This Weekend: Quinoa, Cat Cake, Candles, Gardens & Sushi

This weekend actually seems like it has been a week long, probably because it has. Ever since the kids have been on winter break, I've been uncertain of which day of the week it is. Vacation haze!  Post-Christmas around these parts doesn't mean that there is any less celebrating because my son's birthday is a few days after, and then mine quickly follows. We had a quite party for him on New Year's Day complete with a Garfield cake.

I found a vintage (1983) Wilton stand-up Garfield cake pan at Goodwill a few weeks ago and thought I would give is a go. It was wrought with disaster from the get-go. The cake didn't cook all the way through on the bottom half of the cat's body, so instead of continuing to cook it (and subsequently drying the whole confection out), I hollowed it out by removing any under-cooked cake. When it cooled, I filled the cavity with chocolate tofu mousse.

I thought decorating it would be quick and easy. Well, let's just say, my buttercream needed lots of dye and was pretty uncooperative. I probably piped over 1,000 stars, my hand cramped, time ran short... it was a rush job. In any case, it still turned out pretty cute, but I will never make a cake like that again.

Then the snow and ice came, trapping us inside. The kids went out to play, my son came back frozen. His cheeks were so red, we were afraid he had gotten frost bite!

And of course, the sins of the holidays means reverting to a dairy-free, gluten-free, coffee-free, simple, unprocessed diet. I have probably consumed more veggies in the past three days than I did all the week of Christmas. I cheated on the coffee... I had one cup yesterday and it made me feel like I was having a heart attack. Back to green tea today!

In celebration of my birthday, we toured the beautiful grounds of Longwood Garden. Thankfully, the conservancy is enclosed, so despite the frigid temps, we were still able to stroll without turning into icicles.

Longwood is still bedecked in holiday finery!

Birthday selfie, of course. The last year of my 30s! Yikes!

I kept to my gluten-free commitment even during my birthday! Su Tao in Malvern makes being GF easy. Those baby bok choy were so smokey awesome!

I've been having lots of smoothies, green juices, and quinoa. Here's a shot of a breakfast on my cleanse: cooked quinoa with dates, stewed apples, cinnamon, turmeric, and walnuts. I should have used white quinoa for this dish; the tri-color is a bit too hardy.

Now the kids are headed back to school, and that means back to work for me. Have you checked out my new shop, New Sweden Vintage? I've got to get back to restocking since Christmas shopping wiped the shop out. All items are on super sale in the Scissors and Spice shop too, so be sure and stop by there too!


  1. lovely. the quinoa brekkie sounds great i might have to give that a try.

  2. I'm cleansing too!! Love this time of year because it's an excuse to feel good! Happy birthday! You look gorgeous! And that is one amazing Garfield cake even if it was a pain to make.

  3. that cake is so cute!!!! i think you did a great job!

  4. The original cake mold came with a metal cone that inserts into the middle before cooking. I'm guessing you didn't have that! Cute decoration, though!

    1. I guess that would have helped! No, I didn't have the cone! :(


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