Friday, May 31, 2013

Five for Friday: Cakes I Have Loved

Last night, while playing around a bit, I came upon some interesting topics for a FFF post. I was all gung-ho, and then I realized that they were better suited to a Mysterious Monday post. Despondent that I was back to posting with no idea of what to post for my second blog entry back, I cut on the TV. And that’s where I got my idea—from a regular Joe, a delivery driver who lives in one of New York’s boroughs. He was eating a piece of chocolate cake and that’s what hit me—I could easily come up with five favorite cakes, and so I did. Here, in no particular order, are five of my favorite cake flavors.

1. Chocolate: Yeah, you didn’t see that one coming, I bet. Not German chocolate, because I prefer my mayonnaise in a salad or on a sandwich. Plain or devil’s food and my taste buds sing. I really like my chocolate cake with a nice mocha butter cream frosting.

Photo courtesy of phanlop88 at

2. Spice: I love a good spice cake. Ginger and cinnamon and nutmeg all combining to make an autumn delight on the tongue. Topped with cream cheese frosting is best.

3. Yellow: Oh, I know it may be boring, but I love a good yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

4. Tomato soup: My dad had this every year for his birthday. As a kid, I never really cared for it, because Mom would add raisins, which I don’t like at all. I would force myself to eat a piece, carefully removing the raisins, because it was, after all, Dad’s birthday cake. These days, I make it without raisins and it tastes super-good. I actually found a recipe that makes it taste nearly the same as the spice cake. 

5. Applesauce cake: Oh, total yum! I found this recipe one year as a teen, and asked Dad if I could make that instead of tomato soup cake for his birthday. He agreed and I found a new favorite cake. Vanilla frosting with a  dash of cinnamon sugar on top really adds to the fall flavor.

Recipe for applesauce cake

Preheat oven to 350ยบ 

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup thick, unsweetened applesauce
Stir the shortening to soften. Gradually add sugar and cream together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and cloves together three times. Add the sifted mixture to the creamed shortening mixture, alternately with the applesauce, a little bit at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Bake in paper-lined (or greased) 9x9x1 3/4" pan about 60 minutes. Cake is done when you stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean.

So there they are, five of my favorite cakes. That ought to do good things for our diets this week, eh? Do you like any of these? Are there any cakes or cake/frosting combos that you haven't tried? Would you like to?  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday Check-in: Long time no blog

Sorry about my absence, folks. I’ve been going through a bit of depression lately. I did not feel up to blogging, as all of my writing was being colored by negativity, and you all deserve better than Neggy Nelly. I won’t go into all the details, but my plate has been very, very full. I’m coming out of the other end of the tunnel now, and it feels so much lighter.

Shall we get right to it?


I tend to be a stress eater. For the past weeks, I have barely, if at all, logged in to My Fitness Pal. Because of that, I did not keep track of how much and what I was eating, so my weight increased. Yesterday, I was back up to 200.0 pounds—that was when I decided that it was high time to get off the gravy boat and back on the treadmill, as it were. Luckily, I was forcing myself to continue some exercise during those dark weeks, otherwise, I’d likely have gained all of the weight back.

As of today, I am back down (or up, depending on your viewpoint) to 197.6. With less than three months to go until Chicon, I am beginning to feel the pinch. There is no healthy way that I can possibly get down to the 150s or 160s that I wanted to be at by then. However, there are still 11 weeks to go, so there is no reason why I can’t be in the low 180s, or perhaps the high 170s if I really push.

More water, more exercise, more veggies, more fruits and proteins, along with less carbs, should do the trick. No more night-time snacking, unless it’s on something like lettuce or watermelon—something that takes more calories to eat than you ingest during the process.


I can’t really write when I’m depressed, either—or rather, I don’t like what I write at those points in my life, so I try not to. I was suffering a lot of migraines during my depression, which I wouldn’t think would be unusual, and writing with a migraine is no fun. Unable to think of what to write, I watched television at night instead, until late at night—not good, as I tend to snack when I watch TV.

I was so depressed that I was considering quitting RWA and even quitting writing altogether for a time. Luckily, I have good friends who, directly and indirectly, convinced me not to. I also received a couple of comments on my fan writing in various places, which helped a lot.

I’ve only just gotten back to actually writing in the past couple of days, but in that time, I’ve averaged just over 600 words each day, for a total of 1377 words. Not a lot, but a lot more than the previous weeks combined. There is a very slight possibility that I will make the Little Bites Challenge, but that will require averaging just over 2000 words per day for the next three days. Either way, I am happy to be back to writing.


Vocab word: Umbrage: to be upset, angry, or offended.

Story idea: Write 500 words minimum, extra credit for using the vocab word.

  • Hilary is a grown woman, with a business of her own. Too bad her mother-in-law is coming to visit.