Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lizzie Snow's Caramel Cake

My birthday was 2 weeks ago - and since Jimmy did not appear to be running out anytime soon to buy me the icecream cake of my dreams, (I cut him some slack this year), I decided to take matters into my own hands!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this cake - especially just eating the icing!  It was my mother's grandmother's recipe, Lizzie Snow Gould.

Make it with classic yellow cake, two 9" cake circles.  Make sure they are fully cooled before making the icing.

3 c sugar
1 c whole buttermilk
1 t baking soda
1 stick butter

Caramelize ½ c of the 3 cups of sugar. Do this by pouring sugar into a 3-4-qt saucepan (medium size), use very low heat and increase heat as you go, all the while stirring with a spoon or whisk to keep the sugar from sticking to the pan.  This part takes a while.  It will be getting close when the sugar starts to look and feel wet.  Keep stirring and let it all change texture to the wet, syrupy sugar (clear in color).

Add ¼ c boiling water to the caramelized sugar, stand back!.  You will be thinking at this point that you have messed up!  All of the caramelized sugar turns hard as a rock in the boiling water, stir up all the hard pieces.

At this point pour the other ingredients into mixture and stir over medium to medium-high heat.  Get it to a slow boil. 

Cook until it forms a good ball when dropped in a glass of cold water. (Reach "soft ball" stage on candy thermometer, ~130 - 140 degrees F.)  Remove from heat.  Stir until creamy.  It must be cool and creamy to go onto cake. It will go on the cake runny and harden on the cake.  If you let it cool too much, it will be tough to spread onto cake (but still be delicious).


btw - I  completely photoshopped embellished my first picture.  Here is the real final cake.  Sometimes delicious doesn't equal pretty!

A teeny tiny little hairline crack quickly turned into a peacesign crevasse




and finally, gone

Monday, July 26, 2010

a lonely summer....

Not really, I've had so much fun! 

But Jimmy is on night-float where he leaves for work at 6:45 PM (thankfully we live close!), and comes home somewhere between 10 AM and noon....  EVERY Monday-Thursday NIGHT!!!  Sunday is even worse, he goes in at 5 AM and doesn't come back until Monday at 10AM!  This is a 10-week long rotation, it started June 22nd and goes until Sept 1st!  That leaves a very tired Jimbo every Friday night and a very reserved Saturday evening, clouded by dread as the next week quickly approaches...

Needless to say, lots of lonely nights.  Sundays are the worst!  During the weekdays I try to have something very domestic and yummy for him waiting when his alarm goes off at 6PM, for the cherished 25 minutes we have together!
With the onset of crazy real work hours for me, I have found this 6 PM challenge of dinner more and more tiring... and last week I took my first trip to Super Suppers down the street in Vestavia Hills. 

Oh yes, that is me, buying about $100 worth of frozen mashed potatoes, chicken parm, and thaw-and-grill chimichanga flank steak!!!

But tonight I got home late, missed our "quality" time, and decided to eat leftover stale chips from Qdoba with a glass of $4.99 Rex Goliath pino (Yes, by myself - don't judge!)... PLEASE! someone step in!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Goodbye Shabang

As you can see - I've updated!!!!  New header, new blogtitle..... let's be honest, I made up Shabang back when I didn't even know if I'd keep blogging, back in the good old days of 2008. 

Bouchelle.blogspot is still the same url, so no real changes for anyone, but now is much improved!

For those of you who don't know, Bouchelle is my maiden middle name - a very famous name if you're from the town of Boligee, Alabama, where Bouchelle Company Cotton Buyers meant big business back in the early part of last century!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pillars of the Earth

For those of you who live under a rock, Pillars of the Earth is the best book almost ever, my all-time favorite, and is now an 8-part miniseries on Starz.

We were initially assigned this 1000-page book as required reading our senior year of highschool, back in the good-ole days, and needless to say even all of the guys in our highschool read it in its entirety.

Starring Donald Sutherland amongst others - I think it officially starts in 3 days, however I have somehow already recorded the first two parts.  We added Starz for just $7.99 a month and can cancel anytime, so I suggest you do the same!!!  Don't miss it - even Jimmy is hooked and lined up to read the 2nd book, World without End, as soon as this is over...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Caps... what a shame

I've always liked hats.  I must think I look good in them or something.  Maybe it's subconscious, maybe not so much...

yes, this is my husband wearing a wig and eyeliner.  yes, we are standing in front of our old pirate mural.

Unfortunately, I don't wear them.  Well - a hat seems to be something that you really have to have confidence to pull off.  Because, when someone wears a hat/cap - unless it is the dead of winter and you are circled around the Dean Dome waiting to go into a basketball game - it is quite of an attention grabber.  Not that they don't look awesome, but is such an obvious accessory and people know you think it looks good.

I wish I still had some of the pictures of my best friend from home, Amelie, at the 6th grade dance in her black beret.... but, she'd probably kill me.

My college friends ceaselessly made fun of me because of my love of 'caps', and yet my insecurity in busting them out.  Whatever, we all busted them out when we had the chance:

I have yet to try to pull off any of these trendy caps:

But despite my continual cap-as-fashion insecurities, I now have a daily sanctioned use of hats.  anesthesiology.  So... eat it, Alana and Angela, I'm going to wear my hats now (yes, I have bought all of these below... and only in my 3rd week!) and I'll look damn good in them!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Pepper Scare....

As all of you know, Piper and her sister and mother are celebredogs, otherwise known to Jimmy as DOG MODELS!

Fred and Kee, proud grandparents as they were, designed these wine bottles to send to the proud parents (aka, us Hlavaceks, Sasha, Laura/Paul, and grandparents-Hlavacek {jim and urs}).

{Dad loves to make fun wine bottles through Windsor Vineyard}

They will be on the cover of Orvis Dog Book this September!  The website finally announced these three ladies as well as the other three cover winners....  See below:

However.... LOOK CLOSELY (& sideways)!!!  OH NO!  DAMN Pepper!  Who would ever name their golden retriever "Pepper"??????

Phew... Sasha took care of it and it will be corrected for the REAL cover!!!  No worries!!  Also-  How ironic that "CR" is from Chapel Hill too!!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Birthday America!

My sister, her husband, and I traveled down to the best place on earth to be for the 4th of July:  Pensacola.
Yes, despite all of the oil, it is still fabulous to be there and the party spirit is still alive

What would the 4th be without...
homegrown tomatoes?

tomato pie?

fresh blueberries and strawberries?

or Joe Patti's???

Thursday, July 1, 2010

and now officially...

an anesthesiologist!

Today was orientation - a bit terrifying!  Finally - about 10 years after I decided to go to med school, I finally begin the next years of training where what I do every day is what I want to be doing!

Hopefully my patients won't remember anything like this: