our-kitchen

2

Norwegian almond cake

We bought some new food containers not too long ago, which meant that I had to rearrange several of our kitchen cabinets to make room for them. During this process of shifting and purging, my precious baking pan for Norwegian almond cake was pulled from the bottom of a pile.

Of course, ever since the pan to came to light, I’ve been craving this cake. Yesterday I gave into the crave, and now I’m wondering what took me so long!

This beautiful cake was easy to make - only a wooden spoon, whisk, and mixing bowl were required. It has a fine, moist crumb, a crispy, crunchy edge, and it tastes incredible.

My mother in law gave me this pan over fifteen years ago. I suppose you could make an almond cake in any cake pan, but I think the pretty, unique shape is part of the charm. I just looked, and if you search on Amazon for “almond cake pan”, you will find quite a few options.

The recipe I use came along with the pan, so I can’t credit any source other than my mother in law. Thank you, Doris!

Ingredients:

  • 1-¼ cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-½ teaspoons almond extract
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1-¼ c all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup melted butter (1 stick)
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • Powdered sugar, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the inside of your cake pan. Knock out excess flour. (Alternatively, I suppose you could use non-stick spray, but I haven’t tried that.)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg with the sugar and almond extract. Combine the baking powder with the flour, and add to the egg/sugar mixture along with the milk. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Finally stir in the melted butter.

Sprinkle sliced almonds over the length of the prepared cake pan. Pour cake batter into the pan, over the almonds.

Bake cake until edges are a deep golden brown – about 50 minutes. Check to see if the cake is done using a toothpick in center. Toothpick should come out clean.

Let cake cool thoroughly before inverting it onto a plate. It might take a little nudging to get it out of the pan. I used a thin knife to go around the two ends, and then used a gently pry method on the sides. When it released from the pan, it all came out cleanly.

Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

I just spent two hours, with the help of my father, cleaning our filthy kitchen. Why? FOR Y’ALL!
*Will be making a Boss related video on Saturday through Monday*

MYSTERY STORY TIME

So there was a single, solitary kiwi on our counter in the kitchen.

And I decided to make fun of my roommate for it, because who buys one, single, solitary kiwi? So I asked her that.

Roommate: I didn’t buy a kiwi.

Me: This isn’t your kiwi?

Roommate: No?

Me: But this isn’t my kiwi.

Roommate: That kiwi was there when I got home.

Me: I don’t even eat kiwi!

As you can see, it’s a real kiwi. Here it is, on my counter, giving away nothing.

But I was still confused as to where it came from. Did one of us accidentally buy a kiwi at the store? 

So I looked up the Kiwiny company to figure out which stores it’s sold at, to see which one of us might have bought it, since we tend to use different grocery stores.

Kiwiny doesn’t have American retailers.

There is literally no reason for this kiwi to be in my kitchen.

UPDATE:

lots of people have been asking me if I ever figured out where the kiwi came from. So to provide an update on the magical kiwi … one day I took a nap and had a dream about those creepy spiders that hide in bananas and I thought like oh my god this kiwi is gonna be full of spiders. So I woke up and promptly put the kiwi in a ziploc bag. To contain the dream spiders.

The kiwi sat on the counter for a few days, then got moved to the top of the fridge to get it out of the way. It sat there for a couple weeks. It never appeared to go bad? I did eventually throw it out, just because I was confused about it and neither of us were ever going to eat the kiwi.

Never found out why the kiwi was in my kitchen. I guess we’ll never know.

UPDATE UPDATE:

Kiwiny is following me on twitter now.

if u ever worry about your future as a wlw please know that my mother who just turned 40 and her girlfriend who started transitioning at 39 (who are both divorced and had children w/other ppl) are currently singing duets in our kitchen while my stepmum plays acoustic guiter and they’re beautiful and happy and there is always hope for you

i can’t wait until i’m living with my soulmate somewhere near the mountains, taking our dogs on hikes, dancing around our kitchen to music and buying fresh produce from farmers markets on a sunday morning

So my friend gave me this idea that Wayne Manor is wired with this top notch sound system wired throughout the house, even the cave and grounds. The boys have wars over what music gets played and Bruce has a whole list of banned songs. The current fight is this:

Jason: “I swear to god! It’s not even December! Dickhead turn off the Christmas music!”
Dick: “If anyone needs Christmas cheer it’s you people! So the Holiday Hits station stays on!”
Tim: “I mean, at least it’s after Thanksgiving?”
Jason: “Who’s side are you on, Replacement?!”
Damian: “-tt- This entire season is just a ridiculous excuse for excessive capitalism.”
Tim: “You want to run WE! How can you be smearing capitalism if you want to run a multi-billion dollar company?!”
Damian: “It is my birthright, Drake.”
*Tim and Damian slowly devolve into nonsensical screaming*
Dick: “Stop it! This is the season of love and family and giving!”
Jason: “I’m going to give you a punch in the face if I hear ~last Christmas I gave you my heart~ one more time.”

Meanwhile Cass has plugged her ipod in and started up her George Gershwin playlist.
Alfred: “Excellent decision, Miss Cassandra.”

- Little Red

WE ARE MAKING COOKIES W PRE MADE BATTER AND IT WASNT AS THAWED AS WE HAD HOPED 

OUR KITCHEN LOOKS LIKE IT BELONGS IN A FUCKING FRAT HOUSE BUT I PROMISE ITS NOT THAT BAD USUALLY 

5

“You know, I regularly wonder why I do this job. Then I come across somebody like you. We’re living in such evil times and the whole world seems to be sinking into some sort of mire and as if Hitler wasn’t enough, we’ve got the likes of you.”

Foyle’s War: Fifty Ships (2003)

As my brother walked through our kitchen on Friday, December 23rd, I stopped him on his way to the basement.

I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to speak. I was still in shock.

“Hey, so, uh,” my voice quivering and weak, the way it sounds when I’m trying to choke words out without breaking into tears, “I just got an email… The FDA just officially approved the first-ever treatment for SMA?”

The words came out more as a question than a statement, like I was asking him to validate that I was correct.

He answered quietly, “What do you mean?” His girlfriend, Laura, had entered the room, and both of them now looked at me with wide expressions of excited confusion.

Again, I tried to compose myself for another sentence. My emotions were banging themselves crazy behind my eyelids. “There’s a… cure, or not a cure, like a treatment, but it apparently, like…”

Nope. Tears. Sorry, Andrew. I tried hard.

“…it apparently really slows the disease, and in the clinical studies kids gained tons of muscle back.”

Silence as the weight of it landed on top of us.

Laura spoke first and captured what we were all thinking: “Oh my god, that’s incredible!”

Andrew spoke next and masterfully brought the moment back into proportion: “Okay, so you can pee yourself then tonight, right?” We laughed and cried, and for a few minutes I explained what little more I knew about the drug. My parents came home from work and the whole scene replayed itself. The house swelled with a bright exuberance and happy laughter throughout the night.

That was about two weeks ago. I held off on immediately posting too much about the development so that I could tell the rest of my family in person. Over and over, the news was received with shock, jubilation, and tears.

But as I’ve now had some time to contemplate the new SMA treatment—a drug called Spinraza made by Biogen—I think it’s important to delve into a few details that get lost in the initial euphoria. (To be clear: this is not an attempt to rain on parades. I’m so excited, but I also want to be honest with all of you.)

The announcement of a treatment for my disease is potentially the biggest event in my life. If it works, and it works well, it could drastically alter the course of my future. With the progressive nature of my disease, I’ve lived my whole life looking to the future with uncertainty, and I’ve developed all sorts of coping mechanisms—both mental and practical—to deal with the fact that I’m always getting weaker. It has been such an all-encompassing part of my existence, that the thought of potentially ~not~ needing to worry as much down the road is beyond my ability to describe right now. It ~could~ be the most beautiful and perfect gift I ever receive.

So I’m sure you can imagine the natural progression of that thought: If it ends up ~not~ working, or I am not able to receive it for whatever reason (and there are many, which I’ll get to), there exists the potential for it to be extremely crushing.

I guess it really depends on how I approach it, and this is what I’ve been stressing to my family to keep our minds in the right place: as of right now, nothing has changed; I love life and I’ve always expected to truck through the progression of my disease for years and years to come.

My girlfriend put it more eloquently: “Either way, our life will be perfect.”

As I explained this to my family, a few of them were perplexed as to why on earth I’d ever not receive the treatment, now that one existed. It’s tough to explain these reasons, mostly because there are still so many unknown variables, but I’ll do my best to summarize here.

First, and maybe foremost, the drug has not yet been approved for coverage by my insurance. The drug is a spinal injection that I’ll need to receive every four months for the rest of my life. A couple days ago, it was announced that the price of EACH injection would be $125,000 (about $375,000 per year). If my insurance decides to cover the drug, great! But if not, I’m going to need to marry a few aging billionaires and hope I get lucky in their wills. My parents’ insurance only covers me until I turn 26, and that presents an entirely new fire swamp of death to wade through.

Next is that I don’t know if the treatment will work for me. Spinraza is not a miracle cure; even in its most successful cases, recipients are making modest gains of strength. Don’t get me wrong—with a disease like mine, any sort of improvement could be life-changing. For instance, if I could get even the tiniest bit of strength back in my jaw and throat, and halt the wasting in that area, I’d be able to eat and speak with ease. I’d give so much to have that ability back. But after 24 years of the disease taking its toll on my muscles, I don’t know if the drug will let me regain what was lost. A majority of the clinical testing was done on young children with SMA—infants and kids who have not yet experienced years of the effects of the disease. For that age group, the treatment is doing amazing things, and it still reduces me to complete awe that this is now a reality. So many lives will be positively impacted. But for someone my age, there just really isn’t much information available yet.

This begs the question, how do you get more information, Mr. Stupid Uninformed Shane?

In about two weeks, I have an appointment with my SMA doctor. My hope is that together with her, and the support programs being launched by Biogen, I’ll be able to begin this journey and get the answers I need.

I feel like I’m sitting in my van at the beginning of a long road trip. I’ve just typed my destination into the GPS and it’s displaying a few routes for me to choose from. The journey that lies ahead is full of options—there will be stretches of open road and smooth sailing, and there will be backups and traffic jams. Some routes require tolls. The cool part, the part I keep coming back to, is that no matter which route I end up taking, I’ll eventually arrive where I want to be. All I can really do is sit back and enjoy the ride.

Whole plant foods is what I choose to nourish my body with daily 🌱 Eating foods grown by mother earth 🌎 make me feel: vitalized, healthy, vibrant, grounded, clear, and ALIVE ✨ to name a few… This is just a very small portion of what’s in our kitchen! Ps. Filming a NEW healthy treat recipe video today 🤗 stay tuned!!

i’ll make us coffee and pancakes in the morning, after such a long night, the smell of batter and sugar drifting across our tiny kitchen with the gentle noise of the radio. you’ll come up behind me, gently wrapping your arms around my waist as the pancake sizzles under the heat, kissing my cheek.