Three Shindigs and a Mid-Term (Break)

February 21, 2009

[Okay, so the post title is a bit obscure (I was alluding to Four Weddings and a Funeral)–but with the Oscars coming up in a couple of days, and with my having seen, hmmn, let’s see–a total of “zero” of the movies, I wanted to make reference to that grand little Golden Guy in some way or other in this post. ]


[Slice of birthday cake: chocolate layers filled with chocolate buttercream frosting, all topped with Sweet Potato Frosting]

It’s almost time for midterms at the college where I teach, so I’m afraid I’ll  be MIA from the blog for a little while (not to be confused with the recently balloon-bellied, singing-at-the-Grammys, went-into-labor-and-gave-birth-the-next-day MIA).  But before I bid you all adieu, I thought I’d mention three festivities leading up to said exams. 

Shindig One: The most recent celebration we enjoyed here in the DDD household was an intimate birthday dinner for my friend Eternal Optimist (consisting of just the EO, the HH, and me).We three enjoyed a spectacular, yet simple meal of Potato-Miso Soup (Alisa’s uniquely delicious recipe: satiny smooth, rich and slightly yeasty from the hint of miso–in fact, this was the second time I’ve made this in a week!); trusty Tagine of Quinoa with Chickpeas, Olives and Prunes (always a hit around here); garlic sautéed rapini and collards; and a special b-day cake  (chocolate layers with sugar-free chocolate buttercream frosting (both from Sweet Freedom) and the Sweet Potato Frosting I wrote about a while back.  


[Alisa’s Creamy Potato Miso Soup]

It was grand to spend a leisurely evening together fêting a dear friend. The EO also brought along her own pooch, another border collie cross, and The Girls were in heaven.  (“We love having our friends over, too, Mum!  Except next time, there should be a cake that we can eat as well.”) 

Shindig Two: In addition to the birthday, the dinner was also occasion for a spontaneous mini-celebration in honor of the cookbook finally reaching the publisher.  After numerous delays in formatting and glitches with the cover, it’s finally on its way!  My publishing rep called yesterday to confirm that she received the files and their part of the book’s production will begin next week.  YIPPPPPPEEEEEE!!  (Of course, this means it will still take about three months before the book is in print, but it is out of my hands at this point).  I can’t even begin to express what a relief that is!  So we had a little toast in honor of Sweet Freedom last evening as well.

Shindig Three: Despite mountains of marking, I’ll be peeking in periodically at the Academy Awards, that shindig to beat all shindigs, that tribute to all things silicone and Juvéderm and Botox, that massive glitterati ego-massage that will take place on Sunday evening.  From the Barbara Walters interviews to the Joan Rivers gaffes to the melodramatic and slurred acceptance speeches, I love it all.  And even if I haven’t actually seen any of the movies, who cares?  That’s not what the Oscars are all about, anyway!

Before I depart on break, I thought it might be fun to leave you with a little midterm quiz of your own to ponder while I’m away (and the best part–it doesn’t matter whether you know the answers or not!).  I’ll reveal the “correct” responses when I get back (though with a bit of sleuthing, it should be fairly easy to find them before then).  


[Chocolate birthday cake in all its uncut glory]

A Diet, Dessert and Dogs Mid-Term Quiz

Instructions: Please answer each of the following questions.  Note that this is an open-blog test; answers can be found in previous entries.  Please double space your answers. 

1)  DDD stands for:

a) The 2009, eco-friendly version of the pesticide “DDT”

b) Pamela Anderson’s bra size (now that she’s had a breast reduction)

c) a cutsie way to refer to “3-D” movies

d) the name of this blog.

2) “NAG” refers to

a) the HH’s endearing nickname for me;

b) the ol’ grey girl who ain’t what she used to be;

c) a healthy way of eating that includes whole, unprocessed, organic foods.

3) Ricki’s favorite food is:

a) chocolate

b) chocolate

c) chocolate

d) all of the above

4) “LC” stands for

a) Lon Chaney

b) Lewis Carroll

c) Love Chocolate!

d) Life Companion

5) Complete this phrase:  “Rocker Guy (He of the —)”

a) broken guitar

b) off his rocker 

c) rock collection

d) black leather pants

6) Ricki loves blogging because:

a) of all the amazing people she’s “met” in the blog world

b) it’s always fun to read other blogs and learn about new foods

c) reading your comments on her blog is the high point of her day (truly)


I’m sure you all got an “A”!  Have a great time at the Oscars, all, and see you in a week or so! 😉

Last Year at this TimeMy Favorite Mistake:  Savory Filled Breakfast Crepes

© 2009 Diet, Dessert and Dogs


46 Responses to “Three Shindigs and a Mid-Term (Break)”

  1. Heather Says:

    mmmm. that potato miso soup sounds amazing! and i’m sure you’ll earn every slice of that cake dealing with your students over the next few days 🙂

  2. Chris Says:

    We’ll miss you! Good luck with grading all those midterms – I know we students can say crazy things on tests sometimes. By the way, that sweet potato frosting has been calling my name since I first saw it here 😛

  3. VeggieGirl Says:

    Scrumptious cakes!!

    MISS YOU, RICKI!!!!!! xx

  4. Shelby Says:

    I want that miso soup!!!

    Mmm, sweet potato frosting?!? Where have you been all my life?!

  5. Jes Says:

    The cake, the soup, the cookbook! Hooray! Good luck with the midterms, I wish someone would have told us how much grading and stress is involved in teaching…

  6. Oh, so many things to say! Congratulations on the book! I am so glad you like the soup as much as I do. I literally have only made cake in the past for the frosting, so I am definitely going to have to make this sweet potato version! That cake is gorgeous!!!

    And, last but not least, don’t go MIA for too long, we will miss you!

  7. Kiersten Says:

    Beautiful cake! With those colors it would be perfect for Halloween.

  8. Katy Says:

    Omg, I just drooled all over my computer! That cake looks AMAZING!!!

    And YAY about the book! I just made the butterscotch bars again last week. Those things are addictive!

  9. So exciting about your new book!! Have a good mid-terms and eat plenty of that cake for us!

  10. Courtney Says:

    Good luck with the midterms…too bad you can’t make your mid-terms like the little quiz you posted on your blog–then it might not be too bad to grade them!

    Congrats again about the book! Yay!


  11. that birthday cake is stunning! And congrats on the progress with your cookbook. Definitely a cause for celebration!

  12. Gina Says:

    You are too cute, I love it!

    That cake looks fantastic, I wish I could have some. Have a good week, I hope it isn’t too stressful 🙂

  13. BitterSweet Says:

    Oh wow Ricki, that cake looks -incredible-! Completely professional, too.

    Best of luck on everything coming up! 🙂

  14. johanna Says:

    If I get all the answers right can I please have a slice of that gorgeous looking cake!

    Enjoy the oscars and good luck with the midterm (is that oodles of marking?) and with the book

  15. shellyfish Says:

    Ok, they were all D’s except number 2 right? Did I win? do I get a piece of that amazing cake? Come on!?

    Seriously, you cake is so beautiful. I need to come and hang out at your place so you can teach me to decorate like that! There is something so cool about orangy frosting, I don’t know why, I just love it, and if it’s sweet potato, well, all the better!

    I haven’t seen any of the movies either. I’m so out of the collective popular subconscious…sigh.

  16. mihl Says:

    Congrats on getting the book to the publisher! That’s some good news.

    That birhtday dinner sounds fantastic and the cake looks amazing. I wanna grab that slice in the first picture.

  17. tripyak Says:

    Where can I get some of the soup that sounds so absolutely delicious. Guess I could try to learn how to cook, but …..

    Good luck on the mid-terms & have a great break.

  18. holler Says:

    That cake looks amazing! I went into the fridge earlier, I was finally getting around to making the truffle cups, but then I realised my sweet potatoes had died! I took too long to get around to them. I will have to buy more!

    Congratulations on the book 🙂

  19. Congrats on the cookbook! Yay for you! That sweet potato frosting…wow. What a pretty cake.

    Have fun while you’re MIA!

  20. Lysy Says:

    I hope you have fun with all your marking (I can sympathise). That cake looks amazing – glad you had such a lovely evening with your friend. Many congrats on the book getting finished too!!!

  21. melody Says:

    That cake looks just perfect!

    I’m so excited about your book!

    I need miso. Must get some this week.

    Is that caramelized garlic on top of the soup?

  22. ttfn300 Says:

    congrats on getting the book out! i can’t wait for it’s arrival 🙂

  23. Andrea Says:

    Yay for the cookbook. I suppose the title now describes your state of mind as well as the recipes. Good planning!

    With Hugh Jackman as the host, I guess I’ll have to watch the Oscars this year. I’ve even seen two of the main films and two of the documentaries. Whoohoo!
    (Man on Wire and Trouble the Water highly recommended)

  24. gail Says:

    Congratulations on the cookbook! The food all looks delicious, but the picture of the completed cake is over the top pretty!

  25. steph Says:

    that cake looks fantastic!

  26. bex Says:

    can’t resist a little quiz (although I hated school work) 1)d 2)c 3)d 4)d, but also Lucky Comestible 5)d 6)a-d, I hope multiple answers are ok hehe

    Sooooo, can I have a piece of cake now? Please?

  27. Diann Says:

    Fun fun post! Except for the fact that you’ll be working too hard. All your celebration food looks amazingly delicious. I’m soooo excited about the cookbook.

    I made an A on the quiz, and I haven’t seen any of the movies either!!

  28. I am watching the Oscars as we speak! 🙂

    The cake couldn’t be more beautiful and it couldn’t look more delicious. Happy belated birthday to Eternal Optimist!

    YAY for the cookbook!! Three months can’t come fast enough!

    Could you please clarify question #3? It’s a bit confusing! 🙂

    Take it easy with all the work! All work an no play…

  29. jessy Says:

    i’m going to miss you and your glorious posts, Ricki! i can’t wait for your return! that’s one beautiful b-day cake, and i’ve gotta try out the soup! mmmmmmmmm! hoooooooray for Sweet Freedom making it to the publisher! superdoublew00t!

    your quiz is cracking me up! wahoooooooo!

  30. Sweet potato icing? Thank you for bringing my attention to this amazing idea!

  31. That cake is gorgeous! The decorating job is so pretty, but that slice is calling out to me…

  32. Hayley Says:

    That cake looks incredible! Good luck with midterms, I’m in the same boat myself (although I’ll be the one taking them).

  33. Astra Libris Says:

    I love your midterm quiz!! Could you email it to my nursing school profs, please? 🙂

    Oh my goodness, your sweet potato cake is a work of art! I am in awe!! Your decorating skills and your baking skills are truly unparalleled!

  34. Soma Says:

    Congrats on the book! that cake looks so good. I love the layer inside. A sweet potato cake!!

  35. Ricki,what a gorgeous cake! Spectacular!

  36. Vegyogini Says:

    Hooray for reasons to celebrate! Ooh, I can’t wait until I have your cookbook in my hands!

    My answers are: D, C, D, D, D, E (write-in answer to say “all of the above”).

    Happy marking!

  37. Ashley Says:

    That cake looks truly stunning!! I need to learn some cake decorating skills from you. And yaey for your cookbook being off! Can’t wait to see it.

  38. hahah RIcki your too cute!!!!

    omg that cake.. holy good god

  39. onlyjustwords Says:

    …I get an earache just looking at it. 😦

  40. Celine Says:

    is there a word better than “shindig”, really?
    thinking of you, Ricki!

  41. Kelly Says:

    I think something must be wrong with my computer as the pictures are not showing up and reading others’ comments I am jealous and wish I could see them.

  42. Lisa Says:

    Well at least you go missing for a reason! Great recipes as always. Potato Miso soup sounds like something I would love. And that cake is amazing. Sweet Potato frosting sounds fantastic. I have to try that.

  43. laci Says:

    Oh my what a beautiful, 5 star cake! And the sweet potatoe frosting sounds amazing!!! 🙂

  44. vegwife Says:

    Wow, that sweet potato frosting looks sooooooooooo good!!

  45. Vegan_Noodle Says:

    Hi Ricki!! I hope your time off from blogging is productive! Your cake looks absolutely divine.. the color of that frosting is spectacular!
    Can’t wait for you to return…

  46. Maris Says:

    Sweet potato frosting sounds incredible. Is it sweet or a combo of sweet/savory?

    Sounds delicious!

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