Saturday, September 25, 2010

Now I'm Just Making Shit Up

Today was a big day for Ophelia and me -- we had our first dinner party at our new house. We've had guests over, but this was our first major event with more than a couple of people. I have some really nice new colleagues here, so I thought it would be nice to bring some of them together for a little party. I had a great time. I hope I speak for everyone. :)

So, what you're seeing with this post is a cake that I just made up. Ok, well, it's not that ingenious, but whatever. I'm calling it "Inverted Oreo" -- chocolate with a whipped cream and oreo filling/frosting. It was hella good. And hella messy. Ophelia did a bang up job with the chocolate cake and the frosting -- you can see her in the background after having just worked super hard. She's posing, spatula on her hip and everything. What a show off. I suppose she's entitled.

In other news, I tried to light my kitchen on fire tonight, too. Apparently it's a bad idea to set a towel on a burner you forgot to turn off. Huh. Lesson learned. Of course, one of my new colleagues was in the kitchen talking to me, and as I'm thinking "huh, something smells weird," she's yelling, "holy shit, fire!" and taking the towel off the stove and throwing it in the sink. And all these years I thought I was really reactionary. I guess not. A little embarrassing. Also one of my favorite towels. I also told said guests that they needed to kind of fend for themselves with drinks, etc. -- it was just too many needs for me to handle. I am not, as it turns out, the hostess with the mostest. Whoops.

I am also failing, miserably, with this whole "cake of the week" business. I think I might have to re-group and come back at it in January. Too much going on, I tell you. Ophelia doesn't mind, she says -- she's still getting used to her new perch, anyway.

Hopefully we'll have more next week, and we'll still have a house standing around us. :)

M&O Productions

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cakes and Pies, Cakes and Pies

Ok, so it's more like "pies" than "cakes and pies," but I was pretty excited about this find, mostly because it's apple season here in WI! The bro and bro's GF came to visit, so we went to the apple stand, and got some apples -- can you see those beauties? Wow.

So, we're also way behind with our cake a week plan. Ophelia has been yelling at me, but I told her yelling wasn't helping, so she toned it down a bit. This job is a little, well, intense, which is a good thing but doesn't leave me a lot of time to recover. So, we're behind. We're dealing.

A funny teaching moment the other day: In prof/tech writing, I bring in a press release from the DNR about cougar attacks. I am sure you are reacting just like my students did when I started saying things like "interesting, these tags -- don't provoke a cougar, don't move if you see a cougar in your path." None of this registers with me until I see a non-traditional student in the corner crying because he is laughing so hard. My teacher bad.

More later -- we're exhausted, but hope you're well!

M&O Productions

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Put a lime in the coconut...

This is my new colleague, D. We just had eaten a wonderful meal of homemade Indian food, and I was to bring dessert. When I got back from having a pedicure (yay, pedicure before school starts!), my plan was to make a coconut cream cake. But, I had no cream cheese, and I kind of wanted trifle. So, I made this recipe up. First, Ophelia and I made a white cake with macerated coconut. Then, we began toasting some coconut for texture. Then, we made some coconut pudding, and some whipped cream. Then, we put it all together. And seriously, it was amazing. I might have had, um, 3 servings. Normally I don't like anything we make that much, but this was really light and good and coconutty. YUM.

We were a little late with this post this week -- lots happening! It's meetings week here, and I sent off my first full article for review to a journal! I am sure it will get rejected, but those who know me know that even just sending it off was a big deal. I'm still working on syllabi, of course, because when do I not work on things up until they are due? I also finally have my office set up, I think -- now I just need to put some pictures in it.

Tomorrow I head to Chicago to see T&A (yep, that's right) and go to a Train concert. Should be great. I have missed Chicago, horribly, and will be glad to drive up Lakeshore once again. It's good to be a gangsta. Wait, I meant back in the Midwest.

This week also marked my Grams' 87th birthday. She visited our new house, and even commented on how nicely the kitchen color matched Ophelia. And she ate a cookie or two -- Ophelia was flattered.

More to come next week -- we sound so boring these days! We're tired; sorry. Hopefully once we get in the groove, things will get a little easier and we'll be a little more humorous. :)

More soon!

M&O Productions

Thursday, August 26, 2010

But If I Had the Chance to Go Back, I'd Rather Stay Right Here...I'm Turning 30

Yes, you're correct, I've already turned 30. That's how Ophelia and I came to be. I love every anniversary with her, but this post isn't about me, it's about my bro's GF, M. Now, M is a trooper -- she hangs out with my family a lot. Enough said. ;) And M. likes chocolate. A lot. For a little girl, she has an awesome appetite. I appreciate that about her.

Now, M. turned 30 this week, and so for this week's cake, I told her I'd make her any cake she wanted. She requested a fruit and chocolate cake. This is the best one I make, but after having screwed it up this summer, I was a little hesitant. Ophelia said it was because I didn't use her. She said to give it a try. So we did. It turned out pretty good.

The last picture is M. on her 30th birthday. Isn't she lovely? She's just as kind and sweet as she looks. My brother is a lucky guy. Happy 30th, M!

More on Sunday!

M&O Productions

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Good, Good, Good, Good Intentions...

Well, O. and I started out with good intentions. We made a carrot cake, earlier than the deadline we gave ourselves for the year-o-cakes. Then I ran out of time to decorate it, so we thought we'd wait and make another. We thought we'd bookend with cakes we knew we were good at. So, our second was a chocolate and peanut butter cake. Yum. And these were pretty good, although it's clear we are still getting used to the new stove (which burns SO hot, whoa). But, again, we ran out of time for decorating. Why? Well, let us tell you.

Painting. Painting takes SO long. Well, so long when you're not exactly color adept and think you keep your paint swatches straight, but you so don't. And since we've moved in, we've painted four rooms, one of them twice. The sheer stupidity of that astounds me, but we're both much happier with the second kitchen color, which you'll see in the next post.

These cakes were good for our first cakes in our kitchen. Some new colleagues got to taste both of them, and they seemed to like them. I am still having a thing for the cookies, however. Oh those cookies, those sweet, chocolatey cookies...

We'll tell more in our next post -- we've been making cakes, just not writing about them! Sheesh.

Love to all,
M&O Productions

Monday, August 2, 2010

All I Want is to be Home

Well, these posted backwards, despite my best efforts, but here goes nothing.

We're finally home -- back in the Upper Midwest, Ophelia and I are. We are SO happy. It's cooler. It's lush. I walk out my back door and I see a Bluff in the distance. This is all pretty awesome.

Since we got to NC, our goal was to get back. We're here now; we're home. And we're lovin' it.

Finally, after a week, the kitchen is set up, and Ophelia was ready to roll. Her first project were these cookies, also known as cookies to die for. They are seriously that good. Like "take the last cookie and I'll hunt you down" good.

Apparently the recipe is from a book called Beat This but I got it from my cousin Dan. I ate three of them. Don't judge me.

What do you think of our new kitchen digs? Ophelia loves that she has a little counter all to herself. She's made friends with the recipe box, so no fighting there for attention. They work well together.

We're still adjusting, but hey, we're here! Looking forward to more baking in this space!

M&O Productions

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kick, Push, Coast...

In honor of moving, my blue girl and I have been listening to some Lupe Fiasco. Ok, so we have no idea what that has to do with moving. We just find him pretty awesome. We love us some "Kick, Push" and that's exactly what we're doin' -- Kick, Push, and Coastin' our way outta here!

So, we're on the move again. Ophelia is glad I kept her box -- she feels snug as a bug in there, see pic. No, that beefy hand is not mine, although it really could be, at the rate I've been taping and lifting boxes these days. Nope, that's V., the infamous Dad who has come to drive the truck back to WI. He's also the reason I didn't get an "Ophelia moving action shot" -- and I quote -- "what the heck are you doing? Taking pictures of your mixer? Dumbest thing I ever heard. Go pack a box." I told him I was telling Ophelia's minions he said that. Let him know what's up the next time you see him.

So, complete with a "Fragile" sticker (we big girls always are :) ), Ophelia and I are ready for the next adventure in our lives. So long, NC -- it's been real, and it's been fun, but not real fun. Wisconsin holds a lot more snow, cakes, and pies for both of us.

Much love, and more as we move!

M. and O.