Following the book, the next cake up would be Martha’s Blood Orange and Olive Oil Pound Cake. It’s not the most winning title ever, in fact it’s right up there with clunkers like Ocean’s Twelve, Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever, A Doll’s House Part 2, and V.I. Warshawski. Remember V.I Warshawski? Oh, it was so bad. But I saw it in the theatre, on opening day, no less. That’s what a Kathleen Turner fan I was. 17 percent on Rotten Tomatoes? Ee-gahds!
But before you start performing a celebrated “Mime-a-Gag” at the thought of eating something called “Blood Orange Olive Oil Pound Cake,” take a look at the picture in the book first. It includes chocolate ganache which I think really should have made its way into the name. Chocolate Ganache makes everything sound better. Try saying it right after you say, “V.I. Warshawski !” and you’ll find yourself suddenly searching for it on Netflix. It’s not there (17 percent, remember?).
Regardless how you feel about the name, I can’t make it, because blood oranges are not in season right now. I can’t find them anywhere. I thought we’d moved past the era of having to wait for a particular season for particular produce. Isn’t that why we have Monsanto? I thought they were able to grow produce year round on the spine of a living pig, but that’s not happening. Agrochemical companies are really starting to let people down.
I went with the marble pound cake recipe instead. It’s an easier recipe the the blood orange one, and you get to swirl. I love to swirl.
I love to swirl. I love to bake cakes. I get to the theatre early for bad Kathleen Turner movies. Is it any wonder my parents felt no need to have more children after me?
GET THE RECIPE HERE
There are over 150 recipes in the Martha Stewart Cake book. I’m on recipe number two.
After the recipe for “Basic Pound Cake” comes FIFTEEN MORE VERSIONS OF LOAF CAKE: There’s Chocolate-Ginger Marble, Clementine Vanilla Bean, Pumpkin Sage, and Cornmeal Buttermilk, to name a few. And that only gets me to page 49… of 311 pages of cake recipes.
And I’ve obligated myself to make each and every one of them.
And most of these loaf recipes produce 2 cakes.
My boyfriend, everyone at my office, and all the neighbors up and down my block are going to be fat and happy by December.
Or maybe fat and angry?
Oh well, who cares. It’s not like they’ll be able to hurt me. I’ll be able to outrun them all.
You might think turning a “basic loaf cake” into a “lemon loaf cake” wouldn’t require anything more than tossing some fresh lemon zest into the batter. That’s where Martha would slap you in the face, call you a rube and go back to watching her favorite movie, Bowfinger (I have it on good authority).
Sure, yeah… we’ll include zest in the batter. But we’re not gonna stop there. We’re also gonna make lemon icing for the tops of the cakes, candied lemons to top that lemon icing, and when we get the cakes out of the oven WE’RE GONNA POKE HOLES ACROSS THE TOPS AND POUR LEMON SUGAR SYRUP STRAIGHT INTO THEM!!
This is what I did with my Memorial Day. I’ll always remember. I’ll never forget.
GET THE RECIPE AND MORE PICS HERE
In all fairness, I strayed far, far, far from Martha’s recipe this week. I was overly-stimulated by the whimsy of the contestants on The Great British Baking Show and thought I’d be able to freestyle it. I’m sure if I’d laid out my baking plans to Judge Mary Berry beforehand, she would have given her most delicate frown and delivered a sweetly-packaged warning… something along the lines of, “It sounds delightful and troubling all at once.” or “I can’t say I’ve ever heard of that, but perhaps it’ll be scrummy!” or maybe just a plain old, “That sounds different. Good luck.” while quickly skirting herself away and hiding her mortification.
This was supposed to be a raspberry almond chocolate pound cake, but all the filling sank to the bottom. In the before photo, the cake is upside down so I could surveil the crime scene in more detail.
It certainly was scrummy. Michael and I devoured half of it while watching The Queen on Netflix. But I still am not permitted to put this in the win column, so back to the drawing board I go.
I was able to master Martha Stewart recipes before I understood the “Pulse” function on my food processor. I was still afraid of slow cookers when I was pulling perfect cookies out of the oven because of her. Martha deserves all her success. Her recipes are easy to follow, they never fail, and they make everyone happy.
I met Martha when she was a guest player on Hollywood Game Night, a show I helped produce. I was going to bring her muffins I made from one of her recipes, in a basket, bedded with a gingham cloth napkin. But I didn’t do it because I decided I would have felt guttted if she wasn’t visibly impressed. I learned my lesson when I met Carson Kressley from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I wore my best form-fitting, striped shirt with metal-docked pearly-snap buttons. I was hoping he’d get wide eyed and compliment me, but all he said was, “Where’s Kleenex? I think I’m getting a cold.”
I’m sure anyone who invites Martha to their home frantically cleans it before hand. But she doesn’t really go into your bathroom and judge you. Before she ever walks in to someone else’s bathroom, before she’s ever halfway down the hallway, Martha Stewart is already thinking to herself, “My bathroom is better.” And she’s right. Martha has the best bathroom. If I was at Martha Stewart’s house, I bet I would think her bathroom was so nice, instead of using it, I’d excuse myself and sprint to the gas station.
Martha Stewart can make a poncho work. She can do anything. I once saw Martha Stewart convince Rosie O’Donnell to sample low-calorie dip. Rosie said it was “delectable,” and that was absolutely the wrong word choice, but Martha just smiled, like there’s no reason in the world it should have ever annoyed her.
CLICK HERE for the RECIPE and MORE PICS
I quit my job at a legal servicing firm when I was twenty-four to pursue a career in film and television. My very first interview in the business was for a three-week temp assignment assisting a talent manager named Celia Burr, who worked out of a large production office in Beverly Hills. I was nauseous in the lobby while I waited to be taken in to meet her. Having worked in the law, I had been accustomed to a clear understanding of procedure that all parties involved had to follow. I had been warned that in entertainment, all bets were off; every company had its own method for getting the job done. And at the sign of your first mistake, word would get out that you were a disaster, and you’d never find work again.
The manager of the office, Deborah, fetched me from my spot on the sofa and took me through a pass-coded door. From there, she led me down an under-lit hallway lined with other twenty-somethings at outer-office desks, all eyeing me suspiciously, bored faces and cheap shoes. Deborah had a tightly woven perm wrapped around her head like a helmet, and a skirt that extended below her knees. I noticed as she put one leg forward, she added a last-second kick before pulling it back to replace it with the other leg. This move caused her skirt to fire out ahead of her, as if she was clearing a path for herself, and anyone who was smart should get the hell out of the way if they knew what was good for them. Before we had reached the end of the hallway, Deborah had already told me plainly that the company had a very complicated copier machine, that they were heavily financed by investors from Saudi Arabia, and that she was a lesbian and people who had problems with it didn’t last long.
RECIPE for RED VELVET SWIRL BROWNIES – Click Here!
I was four seasons into watching Game of Thrones before I finally had the nerve to admit to Michael I had no idea what the fuck was going on.
So many beards. So many heads on pikes. All the boobs and scullery maids and stone walls. None of it makes sense to me. I feel like HBO forgot to air one of the seasons and just decided to see if anyone would speak up about it.
Every so often Peter Dinklage would say something snarky, or a dragon would fly by, and for a moment I’d be back on board and really proud of myself for keeping up. But it wouldn’t be long before a man with long hair would start growling next to a fireplace about crossing some giant sea and getting revenge against some other flea-ridden Jack Black look-a-like who may or may not still have his penis, and suddenly my head would drop forward like someone yanked my cervical vertebrae right out the back of my neck.
I still have no idea how many fucking Stark children there are. I know there’s the sourpuss red head, the butch one, the paralyzed one, the half-breed. And I feel like there are two younger ones — a Bobby and Cindy Stark — stashed away someplace, deep under the roots of some thousand year old talking tree, cowering in fear because some evil warlord needs to find them and eat their livers so he can take over Gallipoli.
For me, Game of Thrones was over once and for all when the show killed off that bratty little inbred king who liked to stomp around and scream and kill people when they irritated him in the slightest. Was I the only one who liked that kid? I felt he was very relatable.
So now, Michael is in the den watching Sunday night’s episode while I make cheesecake marbled brownies for work tomorrow. I could hear the show from the kitchen, and as I dropped the pans into the oven I said to myself, “I bet pretty soon someone’s gonna be bitching about taking back Castle Black,” and sure enough I was right! I don’t even know which one Castle Black is. I looked it up once on the Game of Thrones wiki, and this is what it said: “Castle Black is one of only three mannered castles left on the Wall along with Eastwatch-by-the-Sea and The Shadow Tower. It has a sept but no Godswood. Those who are followers must travel into the Haunted Forest to take their vows before a heart tree.” It’s like calculus for hobbit nerds. I’m turning my Sunday nights back over to baking. Follow me to the brownies, and leave your dire wolf at the door.
Get the Recipe for Cheesecake Marbled Brownies HERE