Sorry for the long hiatus here at Beer Journal! It’s been a busy year for us, full of change. Just to catch you up, Lance and I started our own business FRW Studios. We combined his years as Creative Director with my years as a designer into one boutique design studio. We cater to the design needs for companies of all sizes. It’s been an incredible experience and something that we’ve talked about as long as we’ve known each other.
On top of that, we moved across the country, back to Dana Point, CA. The girls started a new school and we have all been finding our new groove and routine. Now that things are settling down, it felt like the perfect time to start back up with our posts here. I’ve realized that when your profession is creating things for others, it is essential to have a personal outlet where you get to create something all your own. And that is what Beer Journal is to us! So to make a long story short, it feels great to be back.
After a bit of a heat wave, the weather here has taken a turn towards coolness. And well, that meant time to turn on the oven break out the KitchenAid mixer and whip up something delicious! The girls have been really into food competition tv shows lately. This means that they want to turn any chance they can into a timed, judged event. I think they counted me down from 10 at least 5 times while making this cake. It was equal parts amusing and somewhat nerve-wracking.
The thing they haven’t learned from those cooking shows is that there is a point where you put the cake in the oven and there’s nothing to do for 20-25 minutes. Same goes for when you take it out and it needs to cool before you can put the toppings on (I went for a walk). Needless to say, they really were only interested in the parts that involved measuring and mixing; also known as any opportunity to spill and make a mess.
The cake we made was one we saw on the Food Network Channel show “Valarie’s Home Cooking”. It’s a homemade yellow cake with a layer of peanut butter and chocolate on top. The cake itself is so fluffy and moist, I actually plan on using just that part of the recipe in the future. There’s a time and place for boxed cake (hello real life), but when you have the chance, a homemade cake is just really special. The layers on top are just straight up pb and milk chocolate, nothing fancy here, but oh so scrumptious.
I’m not entirely sure why I thought it was a good idea to make this coming off the heels of Halloween, but oh well. Like I said, the weather has cooled off a bit, we’ve had some gray and rainy days, and spending a Saturday in the kitchen with the girls seemed like a great idea.
The beer we paired this with is the California Amber from Ballast Point (thoughts on their ownership will be reserved for another day, or possibly never because I actually don’t give a shit). It is an ESB-inspired beer, which is one of my favorite styles. This beer touts four types of malts, which I always find to be a great choice when pairing a beer with dessert. No need for IBUs to compete with sugar. And the color of this one is particularly striking. I also learned that this amber has earned 34 awards, now that is impressive!
I’m keeping the music easy here as we ease back into our posts. It is the never disappointing John Coltrane Pandora station. Don’t kill me, but I love when it gets dark earlier at night. I love turning on some lamps, looking out at the twinkling lights in the hills and just enjoying a relaxed evening. The mellow sounds that come from this station are a perfect transition into the Christmas music that I know is just right around the corner! Oh, and speaking of Christmas, they already put up the lights on the palm trees in our neighborhood. I am so excited!
Thanks for keeping up with our posts here. Again, our apologies for the hiatus, but we are really happy to be back and sharing our adventures in Beer, Food & Music.