Sunday, November 18, 2007

Me: Bean, hand me that rectangular cake pan, please.

Bean: You mean rectangular prism.

Me: It's a rectangle and I need it for the cake.

Bean: No, Mama, rectangles are two-dimensional and a three-dimensional rectangle is a rectangular prism.

Me: Hand me that there pan or there won't be any cake. (I'm from Texas and, in moments of irritation, my grammar betrays me.)

Bean: hands over said pan.

We had a little dinner party last night and it was lots of fun. Just burgers out on the grill, homemade guacamole, and a Texas Sheet Cake for dessert. After everyone left and we got Bean to bed, Dr. Pig and I discovered that "Bill Cosby: Himself" was on TV. We laughed ourselves sick.

Liz's Really Good Guac

2 large avocados (I use Hass)
Handful of grape tomatoes, cut into a small dice (yeah, it's a pain but it's worth it)
Half and red onion, small dice
handful of cilantro, minced
1 small spoonful of mayo
juice of one large lime
salt and pepper to taste

Mash avocado with mayo and most of lime juice until creamy but not totally smooth. Add all the other stuff. Add reserved lime juice if needed. Test frequently to assure that the seasoning is correct.

You can make this a couple of hours in advance. Put a layer of plastic wrap over the guac and press it down directly onto the guac ensuring that full contact is made over the entire surface of the bowl. Generally, I scoop the guac into a different bowl than I mashed it up in because any guac not shut off from the air will oxidize and get gross. Some people use the pit, but that will not keep a wide bowl from turning brown at the edges. The plastic wrap will keep it nice and green!


This stuff is pretty sweet but it's really good. The cake batter will be very thin. This produces an extremely fine crumb and light texture.

¼ cup cocoa

1 cup butter

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

2 beaten eggs

½ cup buttermilk (I use the Secco dry kind that you mix with water - means I always have buttermilk in my fridge)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch pan.

In a medium saucepan, bring cocoa, butter and water to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium heat.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Pour the cocoa mixture over and blend well. Add the eggs, buttermilk, baking soda and vanilla. Spread evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.

After the cake is out of the oven and while it is still hot, make the frosting and pour over cake.

Frosting: In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup cocoa and 6 tablespoons milk. Add 3/4 pound powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup chopped pecans.

Makes 20 servings.