Posts Tagged ‘cake’

MLK Weekend in Mammoth

Last weekend, Evan and I went to Mammoth with two of our friends. We drove up early on Friday so we beat all of the traffic and had a super easy drive because it had been warm for a while and hadn’t snowed, so no ice, no snow and no chains.

Saturday, we had a great, full day of skiing and snowboarding. Evan and I went all over the mountain in the morning, then stopped for lunch — where we coincidentally sat RIGHT next to my uncle and cousins — and met up with our friends in the afternoon to get some more runs in.

That night we had a delicious dinner at one of my favorite Mammoth restaurants, Petra’s Bistro. The four of us had a table by the fire, and Evan and I shared a roasted beet salad and some Navarro Chardonnay, and then he had a salmon dish while I had some gnocchi with butternut squash. Our friends had venison and pork and loved their dishes as well. For dessert we headed back to the condo since Evan and I had baked a chocolate almond cake from a recipe his parents often use, and though it turned out a little flatter than theirs — we folded the egg whites in a little too much — it was delicious with its raspberry jam topping. I’ll definitely be making it again.

Sunday was another great ski day. The snow was pretty fast and quite hard-packed in some places, but we stayed under control and I don’t think either Evan or I fell the whole time. We spent more time up at the top and on the back side of the mountain, which I had never even explored. It was beautiful and sunny, too, and we met up with my uncle and cousins again for lunch.

We didn’t make it a full day — we headed in around 3 instead of 4 — since our legs (especially mine) were really exhausted from spending so much time on both steep and overly flat runs, which both make my muscles exhausted. I do much better on a normal intermediate/easier advanced grade. Still, it was good to challenge myself, and though Evan is a much better skier than I am a border, I was able to stick with him all day — provided that he’d wait for me a bit.

That night, we cooked dinner — nice and easy rancher’s pasta (pasta with sun dried tomatoes, olives and goat cheese) and salad. We also had some more cake and started a bit of a board game marathon, playing Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit and Catch Phrase.

Monday we debated whether or not to ski and ultimately decided to go for brunch at The Stove where we had enormous omelets, waffles and pieces of french toast, which were all really delicious. Then Evan and I took a short hike at Hot Creek, which was delightfully empty — every time I’ve been there it’s been super crowded. And then we drove home, thankfully without any traffic again.

Evan should be posting some more photos soon, including some of Hot Creek.

Quick and Deilicious: Lemon Chocolate Chip Cake

Lemon chocolate chip cake without frosting

My mom’s lemon chocolate chip cake has been one of my favorites since I was a kid. The combination of lemon and chocolate go perfectly together, and my mom seems to always have a supply of cake mix on hand. It’s become one of Evan’s favorite cakes, too, so when faced with the prospect of bringing dessert to a friend’s house tonight, it was easy for us to settle on this tasty cake. I don’t know where my mom got her recipe, since she’s had it memorized for ages, but last night she wrote down the recipe and helped us out. Using a Cuisinart, we were able to mix all the ingredients together in about five minutes — the time it took the oven to heat up. I imagine mixing by hand would work just fine, only take a little longer.


  • 1 box Duncan Hines lemon cake mix (you can try other brands, but Mom says DH has the best lemon cake)
  • 1 box Lemon Jell-O Instant Pudding mix
  • 0.5 cups oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips — about 1 to 1.5 cups, though you can really add as many as you’d like


Using a Cuisinart, start by blending the dry cake and pudding mixes. Add the oil and blend, then slowly add in the water. Mix in the four eggs until everything is well blended, then add the chocolate chips and mix them in. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan — we use a tall one with a hole in the middle. Bake in a preheated oven, if using convection, bake at 325 degrees, if just baking, bake at 350 degrees. Check the cake after 45 minutes and test to see if a cake tester comes out mostly dry. If not, bake another 5 minutes and retest. Our cake last night took 50 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes.

The cake tastes great on its own, but it looks much prettier with a coat of chocolate frosting. Also, the chocolate chips tend to sink to the bottom, though this creates a tasty chocolaty sort of crust and the cake will still taste delicious.

The cake with chocolate frosting — we’re done!