Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Please make the cake go away! And the movie popcorn too!

Me with two birthday cakes
I'm not sure the point of this posting. Hopefully it's funny. there is a good DVD recommendation at the end.

Recently I have been to multiple social events, all with really good desserts. I can't take it!

Let's just say I contained myself somewhat but did taste "slivers" of some good cakes over the past few days. Last year I probably wouldn't even have wanted a sliver. I'm annoyed that I am finding sweets so appealing again, as opposed to being kind of grossed out by how cloyingly sweet most of them are. This is mainly a function of being surrounded by really high-quality desserts, and partly as I've been eating more sweets in general and as we all know, sweets beget sweets.

The last item to put me over the edge was a chocolate cake from the Jessica Seinfeld - how to hide vegetables in your desserts cookbook. Natasha had an obsession with making it for Alex's 6th birthday party last Sunday, and after arguing with her for days about it not being time yet, I finally made it with her on Saturday. The entire escapade was kind of embarrassing. I'm such a bad baker, even with the fancy Kitchen Aid mixer my mom insisted on buying for me when I got married. I had some purchased, already cooked beets, and sent Dave out for the rest of the ingredients. I even instructed him to buy "1 SMALL bag white flour"!!! Heresy!!!

I decided to double the recipe and experiment. Of course. So I made one cake by the book (minus a bit of sugar) and another where I removed the white flour and put in a mixture of whole wheat,
soy and quinoa flours.

I ran into a little trouble with the chocolate. I tried to melt it in the microwave, with Natasha's help, and ended up burning it and making it chunky. I got really frustrated and started getting mad at Natasha but even I couldn't find a reason why this was her fault. I mean she did pester me to make this cake for her brother when she knows I hate baking, but is that such a crime? So I decided to make the cake a chocolate chip cake. Easy enough solution. And it didn't taste that burnt. Then the brown sugar wouldn't dissolve and was in huge balls. So I just mushed it by hand over about 10 minutes against the side of the bowl with the back of a wooden spoon . At this point I came REALLY close to throwing the whole concoction into the sink but decided that instead of wasting the wet ingredients I would give it one more try, add in the flour and only risk throwing away the ingredients plus the evil white flour. Ok...after a lot of mixing, it turned out good enough for me to try baking it.

The cream cheese frosting was so ridiculously easy, there is no excuse not to make it. Cream cheese, confectioners sugar, unsweetened cocoa in a blender for a few seconds and voila! As a side note Natasha found it too rich, but whatever.

After the cake was done, I had Natasha decorate it with some Dots candy and a bunch of sports themed candles I had bought. It actually was adorable. Unfortunately it was small and more kids were coming than I expected so at the last minute (I mean literally at 9:40am, party at 10am.) I had my sister-in-law buy a cake at the Giant. They even wrote his name on it, which is more than I managed.

As a side note - the kids ate both cakes. There wasn't too much complaining about the lack of sweetness in the chocolate one. I only cut down the sugar a bit. But it wasn't nearly as sweet as the supermarket cake. I sampled both. You certainly couldn't taste the beets. And as a super side note, Alex loved the third quinoa flour experiment cake. That one had no frosting and I had put it out as a kind of breakfast tea cake before the party - with chocolate chips from the unmelted chocolate. He loved it! It had a little sugar and canola oil, plus the chips, and then beets and the whole flours.

During the party I just kept eating. I was trying to be cognizant of what I was eating and not go overboard, but I was starving. I ate several pieces of a super high-fat cheesy bread pudding that I had made, tons of fruit and some whole wheat bagel with chive cream cheese. (my local bagel bakery makes whole wheat everything bagels at my request). I just couldn't get full it seemed. I also ate tons of fruit and ice coffee. Then the cakes came out, and of course I was in charge of cutting and serving them, covering my hands in rich, creamy chocolaty frosting in the process. Impossible! I even at the candy Dots!

After the party and the clean-up it was so hot and Dave was so tired from running around with the kids for 3 hours (very good daddy and husband - I stayed inside by an AC vent, supposedly making more ice coffee for the poor parents who decided to stay) that he asked me to take the kids to Toy Story 3 while he watched World Cup in our basement.

At the theater I decided to buy popcorn for some reason and fell into the whole, the extra large tub is barely more expensive than the massively overpriced mini tub trap. I thought I could control myself and eat a normal amount and take the rest home and put it in the kids' lunch boxes for camp. After all, I've been successfully controlling myself for 18 months with nary a slip up! I should note that movie popcorn is a trigger food for me. I gave each kid a small paper cup and filled them with popcorn. Alex barely at half his tiny cup. Natasha ate about 3 tiny cups (mind you she had had 2 big pieces of birthday cake already). I stuffed my face with probably 30 handfuls of non-buttered but still massively greasy popcorn. I had absolutely no self-control and was eating it with the wild abandon of my old self. I didn't even get that "Oh lordy I ate too much popcorn" feeling. I just kept eating and wanting more. What the hell was going on??? Mercifully, when the tub was about 60% gone I knocked the remaining whole thing on the floor by accident. Thank GOD!!! Natasha asked to eat the popcorn on the top of the pile not touching the floor. We each had a piece from the still heaping pile and then I said no more.

I decided to call the popcorn dinner, even though it was 4pm, and it more or less was. I had a little more of Jessica's beet cake but just a bit. Then I went to bed, woke up in the morning nauseated and with a headache and got my period. Ah ha.

PMS is over but the cake is that it's still in my refrigerator and I had some for dessert last night and breakfast today. This is a problem! I mean, really it's fine, I am plenty thin and I'm having small amounts - and it's not such a horrible cake. But I haven't craved sweets so badly in a long time and it's now not just hormones. It's all the little slivers of this and tastes of that getting me back into craving sweets. I do have some self control in general, but my preference would be to not crave the things in the first place. Oh well. This is my second posting on this topic in a week...hopefully it's my last for a while!

To compensate for two days in a row of not exercising and three days in a row of eating chocolate cake, I am letting the couple on the right train me...No just kidding, I actually like this DVD. I like hard DVDs.

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