Monday, March 17, 2014

Radio Silence

Geoff and I are working on buying a house, which, as I'm sure many of you know, it's quite a process. It's taking a lot out of me and I don't have much time or energy left over for blogging, so I hope you'll forgive me. On the upside, the cats are getting lots and lots of snuggles as I take advantage of their natural blood pressure-reducing abilities.

And you'll be pleased to know that one of my first thoughts on seeing the house was, "Now, where shall we put the catio?"

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Instagram Roundup

Snug as a bug in a rug.

Utterly ridiculous.

I feel like I'm being judged for my insomnia.

I saw @ibkc_laurie and Wee Wylla today! 
Not every day I get to schmooze with celebrities.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Scarlett Relaxes

I'm getting a little worried about Scarlett jumping up and down from her various perches. She's getting on in years and her landings are sounding a bit heavy, so I've started strategically arranging furniture so that she only has to jump a couple of feet down from her favorite spots.  In the living room, the trampoline provides a conveniently bouncy landing zone. It also an excellent spot to relax by the heater.

"Melly, this is my trampoline. 
Begone, Interloper."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Celebrity Encounter

Last night, Geoff and I went to the release party of the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee book. I spent a few hours at the dentist earlier in the day (not fun) so I was really looking forward to this event. It was fun to see so many cat lovers under one roof, and there was excellent cake.

And then there was my double celebrity encounter: Laurie signed my copy  of the book (she recognized me!) and I even got to meet Wee Wylla!  Wee Wylla lives up to her name, and I'm not sure I've seen a more mellow kitten. She dozed peacefully in her basket while countless fans, including many small children, took turns scritching her head. 

I flipped through the IBKC book while in line to see Laurie and meet Wylla, and oh goodness, the cuteness. It's pure kitteny adorableness from cover to cover. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Scarlett and the Cheese

"Hi there. I see you have cheese.
Did you know that I love cheese?
Because I do. I do love cheese."

"Why must you torment me so?
Just give me the cheese."

[nom nom nom]

"Is there any more?"

Monday, March 10, 2014

Grapefruit Pound Cake

It's been a long time since I've posted a recipe, but friends, have I got a good one for you.

I've been slowly working my way through the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook since I received it for Christmas a couple years ago, and all of the recipes have rapidly become favorites.  Last weekend, I finally made the Grapefruit Olive Oil Pound Cake--grapefruit has been my favorite winter fruit since I discovered it could be cut in half and eaten with a special spoon--and I don't know why I waited so long!  This cake... oh, this cake...

Unfortunately, by the time it occurred to me to share this recipe with you all, this is what was left to photograph:


Anyway, a couple of notes:

  • Don't be put off by the many ingredients and steps.  The cake comes together quickly, and it's worth it!  
  • The type of grapefruit doesn't really matter, but if you use one of the sweeter varieties, I'd cut the granulated sugar a little bit. 
  • If you use ruby red grapefruit, the outside of your cake will have a lovely, subtle pink tint. 

Grapefruit Olive Oil Pound Cake
From the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, adapted slightly by me
Makes one cake

Ingredients: Cake
Butter and flour for pan
1 1/5 cups (190g) all-purpose unbleached flour
2 tablespoons freshly grated grapefruit zest, from 1-2 grapefruits
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (100g) raw or turbinado sugar (Or some other coarse sugar--I used demerara. If you don't have a coarse sugar, you can do another half cup of granulated.)
1/2 cup (120ml) olive oil (You can really taste the oil, so if you're debating between a nicer oil and a so-so oil, go with the nicer one)
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt (You can make your own buttermilk if, like me, you don't want to get a whole container of the real stuff.)

Ingredients: Syrup
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) grapefruit juice

Ingredients: Glaze
1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons (30ml) grapefruit juice
Pinch of table salt

Directions: Make Cake
Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan.

Measure the sugars into a large mixing bowl. Add the grapefruit zest and massage it into the sugars with your hands. Slowly whisk the oil into the sugar/zest mix (you can do this by hand or with an electric mixer). Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition.

In a second bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a liquid measure, mix together the grapefruit juice and buttermilk.

Add a bit of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and whisk together until just combined. Then, add a bit of the grapefruit/buttermilk mixture to the sugar mixture and whisk together until just combined. Continue to alternate adding flour and liquids to the sugar mix, whisking after each addition, and ending with flour.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bang the pan on the counter a few times and let it sit for a second. That will bring the air bubbles to the top.  Then, bake the cake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.

Directions: Make Syrup
While the cake is baking, pour the grapefruit juice and the sugar into a small saucepan and cook at low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the juice has reduced a bit. Stir occasionally.

When the cake is done, let it cool until you can touch the pan with your bare hands. Remove the cake from the pan and place it on a rack set over a tray or pan lined with foil (the foil is for easy cleanup).

Use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake. The holes will help the syrup get into the cake, so you want to jab most of the way through the cake with your skewer.

Use a pastry brush (or a BBQ basting brush, or a clean paint brush...) to brush the syrup all over the cake. Go slowly so the syrup can soak into all the skewer holes.

Directions: Make Glaze
Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, grapefruit juice, and salt. When the cake is completely cool, use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Instagram Roundup

I can do nothing around the house without a cat inserting herself to "help".

Someone is grumpy and refusing to look at the camera.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sweet Scarlett

I took these photos very early on a recent weekend morning. I woke up, turned my head, and saw this:

"Is it time to wake up? I've been waiting for you to wake up."

"How 'bout now? Is it time now?"

"Fine. Go back to sleep. Hrmph."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Melly on the Table

Yeah... Melly has won. 

"Why yes, I am using your clutter as a bed. Thank you for being too busy to keep up with housework."


"Move me. I dare you."

Monday, March 3, 2014

Linus Returns

My coworker sent me a couple more pictures of the gorgeous Linus recently. He looks so regal and beautiful that I just had to share with you.