Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy 2009 everyone! I hope all five of you had a Dick-Clark-rockin' New Year's Eve and that you haven't broken any of your resolutions yet. My new year was pretty quiet, and included THE BEST CHINESE FOOD EVER, chick flicks, and my good friend Jill and her hubby, Paul.

*picture from

I mention Jill a lot on my blog, usually in passing. But I want to brag about her for a minute. Jill is a "never say die" kind of gal. She hates stagnation and is always looking to mix things up. I think for the first six months of coming to her house, I never saw the furniture in the same place twice. She needs to keep things fresh, I think in an effort to feel she is moving forward with her life. As opposed to me, the Queen of Sameness and happy that way. She is a good influence on me in that respect. Case in point: Jill decided that she wanted to do the Polar Bear dip on New Year's day. She emailed our friend Kathy and I to see if we were interested. I think Kathy summed up our feelings best in an email reply that went a little something like this:

"cricket sounds"

Jill still wanted to do it, so I assumed she would. Then, she broke her foot. Again. Other foot this time. I swear, she has a double bogie hex on her feet. Anyway, I figured that would be the end of the Polar Bear experience this year. Silly me. She never even thought about not going. So this morning we hauled our cookies over to a large LAKE in WASHINGTON (which shall remain nameless) and when they did the countdown, there was Jill, carefully walking out into the freezing cold water as everyone else ran past. While she was just going in, most people were already running out. Because of her injury, she was in the water for twice as long as everyone else. And I was so proud of her.

Here she is, post-dip, and smiling all the way. When I asked her if she'd do it again, I got a resounding YES! She even got me thinking that I might be willing to start next year with a little freezing cold water. If I first get past the whole swimsuit in January thing. See why I love Jill? She makes me want to try new things, experience life and step WAY out of my comfort zone on occasion. Thanks, Jill, for being you! :-)

Okay, enough mushy stuff. On to more important things. FOOD!

We finally cut into my Buche de Noel (that's French for Log of Yule.) It looked so good! Jill had a serving plate that echoed the swirls on my log. I love this shot (minus the reflection of the flash.)

Oooh. Aaaah. Ohhhh. I'm so cool!

Finally, we cut it and I crossed my fingers. Again, it looked really good! I was very proud of my even layers. (Yay for pastry bags!)

Awesome, right? I was pretty proud that it turned out so well. And it actually tasted pretty good, too. I didn't like the dark icing because it was just too dark (bitter) for me. The ganache was also a bit much. Like I said, I'm not a dark chocolate person. But the other layers were all great. I especially liked the coconut crisp layer in the middle. When I ate it alone, it seemed too sweet. But as a part of the dessert it was REALLY good. Jill said she wanted to eat just that part. She mentioned wanting me to make the log for her birthday. I guess that gives me five months to talk her out of that idea.



  1. The yule log is gorgeous!! Congrats to Jill on her accomplishment (no easy feat). P.S. LOVING the profile pic of you and P. Dempsey, you both look so happy :)

  2. Thanks Cynthia!

    Yes, Patrick and I are very happy. Me a little more so, as I am not a cardboard cut out.

  3. I've always wanted to do a polar bear swim! Your buche layers look perfect

  4. Happy New Year, and I hope you have a wonderful 2009! That log looks fabulous, and you are one lucky person if you get that for your birthday, why would you want to talk her out?!

  5. Looks like you did a really good job on the log. Love the layers, they look just perfect! Welcome to the Daring bakers!

  6. Thanks everyone. I was pretty happy with the layers as well.

    Nichole, Happy New Year back at you! I want to talk her out of it because I don't want to spend another 3 days making it for her! I'm lame, I guess!

  7. The yule log layers are perfect.

  8. Damn, that is one hell of a cake,... congrats on pulling it off...Id have a whoppin grin if I was you

  9. Your yule log is gorgeous... the layers are so even!


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