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Lately I’ve been cooking with my hair on fire. At least that’s what it feels like between work, baby, hubby and week-long trip to the West coast. Also, I signed us up for a CSA with favorite farmer Tom at Signal Mountain Farms. All organic, and gorgeous produce. I mean, just check out these radishes!

Oh my, I just said “check out these radishes.” Sorry.

First box came right before the trip. Perfect timing. This is what it looked like.

As the Nasonex bee says, “Beee-utiful.” We gifted most of it and I also made and froze a stir fry to try to keep some of it. Does stir fry freeze well? I don’t know! We’ll see!

I’ve got some fairly strange produce in my fridge right now…pak choi, aforementioned radishes, beets, fennel. You name, I’ve probably got it. And I’ve got three varieties of kale in there people. Three!!!! I love kale but come on Tom.

I split a full share with a friend and I’ve still got so much produce I can barely reach the milk. And it’s almost allllll green right now. But I’ve invested way too much money to let anything go to waste. The last thing I want is for Turbo to utter those three little words: Told. You. So.

So I’ve got my work cut out for me, and I’ve been too frantic to even really research some good recipes. So I’m flying by the seat of my pants mostly, and so far it’s been about 50/50 between good and bad creations. But one dandy little recipe was this radish salad. I didn’t even think I like this veggie but when slathered with lime and cilantro it’s delish. Wait, don’t I slather everything with lime and cilantro?

Oh yeah. That’s why I liked it.

Even so, this recipe is not my own doing. You can thank the fine folks at Fine Cooking Magazine for this one, which I recently discovered and love with all my heart.

Here you go, and happy cooking!

Radish Salad (adapted from Fine Cooking) 
Serves 2

  • 3-4 medium-sized radishes
  • 2-3 pickled jalapeno rounds (from a jar), optional
  • 1/2 fresh lime
  • Small bunch of cilantro
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Pinch of salt
Cut radishes into quarters and toss with diced jalapeno, lime juice, sugar, salt and cilantro. Stir and let rest for a few minutes (while you cook rest of meal is long enough). Warning, radishes are spicy so the jalepenos really add a kick. Omit if you’re spice adverse.
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We recently celebrated a milestone…

Hard to believe how incredibly long one year can be…and so short at the same time.

To celebrate, I went with a music theme. Basically put loud and obnoxious instruments into the hands of a bunch of one-year-olds and watched the sparks fly. A good time was had by all. Especially the birthday girl.

But I must day, the cake was pretty darn good too.

Now I cannot take full credit for this creation. My sweet mom (Mae Mae) made the cake and icing and I assembled. It was boxed cafe but the icing was homemade butter cream. Mmm.

I have two apologies here. Number 1: not dairy free. I thought at this point that we were OK with dairy. Not so much. Number 2: I don’t have any lovely step-by-step pictures because Mae Mae really took the reigns with this one. She’s the expert in this arena.

I don’t bake. Ever.

It started with this inspiration from Parenting.com. But it was Mae Mae’s idea to make it pink and green. Brilliant. That’s just the kind of gal she is.

She also got this rockin’ tutu for Fuss. Also brilliant.

Basically you bake four cake rounds: two 9-inch and two 8-inch and one sheet cake. (We had to feed about 50, you could also do single layer). NOTE: assemble this where you will serve it!

Make a curved cut out of the 8-inch so it nestles into the 9-inch to form the body and secure with icing. Cut the other 8-inch (using scrap to measure). Ice and stack other round layers.

Then cut the sheet cake in half, stack it and secure with icing to create the neck. Then take the 8-inch scraps, ice and stack and butt up against the neck to form the top.

Put something circular, like the lid to a can of nuts, in the spot where the sound hole should be. If you’re really industrious, you can later fill with brown icing. We felt like a Thin Mint did the trick.

Ice sides and top and pipe edges. I also “signed” guitar. (Eat your heart out Hannah Montana.) Then I used chocolate wafers to form the frets, cutting out little divots so they wouldn’t stick up too much. I also halved some more wafers to form the tuners. Finally, some M&M’s made the strings look legit…sort of.

The hardest part was keeping a steady hand for the strings, which I used those little squeezable icing tubes you can buy at Hobby Lobby (or maybe grocery store too?) Again, I don’t bake. Just barely had enough, so I recommend buying two.

Even Fuss got her own little cake, made from toy cake tins my mom’s mom used for our first birthdays. Mae Mae keeps everything.

And finally, the finished products:

Now, after all that, do you think she dove in with reckless abandon…rubbing it all over her face and relishing every last bite? Nah.

I tried…

Turbo tried…

Even the cousins tried…

But at least it was popular with the other guests.

Really popular…

And, I got this picture out of it:

Priceless.

Here’s the icing recipe, compliments of Mae Mae.

Buttercream Icing:

  • 4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 stick of real butter, softened
  • 1/3 to 1 cup of milk  (even 2% won’t be bad; but if you want to  be “bad” use half/half)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Start by creaming butter. Add 4 cups of sugar. Add 1/3 cup of milk. Use electric beaters to blend. Add vanilla. Add more milk, a little at a time, until desired consistency. Adjustments can be made by adding more sugar to thicken or milk to thin.
If you want colored icing, add food coloring in small amounts—a few drops go a long way.