Happy

June 15th, 2011 · 19 Comments · Baking and Sweets, Children's Books, Gifts, Culture, Dinner: A Love Story, the Book

Besides the fact that it’s Friday and that we have a grilled leg of lamb on the menu tonight, what else is making me happy today?

1. Finding a ridiculously easy way to frost the ridiculously easy mud cake I make for every birthday. The one above was for my dad’s 75th — don’t worry, I eventually added the “birthday,” part. (Scroll to bottom for recipe.)

2. Holding a first draft of Dinner: A Love Story, the book in my hands. A very positively extremely roughly rough first draft, but a draft nonetheless.

3. Conjuring up image from last weekend of daughter flying down sideline with soccer ball.

4. Holes, by Louis Sachar. Note: it makes me happy to read such a well-written book. The book itself, which I’m reading to both girls (ages 9 and 7), is actually creepy and cool and not happy at all. At least not yet.

5. The large batch of granola that is baking as I type, and that will be ladled into cellophane bags for school teachers, piano teachers, soccer coaches, and Father’s Day honorees.

6. Getting real in the Whole Foods parking lot. So freaking genius. (Thanks, Grid!)

7. This promising development out of Palo Alto.

And now a few from Andy:

8. This story on Disney World, where we have never been, which is totally my fault, but something about it just kind of scares me.

9. The latest, crazy good, crazy funny piece of fiction from George Saunders, in this week’s New Yorker.

10. The fact that Louis CK’s show is about to start again — which we liked okay the first time around, but which showed glimmers of greatness and we love him so much, we’re betting it’ll work out.

11. This song, because… just because. I mean, please.

12. More good kid books — 12 a year — coming down the pike from McSweeney’s. Soon to be reviewed on DALS!

Ridiculously Easy Chocolate Glaze

Dump a small bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 6 ounces) in a heatproof bowl. Meanwhile heat 1 cup of heavy cream so it’s bubbling but not boiling. Pour over chocolate chips and let sit about 2 minutes without stirring. Whisk together and pour over a  Rosa’s Mud Cake that has been set over a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet that has been lined with foil or parchment.

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19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Diane // Jun 17, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Looks like very tasty yummy mess. At least it will be if I get to making it. Fun!

  • 2 MommyLisa // Jun 17, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Frosting is my least favorite part
    of baking. That looks AWESOME to me. ;)

  • 3 Christine // Jun 17, 2011 at 11:30 am

    1. AWESOME at the leg of lamb AND the first draft of the book!

    2. Holes is an awesome, awesome book. You will love it in the end. I agree that it’s wonderfully written, and though I first read it in junior high, I picked it up and reread it in a day or so in college, just because it was that good.

    3. The cake looks fantastic, and easy. Perfect.

  • 4 Jess // Jun 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Your book! I’ll be first in line to get that!

  • 5 A Plum By Any Other Name // Jun 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    There is so much goodness here … mudcake … Louis CK … a first draft … the words ‘happy.’ Yes, your post is dripping with it.

  • 6 Matt // Jun 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    GEORGE SAUNDERS!!!

    Also that Disney story is fantastic.

    Thanks for the tips.

  • 7 andy // Jun 17, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Okay, Matt: I think we need to hang out. Saunders!!!

  • 8 Elizabeth // Jun 17, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    All great things here –

    And I’ve finally put your bumper sticker on my car — everyone loves it here in Los Angeles!

  • 9 Allison // Jun 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I totally loved the Disney story! I have never wanted to go anywhere near Disneyland or world. This will give you an idea of why not to go Disney, http://www.revbilly.com/. That said I think if I had to I would go the way of Trevor and I would have that cake when I got home…tehe

  • 10 Emilee Whitehurst // Jun 17, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Can’t wait for your book, cake looks amazing, Disney article was awesome! Thanks!

  • 11 Ceri@Sweet Potato Chronicles // Jun 17, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    A fine Friday list, indeed! Really great news about the book. Is it something you and Andy are doing together? Loving the Bon Appetit column. There must be something in the air this summer – I just wrote a post about this being the year I’m going to learn to grill, too.

  • 12 monica // Jun 17, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Disney is creepy. I have yet to take my kids, and we live an hour away. I used to go as a kid, but something scares me about it too. Crazy about the way they got the land…

  • 13 Melissa // Jun 19, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    You all are really the #1 coolest couple around! Thanks for all the “happy” you put out in the world through DALS!

  • 14 Nora // Jun 19, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    This is delicious! I made a single layer (half recipe), topped it with the glaze but made with coconut milk instead of cream (lactose intolerant) and scattered raspberries on top. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • 15 Leslie // Jun 20, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Took our daughter to Disney when she was about 7, she didn’t care for it (a discerning child!), a little too creepy for her. I am just creeped out by all the adults who are into it – themed weddings etc. And all the fat people waving monster turkey legs around…. Sea World is MUCH better!

    Do you put the same glaze between the layers when making Rosa’s Mud cake that way or do you fill with something else?

  • 16 Jen // Jun 21, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Love Louis CK, that makes me happy also! The “indoor s’mores” (kinda like rice krispie treats but with golden grahams and chocolate added in, yum) that I made for our family father’s day bbq made me smile too…maybe a little too much.

  • 17 Colleen // Jun 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Hi there, my girls and I just made the cake for a birthday tomorrow–could not get it out of the pans in one piece–its a mess but delicious, especially with the glaze. What did I do wrong?

  • 18 Jenny // Jun 21, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Hi Colleen — oh no! Sorry to hear that! Did you pour the batter into a buttered/greased baking pan/sheet? That’s the only factor I can think of that might affect its removal. I’ve never had that problem before. Let me know…

  • 19 Caitlin // Jun 23, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I love this list, such happy things, the browser on my computer is packed with open links now because of it. The Whole Foods Parking Lot just got a second viewing, two of us sitting here laughing so hard the whole way through. Congratulations on the book, that is so exciting!

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