What I’m Loving Right Now

I’ve been having a lot of remarkable experiences recently – and not cooking much, so my blog fodder has been light (sorry about that!). But in the meantime let me share some stuff I’ve been loving recently:

Boston Organics – I started getting a Boston Organics box every other week back at the beginning or April, I love it the way no ordinary person should. They have the BEST customer service I’ve ever experienced and the magic of opening my box is like a present. Boston Organics also lets me create a “no-list” so I can opt out of the bitter greens and things I just don’t want in my box (like avoiding yet another pound of carrots). They also have really neat Add-Ons program – this week I have “added-on” 1 pound of strawberries, half a pound of garlic scapes, and 3 lbs of rolled oats from Maine (look for a granola recipe soon). It’s grocery love.

Fat Toad Farm Goat’s Milk Caramel – A friend recently found a Woot deal for Fat Toad Farm caramel and sent me the caramel as a gift (becasue I am super spoiled, thanks Seth!). It is some of the best caramel I’ve eaten in a long time, I want to put it on a wedge of brie with some pears. Decadence.

Hyper Local Brew Fest – This is an amazing event I’ve helped to organize and put together to benefit Sustainable Business Networks of Boston. It’s going to be on Saturday June 16th and I am so looking forward to it. I’ve met and experienced some amazing craft brewers because of it and can’t wait to meet more! Want to come? Grab a ticket here: http://tinyurl.com/hlbrew

The Bloggess – I had barely heard of her before Friday, now I can’t stop. I added her to my Google Reader, have been reading her back posts, and broke down and bought myself a BRAND NEW hardcover copy of her book, something I never do, She is witty, wonderful, and writes about Nathan Fillion (and calls him Nater-Tater, WIN). Go check her out.

Boston Area Beer Enthusiasts Society (BABES) – My friend Kristen runs this great beer group, they meet once a month at Meadhall in Kendall Sq and pair delicious brews and snacks. This month the pairings are a comparison of west coast and east coast beers paired with east/west coast cheeses. It will be FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC.
Garden Strawberries – There has been a strawberry takeover of my backyard. I love it. A quarter of the yard is covered in strawberries. I will cut them back after the fruit is gone but until then there are perfect strawberries for munching.

Craft Beer Cellar – I went in here Saturday and it is a magical wonderful space full of well curated craft brews. I wonder if they would mind if I just moved in and hunkered down?

Warm Weather and Sun Dresses – I live in sundresses in the summer, it’s how I roll. I don’t like shorts so an arsenal of good comfortable dresses is key. I’ve been loving the Lace Affair for inspiration and fun sales. I totally got a fun pin-up dress from them which I am going to wear to this little event!

So those are a few things I’m totally in love with. Hope everyone’s beginning of summer is going well and I will be back soon with a recipe, I promise!

Update: I’ve also been watching this video on repeat. It makes me ridiculously happy.

BF’s Nintendo Cake

So, Nov 20th was BF’s 27th birthday.  Not a significant birthday really – it’s not a milestone or anything, but this year is a special one for him.  He’s accomplished a lot and this past year has taught him how to be stronger and patient with all aspects of his life so I wanted to celebrate it.  As a gift he got (or rather is getting because it’s still not here) the 25th anniversary edition of Zelda: Skyward Sword, so I decided his birthday cake should be Nintendo-themed.  I started to plan this cake in March;  It’s a classic Nintendo Entertainment System, for those not in the know, and it has his favorite Zelda game in the cartridge slot, The Legend of Zelda, which is also the first Zelda game.

I made the cake of Brown-Butter Rice Krispie Treats and a family carrot cake recipe that I always make him.  I purchased the fondant; its just the Wilton brand because I wasn’t sure how to make it and didn’t want to mess up BF’s birthday cake for my first test.  But now that I have worked with fondant, (a first!) I will probably do it again, and may even try making it myself, maybe with marshmallows next time.  We’ll see.  Below is my photo step-by-step of the whole process from start to finish.

From start to finish creating this cake was a lot of fun, but next time I think I’ll try to make it on a day other than BF’s actual birthday.  It was a lot of work and took a fair amount of time because I just wasn’t prepared for how hard it was going to be to work with the fondant and keep the cake a surprise.  Also, banning BF from the kitchen for his entire birthday was kind of mean; he wasn’t able to come in and get snacks or anything.  Thankfully two of his best friends were visiting, so they played Settlers of Catan while I finalized cake sculpture.

[Editor’s Note: The game “cartridge” was removable as well; instead of blowing out candles, I blew into the edible game cart in hopes that would get the system to start. And for the record, I do not recommend eating game controllers, no matter how vintage they may be. All in all, truly outrageous.]