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Monthly Archives: June 2010

I am going to start an ongoing list of my favorite blogs. So far, I’ve come across these:

http://thankgodimnatural.wordpress.com/

http://www.theybf.com

http://www.curlynikki.com

http://memyhairandthecity.com/

I saw a status update on Facebook that inspired me to come up with a list of things that I cannot do without:

1) my entire kitchen (is that really fair? i don’t know)

2)my IPhone

and then I hit a wall.

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Recently, I made my first carrot cake ever. I got the recipe from my
Food and Wine cookbook. You can find it online here.

I’ll post it below.

INGREDIENTS

CAKE

  1. 1 cup pecans (4 ounces)
  2. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 cup vegetable oil
  8. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  10. 4 large eggs
  11. 2 cups sugar
  12. 1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded

FROSTING

  1. 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  2. Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  3. 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  4. 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter two 9-inch cake pans; line the bottoms with parchment. Butter the paper and flour the pans.
  2. MAKE THE CAKE: Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes, until fragrant. Cool and finely chop the pecans.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, buttermilk and vanilla. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar at high speed until pale, 5 minutes. Beat in the liquid ingredients. Beat in the dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in the carrots and pecans. Divide the batter between the pans and bake the cakes for 55 minutes to 1 hour, until springy and golden. Let the cakes cool on a rack for 30 minutes, then unmold the cakes and let cool completely.
  4. MAKE THE FROSTING: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese at high speed until light, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then the confectioners’ sugar; beat at low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Peel off the parchment paper and invert one cake layer onto a plate. Spread with a slightly rounded cup of the frosting. Top with the second cake layer, right side up. Spread the top and sides with the remaining frosting and refrigerate the cake until chilled, about 1 hour. Slice and serve.

Interestingly, the recipe did not call for raisins so I added my own. Also, the cream cheese frosting was not sweet enough for me. In the future, I’ll probably use a different recipe. The cake, however, was incredibly moist. I really liked that part.

So….I had to re-do my yarn braids last night. My hair had grown so much since I got them done a little over 5 weeks ago. Since I matched my dyed hair to the yarn color, I had black roots and reddish-brown braids. Not a good look, I know.

I knew that YouTube was a great resource. So I googled yarn braids, and found blackonyx77’s videos.

Let me tell you, it took me forever to figure out how to attach the yarn at the root. I have never attached extensions to hair before.

A search on YouTube generated several methods, including the two strand method and the three strand method. Many people on YouTube talked about using the three strand method in the back and the two strand method in the front. But I guess it depends on your preference.

Personally, I found the two strand method easier to learn as a beginner. I was only able to re-do the first two rows because of time limitations. But here are some pictures.

The quiche I made was visually great. However, it was way too eggy. I got the recipe from Whole Foods, whch called for 6 eggs and 1/2 cup of half n half. At the time, 6 eggs seemed like a lot. But I went with it anyway. I think the recipe needed less egg and and more half n half. Does anyone have a great quiche recipe?

I went for a walk today and before I knew it, I had been walking for an hour with no particular destination in mind. After the day I had, I needed to decompress. As I walked through Downtown and Midtown Atlanta, I listened to India.Arie on my IPhone. It had been awhile since I listened to this particular artist. To her credit, India.Arie has consistently made positive music. One song that spoke to me today, in particular, was “A Beautiful Day” from her Testimony: Vol. 2, Love and Politics album. Here are the lyrics:

Life is a journey,
Not a destination,
There are no mistakes,
Just chances we’ve taken
Lay down your regrets cause all we have is now

Wake up in the morning
And get out of bed
Start making a mental list in my head
Of all of the things that I am grateful for

Early in the morning
It’s the dawn of a new day
New hopes new dreams new ways
I open up my eyes and
I open up my mind and
I wonder how life will surprise me today
Early in the morning
It’s the dawn of a new day
New hopes new dreams new ways
I open up my heart and
I’m gon’ do my part and
Make this a positively beautiful day

La la la la la la la la la (x3)
It’s a Beautiful Day (x3)

Life is a challenge not a competition
You can still smell the roses and be on a mission
Just take a moment to get in touch with your heart
Sometimes you feel like you’ve got something to prove
Remind yourself that there’s only one you
Just take a moment to give thanks of who you are
Early in the morning
It’s the dawn of a new day
New hopes, new dreams, new ways
I open up my eyes and
I open up my mind and
I wonder how life will surprise me today

Early in the morning
It’s the dawn of a new day
New hopes, new dreams, new ways
I open up my heart and
I’m gon’ do my part and
Make this a positively beautiful day

La la la la la la la la la (x3)
It’s a Beautiful Day (x2)

Let’s make this a wonderful
Let’s make this a powerful
Let’s make this a Beautiful Day
It’s a Beautiful Day

Life is a journey,
Not a destination,
There are no mistakes,
Just chances we’ve taken
Lay down your regrets cause all we have is now

After letting these lyrics resonate, I decided to start beginning every day with a list of things for which I am grateful. I encourage you to do the same.