RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Lent

It’s Okay, Because It’s A Pie-in-a-Cake.

Posted on

So Sunday was Easter. And this is what I did to celebrate:

Okay, you can stop drooling now. Because I’m going to explain.

This lovely mess of a dessert is my own rendition of a Cherpumple. Like I’ve mentioned before, I promised it to myself as an end of Lent treat. And without realizing until much later, a three-tiered cake did seem ironically relevant to the day.

The original recipe calls for three cake mixes : yellow, white, and chocolate; and three pies: apple, cherry, and pumpkin. Hence, CherPumPle.

I decided to branch out and use lemon, chocolate and  strawberry for the cakes and coconut custard, pecan, and apple for the pies.

Bottom Layer:

Middle Layer:

Top Layer:

If you’re not like me and plan on doing this in a logistical, clean manner, you would have mixed the lemon batter, placed the pie upside down in the pan and baked the bottom layer first. The cake you would have ended up with would probably have been done in about 35-40 minutes. Then you would have done the same with the other cakes.

But because this was my first go, and I had only one large cake pan (okay, cheesecake pan) big enough to encompass the two parts together, and two medium sized pans, I severely underestimated the cooking time and the way the cakes would bake. So because I’m more of a trial-and-error kind of girl (emphasis on the error), I prepared all three layers to be baked in the oven at the same time. It should have worked. But…

That’s right. The cake batter started overflowing in my oven. When I checked to see why my kitchen started smelling oddly of smoke, I opened the door only to find that the strawberry layer was leaking on to the bottom of the oven and that the chocolate layer was dangerously close to doing the same. I switched off the oven, waited long enough to make sure I wouldn’t burn off my skin and tried to clean up the remnants. This is why it took about an hour and a half longer than necessary to cook all three cakes.

Spoiler Alert: They came out just fine. But back to the pictures:

Fill pan 1/3 of the way, place pie of choice upside down, and pour remaining batter over the top.

This is when you should probably invest in bigger pans, or at least find an easier way to bake a pie in a cake:

And this is how the bottom layer came out, before removing the top and adding a layer of frosting.

I cut off the top of the chocolate cake so that they would all be even, making it easier to place one top of the other. Then added more frosting as an adhesive.

I never kid about frosting.

Three cans worth. Three.

Two were to coat, one was for final touches. Then decorate accordingly.

And enjoy!

I still call it a Cherpumple, only because I can’t find a worthy replacement name. Chuslemple? Maybe.

Anyways, it was OH SO GOOD. I had some floormates and roommates test it out. And I found I couldn’t have a huge slice, because well, even a sliver was more than enough. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still have some for breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, supper…


American Pie.

Posted on

It’s probably the worst sort of torture for me that tomorrow’s Techniques of Regional Cuisine class is all about pie. I’ll elaborate: It’s less than a week before Lent ends, so that means I can not indulge in desserts until Easter Sunday bright and early – probably all day. My consolation prize was going to be to make a Cherpumple.

Correct. A Cherpumple. What’s that, you ask?

It’s three different pies baked in three different cakes, stacked on top of each other and slathered in frosting and whatever else. Maybe I’ll drizzle some chocolate and dust it with sprinkles too – oh who am I kidding? I’m probably just going to dip pieces in melted chocolate like fondue. Gluttony suits me.

Anyways, back to the problem at hand. Tomorrow’s region is North America and we’re making pies. Originally I thought we’d stick to staples like hamburgers, french fries, meatloaf, any kind of pasta dish. I realize this is a gross generalization – I don’t know anyone who eats meatloaf these days. But considering how we made desserts from South America last week, I would have guessed we’d steer clear of those from North America. Nope. Fruit pies, dessert pies, even a pot pie.  At least I can have some of that.

But I’ll quit my complaining. I’m pretty excited, despite my qualms. I will use this as an opportunity to improve my pie making skills. I’ve made pie crusts only a few times before, and let’s just say more practice makes pies more perfect. I made a Quiche for my Intro to Foods final exam last year and still blame the points I got off for lack of time spent in the oven.

Don’t worry guys, I’m not going to feed anyone anything undercooked.

And just because…

“Sing a song of sixpence,
pocket full of rye,
four and twenty blackbirds
baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened,
the birds began to sing:
isn’t that a dainty dish
to set before the King?

The King is in his counting-house
counting out his money;
the Queen is in the parlor
eating bread and honey;
the Maid is in the garden
hanging up the clothes,
when down swoops a Blackbird
and snaps off her nose!”


Posted on

So April, as it turns out, is poetry month. Well, well, well, what a thought. Challenge accepted!

The prompt for my last poem was to pick up pieces of conversation that I thought stood out in some way, or bits of language that seemed interesting to me. I would then need to find a few other quotes or lines from miscellaneous sources that I could assemble together with what I already found. I would wind up with a poem with a collage of all sorts of stuff.

Let’s just say I understood the prompt in my own way. I took bits of conversation I heard from people walking past, a line from The Killers, a line from my Media Audience teacher, some scenes from movies or situations I have seen, and a few street signs. I noticed more “He said, she said” language than anything else, which is why the perspective of this poem is told in the third person p.o.v.



In the Beginning

He says, “They say the Nile used to run from east to west,

like the streets I walk on to meet you.”

She says, “People rush in waves, this river

hasn’t been calm for years.”

He says “Its flow is fast, loud and the undertow

will catch you unawares.” “If you’re not

careful,” she said.


He says: “Coffee leaks from the mouthpiece of my cup.

I sip the stray beads, remember

I don’t like coffee all that much

but I like the feel of it in my hand too much.”

Jagged holes. His hand needs something

to hold, because looking into

her face has become



As they rummage through the rubble,

she starts zoning out. Images play back

of past nights together. He says: “You

partied like a fucking rock star.”

A golden God, he watched her fall,

taking him with her. “A vicious

cycle,” she said.


He says: “We were happy.” She asks: “Were we happy?”

“Once,” he says. She begs to differ.

“I will wager all my marbles that I

was happy once. You came along,

with your New York look, my heart

beat beat beat for you” he says.

“Genesis,” she says.


“Omega,” He said.

He has taken precautions for the flood

that comes, with floaties and goggles.

Her days as lifesaver are numbered.

“It is just like you said it would be,” she whispered.

God said, let them be



Tune in next time for some more poetry –  if you aren’t tired of it yet.

I’m patiently waiting for Lent to end so that I can indulge in some sweets. Then the days of posting cupcakes and cookies will begin!

Get ready.

Back in the U.S.S. Enterprise

Posted on

Captain’s Log, Stardate 2011.1

Commander J.B. here.
Location: Grams.
Setting: work desk

Spring break started at approximately 12:15 today. But if I am documenting accurately, I neglected to attend my recitation today. So it really started at 9:30 yesterday morning. As that was the day of birth commemorating yours truly, I took it upon myself to hand in necessary work and concentrate on other matters. Such as finding socks. Suffice to say, I had no luck in that area – but there will be other opportunities.

In other news, the weather conditions today afforded me the chance to appreciate Central Park and parts of Upper West Side. Although some might have considered it a chilly, coat-wearing day, I was content in my lighter brown hooded bomber jacket. Plans were established to meet an ally named Jane, who possesses a vibrant shade of yellow hair and a devastatingly cool collection of Star Wars and Beatles memorabilia, for breakfast. Unfortunately, she was thwarted temporarily by matters of economics at the local bank, and our breakfast plans were changed to lunch.

Fortunately for me, this allotted me more time to admire my settings. I happened across Strawberry Fields for a term. Parked on a park bench, listened to a few tour group leaders recite information about the area and a Mr. John Lennon, wrote some poems, took a few photographs for evidence.

Overall, today was a success. Scrambled eggs, bagels and The Social Network all shared with good company makes me hopeful that this break will be acceptable. I leave for my native soil tomorrow morning for a short reunion with the family. I expect multitudes of Irish Soda Bread upon my arrival, as my mother has informed. Then I shall return to New York to enjoy the rest of break.

Captain’s Log, Supplemental

Day three of Lent has almost passed. I have decided to sacrifice sweets and baked goods. Peanut butter has become my comfort food. Today, Jane pulled out a Hershey’s bar and offered some, and I feared the overwhelming scent of chocolate would temp me – but I graciously declined. My willpower is strong…for now.


End Log