Friday, December 19, 2008

Of chocolate cupcakes and Babtist Women...

Sorry, I've been busy! Here's some fun stuff to tide you over til I can post properly about what the quack in the White House -- sorry, I mean the Lame Duck President -- is doing in his last 30 days.

Let's start with last Saturday's supper club. Every year we cook dinner for the Ronald McDonald house, on the same night that we have our December supper club event. This year, we decided to make a Mexican-themed meal for RMcD. I tried to make Mole' Brownies, from a recipe from Texas Monthly. They just didn't cook. I ended up with a rather tasty, spicy-cinnamony-chocolate mush. (Which tasted very good with vanilla ice cream... but wasn't what I was looking for.)

On to plan B. Purchase 2 boxes of brownie mix -- add cinnamon and ancho chile powder to one of them, to simulate Mole' -- and two disposable brownie pans. Much better results.

The challenge was that I was also making SK's homemade hostess cake, and Rachael Ray's chicken-feta meatballs for the supper club party on Saturday. The cake batter wasn't too hard, though there was a LOT of it -- it filled my 4qt bowl almost to the top! But I had to trade off time in the oven for the meatballs, too... the food smells wafting around my kitchen were very pleasant, though sometimes a bit incongruous. Cooked the brownies, cooked the meatballs, and then while the chocolate cake was in the oven, I ran off to the RMcD house to deliver the brownies, and then went home to finish getting ready. Whew! Turns out that much chocolate cake batter makes 24 mini-cupcakes, 12 full-sized cupcakes, AND an 8" cake. My counters were covered! (Here's a slightly fuzzy picture of the mini-cupcakes, filled and topped with marshmallow creme. They were yummy!)

We had so much tasty food at the holiday fest - I don't even think I can remember it all. Smoked gouda and veggie quesadillas... goat cheese with apples and walnuts... salmon mousse... cookies galore... Can you tell that I popped a LOT of lactaid pills that night? Oy.

Sunday night, Aubrey took us get some more religion -- and for a cause that's even closer to my heart - the Breast Cancer Research Center! The Austin Babtist women were there, along with some other drag performers from Dallas. We laughed and laughed... they were wonderful. And between the door donations, the silent auction, and people holding out their bills for the ladies to take, they raised over $4,700!

Here are the ladies doing some of their Christmas music... This was followed by "Walkin' Round in Women's Underwear" (to the tune of "Winter Wonderland", natch), in which they stripped down to their lovely lingerie -- and threw off their wigs! No photos of that - I was too busy laughing. They're amazing!

That was my weekend. (that and Giana's ballet recital, which was lovely!) The rest of the week has been a whirlwind of more cooking, holiday parties, going to the gym (yes, I'm behaving!) and even cramming in a little holiday shopping. I am now a big fan of the reserve-online-pickup-in-store option from Borders. Woohoo!

Tonight is the office holiday party, complete with white elephant gift exchange. That'll be fun... though my track record with these things is not the best. I've come home with an "It's a Wonderful Life" video (nice gift for the *only* Jew in the room), and a Longhorn spinning mobile thingy (don't know what you call them, they sell them at a kiosk at every mall)... maybe this year will be better. :)

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