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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Friends + Books + Cake + Peonies = Happiness


A month or so back I posted on facebook and asked if anyone nearby was part of a book club.
I always hear about book clubs but noone I know is in one.

30 minutes later I had started a book club with a great variety of friends.

Some who knew each other, some who didn't.

Some I see regularly, some I haven't seen in years and years.


Our first book was The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, which despite some rave reviews, I thought was sort of meh.  You know, meh, like, whatever.

It did give me an excuse to try making a layer cake.  
I've never made a layer cake before and I've never frosted a cake before.
Weird, isn't it?  But cookies and bars, those are more my thing.
I'm short on patience, so these multiple step things don't usually get crossed off my list.

I made the Lemon Drop Cake from Baked. (you can google the recipe)
Their cookbook has been all over the internet and I'm eager to try out more of their recipes.
I used my easy lemon curd recipe instead of theirs because mine is... easier and I love the flavor.

The overall result was a very tasty cake.  
The lemon buttercream frosting was the huge hit here.
The cake was a bit crumb-y, not crumby as in bad, as it has really good flavor, 
but a bit crumbly.  I may have overcooked the cakes as I used 9 inch rounds
instead of the suggested 8 inch rounds.

I somehow didn't take a picture of the sliced piece.
I've already got them all cut up and in containers, I've been a bit spastic lately.


These are the lovelies.  
We'll be getting together once a month and I'm so excited about this club!

This is the beauty of facebook, without which, this group would never have gotten together.

Alicia (far right) and I went to school together from kindergarten thru 12th grade 
and hadn't seen each other since.  I think.

Picnik collage

She once broke her wrist at my roller skating party.

She fell out in the rink but didn't make much of a fuss about it.

She's a quiet girl.  We thought she was fine.

My mom found out later that it was actually broken.

Poor thing was watching me blow out candles as she sat in silent misery.

Actually, I might have already blown out my candles.

But I'm sure there was silent misery.


Alicia and Connie both brought me peonies for hosting our first meeting.

I wanted to have them at our wedding but I got married in December and 
and there were just no peonies to be found.

Picnik collage

They have such a gorgeous vintage look to them.  

Each is so unique.

They make me happy. 

Such a dreamy, romantic flower.


In other totally unrelated news, my baby army-crawled over to this bookshelf 
and pulled himself into standing position yesterday.

I was glad I had my camera right there.

It was the weirdest thing, looking at my Peanut standing there.

I'm just not ready for this.

P.S.  Any books you'd like to suggest?
P.P.S.  Some of my friends may read this and wonder why in the world they weren't invited to our book club.  Consider this your invitation.  Contact me if you want in!


  1. Dawn! That is the most beautiful looking cake!!! Can't believe that's your first one,so lovely.

    Oh and peonies - SIGH! Xxx

  2. I looovvveeee peonies, too. They are just so gorgeous! Your cake looked divine, girl! And that is the cutest pic of little man standing, way to go, Peanut!

  3. Blog is so pretty ,,,and Peanut is so cute!!!

  4. Our book club just read Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt and LOVED it! We are now reading The Hunger Games. One of our favorites was The Help - fabulous read! We each bring a dish inspired by the book we are currently reading. We feast while we talk about the book and of course everyone gets a copy of each recipe.

  5. i've always wanted to be in a book club. not sure it would be the same virtually though. i just finished two kisses for maddie about a dad who lost his wife right at the time his little girl was born. it's a true story and he's a big time blogger. from here. it was good.

  6. oh and yay peanut. won't be long now girl. you'll be fine:)

  7. I love how the Spontaneous Clapper spontaneously formed a book club - how fun! :) And love the cake!! My peonies have some sort of disease (which I don't know what to do about), but I did scavenge two nice blooms this year. Yours are beautiful. Enjoy your reading time now... looks like things could get more active in the near future. Peanut... just look at you go (and grow)!! -Tammy

  8. This post really got me interested in starting a book club... But I seriously don't have the time to organize that one... So maybe I should find one in my neck of the woods. Thanks Dandy for sharing this with us.

  9. for someone who's never made a layer cake, your cake was GORGEOUS! impressive work on the frosting, too! :)

  10. I am in two book clubs, and in the one, we talked about reading the lemon book... I may rethink it now. lol We have read The Help, Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt, These Things Hidden, Snow Lily and the Secret Fan (I THINK that's what it was called), and some others that I can't think of right now. ha!

  11. OK, Friends, Books, Cake, Peonies---ANY of these = happiness for me. I love them all! But all together? BLISS! So glad you had fun. My sister has a book club and she has really enjoyed it. I haven't done one yet!

  12. The cake looks de-licious! Wow and take a look at Peanut! He's gonna be walkin' in noooo time!

  13. Wow, look at Peanut! He's getting so big!

    The cake looks delicious, Dandy. Book Clubs have been a part of my life since 'before kids' and I don't know what I'd do without them. Such a great way to spend an evening, with friends and talking books.

    The last book we read was Cutting for Stone
    which was a great read, but intense. On a lighter note, we all loved The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

    I think the key to our club is that we've always met on the same night (third Wednesday of the month) and everyone has come to depend on it. Also, we are fine with switching it up -- if someone wants to host in their home, fantastic. If someone chooses to meet at a coffee shop for their month, that's great, too. Through the years, as the kids have grown, and our duties change, we've tried to keep it convenient for everyone.

  14. How awesome to have a book club!! I've never been in one and it seems like it would be so fun! I love that Peanut is in the book club photo. His selection is Goodnight Moon. Heh!

  15. I wish I lived closer and could join in your book club. I don't know anyone in my town really. I would love love love to start one up. I keep looking for them but all the members are over 60 (I think it's a requirement here). Maybe I should just try to start my own. ;-)

    I can't believe Peanut is standing up! Time is flying!

  16. Stop, just stop. You had me at friends.
    :) The rest is extra bonus (my husband hates it when I say that. haha)!


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