As most of you know, my birthday is coming up, and like every year, it has me looking back on what I've done with my life so far and sadly realizing just how fast time flies.
I can't believe I'm going to turn 29 in two weeks.
I can't believe I've already been living in Toronto for almost a year.
I can't believe John and I have been together for three whole years.
Yikes! What happened to the time???
It's John's birthday too next week. He handles it with much more composure than me, he's totally unfazed.
A couple of weeks ago we decided it was time to commit to the fact that we're going to be living here for quite a while so we headed to the MTO and traded in our licenses. We both have Ontario licenses now, it makes me feel like a real Ontario citizen.
John signed us up for a shared car pool thing so we would have something to drive. I think it's called AutoShare and it will give us access to a car for like $6/hour including gas and insurance. There's a parking lot on our street corner where they keep them and we can just pick one up any time which is pretty cool. So this summer we'll be able to do more exploring than last year! And John can get to dive sites!
I know it's early, but it really feels like Spring is here. The days are bright, the weather is so warm it's a bit unsettling, and my lemon tree has sprouted a new leaf for the first time since we moved! In the next week or too, I'm going to pick up some plants for my window boxes. Fresh herbs as usual and I think I'd like to get some berry plants as well. More for decoration than anything, berries are so cheap here to buy.
I tried on some of my Spring clothes and I think I still need to lose 5 or 10 lbs to have them fit well, so I'm back to working out and dieting, not that I ever really stopped, I just slacked a bit.
But that doesn't stop me from baking!
I've been doing some experimenting in the past couple of weeks. I made some awesome biscotti (this is my new favorite way to use up bread crumbs). This weekend I broke out the ice cream maker Aunt Debbie got me for Christmas and made some french style (meaning you make a custard on the stove first) chocolate ice cream. It was my first attempt at ice cream in many years and it needs improvement for sure. It came out so rich I could barely eat one scoop (although John could) and it ended up freezing solid so it's difficult to scoop. I have all summer to figure it out though!
The ice cream recipe called for 8 egg yolks, so I had a bunch of whites leftover. I decided to make an angel food cake, also a first for me. It came out with great taste, but it fell sort of flat, I think because I didn't have a sifter to sift the flour. Next time I have egg whites I need to use, I'll try again. It kind of amused me though, watching John eat a bowl of chocolate ice cream and angel food cake, because really he was mostly just eating a bowl of eggs.
And I've been making cakes! John's work ordered a cake from me for their training class that was graduating. It was the biggest cake I've ever made, a double layer 12" chocolate cake. It was the first cake I've made for a business, so I kept it kind of low key and professional. I filled it with dulce de leche between the layers and iced it with vanilla buttercream. I carefully recreated the company logo out of marshmallow fondant which I put in the center of the cake, and wrote "Congratulations Graduates" in fondant around the edge. I finished it off with some basic shell borders.
John said they were thrilled with it! Although I didn't take any photos of it, he said that they took a photo of the cake with the training class all gathered around it and that it will be appearing in their next company newsletter. Cool! So they want another one for the next training class, and they said this time, I can have a little more fun with it. I guess they actually offered to be my 'guinea pigs'!
And also as a result, some one else in the office has ordered a cake from me! So this is becoming quite the hobby. I'm surprised I'm enjoying it so much since I'm usually more of a tiny dessert person. But I am actually looking forward to making these cakes. And maybe one more little cake for John's birthday,