." Well, different strokes....
  But we don't mind doing phone orders, it's just that printing up a color catalog is way too costly and we'd love for these callers to see what else we have to offer. Anyway, we are running around like nuts trying to get orders out the door. We're actually a bit backed up but making fast headway...our apologies to anyone reading this who's waiting on a box from'll be there very soon!
  I put this cute little gal up on Etsy, Ebay, and Flickr a few days ago. It's our little Charlotte all done up for Valentine's Day. I thought she just went so well with the coloring and just had to do it. LOVE black with red!
This month also holds Aaron's birthday and I just thought about this little collection Aar has that I've been meaning to put up on the blog. I've given them to him one by one on birthdays and Christmas.  They're Amazing little collage books of some of his favorite authors: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Nabokov, and Bukowski. He's dying for an Updike one and I hope I can get it for him later this month. I found the artist on Ebay and commissioned each one. She is really meticulous with her handiwork and her research into each author. She seems to find the right quotes and the best images. Aar keeps them displayed on this little prim feather tree...the pink base isn't exactly masculine but it's a good balance. When you walk past them and they catch your eye, you can't help picking one up and letting the little Jacob's ladder drop out, and examining allthe tiny details on front and back. The artist isn't available at all times so I'm always checkingfor her on Ebay to see if she's actively making stuff.
  I wish I could blog more but there's always something eating up my time. The current culprit is Hockey season. Walt has been playing awesome and the games have been nail biters.  His team is constantly coming back from a two goal deficit, and they stress us fans out! I'm there for all the games, obnoxious cowbell in hand.
 Ok, that's it for now...xoxo, Jenny


  1. howdy girl!
    you have been busy!
    love all the gifts. anf the ornies are fab! very clever.
    i would love a po one! are ya takin orders???
    have a great weekend!
    jessi nagy

  2. I just love those collage books! I'd really like to know who the artist is.


  3. The Brown Derby cake looks yummy...and easy to make!  Thanks for sharing the "how-to" on that "piece of cake"!  Cool mini collage book collection Aaron is building!  

    And....MORE COW BELL!!!


  4. your collection of little books is captivating! what a cool way to celebrate the influence of each of these authors.  beautiful work.

  5. I was just going to email you that I missed you writing your blog.  Very fun cake.  Unfortunately, I would eat the whole thing before it would hit the table.


  6. Of course you are a BAKER too!  Your "real" cakes look as delicious as your imaginary creations!!



  7. Hi Jenny!  What a beautiful cake!  Those little books are amazing!  Such detail.  xo, suzy

  8. Jenny, That cake looks both gorgeous and delicious. Susan

  9. 13, 2008 at 3:43 AM

    ok great piccys as always, but your dads cake OMG I have never heard of that, I want one now, that sounds so absolutley scrummy, oh I am so hungry for cake now. Ummmmm


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