Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Favorite Instagrams from May

I'm really having fun with Instagram, despite the fact that my iTouch takes photos with terrible resolution. My plan is to post something (my Instagram account is connected to Facebook) every day until I run out of photos. IMG_0622 IMG_0551 IMG_0613 IMG_0599 IMG_0565 IMG_0563 IMG_0560

New York, March 2012

I finally settled on a camera, and I love it. Here are the results of my first experiments. IMG_0042 IMG_0023 IMG_0046 IMG_0044 IMG_0032 IMG_0036 straightened

Sunday, April 22, 2012

How to Impress Your Office

I'm the designated cake baker in my office, and it's a title I take very seriously. Most of the people in my office request chocolate cake. I have a great chocolate cake recipe, and it's something that I can practically whip up in my sleep. As delicious as it is, making basically the same thing, even with slight variations of filling & decorations can get boring. I share my office (in the suite) with someone I really like, and I wanted to make something special for her birthday. Luckily, she left the decision in my hands. YES!!! I made her the most exciting, colorful birthday cake ever. It was not chocolate.

Sitting on my kitchen table, it looked pretty ordinary, with its billowy marshmallow frosting and rainbow bee-bees :

Upon slicing, the surprise was revealed. Six layers of colorful cake, and five layers of colorful frosting stacked into a sweet rainbow. "OMG! HOW DID YOU DO THAT??" Magic. (No silly!)

The photo above is regretfully messy, but I couldn't be like "Oh, birthday lady, could you please cut that cake perfectly so that I can take photos for my blog?" No. Here's a slightly more photogenic photo of the very last piece:

The fun began with six bowls of batter mixed with gel food coloring. Gel food coloring is much more intense than typical food coloring; saturation of this quality wouldn't be possible with the drippy-droppy grocery store stuff. The recipe specified approximately how much batter to use for each layer, so I didn't have to do too much measuring.

This was a two-day deal. The baked cake layers hung out in the fridge overnight.

I liked how the remaining crumbs looked on the parchment paper that lined the bottom of the pans looked when I peeled it off the cake:

Next comes frosting! I decided to use a standard buttercream. About this point I really wished I had a dishwasher.




My, that's a wicked lot of frosting. As you can see in the slice photo, the ratio of cake to frosting is 50:50. In order to prevent each piece from containing approximately an entire stick of butter, I frosted the cake with 7 minute frosting, which is mostly egg whites and sugar. I seem to remember that the afternoon was kind of a wash, between the sugar coma and the thrill of cake victory.


This may be only the beginning of my rainbow cake experimentation. I'd love to make one of these with a series of all blues and greens, or all reds and oranges.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Catching Up, Part 1: Cambridge Graffiti

In an attempt to distract myself from writing my thesis this summer and fall, I became slightly obsessed with graffiti, especially stenciled graffiti and sometime wheat paste posters. I wandered around Cambridge to find these little hidden gems of art unapproved. I began a separate blog dedicated to Cambridge graffiti, but that fell by the wayside. Here are some of my favorites:












On the side of a toy store:


I expanded my horizon to Boston, especially to see the alleged Banksy in Chinatown. There was a second Banksy in Central Square a couple years ago, but the City painted over it. The Chinatown Banksy site is in a parking lot, which made photographing during the week impossible. I stopped by on a Sunday morning, and was able to get a good look. As you can see, people have added their own touches.



These little guys are in the corner - pretty sure they're not original:

I walked by this December on a Chinatown excursion with some friends, and was saddened to see that some dickhead has painted over the entire thing. Banksy or not, it was still a nice piece of graffiti.