It is my day for a manicure! I decided to do something new today and my many and many bottles of nail polish gave me a great idea! Why not do a gradient of pinks?
Colors used from thumb to pinky: Sally Hansen HD 09 Byte, SH HD 06 Digital, Revlon 912 Posh Pink, Milani 08 Pink Lady, Sinful Colors 924 Social Ladder.
I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.
The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems (City Lights Books, 2004)
I am not a big cook but i do love to bake! SO, I started a new tradition! I will bake a different cake for my birthday each year. This year I decided on Red Velvet. Cake doesn’t get devoured in my house so i decided to make cupcakes to give away to my fellow peeps.
Here is the Recipe (modified).
- 3-4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-2 ounces red food coloring
- 1 cup buttermilk (you can substitute with 1 Tbsp vinegar and 1 cup milk)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup oil
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- Grease two 9 inch round pans (or prep cupcake liners). Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Make a paste of cocoa and food coloring. Set aside.
- Combine the buttermilk, salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the oil and 2 cups sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the cocoa mixture. Beat in the buttermilk mixture alternately with the flour, mixing just until incorporated. Stir together baking soda and vinegar, then gently fold into the cake batter.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Bake 25 minutes for cupcakes. Allow to cool completely before frosting. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Two choices for icing:
1. the original vanilla icing for red velvet cake
- 1 cup milk
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a saucepan, combine the milk and 5 tablespoons flour. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Set aside to cool completely.
- Cream together butter, 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until light and fluffy, then stir in the cooled milk and flour mixture, beating until icing reaches spreading consistency.
or 2. awesome cream cheese frosting
- 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter. Mix in the vanilla and then gradually add confectioners’ sugar.
- Store in the fridge after use. Yield 3 cups, enough to cover two 9-inch round cakes or one 9X13-inch pan cake or a ton of cupcakes.
- Chocolate Mod: add 1/3 cup cocoa powder to half the frosting.