Tag Archives: Pinterest

Some desserts are worthy. And some are not.

Warning: Humble brag ahead.

Oh, screw it. I’m gonna all-out brag.

Look at the amazing cake I made:

Chocolate Torte (it tasted as good as it looks).

Chocolate Torte (it tasted as good as it looks).

I know, right? Looks like I bought it. Not! I made it with my own two hands (and my mother’s 9-inch cake pans — they’re in the mail, Mom).

This almost-perfect Chocolate Torte was created with a recipe from Mom’s Cook’s Illustrated. Cook’s Illustrated is a production of America’s Test Kitchen offering the very best recipes for nearly everything (it’s where I learned how to soft boil an egg perfectly and in only 6-1/2 minutes, for example). I’m not going to give away the torte recipe Yvonne Ruperti worked so hard to test, but you can click here to learn how to subscribe.

You might forgive my pride if you remember the cake I tried to make for my Beloved’s birthday a few years ago:

Horrifying.

Horrifying.

Let’s just say Ruperti’s illustrated step-by-step instructions were invaluable in recreating this moist and fudgy torte I made for my book club friends. And it took only 5 hours.

Or so.

That, my friends, is the reason I’m returning Mom’s pans.

Savoring a few pieces I have left. But not gonna make it again.

OK, not to totally demoralize you, let’s return to the humble brag (defined as “an ostensibly modest or self-deprecating statement whose actual purpose is to draw attention to something of which one is proud,” I’m not gonna lie — here comes the self-deprecation). I also made Brave Girl’s Club Krispy Pops for my little book club soirée (because, well, not everyone is a fan of the world’s richest chocolate cake, no matter how awesome it looks).

Let’s just say (if you’re still saying stuff along with me) that these babies were a Pinterest Fail:

Nailed it!

After attempting to form the marshmallowy Rice Krispies around a Rolo and getting covered up to my elbows in stickiness, I gave up on making round pops. I put the Rolos in a candy bowl — take that, surprise inside! Pressed into a pan and cut, my square pops were too soft and top heavy with white chocolate and sprinkles to actually keep my sticks in place — they kept getting droopy like so many old men.

Whatever. They tasted good.

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Check out these cute cupcakes slash cookies

My excuse, if I had been asked, would have been “I’m a writer, not a pastry chef.”

Fortunately, the people with whom I was mingling weren’t actors on a sitcom, so everyone who said anything said nice things.

I made Krissy’s Mini Chocolate Chip Cupcakes in honor of the birthday of our colleague Carolyn, who despite celebrating her birthday today was attending a regular meeting of the Chicago Chapter of the Association of Personal Historians (I will mention, by the way, I am honored to have been named the new coordinator for the group — yay, me).

Anyway, Carolyn bothered to come to our meeting despite celebrating this personal milestone, so we recognized her commitment with sweets and by singing “Happy Birthday.”

My version of these cute little treats wasn’t as bad as some “Nailed It!” renditions of popular pins on Pinterest, but let’s just say, I’m not as expert with a piping bag as I am with a pen. Also, Krissy used mini chocolate chips while I limited my “mini” to the size of the cupcakes (perhaps unwise). But buttercream hides a lot of sins, and it’s hard to go wrong with anything with chocolate in the name.

Nailed it!

Nailed it!

In any case, they tasted good (or, at least, that’s what people said). That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.

Martha Stewart moment courtesy Pinterest

Pinterest is the next best thing to a professional party planner.

My Beloved and his brother hosted a party for their mother’s 70th birthday today, and thanks to Pinterest, our setting was picture perfect.

Upon encouragement from my Dear stepdaughter, we trolled Pinterest for ideas to decorate the afternoon soirée  at a golf club. I typed phrases like “Tiffany blue,” “cheap decorations” and “purple birthday” to add pins to my Birthday Party Decorations board, and I referred to my board (and referred other to it) multiple times in the prep phase.

Party Table DecorationsI made these tissue-paper-and-tulle flowers to decorate the tables, thanks to the tutorial I found here, which I found thanks to Pinterest (easy elegance).

Party Table AnchorsThese mason jar displays for vintage photos came about thanks to images like this pin (the confetti inside this jar above is the recycled trash from the tissue-paper flowers).

Party Card KeeperAnd my future sister-in-law created this beautiful greeting card receptacle with inspiration like this.

A party planner I am not, but the party was a success, I think. Who wouldn’t be happy to have 50+ people sing happy birthday to you and share a piece of cake on your birthday?

Happy birthday, dear mother-in-law, happy birthday to you!

Resolution moves stairway decorating idea from cluttered magazine rack to cluttered Pinterest board

Among my new year’s resolutions is a goal to sort through a backlog of magazines — one a day until they’re gone by Feb. 28.

Most years, I come up with a theme for my resolutions and I’m not sure how this one will fit in — “catch up”? “lighten up”? — but in any case, it’s probably as world-changing as “brush dog’s teeth once a day.” Like a basket case with OCD, I just can’t bring myself to toss away these paper treasures without so much as a second glance, so I’m requiring myself to page through them before they become so much landfill.

Today, I leafed through the August 2012 issue of Southern Living and found such seasonally useful fare as how to preserve summer’s bounty in jam and grill watermelon. Ugh.

But I also found an idea for decorating my stairway:

Southern Living's 2012 Idea House could be my 2013 idea house.

Southern Living’s 2012 Idea House could be my 2013 idea house.

I’m not much for family photos gathering dust in my house, but I’ve been thinking I ought to dress up my stairway. Maybe a combination of family photos and artwork like this could be the trick.

Like it? So I could toss away the magazine, I pinned it, and you can “Pin It” here, too — no muss, no fuss, no wasteful paper detritus. Ain’t the internet grand?