Posts Tagged 'city'

Pipe Dream #215: To Sweet Talk Pesky Traffic Violations – Choreo Cake

choreo cake 2

First of all, can we talk about how alien neon those cherry stems look? I did not realize they looked that way until I saw them on another screen. What is happening in this world/my eyes? I need corrections.

choreo cake 4

I made this cake at 11 p.m. on a Thursday night post traffic-citation, which I got because I was rushing home to make a cake that I was ultra jazzed about. Unfortunately, you can’t tell the cops that the reason you were speeding is because you were excited to get home and make a cake to bring back to them on their night shift. Unless you have cake in-hand, they probably will just think you are lying and bump up your violation.

If I could get away with it, I would have outlined all of the reasons I was rushing to make this.

Speeding Reason #1: I had the layers already baked and frozen, so I didn’t have to mess with them.

Speeding Reason #2: The layers have OREOS in them.

choreo cake 3

Speeding Reason #3: This cake is a combination of fresh fruit and chocolate, which is always a total win. It’s kind of a play on a chocolate-covered cherry.

Speeding Reason #4: Cream cheese frosting. Duh. Especially when paired with that concentrated cherry flavoring oil I was so stoked to try.

choreo cake 1

Reason #5: I knew it would make my work friends so happy on Friday.

Happiest of Mondays,


Choreo Cake

With a name like “Choreo,” this can only be an LH original

For the cake:

Half of any white or yellow cake mix

13 Oreos, crushed

For the frosting:

12 ounces (1.5 packs) cream cheese

6 ounces (1.5 sticks) butter

6 cups powdered sugar

a few tablespoons of cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon cherry flavoring oil or cherry extract, to taste

a few drops red or pink food coloring

For the decoration:

Bing cherries


Chocolate-covered raisins (or chocolate-covered cherries would be appropriate here)

Prepare the cake according to package directions, then fold in the crushed Oreos. Split the mix into two 6″ circular pans lined with parchment paper and greased. Bake for a while. You’ll just have to watch it. The cake is done when a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake pans to a wire rack and let cool for a half hour before running a sharp knife around the cake edges and inverting onto the rack. Peel off the parchment, and let the cakes cool completely. If desired, you can wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and freeze so that they are easier to work with when you need them.

To make the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Add cherry flavoring, then beat on high speed until the frosting is fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the food coloring.

Remove a heaping half cup of frosting to a small bowl and mix in cocoa powder until the frosting looks chocolatey enough.

Split the cake layers so that you have four even layers. Alternate filling layers beginning and ending with the pink frosting. Frost the rest of the pink cake and garnish as desired. Store in the fridge.

Pipe Dream #135: To Mix All The Paints – Garbage Popcorn

Because I bake as much as I do, I sometimes get overwhelmed with the myriad of delicious flavors and ingredients available to me. Hm. Cinnamon. Love. Marshmallow. Love. Caramel. Love. Fruit. Love. Chocolate. Love.

The list is as broad and deep as the traffic this morning on 100 South. Completely ridiculous.

This recipe is the answer to my state of overwhelmed longing for efrything, all at once.

Just chuck a bunch of yummy things together and amalgamate it with a substance that looks like…

…boiling sewage?

This picture is the baking equivalent of mixing all the paints in your watercolors set. Individually, the shades are great. Together, they just make dull brown. (Or as one pretentious girl in my 7th grade class liked to say, “dun.” She wrote a poem about it. It was as boring as it sounds.)

Luckily, this mixture is neither boring nor unpalatable. In fact, you may have to stop yourself from shoveling handfuls into your mouth before it is all said and done. Don’t feel too awful, though. It might be rainy. Or you might have to sit in traffic tomorrow. Either way, this is popcorn. How bad can it be?

Maybe just this bad.

Guys, this recipe is great. You can feel like a kid in art class again. And then you can eat your work.

Still in traffic, probably,


Garbage Popcorn

Inspired by/Adapted from Our Best Bites

6 cups popped popcorn (I made a 1/2 cup of regular kernels on the stovetop)

6 cups rice or corn Chex

1 cup roughly chopped walnuts

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 t cinnamon

1/4 cup corn syrup (or honey)

1/2 cup butter

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

salt, if desired

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Pop your popcorn using whatever method works best for you. I used a saucepan on the stovetop, but if you want to use microwave popcorn, you go right ahead. I would use a low salt/butter popcorn though. Plenty of that goodness will be added later.

Combine popcorn, nuts and Chex in a large bowl (like, a really big bowl). I just had a thought. You could also add mini marshmallows. Or M&Ms. That would be yummy.

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Chunk the butter on top of it, then drizzle on the corn syrup or honey. Microwave for 30 seconds, and then stir to combine. Now microwave for 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave for an additional 2 minutes until it looks like that bubbly picture above. Do not over-bubble the mixture.

Add the vanilla and baking soda and stir to combine. Immediately pour over the popcorn mixture and stir, stir, stir until everything is thoroughly coated. Spread on a foiled lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven, stirring every 10 minutes. Eat a handful. If it is not quite as crunchy as you desire, bake for an additional five minutes. After giving the corn a final stir, melt your chocolate chips in the microwave (30 second intervals, stirring ’til smooth.). Drizzle over the popcorn with a fork and sprinkle with a little salt if you like. I thought it lacked contrast without it.

Let the mixture cool. Once hardened, break it up and consume. This stuff lasts, though, so you could store it for a while, or package it up as little gifties for all of your autumnal and/or garbage-themed parties.

Pipe Dream #131: To Be Saturated In Bipolar

Well, this was clearly one of the best evenings of my life. Never mind that I was with two of my best friends listening to an outdoor orchestra–this lake was legit, mayn. Look at how rich the colors are!

There were even duckies in attendance. Cute ones, rather tame from the multitude of fries that have been flicked at them from the lakeside concession stand. Incidentally, the concession food is all locally sourced and zero-waste (wait, what?), which is probably why all the duckies look so healthy.

This beautiful old tram line was just 50 yards from the lake. It felt like something out of a mid-century film, and I couldn’t resist editing it as such. Pipe dream fulfilled. I was totally bipolar in the way I edited these shots. Same evening, same lighting, totally different feelings evoked. And we know that a shot without any evocation (is that a word?) is void, yeah? Yeah.

It apparently produced a shift in the way things should be colored, however. Both sets have depth to them, with or without color, I think. Cool.

Bye now,


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