Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thank you, Julie & Julia

Well let me get to the bad news first so I can move on.  In the early waking hours of Friday morning, Mia woke up sounding like a barking seal.  If you've ever experienced this firsthand or had a family member who has, you know that's the calling card of croup.  Other symptoms include fever & cold.  Based on the internet's advice, I decided to take Mia for a "sick visit" to her pediatrician's office where he basically confirmed what I thought.  She has gained 5 ounces though.  Anyway, the regimen for croup is basically humidified air, a good face plant in the freezer, or a walk in the cool night air.  Since it's pretty hot here, a walk in the cool night air is basically impossible, but we do have a humidifier & a freezer, and we've been utilizing the former.

She didn't do super well the rest of Friday: restless and tired--very difficult to put to sleep.  But once she finally was out last night, she slept all night like she normally does.  Thank goodness!  She's doing better today and hopefully will get another full night's sleep tonight.  We aren't giving her much aside from plenty of liquids (and whatever remaining bmilk we have around here!), whatever solids she might tolerate, some hepar sulph (a homeopathic remedy for croup), and some Motrin here & there for the fever/pain relief.  

While Mia was abating her condition and actually sleeping last night, Greg & I watched Julie & Julia on Netflix on the Wii (kinda cool!)  While Greg fell asleep too, I rekindled my interest in things kitchen-related (family members across the United States are breathing a big sigh of relief) and am making a cake tonight.  Not the Julia Child kind (don't think I've ever actually attempted to master the art of French Cooking), but the modified recipe kind.  It's actually a modification of a Betty Crocker recipe as modified by her and the recipe I used to make Mia's birthday cupcakes!

Check it out, it's really simple (and yummy!):  My comments are italicized.

  • 2 cups flour (fresh ground organic soft white wheat)
  • 2 cups sugar (I use only 1 1 /2 cups organic evaporated cane juice like Rapadura or Sucanat and then add 4 drops stevia) -- I used raw sugar, aka demerera--less processed & I like the taste)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use organic Rapunzel brand cocoa powder - very dark and full of antioxidants) -- I skipped this, I prefer it without the chocolate
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I use fresh from the cow whole milk from a local farmer) OR for Mia I made it with rice milk as I was unsure of how she'd react to cow's milk
  • 1/2 cup shortening (expeller pressed coconut oil works fabulous here)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs (I use free range eggs) or organic eggs
Bake in whatever size cake pans you want for 30 mins at 350°F.  Or 20 mins if you're making cupcakes.


  • 1/2 cup deep yellow, grassfed butter, softened - I just used plain store butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa or carob powder (or 1/4 cup of each) - again, skipped the chocolate
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 4 cups sifted, organic powdered sugar - cheaped out and used regular powdered sugar! :P
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix powdered sugar and cocoa/carob.   Add butter, boiling water, and vanilla.   Beat with an electric mixer on low till combined.   Cool for a few minutes and then frost your cake.     Recipe will frost tops and sides of a double layer cake (9x13 pan).

I adapted the frosting by using a Food Network recipe courtesy of LPK, and made yellow frosting with lemon extract, red frosting with almond extract, and green frosting with mint.  The white frosting just had vanilla.  It was super good!  

In my opinion, the cupcakes were superior to what I might've been able to get from a store.  They were a bit more dense & heavy, but they had a really good taste & stayed moist for several days.  I chose to make Mia's cupcakes myself as I wanted to avoid several artificial ingredients (although the frosting may have backfired that desire!) and I wanted less dairy where possible.  A big shout-out to Mommo for helping with the last minute cupcake preparations.

Tonight, I am remaking this recipe, but with real cow's milk instead of the rice milk, and I'm not yet sure which direction I'll go with the frosting.  But I can say regardless, I'm really looking forward to chowing down on this cake!  And so is Greg.

And with that, it's Mia's bedtime.  Until next time...


Greg said...
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Greg said...

I feel like I just walked out of chemistry class. And I can't wait eat some cake!