Monday, August 16, 2010

Home sweet home

For the first time in 10 months, I see light at the end of the tunnel – and not a freight train slamming toward us – as Colin and I prepare to move into our new home. (

I shall spare you the tedious, exhausting details of trying to find the right place that included one apartment in Woodland Hills so close to the 101 we could almost touch it from the bedroom window, or being pipped at the post to the perfect place in Topanga.

At first I thought it was my fault we lost the Topanga place by admitting to the landlord we were both freelance writers. Until I learned it had gone to a drummer and a belly dancer.

We found an even better home, at the beach, where we belong. Well almost at the beach – Marina del Rey, one street away from where we were before. Thanks to Colin working his fingers to the bone writing about cars, we are back in the black, as it were, and finally able to afford our own place again.

As I said to Colin this week, if we can make it through these last 10 months of no fixed abode, our marriage can survive anything. I thanked him for his creative endeavors that are putting a new roof over our heads and food in our bellies, and promised to get a proper job if one of my creative projects doesn’t come to fruition soon. “Any idea when that might be?” he asked.

The trouble with relationships is that the one who earns the most money tends to have the upper hand. But I think the balance of power just tipped back in my favor with this chocolate cake. Colin’s digestive system doesn’t do well with gluten, so I took Marley’s birthday cake recipe and used rice flour instead of wheat. I didn’t have any buttermilk, so used what I had in the fridge – two percent – and it was absolutely delicious, though I say it myself.

Life is about to get even crazier than usual: we’re moving this week, Mum and Dad arrive for three weeks at the end of the month, Julia has a CD coming out and Marley starts kindergarten. Now where did I pack my Bach Flower Rescue Remedy?

Chocolate Cake

Trader Joe’s claims on the front of its cocoa powder that this is the greatest and easiest chocolate cake recipe. I think Joe may be right.


3 & 1/3 cups flour

1 & 1/3 cup cocoa

3 cups sugar

1 tbs baking powder

1 tsp salt

12 ozs softened butter or margarine

3 cups buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

5 eggs


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Grease and flour or line with parchment paper 2 x 9’’ round baking pans or line cup cake cups with paper liners.
  3. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat on high speed for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once.
  4. Pour into prepared pans or cupcake cups
  5. Bake cakes for about 55 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean or bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes. Make sure you halve the mixture evenly or it will overflow the pans.
  6. Sandwich cakes together with your favorite butter cream frosting. Here’s mine:

Vanilla Cream Frosting


3 cups confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar in the UK)

1 cup softened butter (salted)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tbs cream or milk


  1. Whisk together sugar and butter on a low speed till well blended then increase to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  2. Add vanilla and cream/milk and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute, adding more cream/milk if needed for spreading consistency.

Labels: , , ,


Anonymous Jane McKell said...

All the best in your new home; love to Colin for being as Kevin has always been since I left my well paid post at Weymouth College: 'a supporter of the Arts'. However teaching privately twice a week and facilitating workshops once in a while keeps my hair trimmed, an occasional new dress for me, the family in socks and underwear and Joe's Degree loan pay-back ISA (for what its worth (in these inflation- higher-than-interest-days)! But yes it is hard feeling like a kept woman - when your perception is that you don't really have a say on how money is spent, well I say it but that's it so to speak!

12:38 AM  
Blogger Wishingbee said...

Thanks for sending your vote of confidence for that Trader Joe's recipe! I've been debating about making a cake with it for a birthday this weekend, and because of your post I'm going to go for it!

12:31 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home