Tuesday, January 03, 2012


2011 was a year of change. I think there were changes in almost every aspect of my life. The most obvious changes involved Thatbaby.

One thing that didn't change throughout the year was my hair. I think this is the longest it's ever been. I was terrified to cut it though -afraid that pregnancy hormones would have me irrationally in tears as it fell to the floor. I've never been afraid of cutting my hair before, because it will always grow back. And I really like it short. Thatboy usually isn't as much of a fan of my shorter hair, so I comprise and vacillate back and forth between short and long.

After Thatbaby was born it was time to go back to short. So in the beginning of December I lopped it all off.

Sure it may be a "mom do" but I was sporting long hair for years before I was a mom, so for me it's much more of a "Thatgirl do." And this may be one of my favorite haircuts ever. Even Thatboy, who loves neither short hair nor bangs admitted that he really likes my hair.

I pulled another switchup on Thatboy for Christmas Eve. Since it was our first Christmas not visiting his family, I let him dictate the menu for Christmas Eve. There was rack of lamb, roasted broccoli, and wild rice. But neither of us thought about dessert till the night before. I had him pick out a cake from a new cookbook (more on that another time) but ended up changing the dessert last minute to this mocha walnut cake. I'm SO glad I did. Like the hair change, this one went over so much better than expected. The cake itself was great, but I really think it's the frosting that sends this one over the top. Or licking plates. Thatboy described it as a caramel flavor, but after a couple more licks of the plate I decided that the flavor is much more akin to a praline. Since we both have a massive affinity for those southern sweets, it's no surprise that this frosting has become a quick favorite. See? Change is good!

Mocha Walnut Cake (From the Fannie Farmer Cookbook)
3/4 cup milk
3 Tbsp instant coffee
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 lb butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8x8 pan with baking spray. Heat the milk and stir in the instant coffee until it dissolves.
  2. Add the vanilla and let cool.
  3. Cream the butter and add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each egg is combined before adding the next.
  5. Stir in the coffee mixture.
  6. Combine cake flour, salt, and baking powder and add to the wet ingredients.
  7. Stir in the walnuts. Spread the batter into the pan. Bake 45 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto rack. Frost with Penuche frosting.

Penuche Frosting (From the Fannie Farmer Cookbook)

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
3 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Mix all the ingredients except vanilla in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring slowly to a boil and boil 1 minute.
  2. Cool till lukewarm, add the vanilla, and beat until think enough to spread.


  1. The new year has brought many changes along with this little cutie ThatBaby. But back to the cake you can never go wrong with Fanny.

  2. Oh, that frosting sounds amazing. Love the new haircut! I have always been a long hair girl myself, though it has recently reached what might be deemed uncomfortably long ... I think a haircut is in my near future too.

  3. I LOVE the hair! It looks so good on you.

  4. The hair does look awesome! It really suits you. My hair is crazy long at the moment...desperately in need of a cut in fact. And I think I really want bangs after seeing this.

  5. Your hair is stunning! I love it. You look way too polished and pulled together. That cake and baby are also lookers.

  6. Love the hair! Hooray for a year of big/exciting changes. And hooray for this yummy cake!

  7. You look gorgeous. :-)
    A new look, a new year!

  8. You are SO SO SO adorable - I love the photos! Precious! What a lovely year in review... COO-chi-coo-coo!

  9. Having a baby changes everything and there is something liberating for a woman who just lops it off...Awesome!

    Here is to an awesome 2012 for you and your family. I am looking forward to all of your posts. I have enjoyed taking the journey with you last year, look forward to it this year too.


  10. I like you in short hair and I like your mocha walnut cake.

    The best is ThatBaby.