I like big bundts and I cannot lie

I know, I know, I know.  I really have nothing to say for myself.

Actually, I do.

I haven’t had some sort of blogging mid-life crisis.  But, a girl only has so much free time. And most of my free time since the new year has been taken up by a little project we’re calling “Playa Remodel 15…15…15.”  As I type there are men demolishing my kitchen:

It’s very exciting.  But, as you remodel veterans know (and this rookie had NO idea), to get from idea to actual work is pretty much its own part-time job.  We started gathering bids in January and work has just begun this week.  We aren’t doing anything drastic. But because we’re living in the house at the same time, we’ve had to  break it up into nine phases.  And, I’ll let you in on a little secret: this is really just a test run for some bigger trouble we’re thinking of getting ourselves into later this year.

And then there was the matter of that hostile but totally legal URL takeover.  You may have noticed the new address.  If not, please update your feeds: www.tmhostess.com.   Let’s just say that if you ever need to be saved from your own idiocy (speaking strictly for myself), Jennette Fulda at Make Worthy Media is your gal.

I do have a couple of months worth of baking adventures to share with you all.  And of course, I took before pictures of the house so that I can share our misadventures

But, back to the bundts.

I mean really, who doesn’t like a big bundt?

This one was supposed to be a zebra cake.  A beautiful marriage of vanilla and chocolate cakes.

I thought i had the technique down while I was constructing the batter.

It looked pretty goof going into the oven.

Alas, it came out more tabby cat than zebra.

Nevertheless, this is a fantastic cake recipe.  It’s rich and moist and while I’ve included the original recipe for the ganache icing, I think it would be just a great with a dusting of powdered sugar.  It’s everything a big bundt should be.

 Zebra Bundt Cake

borrowed and not even slightly adapted from Bakers Royale

  • 3 C cake flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 ½ C granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ C natural (not Dutch-processed) cocoa powder
  • 6 TBS water
  • 1 ½ C unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½ C whole milk


  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 C heavy cream


  1. Sift flour baking powder and salt into a bowl (yes, this is a second sifting of the flour); set aside.
  2. In a separate medium size bowl add in ½ cup of sugar, the cocoa powder, and water then whisk until mixture is smooth; set aside.
  3. Place melted butter and sugar in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium high until mixture is blended, about 1 minute. Add in vanilla and beat until combined. Add and beat eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition. Once all eggs are added, beat mixture until it becomes light and fluffy (it will resemble pancake batter, but slightly thinner).
  4. Turn mixer speed down to low and add the flour in three additions, alternating with the milk in two additions and mixing just until blended.
  5. Add 2 cups of the batter to the cocoa mixture and stir until blended.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop, pour two scoops of vanilla mixture into pan. Now alternate and pour one scoop of chocolate mixture on top of vanilla mixture. Continue to alternate between vanilla and chocolate layers until bundt pan is filled.
  7. Bake zebra pound cake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees F or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and cool completely.

To make glaze

  1. Place chocolate and cream in a pan over low heat and stir until chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes before using.


Showing off the glitter, on the cheap

I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a clothes horse and shoe hound (which is odd considering I was born in a year of the ox).

In my defense, I’m pretty careful about how I curate and take care of my…collections.  So, I find myself cleaning-out and re-organizing my closet every month or two.  I not only own a flipfold.  I use it with relish.

For the last couple of years, I’ve kept track of my ever expanding collection of costumy-type necklaces on a giant cork board.  It worked well for a long time, but I was ready for a change and itching to use the power drill.

So, I had an idea.

While there are a thousand ways to skin this cat, the method I used cost a whopping $15 all in.  After measuring the horizontal space available in my closet and then cruising the Ikea website, I decided that the 22-inch Bygel rail would fit perfectly.  Measuring my vertical space, I figured I could fit three of these spaced to accommodate the varying lengths of my necklaces.

To do the actual hanging, I picked up several sets of the coordinating Bygel S-hooks.  What I failed to do was calculate the two-inch drop created by the hooks. Of course, I installed the rods before realizing this mistake.   It threw off the aesthetic a bit–but not enough to re-hang the rods.

A level, a dozen screws and my power-drill itch scratched and I had a brand new way to display and organize my jewelry.

I was pretty proud of myself.  In fact, I thought I’d come up with a pretty clever idea all on my own.  Then I went over to Pinterest.

Damn!  Damn Pinterest!

At least a dozen or so persons had already had the same idea.  With better execution.

What. Ever.